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Juno no no
August 22, 2008 1:17 PM   Subscribe

What to Expect When You're Aborting: I'm 23. I'm knocked up. And I don't want to keep it. You can fuck yourself, Judd Apatow.
posted by Rumple (189 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
This would be an interesting thing to write a blog about. It's unfortunate, though, that the author is trying so hard to become the anti-Juno, which makes her every bit as contrived of a character as the one she's railing against.

Plus, it's hard to read text from someone who's primary noun is 'that shit.' Because, you know, that shit gets old.
posted by mudpuppie at 1:25 PM on August 22, 2008 [7 favorites]


Classy.
posted by milarepa at 1:25 PM on August 22, 2008


Twitter would have been better.
posted by Slap Factory at 1:27 PM on August 22, 2008


That shit was fake.

This isn’t.


So, was this the exact point anyone else here concluded this blog was totally fake?
posted by kittens for breakfast at 1:29 PM on August 22, 2008 [9 favorites]


Will she post a video of the abortion on YouTube? Why not go all the way>?
posted by up in the old hotel at 1:31 PM on August 22, 2008


I think going all the way is what got her into this predicament.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:35 PM on August 22, 2008 [4 favorites]


If 500 people favorite this comment, I'll... er...

Never mind.
posted by [NOT HERMITOSIS-IST] at 1:41 PM on August 22, 2008 [30 favorites]


So, she googled "abortion blogs," found that they were shitty, and decides what the world needs is a blog without much anything useful except vague and uninspired writing from someone with an enormous chip on her shoulder?
posted by Snyder at 1:41 PM on August 22, 2008


Classy.

Oh, is it opposite day again?

ugh. I can't see this ending well.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 1:46 PM on August 22, 2008


countdown to "i'm keeping the baby" with a link to oral robert's university in... 3 2 1
posted by jenkinsEar at 1:47 PM on August 22, 2008 [6 favorites]


This is such an excellent idea for an online journal. A daily chronologue of someone who has discovered they are pregnant, decided to terminate it, what led them to this decision, what process they go through to have the procedure done and what they're thinking and feeling along the way, and after, would be an intriguing read - especially if the author were unabashed and sincere. It might even help a lot of people in a similar situation, or educate those to close to one. But this just reads more like "here's me being aloof and smirky about my abortion". Great, you're detached and ironic, you win.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:48 PM on August 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Favorited solely for "You can fuck yourself, Judd Apatow".
posted by Zambrano at 1:48 PM on August 22, 2008 [4 favorites]


FAKE
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:51 PM on August 22, 2008


The neat thing with blogs is they give you an unseen perspective on an experience someone is having. This doesn't. If it isn't fake, there is no way she is 22, she sounds closer to 17. There is no insight or storytelling and crappy stock photos.
posted by saucysault at 1:52 PM on August 22, 2008


Where is Bob?
posted by fixedgear at 1:53 PM on August 22, 2008


"WHERE IS THE JUNO OF THE ABORTION WORLD?!?"

I hear that.

I'm with Marisa, this could be something great and isn't, but maybe we're expecting too much of someone whose so close to it - literally in the middle.

If she's in a place where there's tight security around the clinic, then she's likely in a place where she can't be open to anyone about what's going on, including family and friends. There's no mention of the putative father.

Maybe she'll have some real detachment when it's over and she's had some distance. In the meantime, this place is invaluable.

Well, hey, there's some chatter.
posted by no, that other sockpuppet at 1:56 PM on August 22, 2008


ugh. I can't see this ending well.

It's going to end deleted, which is about as well as can be expected.
posted by Brak at 1:59 PM on August 22, 2008


That shit was fake.

This isn’t.


Sure, because only in the movies has anyone decided to keep the baby. You have full claim to what's "real."

You can fuck yourself, Judd Apatow.

Yes, because Judd Apatow was telling you not to have an abortion.

I still say the "Knocked Up" DVD should have had an "alternate ending" where the movie suddenly ends as soon as Alison learns she's pregnant and tells Ben she's going to have an abortion. Comedy gold! I figure it'd be about 18 minutes long.
posted by pardonyou? at 2:00 PM on August 22, 2008 [8 favorites]


Abortion blog + beautiful Friday summer afternoon = No thanks
posted by adamms222 at 2:03 PM on August 22, 2008


Needs soundtrack
posted by xod at 2:04 PM on August 22, 2008


...and a hamburger phone.
posted by Challahtronix at 2:08 PM on August 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


It's a shame she has decided not to keep the baby, she would make an excellent mother.
posted by Daddy-O at 2:10 PM on August 22, 2008 [3 favorites]


Six Feet Under got some mileage out of it, complete with ambivalent feelings and the standard "visit the dead" sequence a few episodes on.
posted by no, that other sockpuppet at 2:11 PM on August 22, 2008


Yes, because Judd Apatow was telling you not to have an abortion.

I still say the "Knocked Up" DVD should have had an "alternate ending" where the movie suddenly ends as soon as Alison learns she's pregnant and tells Ben she's going to have an abortion. Comedy gold! I figure it'd be about 18 minutes long.


