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February 26, 2006 12:28 PM   Subscribe

For the women of South Dakota: an abortion manual --building on the history and expertise of Jane, , an underground referral and abortion-providing group in Chicago in the 60s, Molly provides the vital info women in South Dakota (and maybe elsewhere soon) need.
posted by amberglow (133 comments total)

 
People, people, this SD thing is scary and these people are all asshats. But the law is unconstitutional and will never be enforced against anyone. The federal district court will grant an injunction before the first prosecution takes place.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 12:31 PM on February 26, 2006


and a followup from Molly, explaining things: For those who seem to misunderstand: ...If I lived in South Dakota, I would be doing anything in my power to help. Yes, this would mean collecting the funds and setting up a clinic, almost assuredly, but it would also mean arranging transportation for any woman who could take the time off and who would not be taking a great risk by doing so. It would mean securing supplies of RU-486. It would mean trying to educate teens about preventing pregnancy.

But right now, I am not in South Dakota and I do not have the funds to do what needs to be done from so far away -- I barely have the funds to make my rent for the month. What I can do, now, is help women prepare.

When my friends and I began to discuss the way the wind was blowing regarding Roe -- and the fact that there might not be abortion-friendly laws in the United States, especially in red states, soon, several commented that within a few years, there would of course be setups built to handle it -- safe illegal clinics, another Jane network, newsgroups developed for the sole purpose of transporting women, et cetera. But even as this idea soothed us a little, it also suggested something horrible: that for a few years, there would be a service gap that would kill many women unlucky enough to get pregnant during those lean years.

I am posting this now so that the information is available for anyone who believes it is needed where they are, as a hedge against these laws. No woman should be caught in a gap, forced to give birth or attempt self-abortion.
...

posted by amberglow at 12:32 PM on February 26, 2006


Saucy, I think the point is not what a District Court will think, but rather what happens when the appeals get to the Supreme Court. The Supremes, you may recall, have had a substantial change in makeup lately. The goal of this legislation is to force a revisit on Roe v. Wade.
posted by ilsa at 12:46 PM on February 26, 2006


My understanding was that this bill banned a certain way of performing the late-term abortion, but not the abortion itself, in the very rare cases where supposed "late-term" abortions are needed. Is this correct? It is still a ridiculous grab by SD, but if my understanding is correct, it would not be the death knell for abotion that some are making it out to be.
posted by Falconetti at 12:47 PM on February 26, 2006


And even if I am wrong, this is not a wholesale revist of Roe/Casey, it brings forward the subtle, but no less insidious program of hollowing out abortion laws, rather than overturning them, thereby avoiding any uncomfortable stare decisis problems.
posted by Falconetti at 12:49 PM on February 26, 2006


Falconetti: no. I think you are confusing the South Dakota law with Congress' partial birth abortion ban. The SD law bans virtually all abortion. Th SD case will never make it to the Supreme Court. The district court will find the law unconstitutional, the 8th Cir. will affirm, and the Supreme Court will deny certiorari. Of more pressing concern is the Supreme Court's recent decision to grant certiorari on the partial birth abortion ban.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 12:50 PM on February 26, 2006


Thanks monju, that was exactly what I was confusing.
posted by Falconetti at 12:53 PM on February 26, 2006


When you feel the curettage and removal is complete, make sure you examine the fetal material you have already extracted. If you're missing anything obvious -- for instance, a head -- make sure to find and remove it. (Emphasis my own)

Eeep!

Man, this should be required reading for "Family Life" classes.
posted by phrontist at 12:55 PM on February 26, 2006


Excellent post, amberglow.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 12:57 PM on February 26, 2006


The federal district court will grant an injunction before the first prosecution takes place.

And how many women in South Dakota - women who already face insane difficulty in trying to get an abortion - will be forced into making a different choice because they don't want to be the test case for this? The fact that in a few weeks or months this law won't be a law anymore doesn't really help them, does it?
posted by jacquilynne at 1:21 PM on February 26, 2006


In terms of travel distance, banning abortion in South Dakota (if it remained only South Dakota) might not make a lot of difference to many of the women living there. Guttmacher:
• In 2000, there were 2 abortion providers in South Dakota. This represents a 100% increase from 1996, when there was 1 abortion provider.

• In 2000, 87% of U.S. counties had no abortion provider. 1/3 of American women lived in these counties, which meant they would have to travel outside their county to obtain an abortion. Of women obtaining abortions in 2000, 25% traveled at least 50 miles, and 8% traveled more than 100 miles.

• In 2000, 98% of South Dakota counties had no abortion provider. 78% of South Dakota women lived in these counties. In the Midwest census region, where South Dakota is located, 28% of women having abortions traveled at least 50 miles, and 10% traveled more than 100 miles.
posted by pracowity at 1:23 PM on February 26, 2006


I think the the Supreme Court will deny cert as well. That will be the most telling part of the whole thing, as it is almost unquestionable that the lower courts will strike it down. It is reasonable to believe the SCOTUS will deny cert, but there is always that nagging thought of what if it does make it through?
posted by edgeways at 1:26 PM on February 26, 2006


Insane. I think the clinical explaination - considered as a statement in and of itself, points up the situation and the dilemma.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:26 PM on February 26, 2006


jacquilynne, assuming that the Governor signs the bill into law as he has pledged to do, I suspect the law won't be in effect for more than 24 hours. Planned Parenthood has already pledged to file suit and seek an injunction immediately. Moreover, this case isn't like Roe; you don't need an individual women who was denied an abortion as a named plaintiff. Check out the opening discussion by the Supreme Court in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. In that case, the suit was filed by Planned Parenthood, five abortion clinics, and a physician. And in addition, the lawsuit was filed seeking an injunction and a declaratory judgment before any of the provisions took effect.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 1:28 PM on February 26, 2006


And behind it all is that even if denyed cert the next time a justice is replaced this will come up again. This is, if nothing else, an act of notice served. If the Dems act like they did with Roberts and Alto with another Bush appointee abortion will be illegial in many states within a year.
posted by edgeways at 1:37 PM on February 26, 2006


IN related news :

Pregnant? Need help? Call 1-800-PROPAGANDA ( excerpt below ) :

The alarming erosion of any pretense of a wall between church and state here in Texas is evidenced by the state's diversion of $5 million in health care funds to evangelistic crisis pregnancy centers. Despite the standard restrictions on using public funds to proselytize, this lucrative contract is designed to funnel state money into both Protestant and Catholic CPCs, both of which have only two goals: stopping abortion and winning souls for Christ.

And now that movement is poised to go national.

The Democrats for Life of America (DFLA) is waiting in the wings with its 95-10 Initiative, a piece of omnibus legislation that, beneath a veneer of concern for women, provides federal funding for a nationwide campaign to herd women into CPCs -- in addition to imposing the so-called Woman's Right to Know laws that are shutting down access to abortion care from Minnesota to Mississippi upon every abortion-providing physician in the 50 states.....


Zero Degrees of Separation ( excerpt below ) :

Monday's Washington Post informed us that at least 18 states are considering 36 bills that would "protect" and "shelter" pharmacists and other health care workers from providing care that conflicts with their personal religious beliefs.

"About half of the proposals would shield pharmacists who refuse to fill prescriptions for birth control and "morning-after" pills because they believe the drugs cause abortions. But many are far broader measures that would shelter a doctor, nurse, aide, technician or other employee who objects to any therapy. That might include in-vitro fertilization, physician-assisted suicide, embryonic stem cells and perhaps even providing treatment to gays and lesbians."

In an exquisite touch of irony, the Post titled its story "Health Workers' Choice Debated" - because this is the one kind of choice that the Religious Right will defend.

posted by troutfishing at 1:50 PM on February 26, 2006


What jacquilynne said. The legal maneuvering is apparent to any educated reader, but entirely cold comfort for the terrified, confused women and girls who will continue to be scared into forgoing their legal rights.

Given that abortion has become more rare in the past decade in the US, it's just staggering that the extreme right wants to pick this fight, even if SCOTUS doesn't get to it for a few years. It's more than likely that President Clinton will have the last laugh given the strategic fuckwittery of this.

As for the FPP itself, extremism breeds extremism, always. Sane, reasonable, and affordable access to information, health care, and contraception? No, that won't play--it doesn't get anybody many votes, does it?
posted by bardic at 1:51 PM on February 26, 2006


Something that the pro- lifers just can't get thru their thick skulls is the concept that our society will always have high levels of crime, mental illness and family dysfunction. When the result of our sick society produces deeply distressed pregnant women who can't find the appropriate resources they deserve for self-preservation, we have completly lost our basic rights as human beings. God, I hope these women can hopefully get across the border into Canada where they'll most certainly find the compassion and help they need.
posted by GoodJob! at 2:04 PM on February 26, 2006


Please be sure to familiarize yourself with the female reproductive system prior to performing any procedure such as this.

Oh my god. Welcome to 1955.
posted by jokeefe at 2:16 PM on February 26, 2006



The district court will find the law unconstitutional, the 8th Cir. will affirm, and the Supreme Court will deny certiorari.

Don't bet on that denial of cert. Guess who's been made responsible (pdf) for matters coming from the 8th? Amazing how that happened on 1 Feb 2006, and then this happens less than three weeks later. Actually, it's not -- Somebody thinks they've got the five votes they need, and I think they're right -- Roberts, Alito, Scalia, Thomas, Kennedy.

There's a real reason this legislation was passed now, and not three months ago. Replacing O'Conner with Alito changed things, and Stephen's health changes things more. Roberts and Alito were selected with abortion very much in mind. Thomas and Scalia, of course, are already there.

Ginsberg, Souter, Breyer and Stevens are all supportive of Roe. Kennedy is very much the wildcard, and he's not nearly the supporter of abortion rights that people think he is -- indeed, the word is that if O'Conner had voted to overturn Roe vs. Wade in Casey, that both Kennedy and Souter would have joined her. Planned Parenthood vs. Casey was also a plurality opinion, which is a much weaker stance. It affirmed Roe vs. Wade, but in the weakest way possible.

So, I think this one goes, gets struck down the district (because it is clearly unconstitution by current precedent) and affirmed as such by the 8th, who may well hear in en banc. The, it gets appealed to SCOTUS, gets cert via Alito, and then it all comes down to Kennedy. Without O'Conner acting as the "rational conservative", and with Souter now established as part of the liberal wing, the only hope for Roe vs. Wade is Roberts.

In other words, no hope at all. It'll take a year for it to get up to the court, so you have that long. Given Stephen's health, this may well be a 6-3 vote, since you can bet that if Bush gets another SCOTUS appointment, it'll make Alito look like a flaming liberal.
posted by eriko at 3:14 PM on February 26, 2006


It'll take a year for it to get up to the court, so you have that long.

And that's more than 9 months. I hope to God that people near SD are starting up carpools or something.
posted by amberglow at 3:24 PM on February 26, 2006


I hope to God that people near SD are starting up carpools or something.

To Canada. Because the day after SCOTUS reverses Roe vs. Wade, Congress will ban abortion across the board, full stop, and you know Bush will sign it. This idea that only the red states will ban abortion is patent nonsense.

This leads to "Well, maybe Dems can take congress back." Yeah, sure, and while were dreaming, I want a dozen ponies.
posted by eriko at 3:28 PM on February 26, 2006


I equivalate this self abortion information on par with giving 'bomb making' materials to 13 year olds. Not to say that it's illegal information, I'm just saying, I frown down upon it. A woman has a multitude of options before she needs to consider using the old rusty hanger on herself.
posted by thecollegefear at 3:36 PM on February 26, 2006


If you bothered to read the actual article it's not really self-abortion information. It's about the procedures and equipment required to perform safe abortions. It's as close to information on how to use a rusty coathanger to self-abort as a high school chemistry text is to a missive on blowing up buildings.
posted by substrate at 3:54 PM on February 26, 2006



MetaFilter
posted by lobstah at 3:55 PM on February 26, 2006


thecollegefear, you're still not reading it. It's NOT SELF-abortion. It's for someone to set up an underground clinic to help women. You COULD NOT do this to yourself, period. And there is nothing about a rusty hanger or anything like that. Read the fucking manual before you freak out.

Yes, a woman has many options. Birth control, avoidence, whatever, but sometimes those don't work or someone didn't think that far ahead or someone was raped, and they need help. And this is for someone to help those women-since the goverment probably won't bev providing them that protection any longer.
posted by aacheson at 3:57 PM on February 26, 2006


the word is that if O'Conner had voted to overturn Roe vs. Wade in Casey, that both Kennedy and Souter would have joined her.

Do you have a source? I have never heard anything like this.

The, it gets appealed to SCOTUS, gets cert via Alito,

Alito can't grant cert by himself. Four judges must vote in favor of granting review. I think monju has called it correctly that this law is toast and the Supreme Court will stay out. For one thing, they don't have the five votes yet to overturn (eriko is wrong about Kennedy, although I'd love to see a cite). For another, I think Roe will get chiseled away over the next decade so that when it ultimately gets reversed, it will be made to seem more like an inevitable result of a slow evolution of the law rather than a blatant political maneuver stemming solely from a change in the Court's composition (even though that is excactly what it will be).
posted by brain_drain at 4:02 PM on February 26, 2006


the word is that if O'Conner had voted to overturn Roe vs. Wade in Casey, that both Kennedy and Souter would have joined her.

I'm curious as to why this would be the case. What's the point for Supreme Court Justices to consider other Justice's opinions at all? Like brain_drain, I'd appreciate an explanation.
posted by drezdn at 4:20 PM on February 26, 2006


thecollegefear writes "I equivalate this self abortion information on par with giving 'bomb making' materials to 13 year olds. "

RTA, it's not self abortions. It's instructions for those wishing to setup clandestine clinics.
posted by Mitheral at 4:51 PM on February 26, 2006


I'm curious as to why this would be the case. What's the point for Supreme Court Justices to consider other Justice's opinions at all? Like brain_drain, I'd appreciate an explanation.

Sometimes there is a back and forth between the justices in order to get a majority. If Justice A and B both advocate a similar point of view, but A is so extreme that B would not sign on to the opinion, then A might relax a bit in order to get B to support the opinion. A clear example of this is Brown v. Brd. of Educ. which was only unanimous because the opinion was so short and basic. Some of the other justices presumably wouldn't sign it if they thought it was overreaching and in that case it was very important to have the court speak in one voice.

Justices still can do whatever they want though. Almost every justice has went off on their own tangent at one time or another without a care for what the other justices think (see every Thomas dissent).
posted by Falconetti at 5:14 PM on February 26, 2006


mandy goes to med school

I've been feeling dull as a coat hanger
pretty as a picture of a patient on a fresh iv
giddy as a gangbanger with a set of sutures where his magic johnson ought to be

yes i'll tell you just the thing you need to be the next big thing
let's start in with a test of your intelligence
and zest for the counter-productive
up and down and roundabout and out the back
and keep your mouth shut tight
the lights are staying out but no sweat I've got aim like a mack truck
guess how many fingers ok guess how many more i can fit there
guess right get the toaster but you know, miss, guessing gets you nowhere

i've been baking cakes for the enemy
i've been dying to find out the hard way
ive been taking friends to the alleyway
two down now but who's counting anyway?

yes I can do everything you need from out of my new SUV
all my work is guaranteed to last the length of your recovery
put away those pliers honey trust me cause I know the options
how about a nine-month long vacation and a two-foot coffin

i've been getting up close and intimate
some close calls but I'm getting into it
in some states they say you can burn for it
but ill burn that bridge when i get to it

it's not a bad thing
to get professional
it's got a nice ring
mandy goes to med school

i've been taking tips from the government
i've been getting damn good at hiding it
fifty bucks a month ought to cover it
two down now but who's gonna notice it?
and if you show up and I am unavailable
my partner brian would love to take care of you
he is a nice man
thoroughly reliable
he's in a rock band
and he goes to med school.....

posted by dhartung at 5:14 PM on February 26, 2006


Man, this should be required reading for "Family Life" classes.

Damn straight. One should know what's gonna be going on before deciding to engage in behaviours that might require that operation. Could well affect one's decisions.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:19 PM on February 26, 2006


Thanks Falconetti.
posted by drezdn at 5:26 PM on February 26, 2006


eriko: FearmongerFilter. I for one am not biting.

Not that it would be a good thing, but assuming Roe v. Wade is overturned, that does not automatically mean we'll have a nationwide ban on abortion. After all, Bush has been putting "states rights" conservatives on the court, who would be much less friendly than previous courts to expansive definitions of the Commerce Clause. Did anyone read Thomas's dissent in Raich (page 62)? You could very well see a strong conservative center on this court ruling in favor of privacy and women's right to choose in the coming years.
posted by MarkO at 5:34 PM on February 26, 2006


When Casey was decided, there were two solid votes to uphold Roe v. Wade, Justices Stevens and Blackmun. Both write separate concurrences, and Justice Blackmun went so far as to excoriate the dissenters that would overturn Roe. O'Connor was a third vote to uphold Roe, but was willing to take a more moderate position in order to garner a majority. Justice Souter, surprisingly--at least to Bush supporters--was also a moderate vote along with O'Connor. Early on, Justice Kennedy sided with the dissenters, but was convinced by O'Connor and Souter to form a three-Justice plurality to uphold Roe, while at the same time upholding some of the restrictions imposed by the Pennsylvania law, including parental notification. The Casey plurality implemented the undue burden test, a test championed by O'Connor in her earlier concurrences. I doubt that Kennedy, having decided to side with the plurality in Casey, would now change his mind and vote to overturn Roe. Moreover, even conservatives must recognize that the chances of overturning Roe were significantly reduced by Casey, which entrenched and solidified the precedent.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 5:35 PM on February 26, 2006


To Canada. Because the day after SCOTUS reverses Roe vs. Wade, Congress will ban abortion across the board, full stop, and you know Bush will sign it. This idea that only the red states will ban abortion is patent nonsense.

The only argument which has a bat's chance in hell of swaying SCOTUS on Roe v. Wade is the states'-rights argument, that Congress doesn't have the authority to regulate the states on this issue. Which means that, in the unlikely event that Roe is overturned, it will, indeed, be only the red states banning abortion.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 6:12 PM on February 26, 2006


Ishmael, even if the Roberts Court, following Lopez, takes a dim view of Congress's ability to regulate abortion under its interstate commerce power, it can just as easily ban abortions in practice if not in law. Consider a federal statute which criminalizes crossing state lines for the purpose of obtaining an abortion. Under even a narrow reading of interstate commerce power jurisprudence, such a law post-Roe would be constitutional. Now every abortion patient in the geographically "little" states like the ones up here in New England is automatically a suspect. And god forbid your car has out of state plates. How can any clinic outside of say, California, survive above-ground in such a chilling climate?

I still believe - or more accurately, want to believe - monju when he says that SCOTUS will deny cert in this case. If four votes are cast, that means that the conventional wisdom on Roberts was dead wrong, and we're all fucked, fucked harder than anyone could have ever imagined.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 6:44 PM on February 26, 2006


The notion that four votes would exist to grant certiorari in a case like the SD ban also rests on the notion that the conservative Justices would be willing to disregard recent precedent upholding Roe v. Wade. While the Supreme Court is free to reconsider its own precedent at any time, I would not be surprised if more than one of the conservative Justices would vote to deny certiorari on the basis that reconsideration of Roe and Casey so soon after application in cases like Ayotte would be inappropriate. Keep in mind, also, that the SD case, even if it makes it to the Supreme Court, will not be the next major test of the Supreme Court's commitment to Roe; as I aluded to above, the Supreme Court granted certiorari on Congress' partial birth abortion ban. That decision may potentially implicate not only Roe and Casey, but potentially also the Commerce Clause issue discussed above.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 7:06 PM on February 26, 2006


(gak - just hit "Preview" ... apologies for such a long post that pretty much nobody here is going to agree with or react well to)

Since there's quite a bit of fear in the posts, can someone explain why, unless the life of the child bearer is at stake - *and* said child bearer makes the decision that her life is more important than the child's - is there such a huge desire for the unabashed freedom to kill unborn children in this country?

Now you may not believe that there's a life in there (as I do) but wouldn't you rather err on the side of caution in case *you're wrong*? (If you are wrong, that's quite a number of murders, no?)

I'm not going to debate the rape/incest births on this board (it's a lengthy discussion that I'd seriously/genuinely be glad to have somewhere else). I won't even respond to a predictable hate-filled reply remarking on that, either.

The real reason (at least as is perceived from actually reading reported speeches from "abortion rights leaders" and looking at Planed Un-parenthood legal machinations) is that folks just do not want to take responsibility for their actions and would like a quick way to have the "problem" "just go away".

I'm a male (and I guess that invaliates my opine from one of the militant perspectives) and know at least what *I* would need to do to ensure that certain actions do not end up in the creation of a life that I'd be responsible for. Is it so hard to just not engage in them, or at least engage in them *somewhat* "safely"?

My wife, in a previous relationship before we met, had to deal with the consequences of bad choices. I'm glad she chose correctly since I would have missed out on adopting and raising one beautiful, intelligent and creative daughter (who - even at 21 - still doesn't have any idea what she wants to be when she grows up, but that's another topic altogether *:^)

Economics can't be a part of the issue either, since you would need to show me some real, hard evidence that free/extremely-low-cost pre-natal care is not available to folks in the U.S. (if not via an agency, via a local religious institution then, and if you don't believe in one of them, ask them for help anyway). And, more and more states are making it even easier than it already is to put infants up for adoption anonymously.

So, flame me back if you really feel the need to (since I tried really hard not to flame in the first place), but I just don't get it.

Before closing, let me just add to the posts of fear: while RvW was (IMO) a mistake to begin with, attacking it head on now is just asking for a very un-civil war to begin. We can debate Iraq, Dept of Homeland Security, economic policies and other types of issues without much of a real ruckus, but abortion has the significant potential to tear this whole country apart. I'd like to see abortions stopped, but we're not ready as a nation to do that in law yet. I'll continue to do my part, though, by sponsoring crisis pregnancy centers (that phrase is no longer politically correct, but I'm not one for PC anyway) and helping out as many folks who are faced with the decision as I (we - the whole fam) possibly can.
posted by hrbrmstr at 7:35 PM on February 26, 2006


It is about independence: the right to choose what one does with oneself.

Should we force you to have liposuction? It might save your life.

Should we force you to give a kidney to someone in need? It might save a life.

Should we force you to give your body over to a pregnancy? It might save a life.

Why do you want to force women to carry an unwanted zygote, embryo, or fetus, hrbrmstr? You wouldn't force a woman to donate a kidney or get a liposuction.

It is not a child until well into the pregnancy, ducky. Far and few between are the women who abort a child, and they're doing it for life-saving reasons, not because they had casual sex and a birth control failure.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:48 PM on February 26, 2006


c/and/or/
posted by five fresh fish at 7:49 PM on February 26, 2006


hrbrmstr: who are you to make decisions for me or anyone else, especially about something as important as bringing a child into this world? The fucking arrogance, it just kills me.

My ovaries.

My family.

My life.

My decision.
posted by longdaysjourney at 7:55 PM on February 26, 2006


hrbrmstr writes "Since there's quite a bit of fear in the posts, can someone explain why, unless the life of the child bearer is at stake - *and* said child bearer makes the decision that her life is more important than the child's - is there such a huge desire for the unabashed freedom to kill unborn children in this country?"

What unborn children? We are talking about aborting fetuses.
posted by Mitheral at 7:58 PM on February 26, 2006


I'm a male (and I guess that invaliates my opine from one of the militant perspectives)

<img src="http://img.tfd.com/thumb/6/68/PBAsigning.jpg"
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 8:03 PM on February 26, 2006


I'm a male (and I guess that invaliates my opine from one of the militant perspectives)


posted by Heywood Mogroot at 8:04 PM on February 26, 2006


My ovaries. My family. My life. My decision.

It was her decision, too.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 8:19 PM on February 26, 2006


Monju, are you equating a woman's decision to abort her fetus with that Andrea Yates did? Please clarify, in that it will give me guidance whether or not I should take anything you post seriously in the future.

Thanks.
posted by Danf at 8:29 PM on February 26, 2006


"Since there's quite a bit of fear in the posts, can someone explain why, unless the life of the child bearer is at stake - *and* said child bearer makes the decision that her life is more important than the child's - is there such a huge desire for the unabashed freedom to kill unborn children in this country?"

hrbrmstr, is a newly fertizilized egg a "child" ? There is no right or wrong - this isn't a trick question - but what do you think ?

Further - in semantic terms - if you think a fertilized human egg is a child, then don't that egg, and the sperm which eventually fertilizes it, constitute "a child to be" even before the two meet ?

In other words, when does "life" begin ?

Unless you can illuminate us on what makes a human foetus - as opposed to, say, a cow foetus - somehow special, your position is untenable.

And - even in thelogical terms - well, consider the historical positions of the Catholic Church on abortion:
Pope Innocent III (?-1216) wrote a letter which ruled on a case of a Carthusian monk who had arranged for his female lover to obtain an abortion. The Pope decided that the monk was not guilty of homicide if the fetus was not "animated."

Early in the 13th century, Pope Innocent III stated that the soul enters the body of the fetus at the time of "quickening" - when the woman first feels movement of the fetus. After ensoulment, abortion was equated with murder; before that time, it was a less serious sin, because it terminated only potential human life, not human life.

St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) also considered only the abortion of an "animated" fetus as murder.

Pope Sixtus V issued a Papal bull "Effraenatam" in 1588 which threatened those who carried out abortions at any stage of gestation with excommunication and the death penalty. Pope Gregory XIV revoked the Papal bull shortly after taking office in 1591. He reinstated the "quickening" test, which he said happened 116 days into pregnancy (16½ weeks)....


In the 17th century, the concept of "simultaneous animation" gained acceptance within the medical and church communities in Western Europe. 9 This is the belief that an embryo acquires a soul at conception, not at 40 or 80 days into gestation as the church was teaching. In 1658 Hieronymus Florentinius, a Franciscan, asserted that all embryos or fetuses, regardless of its gestational age, which were in danger of death must be baptized. However, his opinion did not change the status of abortion as seen by the church.

Pope Pius IX reversed the stance of the Roman Catholic church once more. He dropped the distinction between the "fetus animatus" and "fetus inanimatus" in 1869. Canon law was revised in 1917 and 1983 and to refer simply to "the fetus." The tolerant approach to abortion which had prevailed in the Roman Catholic Church for centuries ended. The church requires excommunication for abortions at any stage of pregnancy.
As far as I know, in developmental terms - at least in the early stages in foetal development - there's little that distinguishes human foetuses from the foetuses of other mammals - mainly, differences in DNA.

Unless you want to assert that humans, and not animals, have a soul, what could distinguish early human embryos and foetuses from those of other mammals ? How do we know that humans - and not animals - have souls ? Well, from theological claims.

Nonetheless, there's a thriving industry built around the consumption of the young offspring of our fellow mammals :

Lamb, anyone ?

Differences between human and many mammalian embryos and early foetuses come down mainly to differences in DNA. Is DNA holy ? Show we then imprison adult who have dandruff or whose fingers and toes are cut off in accidents ?


Now, souls may indeed exist. Sure. No one so far has been able to measure them. Regardless, I think the "Pro-Life" movement would do well to be upfront on the theological underpinnings of its positions.
posted by troutfishing at 9:04 PM on February 26, 2006


Honestly, danf, no. However, I think it does provide a counterpoint to the "abortion=kidney transplant" rhetoric.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 9:31 PM on February 26, 2006


However, I think it does provide a counterpoint to the "abortion=kidney transplant" rhetoric.

In bizarro world, perhaps.
posted by longdaysjourney at 9:42 PM on February 26, 2006


Do you honestly believe that the decision to have an abortion is morally equivalent to the decision to donate a kidney? I don't.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 9:53 PM on February 26, 2006


Andrea Yates killed her children. her insanity, as i understand it, was partly due to being pregnant too many times, too quickly, and without any sort of social support for birth control and abortion. it might even be said that had Andrea Yates the support to keep some control over her body, instead of giving it over to her stifling religion and her somewhat befuddled husband, there might have been no murders at all.

this looming oppression takes me full circle. i started my adulthood as a clinic escort, on call for every other weekend, for two years. the things i saw those abortion protesters do and say in the face of those who were dealing with personal and difficult decisions turned my stomach.

everyone's platitudes about "oh, it won't happen that way" or "blah blah the death of a thousand cuts blah blah" is really nothing in the face of the desperation a woman can feel when her choices over herSELF and her LIFE have been blocked from her. and it's very nice that your partner kept her child, hrbrmstr, but that is a rather one case-analysis, isn't it? there are thousands more unwanted children abandoned or simply abused by parents who can't cope with their lack of choices. 14 year-olds who bear children because they are convinced that if they don't they'll go to hell. ah yes, so irresponsible they were. of course. and therefore they must be punished with childbirth? are we puritans now, where women's sin must be worn in public?

it's just fine if you want to convince everyone that abortion is wrong. but you don't have a right to take away MY right to decide what happens inside MY body. your personal ethics and morality have nothing to do with me, nor should they. i hardly think you would like my personal ethics (let's see, we'll start with animal rights, shall we?) to affect your person.

i have long dreaded the day when i would be brought back to this place--fearing for my freedom as a woman. (i've already had to deal with the loss of my freedom as an activist, and i'm not dealing with that too well, frankly.) what is next?

i'm rather circumspect, thinking, as i get older, there come more and more reasons to defy the laws of men. i will add this law, should it come to pass, as yet another that must be openly defied.

thanks for the FPP. there are many women who have prepared for this eventuality. information is everywhere.
posted by RedEmma at 10:08 PM on February 26, 2006


I wonder if this post upsets Conservatives who like to hang onto the idea that there are women out there who routinely, happily have abortions as an acceptable alternative to ordinary birth control. You KNOW there are people out there who think that. And reading about scraping the uterine walls... that rather drives the point home, doesn't it? A woman who has to do this is sore for days afterwards.

It's not a lark.

It's not an evening's outing.

It's not something that's done on a whim.

And it's good that a few more people know this.
posted by InnocentBystander at 10:14 PM on February 26, 2006


It's all about choice. legalize Post-Natal abortion.
posted by skatz at 10:16 PM on February 26, 2006


an someone explain why, unless the life of the child bearer is at stake

The life of the woman is always at stake. Pregnancy and childbirth is dangerous and debilitating. There's a near certainty of serious injury, a very serious risk of being cut open with knives, which most of us would regard as dangerous if it happened to us, and a host of potentially lethal complications.

The risk to the mother is kept relatively low not because pregnancy is easy or safe, but because there is a vast array of technology and skilled practitioners surrounding pregnant women to keep the very real risks at bay. Even with all of this technology and people in place, the risk of death from pregnancy and childbirth is still similar to the risks from being a full-time firefighter for a year, which is something that we would probably agree is dangerous. And even with all of this in place, after enduring all of the risks, there is absolutely no guarantee of a live birth of a viable child, only a probability of giving birth to a child that won't immediately die.

Preventing women from getting abortions is forcing them to run this gauntlet of risks against their will. I think it's understandable that some women don't want to put their real, concrete lives on the line for the mere probability of a viable child. Saying that people just shouldn't have sex unless they agree to bear a child is head-in-the-sand wrong.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:19 PM on February 26, 2006


Even though I disagree with pro-lifers, I guess I am one of the few people who can understand and sympathize with their point of view and not immediately respond with trite slogans. I someone truly believes that life begins at conception or at some point soon after conception, then it would be imperative that they do all they can to stop abortions if they cared about human life.

An ex-girlfriend and I went through an unwanted pregnancy and decided on abortion. It turned out that she miscarried very early in the pregnancy so we didn't have to go through the whole process. Still, even having to intellectually decide that that was what we wanted to do haunts me to this day. When going through the decision process, I felt like I was on a moral precipice and I wavered back and forth. I am glad my ex included me in the decision and I think it was appropriate that she did. What I ultimately took from the experience was a deeply unsettling feeling like I was complicit in murder, even though I intellectually do not think that was the case. What a terrible decision for anyone to make, no matter what they decide to do.
posted by Falconetti at 10:38 PM on February 26, 2006


From what I remember reading at the time, Andrea Yates was going through several of the major situations of the life stress test: her father was ill with Alzheimers and she was a primary caretaker, he died, she went through a pregnancy on antidepressants--which can't be good for a fetus--the Christmas season....What struck me was reading in Newsweek that when her (now-ex) husband came to the house, the police told him not to come inside, but offered him a glass of water and he told the officer that he didn't think that they would be able to find a clean glass; which indicates to me that he wasn't lifting a finger to help with household chores. I don't have one fucking shred of sympathy for him.

Bless you, amberglow.
posted by brujita at 10:47 PM on February 26, 2006


Given the implication that the government could (having in this case the power to determine whether a woman should bear a child) have the power to force women NOT to bear children (such as what the Chinese government was/is doing) - imagine a manual on how to clandestinely give birth to a child.
posted by Smedleyman at 6:05 AM on February 27, 2006


It is about independence: the right to choose what one does with oneself.
Laws like this take away that right to choose for the woman, who is already living and breathing and able to make choices for herself, without others imposing them on her. Whether you think that's the wrong choice or a bad choice does not mean what you think should be law.

Picture a 13-year-old girl raped by a relative, or a woman attacked and brutally sexually assaulted in a parking lot --unfortunately it happens in this world--you would have those women be forced by law to give birth? That's ok with you? Really?
posted by amberglow at 6:15 AM on February 27, 2006


My mother worked at Boston City Hospital in the early 1950s as a lab tech. She told me many stories, repeatedly, over the years of women who came to the hospital bleeding from botched abortion attempts, women who came to the hospital with deadly blood infections from back-room or - horrors - self-abortion. Many of these women died or became forever sterile.

My mother was very religious and very conservative. But the memory of those awful things made her a staunch pro-choice advocate. She used to tell me that the world was filled with women who made bad choices, and had bad luck or circumstances, but it wasn't our job to further punish those choices by restricting access to something that was available and safe when done properly and early in the pregnancy.

Perhaps those so in favor of restricting abortions (that will take place no matter what) should see the effects of back-room medicine.
posted by Flakypastry at 6:18 AM on February 27, 2006


All your uterus are belong to us!
Where's the "smaller government" crowd when you need them?

Why is it the supposed "pro-life" crowd are all about state executions and wars? Is it the smell of hypocrisy in the morning?

If I masturbate, is it murder?

If abortion is murder, as the SD law intimates, should the doctor and the woman be given the death penalty? Would that be "pro-life?"

Just how screwed up are things? Imagine a society in where birth control is discouraged, abortions are illegal, sex education is evil, and yet health insurance fully covers Viagra? And don't forget IVF, the one thing fundies don't talk about and want kept secretly "in the closet!" Misogynistic leanings ingrained you think?

What if men had the babies? You bet your ass abortions would be legal and health insurance would cover birth control and a pharmacist who dared refuse such service would be stripped of a license to practice before you could sneeze.

Get real.
posted by nofundy at 6:26 AM on February 27, 2006


I'm surprised the "life begins at conception" argument has survived so long in this culture. 30% - 50% of pregnancies spontaneously abort (that is, end themselves naturally). The woman often doesn’t even know she was pregnant, just thinks she had a heavy period.

If the anti-abortion coalitions really believe that life begins at conception, they're missing the boat entirely. Manual abortions represent a small fraction of total abortions. Far more lives could be saved by preserving the many pregnancies that end themselves, rather than myopically focusing on those that are ended deliberately.

It seems clear that either abortion opponents don't know much about conception (a possibility given the poor health of sexual education in America), or they haven't really thought about the implications of their rhetoric.
posted by Richard Daly at 7:00 AM on February 27, 2006


Do you honestly believe that the decision to have an abortion is morally equivalent to the decision to donate a kidney?

Yes, so comparing abortion and child murder doesn't support your position in my eyes, just as the kidney analogy doesn't make any sense to you.

Thanks as always for the informative legal explanations.
posted by alasdair at 7:07 AM on February 27, 2006


alasdair, perhaps I should clarify. It's not "my position" that abortion is child murder. I was making the point that I think that the kidney transplant analogy is one far end of the spectrum of moral thinking about abortion. The child murder analogy is the other end of that spectrum, and you can't really understand the moral dimensions of the abortion issue until you can grasp the reasoning underlying both positions. I don't believe that abortion is morally equivalent to a kidney transplant, but neither do I believe that it is morally equivalent to child murder; it falls somewhere in between. I may agree that it falls closer to the transplant than to murder, but the fact that there is not a black and white answer is precisely why the abortion issue is so hard to resolve for moderates.

A notion that abortion carries some moral consequences more significant than other types of medical procedures surely does not mandate, by itself, the conclusion that abortion should be illegal. Americans retain the right to engage in lots of assertedly immoral behavior precisely because the Constitution shields the minority against the prevailing mores of the majority.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 7:20 AM on February 27, 2006


Is anyone else pro-choice but accepts the idea that the fetus is alive? My [pro-choice] girlfriend convinced me that the whole "it isn't alive we can do what we want!" is a silly way of avoiding responsibility for what is really going on. We just need to admit that there's a little somethin' somethin' inside, but that it's going to make everyone's life a whole lot better if we just get rid of it. It doesn't have a trust fund, it doesn't have hopes and dreams, and it's like the size of a golf ball. You'll eat baby cows that have spent their whole lives chained up but you won't kill an organic golf ball?
posted by soma lkzx at 7:24 AM on February 27, 2006


For more information on the SD law, the Law Librarian Blog has aggregated a bunch of resources and information. Most interesting is the idea that if the Governor signs the law, it may replace the current scheme regulating abortion in South Dakota. If the law is then found unconstitutional, thereby nullifying its effect, SD may be left without any effective laws restricting abortions.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 7:34 AM on February 27, 2006


the law is unconstitutional and will never be enforced against anyone. - Saucy Intruder

Even if that is true (which it very well may be) there is still damage done by passing the law - there will be women (& girls) who don't know or don't understand what' going on in the courts and think the law stands. The weeks it will take to get an injunction against the law could be enough to delay a few women past the point in their pregnancy where they can get an abortion, and while abortion (done properly) is a pretty safe procedure, the risk of complications goes up the longer you wait.

God, I hope these women can hopefully get across the border into Canada where they'll most certainly find the compassion and help they need. - GoodJob!

Yeah. Although it's not like Canada has a surplus of abortion providers. I recently heard a report that the number of abortion providing doctors in Canada is dropping. The doctors that do provide abortions are the older doctors that remember before legal safe abortions were available. They remember the mangled women and the deaths, and they feel it's important to provide the service and save women's lives. The younger doctors don't know what it was like, and don't see how important it is. So many of them are opting not to do offer the procedure. It's been long enough now that the doctors who remember are retiring, and they aren't being replaced as fast as they are leaving. Hopefully, more health care providers will step up to fill the gap so that we don't have to return to the bad old days.
posted by raedyn at 7:43 AM on February 27, 2006


Regarding the linked article - I really hope there are no women who need those directions, and her post is simply a statement. It is effective as that, at least. It gets a person thinking are there really women who need this? Are we on the path back to this crap?
posted by raedyn at 7:47 AM on February 27, 2006


Is anyone else pro-choice but accepts the idea that the fetus is alive?

Me.
posted by agregoli at 7:48 AM on February 27, 2006


Imagine a society in where birth control is discouraged, abortions are illegal, sex education is evil, and yet health insurance fully covers Viagra?

My husband is always counseling me NOT to debate the morality issues-- he reminds me over and over that it should be enough to demand women have dominion over their own bodies.

But I can't help myself.

Today, more than ever, the underlying argument is Sex is Bad, therefore women should bear the responsibility for their bad behavior. This is clearly emphasized when pro-llifers discuss the backdoor exception for rape victims. But why are men contributing to this argument? I'm truly puzzled. Say what you will about individuals, overall it is the male of the species that desires to fuck everything in its path.

We take 15 year old girls, pimp them up, and put them on display on the cover of magazines like Cosmopolitan. "This" screeches the photograph, "Is the ultimate sex object." But 15 year old girls have very low libidos. Left to their own desires, few 15 year old girls would feel the urge to engage in sexual intercourse.

Clearly the message sent to all young women by our present day culture is: You are powerful in your sexual appeal. At no time in your life will you ever have as much power. And you can use your body in the same way fully grown men use their money and social standing.

But then we are dismayed when they do engage in sexual intercourse.

"Fucking hypocrites" is not even a strong enough pejorative to convey what I feel about any man who panted over a centerfold, or who bought a product because it was advertised by a sexy babe, or who begged his girlfriend to sleep with him in college so he wouldn't have to go back to his dormroom with blue balls, but then sanctimoniously voted for a bill outlawing abortion because the woman needs to bear responsibility for her actions. Big hearty FUCK YOU! (And I hope the next time you sweet talk someone into having sex with you-- whether it is your wife or your girlfriend or your secretary-- your dick turns black and falls off.)
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:29 AM on February 27, 2006 [1 favorite]


Now you may not believe that there's a life in there (as I do) but wouldn't you rather err on the side of caution in case *you're wrong*? (If you are wrong, that's quite a number of murders, no?)

You're assuming that there is some fundamental, objective answer to the question of whether a fetus is human or not.

Consider the following argument: "Paper shredders should be outlawed. Every piece of paper is a human life, and shredding a piece of paper is murder. Now, you may not believe that a piece of paper is human, but wouldn't you rather err on the side of caution in case *you're wrong*? (If you are wrong, that's quite a number of murders, no?)"
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:40 AM on February 27, 2006


But 15 year old girls have very low libidos. Left to their own desires, few 15 year old girls would feel the urge to engage in sexual intercourse. - Secret Life of Gravy

I'm curious if you have a cite for that.
posted by raedyn at 9:08 AM on February 27, 2006


Uh, good point. Because I, like all teenagers, was rabidly sexual at that age.
posted by agregoli at 9:18 AM on February 27, 2006


Yes Raedyn, I'm from Canada and heard the report you mention of fewer physicians trained to provide abortions. It is worrisome.
Though not quite as worrisome as the consistent and frightening cavemen eruptions of the sickening political right-wingers here in this country USA which continue to abuse and objectify women to highest degree by stripping away their basic human rights.
posted by GoodJob! at 9:22 AM on February 27, 2006


Hey, Monju, "Do you honestly believe that the decision to have an abortion is morally equivalent to the decision to donate a kidney?" is strawman: my example was of being forced to donate a kidney, same as being forced to carry a pregnancy to term. The moral equivalence is in the realm of outsiders, not the fetus/kidney owner.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:26 AM on February 27, 2006


The difference is that in the kidney example, the decision is made ex ante, and in the abortion context it's made ex post. There is a huge moral difference.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 9:38 AM on February 27, 2006


And morality doesn't enter into it at all for me, or the majority of pro-choicers - what I want is the right to dominion over my own body. And being forced to carry out an unwanted pregnancy doesn't leave me with a lot of control.
posted by agregoli at 9:41 AM on February 27, 2006


So was I. I don't think pretending that girls are naturally virginal and uninterested in sex does anybody any favours. Lots of girls want and are having sex. They should be doing so with all the information to do it safely.

I first had sex when I was 15. My mom still gets sad when she hears that. But thankfully she was a smart and proactive parent who had incorporated sex education into part of our lives in a natural way. When I started having sex I did so knowing how to use a condom, where to get one, why I should use one. As a result I never had unprotected sex. Much as my parents would have preferred that I wasn't having sex, at least I did it safely. I didn't get pregnant, I didn't get any diseases. I even knew about emergency contraception (the so-called "morning after pill") so when one of the condoms broke, I knew to go to a clinic to get a prescription and get tested. It prevented me being faced with this choice. I wouldn't have been so smart if I didn't have the information needed in order to make those intelligent choices. If nobody told me about condoms, I wouldn't have used them.

THAT is how we reduce the number of abortions - sex education, easy cheap access to pregnancy prevention methods, support for women making their own informed choices and having power earlier in the process BEFORE they get pregnant. Not by making abortion illegal. If "pro-life" people really want to reduce the numbers of abortions performed, that's the type of thing that they should get behind.
posted by raedyn at 9:44 AM on February 27, 2006


And morality doesn't enter into it at all for me, or the majority of pro-choicers - what I want is the right to dominion over my own body. And being forced to carry out an unwanted pregnancy doesn't leave me with a lot of control.

Do you carry that position to the logical extreme? In other words, are you suggesting that you should have the right to abort a fetus, say, three days before full term?
posted by monju_bosatsu at 9:46 AM on February 27, 2006


("So was I" referred to agregoli saying she was rabidly sexual at age 15. That's what I get for stopping to do something else for a bit.)
posted by raedyn at 9:46 AM on February 27, 2006


are you suggesting that you should have the right to abort a fetus, say, three days before full term? - monju_bosatsu

Thing is, there's no doctors that will do that. Here in Canada there are no laws resricting abortion, yet there are no women getting abortions that late in the game.
posted by raedyn at 9:48 AM on February 27, 2006


In other words, are you suggesting that you should have the right to abort a fetus, say, three days before full term?

Let me rephrase that, because there are two implicit questions. First, are there moral consequences to aborting a fetus three days before full term? Second, should that be legal, regardless of morality?

Thing is, there's no doctors that will do that.

I think that's probably true, but it's a thought experiment for the purposes of thinking about the larger moral issues.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 9:49 AM on February 27, 2006


And morality doesn't enter into it at all for me, or the majority of pro-choicers - what I want is the right to dominion over my own body. And being forced to carry out an unwanted pregnancy doesn't leave me with a lot of control.

Do you carry that position to the logical extreme? In other words, are you suggesting that you should have the right to abort a fetus, say, three days before full term?


That to me is not the logical extreme. Extreme, yes, logical, no.

No one is arguing that women should be allowed to kill infants capable of surviving outside the womb. I do want the opportunity to stop a pregnancy before that baby is fully formed. I am perfectly fine with the limit that an abortion cannot be performed after the fetus is viable.

But until then, it's dependant on my body and if I don't want a living thing in my body - well, that's my choice.
posted by agregoli at 9:49 AM on February 27, 2006


No one is arguing that women should be allowed to kill infants capable of surviving outside the womb.

If we assume, then, that the moral line should be drawn based on the fetus' dependance on the mother's body, how do the moral implications of abortion change as medical technology advances and is able to support premature babies at an earlier age?
posted by monju_bosatsu at 9:54 AM on February 27, 2006


But 15 year old girls have very low libidos. Left to their own desires, few 15 year old girls would feel the urge to engage in sexual intercourse.

Good god. At 15 I was busily cutting a swath through my high school classmates, and believe me it was all fired by as thoroughly active a libido as any 15 year old boy's. And my experience is far from unique.
posted by jokeefe at 9:55 AM on February 27, 2006


Okay, so far we have 3 women MeFites responding to Gravy's claim that 15 year old girls have a low libido. All of them disagreeing. It makes me only more interested to have cite for this claim.
posted by raedyn at 9:57 AM on February 27, 2006


If we assume, then, that the moral line should be drawn based on the fetus' dependance on the mother's body, how do the moral implications of abortion change as medical technology advances and is able to support premature babies at an earlier age?

I don't know - no one really does. I have often thought about it, however, especially in the context of the "artificial womb." I think that would be a marvelous OPTION if and when it exists - that a woman could have her fetus transferred to such a thing and be free of pregnancy, but that crops up all sorts of other legal issues.

Does she give away her rights to the fetus? Who pays for it? The state? They can barely fund the adoption debacle.

Who has a legal responsibility after the child is "born?" Does the woman bear costs for the child, even though she gave it up?

Are women who do this outcasts? What about the children who grew inside this thing?

Would women be forced to do this, instead of having an abortion? This would make women who did abort much more ugly in people's eyes, if there was an option to save the fetus.

I would still want the option for abortion. A large part of why I do not want to be pregnant, ever, is I do not want to be a parent, ever. EVER. And that includes having a child out there in the world with my genetics. I don't want it.
posted by agregoli at 10:01 AM on February 27, 2006


Add me to the list of women who feel visceral rage when men start discussing abortion.

Talk about Male contraception.
Talk about Male responsibility.
Talk till the balls turn blue.

If sex education (and parental concern) focused ONLY on teaching male responsibility ...

If ALL men carried condoms at ALL times -- and knew how to use them ....

If technology caught up with society and the fetus could be implanted in the man (this can be done in mice, btw) ...

If men were given SOLE legal responsibility for any 'mistakes' (i.e., they would give up their lives and raise the baby alone) ...

There would never be any abortion discussions.

Meanwhile ... God invented STDs and AIDS to teach men to use condoms. [bitter sarcasm]

TEACH YOUR SONS.
posted by Surfurrus at 10:05 AM on February 27, 2006


Just to give my own, almost totally worthless position- I grew up in a very, very pro-life household, and even after I became very liberal on almost all other points, I stayed...well, I wasn't pro-life, but I was very undecided. But my final conversion over was this- the entire issue is far too complex to determine using slogans and catch-phrases. There is too much conflagration of the moral and the political in the debate for it to be rationally decided at this point of time- however, it is obviously something that needs to be pre-determined. So (my thinking goes), we are obliged to stand on the side of those who are already alive.
Although I understand how anyone who believes that life begins at the exact moment that sperm touches egg would feel duty-bound to crusade against abortion, they need to realize that their belief is based on their own personal morals, and, aside from not personally having abortions or being party to them, the best way to decrease the number of abortions is through education, having compassion and understanding towards those who choose to abort, etc.
I think everyone would be a lot happier if abortion did not exist- that is, if pregnancy only happened between couples who actively wanted children (or between one who wanted a child and a donor). The myth within the pro-life community that some people actively enjoy abortion is insane, and until the pro-life community realizes that their purported goal (no more abortions, ever!) is the same as those who want to reduce unwanted pregnancies via education, there will be no progress in the debate. Indeed, as SD has shown, there will be regression.
posted by 235w103 at 10:08 AM on February 27, 2006


Late responses.

1) Kennedy's reverse on Planned Parenthood vs. Casey became well known with the release of Justice Harry Blackmun's papers in 1992. In the inital conference, he voted with the majority to overturn Roe vs. Wade, but during the subsequent writing of the opinions (the writer is chosen by the seniormost justices voting for the opinion, Rhenquist chose to write the opinion himself) Kennedy decided that the opinion was too strong, and ended up joining Kennedy and Souter in the "kiss from your sister" plurality opinion that supported, but did not fully affirm, Roe vs. Wade. One article about this is here (warning, biased source) and there are other sources available, including Justice Blackmun's own papers.

2) Cert. I fear that those stating that SCOTUS will, of course, turn this down aren't seeing the problem. You're assuming that Roe became fully established as precedent with Casey, and that the court will respect that. I feel that it did not. The court could not have written a less supportive opinion than Casey without overturning it, and two of the currently sitting justices are on record as declaring that both Casey and Roe were in error, and should be reversed.

Now add in Alito, who is very clearly against this precendent as well, and is in a position to lift a possible appeal from the cert pool to a vote quickly. The question is then who is the fourth to vote cert? I feel both Roberts and Kennedy would do so. It's easy to get cert when the court is disposed to thinking that it errored in the past, and Scalia and Alito will be arguing very strongly that it did just that.

Heck, given that Alito is assigned to the 8th, I wouldn't be surprised if he tried to invoke Rule 11, though I don't think he would unless he knows, dead certain, that he has five very firm votes to overturn -- otherwise, a Rule 11 invocation might push Kennedy away from a majority.

3) State's rights? Please. State's rights only applies when they disagree with a Federal law.
posted by eriko at 10:14 AM on February 27, 2006


A moral argument.

As in it is murder? We have laws covering murder. Follow them to their extreme as an exercise. Shall we execute doctors and women who have abortions?

As in God doesn't like it? Even though the political movement against abortion arises from fundie churches, no one yet has shown me in the Bible where Jesus says anything about abortion. Lots about hypocrisy and money, nada about abortions.

As in terminating a live thing? Lots of parasitical things live off our bodies, shall we outlaw the killing of ticks once attached?
I mean we are talking about thought exercises in the extreme, correct?

Allow me to make a "morel argument." How's about all those asses trying to punish women for having sex spending that wasted time taking care of unwanted children, you know, like Jesus would have them do?

Let's face it, it IS about punishing women for having sex. Will tossing acid in their faces be the punishment for abortions? Or will it be a good community stoning?

Again, get real.
posted by nofundy at 10:42 AM on February 27, 2006


morel = moral (sorry mushroom lovers)
posted by nofundy at 10:44 AM on February 27, 2006


raedyn: Okay, so far we have 3 women MeFites responding to Gravy's claim that 15 year old girls have a low libido. All of them disagreeing. It makes me only more interested to have cite for this claim.

Not to mention the claim men gotta fuck everything in their path.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:48 AM on February 27, 2006


KirkJobSluder - I agree that's another awful myth that should not be perpetuated. I hadn't addressed it because it hadn't been raised in this discussion.
posted by raedyn at 10:58 AM on February 27, 2006


One of the things I find dredging through my memories of conservative christian sex education materials is the implicit notion of boys and young men as uncontrolable sexual beings that must be moderated by virtuous young women. So there is a sense that while boys can't help themselves, women should. I suspect this drives quite a bit of anti-abortion ideology.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:06 AM on February 27, 2006


What about those of us who ARE pro-choice and pro-life? I believe a baby is a baby from the time of conception (and having gone through multiple IVFs to have my kids, I actually have pictures of them from the time they were only 8 cells big, no shit!) They may not have looked like babies, but they were human, for goodness sake. We can certainly agree on that, can't we?

But my stance is and always has been that just because I believe that doesn't give me the right to tell any other person what to believe and, therefore, do. Pro-choice does NOT mean pro-abortion. It simply means what it says: being for the notion that each person gets to choose for themselves what is right for them based on their own belief systems. And this is what is so offensive about all of these laws.

And TRUE conservatives - not the religious ones who have hijacked this government and everything it has ever stood for - agree with that. Shame they can no longer speak up without fear of losing their cushy government jobs, huh?

During the 1992 Democratic Convention I provided clinic defense in New York...and subsequently got the shit kicked out of me by Operation Rescue. Yeah...REAL pro-life.

:smacks forehead:
posted by OhPuhLeez at 12:25 PM on February 27, 2006


It's really hard to have reasonable discussions about abortion, but I'll add my voice. I don't think any woman should be forced to carry a pregnancy to term. It happens in her body and there is significant risk to the woman. I don't think a woman should be forced to have a child with anencephaly, hydrocephaly or other severe birth defects. I don't think a woman (or girl, for that matter) should be forced to have the child of rape, or carry to term a pregnancy thta endangers her life or health.

I also don't think a woman should have to have an abortion because her boyfriend isn't ready to be a father, or her parents want her to go to college.

Will women and girls be stopped at the Canadian border for pregnancy tests?

It's a personal, private decision. It should stay that way.
posted by theora55 at 12:25 PM on February 27, 2006


I think it's important to remember that it's only very very recently in human history that so many babies lived to grow up, or were even born alive. People routinely had more kids than they wanted, knowing that some just wouldn't live, and knowing that they needed the kids for labor (i really wonder how pro-life people see those attitudes, which their greatgrandparents and before all probably had?). They also knew of, and used, abortifacients, throughout that history-they've been found in Ancient Egypt, for just one place.

Didn't we just welcome the 6 1/2 billionth person to the planet on Saturday? (which also brings up racism, which hasn't been discussed yet here--it's white babies these pro-lifers want to see born, not black or brown.)
posted by amberglow at 1:12 PM on February 27, 2006


oh, and the actual bill's wording is here (don't miss this, which redefines the law: ... Moreover, the Legislature finds that the guarantee of due process of law under the Constitution of South Dakota applies equally to born and unborn human beings, and that under the Constitution of South Dakota, a pregnant mother and her unborn child, each possess a natural and inalienable right to life. ... (1) "Pregnant," the human female reproductive condition, of having a living unborn human being within her body throughout the entire embryonic and fetal ages of the unborn child from fertilization to full gestation and child birth;
(2) "Unborn human being," an individual living member of the species, homo sapiens, throughout the entire embryonic and fetal ages of the unborn child from fertilization to full gestation and childbirth ...
)
posted by amberglow at 1:21 PM on February 27, 2006


I just vomited a little in my mouth.
posted by OhPuhLeez at 1:34 PM on February 27, 2006


OK, I'll backtrack a bit: when I said low in libido, I should have said "relatively low libido" relative, that is in relation to the males. females at age 15 don't think about sex as frequently, nor do they become as aroused as easily as their male counterparts. While most 15 year old boys are off masturbating at least 10 times a day, few girls are.
By age 15, most boys have established a regular pattern of sexual outlet; they have fewer erections to nonsexual stimuli and may have fewer sex materials around, as fantasy alone is sufficient for arousal. Their masturbatory frequency increases, and some have regular sex with girls.
(...) Most girls are worried about reputation and fear being found out, but may decide to have intercourse if they are in love, if they trust the boy and if the relationship seems secure. Boys, experiencing the sexual urgency of adolescence, attempt to persuade, manipulate and coerce girls into actual coitus. “If you love me, you will let me put it in,” “if you don't, someone else will” and “if you let me put it in, I'll pull out in time,” are dilemmas the mid adolescent girl is called upon to deal with as she negotiates the relationship or potential relationship that affords her social status and a sense of personal worth. Girls have been raised to understand the importance of the primary relationship and to feel responsible for maintaining it. Now they must deal with the needs, expectations and requirement of the boys who are the necessary other half of the dyad. The culture says, “if you're easy and give them what they want, they will leave you.” The boys say, “if you don't give me what I need, I'll have to find someone who will.”
This poll has some interesting information about teenage sex habits, but unfortunately not much of the information is presented separately for the sexes. Although I will say that girls seem to be receiving a lot more oral sex now then when I was a teenager 30 years ago.

Not to mention the claim men gotta fuck everything in their path.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 1:48 PM EST on February 27

Oh man! So that whole thing about fucking an apple pie is a myth?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 2:04 PM on February 27, 2006


Most girls are worried about reputation and fear being found out, but may decide to have intercourse if they are in love, if they trust the boy and if the relationship seems secure. - Secret Life of Gravy quoting Loretta Haroian, Ph.D. in the Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality

That doesn't back up your claim that "Left to their own desires, few 15 year old girls would feel the urge to engage in sexual intercourse." It's talking about things that go into decision making, but not about libido or desire. In fact, that quote is specifically talking about external factors girls consider in making choices about sex, and not about what they would want if "left to their own devices". I remain thoroughly unconvinced.
posted by raedyn at 2:11 PM on February 27, 2006


"Unborn human being," an individual living member of the species, homo sapiens, throughout the entire embryonic and fetal ages of the unborn child from fertilization to full gestation and childbirth

It looks like South Dakota has just banned The Pill, IUDs, and a number of herbal concoctions.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:23 PM on February 27, 2006


While most 15 year old boys are off masturbating at least 10 times a day, few girls are.

Most 15 year-old boys are not masturbating ten times a day. Do you want to be taken seriously, or are you just gonna use hyperbole throughout this thread?
posted by five fresh fish at 2:26 PM on February 27, 2006


OK, I'll backtrack a bit: when I said low in libido, I should have said "relatively low libido" relative, that is in relation to the males. females at age 15 don't think about sex as frequently, nor do they become as aroused as easily as their male counterparts.

And I still call bullshit. Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit. Not my experience, nor any of my girlfriends of 15 at the time.

I thought about sex 24/7. We TALKED about sex 24/7. Hormones at that age are raging. Arousal was not a problem.

Teenage girls might not ADMIT it as much as teenage boys would, but how much of that is due to the stereotyping you yourself are using? No girl wants to be labeled a horndog.
posted by agregoli at 2:41 PM on February 27, 2006


And how telling it is that this thread becomes a place to discuss the theoretical level of girls sexual appetite.
posted by raedyn at 2:54 PM on February 27, 2006


As far as I'm concerned, 15 yr old girls don't know a thing. Most women really start to enjoy their bodies AFTER the age of 30. And that's the truth.
posted by GoodJob! at 3:17 PM on February 27, 2006 [1 favorite]


raedyn: And how telling it is that this thread becomes a place to discuss the theoretical level of girls sexual appetite.


I'm not surprised.

Gravy: Oh man! So that whole thing about fucking an apple pie is a myth?

Mostly. In a world of billions of people, everything gets tried at least once.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 4:18 PM on February 27, 2006


Most 15 year-old boys are not masturbating ten times a day. Do you want to be taken seriously, or are you just gonna use hyperbole throughout this thread?
posted by five fresh fish at 5:26 PM EST on February 27

All right. So maybe my husband was unusual in that respect?

"As to fucking everything in their path" I only know what I read, see, hear, or personally experience. For example, while my own father never achieved Wilt Chamberlain status, he did manage to screw 100s of women.

Also I don't believe there is a lesbian equivalent to bath houses and glory holes. But then I don't know eveything.

And my goodness, I guess the Kinsey Report is out of date. When I was taking Human Sexuality in college it was sacred gospel that women reached the peak of the sexual desire at the end of their thirties, while men reached it in their twenties.

And I still call bullshit. Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit. Not my experience, nor any of my girlfriends of 15 at the time.

I thought about sex 24/7. We TALKED about sex 24/7. Hormones at that age are raging. Arousal was not a problem.


Really? With my circle of friends it was more about the kissing and cuddling. We longed for the swoony kiss, the slow dance, the melting eye glance. Actual penetration always sounded distasteful and painful.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:35 PM on February 27, 2006


This:
In grappling with some difficult questions about young women’s sexuality, the researcher Judith Jordan outlined two developmental paths in adolescence: the emergence in boys of “sexual entitlement” and in girls of “sexual accommodation,” which can ultimately lead to a lack of clarity for young women about sexual desire. 23 Another prominent child development expert calls this “the two cultures of childhood.” 15 Many young women learn about sexuality in the context of reproduction and relationships, not in terms of their own sexual pleasure.
is exactly what I have been trying to convey (so clumsily) that for many girls (evidently not Raedyn and her friends) sex which can lead to pregnancy is not about desire but rather about accomodation. So the punishment of forcing them to carry an unwanted child to term seems particularily harsh-- especially when there is no punishment of equal severity for the opposite sex: being pregnant, giving birth, and either giving up the child or taking care of the child 24 hours a day.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:13 PM on February 27, 2006


Gravy: All right. So maybe my husband was unusual in that respect?

Probably.

"As to fucking everything in their path" I only know what I read, see, hear, or personally experience. For example, while my own father never achieved Wilt Chamberlain status, he did manage to screw 100s of women.

And extremes of the range say exactly what about the average?

Really? With my circle of friends it was more about the kissing and cuddling. We longed for the swoony kiss, the slow dance, the melting eye glance. Actual penetration always sounded distasteful and painful.

The banter on my bus in middle school suggested otherwise. How much was talk, I don't know. With the exception of being sexually harassed by said young women, and an incident of being groped against my will, I wasn't getting any action. \sarcasm{But of course, since I must have been fucking pastry 10 times a day at that age, obviously it must not have been a welcome experience.}
posted by KirkJobSluder at 5:21 PM on February 27, 2006


So maybe my husband was unusual in that respect?

More likely is that he is grossly exaggerating. Give your head a shake: ten times in a day means whipping it out and giving it a good thrashing every hour-and-a-half. B-U-L-L-S-H-I-T.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:30 PM on February 27, 2006


If you are pro life, Adopt a retarded bi-racial crack baby or shut the fuck up!!
posted by Megafly at 5:37 PM on February 27, 2006 [1 favorite]


ten times in a day means whipping it out and giving it a good thrashing every hour-and-a-half. B-U-L-L-S-H-I-T.

Not necessarily. I doubt he waited that long in between.

And really, you guys are so outraged, but I'm only going by what men say. How many comics base their jokes on the idea that guys will fuck anything? How many movies have been based on guys will fuck anything? I mean, did I just imagine the preHIV days of Gay Bath Houses and fuck anything that moves?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:39 PM on February 27, 2006


Gravy: Well, the primary sources by Judith Jordan I can look up are anthologies I don't have access to online. But the general response to how her work is cited appears to suggest that dynamic of entitlement and accommodation have more to do with a denial of adolescent female sexuality, rather than any actual biological imperative of hormonal libido.

And really, you guys are so outraged, but I'm only going by what men say.

Why don't you listen to men when they say those jokes are greatly exaggerated, and contribute to the denial of male survivors of sexual abuse and assault? Why don't you listen to men when they say those jokes are huge exaggerations? Is it because we don't validate your stereotypes? Is it because you have a vested political interest in preserving the status quo? I don't get why you chose to listen to jokes and movies that have a vested interest in perpetuating stereotypes rather than engage in a dialog with men in this discussion.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 5:58 PM on February 27, 2006


Not necessarily. I doubt he waited that long in between.

Oh, ffs. Are you purposefully setting about to make yourself appear as stupid as stupid can be?
posted by five fresh fish at 6:30 PM on February 27, 2006


FFF: are you really going to tell me that my husband is lying to me? For what purpose? Is it not possible that your experiences and his as teenage boys were different?
And he is not the only one. My mother was unable to keep any face cream, hand cream or oil in the house because it always disappeared into my brother's bedroom. He spent a lot of time in there.

I don't get why you chose to listen to jokes and movies that have a vested interest in perpetuating stereotypes rather than engage in a dialog with men in this discussion.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 8:58 PM EST on February 27 [!]
I get the sense that your idea of a "dialog" means I have to agree with you.

Face it. It isn't just jokes and movies. Did President Clinton fuck everything in his path or did he not? How many men use some combination of charm or power to get as much tail as they desire? FFF: were you not, just the other day, speculating that Cheney's "hunting partner" was in fact his mistress? Cheney. He not only looks like a mean old man, he has a bad ticker. But it isn't out of the question that he does indeed have a mistress. Why? Because he can.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:53 PM on February 27, 2006


are you really going to tell me that my husband is lying to me?

If he's not, I will. Ten times a day -- seventy times a week or 300 times a month -- would result in a deeply callused and scarred Mr. Wiggly. If he has normal sexual function and no obvious penile disfigurement -- if small children don't scream in horror at his fully clothed crotch and if cows don't start giving sour milk after he faces them -- he's bendin' the truth a wee bit.

I have to think he meant either "a lot" or that there was one day, once, when he beat off ten times, and then was sore for a good few days.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:24 PM on February 27, 2006


From the wikipedia entry on Masturbation:

According to the Canadian survey of Now magazine readers cited above, the frequency of masturbation declines after the age of 17. However, most males masturbate daily or even more frequently well into their 20s and sometimes way beyond.(...) Adolescent youths report being able to masturbate to ejaculation six or more times per day,

I believe my husband. I can easily believe him because I have first hand knowledge of his abilities.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:35 PM on February 27, 2006


Did President Clinton fuck everything in his path or did he not?

Uh...not? I think the Queen of England probably crossed his path a couple of times, and I don't recall him saying he didn't have sexual relations with her...and I expect that even he managed to restrain himself from the siren call of the Oval Office couches, which were no doubt in his path nearly every day. Holy hyperbole, Batman! The man has a high sex drive, big deal, it doesn't mean all men are raging sexaholics. Using stereotypes to inform your opinion is likely to cause you to end up with, well, opinions which are un-nuanced and probably pretty darned far from any kind of useful, actual truth.
posted by biscotti at 7:39 PM on February 27, 2006


Gravy: are you really going to tell me that my husband is lying to me? For what purpose? Is it not possible that your experiences and his as teenage boys were different?

I don't know, is it possible that teenage boys have a wide variety of experience? As far as I can tell, the primary argument against you is that adolescent sexuality is quite a bit broader than your stereotype of chaste girls vs. boys who will fuck anything including pastry multiple times a day.

I get the sense that your idea of a "dialog" means I have to agree with you.

Not agree, just be open to the possibility that some of us, having actually lived through a masculine adolescence without ever molesting a pastry or managing more than a half-dozen orgasms in a day (and that was a hard day), might actually have something to say about a topic where you claim vast expertise on "the male of the species." There are even quite a few of us who for a wide variety of reasons, strongly resent the notion that men are an uncontrollable mass of raging hormones.

For me, it's personal because you see, there is this rather sticky myth floating around out there that because as a boy I was a raging uncontrollable mass of masturbatory libido, that I must have been welcoming towards any form of sexuality thrust upon me. When you deny the possibility that there might be more to adolescent males beyond "fucking everything in their path," you deny the possibility that some of us had early sexual experiences that were uninvited and unwanted.

And well, by saying "boys will be boys" are you not giving moral license to the rapists and philanderers? By insisting that it's all about the libido, are you not justifying the sex industry and date rape? After all, all that sexual energy has to go somewhere! Personally, I subscribe to the feminist view that men can control themselves, but don't for reasons that have to do with power and entitlement.

Face it. It isn't just jokes and movies. Did President Clinton fuck everything in his path or did he not?

My feeling is "probably not" primarily because the kinds of sex addicts who do, have problems maintaining other aspects of their lives. I think Clinton does have a problem with repeated sexual harassment. Meanwhile, the median number of sexual partners for men across the board is eight. This just about matches what I've observed, as well as other surveys I've seen. Both men and women tend towards serial monogamy and extended relationships.

So given that most men in North American culture will have less than a dozen partners over their lifetime, it seems obvious to me that most of what you are going on is fantasy, combined with a few select anecdotes.

And quoting without including key bits of context is borderline dishonesty. The full passage says:
According to the Canadian survey of Now magazine readers cited above, the frequency of masturbation declines after the age of 17. However, most males masturbate daily or even more frequently well into their 20s and sometimes way beyond. This decline is more drastic among females, and more gradual among males. While females aged 13-17 masturbated almost once a day on average (and almost as often as their male peers), adult women only masturbated 8-9 times a month, compared to the 18-22 among men. It is also apparent that the ability to masturbate declines with age. Adolescent youths report being able to masturbate to ejaculation six or more times per day, while men in middle age report being hard pressed to ejaculate even once per day. The survey does not give a full demographic breakdown of respondents, however, and the sexual history of respondents to this poll, who are readers of an urban Toronto lifestyle magazine, may not extend to the general population. (emphasis added)
More than 21 a month was defined as "high ejaculation frequency" by the Leitzmann prostate cancer study. With the low frequency pegged at 4-7/month.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:36 PM on February 27, 2006


Really? With my circle of friends it was more about the kissing and cuddling. We longed for the swoony kiss, the slow dance, the melting eye glance. Actual penetration always sounded distasteful and painful. - Secret Life of Gravy

Maybe this is a generational thing? That's purely speculation, but you said "I was a teenager 30 years ago" I can't speak for anyone else here, but I was a teenager less than 10 years ago. Maybe that would explain some of the differences.

And if it turns out that it IS a generational difference, then that supports my idea that you really aren't looking at girls "left to their own devices" but you're looking at cultural/socialized differences.
posted by raedyn at 8:07 AM on February 28, 2006


Supreme Court rules against abortion clinics:
Justices rule anti-abortion protests may not be banned using extortion laws
posted by Otis at 8:22 AM on February 28, 2006


my idea that you really aren't looking at girls "left to their own devices" but you're looking at cultural/socialized differences

Yes, I think you are right. That "Two Cultures of Childhood" really rang a chord for me. Perhaps I really had little urge to have sexual intercourse because I was repressed.

But what you are saying is there has been a change in how we raise our daghters vs. how we raise our sons. If so, I'm not seeing it too much. There is still no male word for slut and men still don't like their daughters dating and there is still more stigma attatched to being a whore than to being a john.

And all of you who are shocked at my use of hyperbole and sterotypes? You make me laugh at how indignant you are, like you've decided men suddenly don't like that image they have been perpetuating about themselves since the dawn of time. I'm not the one who made up stories about fucking pastry, or knotholes, or coke bottles, or sheep, or a one-eyed toothless old whore down in Tijuana. And I don't think that prostitution flourishes in every state in America because women are so horny. Maybe this generation is more discriminatory, more circumspect, but I suspect The Day of the Great Womanizer is not over. Do rock stars still fuck a different girl every night?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 9:31 AM on February 28, 2006


There is still no male word for slut and men still don't like their daughters dating and there is still more stigma attatched to being a whore than to being a john. - Secret Life of Gravy

Absolutely. I still think there's a lot wrong with the messages kids of both genders get about sex. I've been thinking about it more (and differently) since I became a parent 3 years ago.
posted by raedyn at 9:38 AM on February 28, 2006


Gravy: And all of you who are shocked at my use of hyperbole and sterotypes?

Shocked isn't the word I'd use. Disappointed that you refuse to acknowledge that they are hyperbole and stereotypes, yes.

You make me laugh at how indignant you are, like you've decided men suddenly don't like that image they have been perpetuating about themselves since the dawn of time. I'm not the one who made up stories about fucking pastry, or knotholes, or coke bottles, or sheep, or a one-eyed toothless old whore down in Tijuana.

Well, I can't speak for all men. I can speak for myself in that from my point of view, those stories have done me more harm than good. And I find it frustrating that largely mythical stories are more important than the real-life stories of the men participating in this discussion. Am I wrong for considering the experiences of my family and friends to be more valuable than Clinton and Chamberlain? And I do have friends who count the sexual partners in their history by the dozen. However, even they recognize they are at the extreme end of a distribution.

Certainly, you didn't create those myths. You have chosen to propagate them without criticism though. So I'll put the question to you, how do you propose changing that culture when you uncritically present hyperbole and stereotypes as fact?
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:02 AM on February 28, 2006


I was a teen almost 30 years ago (turned 13 in '77) and many if not most of us were already having actual penetrative sex by 15 and 16--boys and girls. (this is pre-Aids tho, of course--i'd say there's less actual sex nowadays, and more oral and other stuff, and of course, there was no abstinence-only sex-ed, nor were there any virginity movements, etc, nor the extremely powerful christian right you see now, as evidenced by SD)
posted by amberglow at 10:07 AM on February 28, 2006


Stereotypes and hyperbole are damaging to intelligent discussion on any topic, and those damaging unproductive things are often where discussions about abortion end up.
posted by raedyn at 10:10 AM on February 28, 2006


There is still no male word for slut

Womanizer. Horndog.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:24 AM on February 28, 2006


Letch.
posted by sonofsamiam at 10:50 AM on February 28, 2006


Good News! If you're a religious-right bastard, that is: Mississippi house committee approves abortion ban.

What truly astounds me throughout most of the USA's abortion and healthcare problems is that endless examples of the efficacy of sex education, access to abortion, healthcare privacy, and universal healthcare exist in Canada and Europe.

Why the hell don't you people learn from others' examples and mistakes? Why is there insistence that things have got to be done the wrong way before they are done the right way?
posted by five fresh fish at 4:52 PM on March 2, 2006


Examples exist here too, but the rightwing thinks they just encourage kids to have sex, so have made it so that in many places, there's only abstinence-only sex-ed. Santorum is actually in trouble for one organization that got federal funding, but was pushing Jesus more than sex ed. We're also muscling the UN to add the same strings to aid overseas, btw.

there's been talk of boycotting SD, but here's a better idea: ... A more effective target was suggested to me by a bill that arrived in my mailbox last night. South Dakota is home to the offices of some of the country's major credit card issuers. Citibank credit cards, for example, are based out of South Dakota. The credit card companies employ 10,000 people and have managed to induce the state to change multiple laws in their favor over the years,...
Pro-choice groups have no power in South Dakota. But credit card companies have serious local weight to throw around. A much more effective strategy than boycotting the state itself would be for people to boycott credit cards based out of South Dakota, and switch away from Citibank and other financial firms based in the state.
Other exports from South Dakota include high-end beef, under an economic development program the current governor, Mike Rounds, launched in 2005, and buffalo products, ...

posted by amberglow at 6:30 PM on March 2, 2006


Mississippi to Pass Rapist Rights Bill Too

Investment Opportunities in the Coathanger Industry
posted by homunculus at 10:04 PM on March 3, 2006


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