I simply don't understand how people can look at "Knocked Up", (or, apparently any movie involving people having a baby,) and see it as some kind of pro-life propaganda to be railed against. My only guess is that some people are such ideologues that they refuse to acknowledge that sometimes people (especially fictional ones,) can make different decisions about their lives without being total pawns of some sinister agenda, or are so insecure that they need to have their beliefs reinforced constantly, in every medium, like how some religious people can't bear to see anything that is not constantly exalting God.
posted by Snyder at 2:18 PM on August 22, 2008 [16 favorites]


I am weirded out by folks who are annoyed by this site and have commented that it's a bad blog because it's too sarcastic or angry or bitter or emotionally detached or not written by a 24 year old. (WTF? Plenty of 24 years olds are this immature. 24 year olds are barely out of college, often living with mom and dad, and often can't express their real emotional range through their writing. That's the way I remember 24, and I was even a pretty good writer back then.) People are often not as mature in their writing -- um, especially their Internet writing -- as they would be if they were sitting across the table from you.

The blog is what it is. Maybe it's fake, and maybe it's not. But it actually does provide some helpful information about the abortion decision -- what's available at 5 weeks, what's available at 6, how to get medical care, etc. So good for her (or whoever). If it's fake, whatever, at least the information it provides is useful. If it's real, holy crap, because if this had happened to me at 24, I never would have had the courage to blog about my decision. I would have been too terrified and embarrassed. So, wow.
posted by onlyconnect at 2:25 PM on August 22, 2008 [12 favorites]


It's a shame she has decided not to keep the baby, she would make an excellent mother paternity witch-hunt contestant on Maury.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 2:26 PM on August 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yes, because Judd Apatow was telling you not to have an abortion.

You misspelled "shmashmortion".
posted by The Bellman at 2:27 PM on August 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


"WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU'RE ABORTING:"


POWER LOSS IMMEDIATELY
AFTER TAKEOFF / NO RESTART
MAINTAIN AIRCRAFT CONTROL
FLAPS TAKEOFF 15° – 54 KTS
FUEL VALVE – OFF
IGNITION/MASTER – OFF

IF NO RESTART AND TIME PERMITS
MAINTAIN BEST GLIDE SPEED 70 KTS @ 0º 63 KTS @ 40º (If Field Is Made)
SQUAWK 7700
DECLARE MAYDAY 121.5 WHO/WHERE/WHAT
SEATBELTS
FUEL VALVE – OFF
KEY/MASTERS – OFF
PROTECT BODY/LATCH DOORS OPEN
LAND TAIL LOW – 43 KTS/40˚FLAPS

BALLISTIC RECOVERY SYSTEM
TIGHTEN HARNESSES
KEY / MASTERS OFF
FUEL VALVE OFF SLOW IF ABLE PRIOR TO BRS Pull
posted by Debaser626 at 2:31 PM on August 22, 2008 [57 favorites]


MAMMA DON'T PREACH
posted by koeselitz at 2:32 PM on August 22, 2008


Snyder, it's because for every movie where the character goes ahead and has an abortion (wow, I can think of maybe 2 or 3), there are so so many where she doesn't--or worse, conveniently miscarries, thus getting her out of having to make a choice either way. It gets old. Apatow ironically addressed this in the "smashmortion" scene, but at the same time, if you're a woman, his movie can feel like just another in the deluge of Hey Go Ahead and Have that Baby, It'll be Great, Gals! mindset of pop culture.

In other words, women in the country, who are constantly being threatened with having their rights to contraception and abortion eroded away, might be understandably a little "testy" about films that play those decisions for laughs or as a throwaway plot device. Us humorless feminist types, you know, we tend to get all cranky about people not taking our right to bodily autonomy as a serious issue.
posted by emjaybee at 2:33 PM on August 22, 2008 [19 favorites]


agh...women in THIS country...
posted by emjaybee at 2:34 PM on August 22, 2008


I simply don't understand how people can look at "Knocked Up", (or, apparently any movie involving people having a baby,) and see it as some kind of pro-life propaganda to be railed against.

It's because the flip-side of that scenario, in which the woman DOES choose to have the abortion, is nearly NEVER portrayed. For whatever reason, there is incredible bias in how these stories enter the mainstream media. I personally chalk it up to it being far easier for the lazy writers out there to handle the issue that way, rather than some media conspiracy.

The amount of women in this nation who have had abortions is simply staggering. And many of them do not regret the decision in the least. The storytelling that has emerged from our culture does not reflect this, and it should.
posted by [NOT HERMITOSIS-IST] at 2:34 PM on August 22, 2008 [17 favorites]


onlyconnect: The blog is what it is.

It is what it is? Hell, that blog is what it's about.

Please don't hurt me. Seriously. Somebody was gonna say it.
posted by koeselitz at 2:35 PM on August 22, 2008


My only guess is that some people are such ideologues that they refuse to acknowledge that sometimes people (especially fictional ones,) can make different decisions about their lives without being total pawns of some sinister agenda, or are so insecure that they need to have their beliefs reinforced constantly, in every medium, like how some religious people can't bear to see anything that is not constantly exalting God.

I think what people - like me - are upset about is that a well-educated middle-class white girl with a future in front of her would, in real life, nearly always have an abortion. But this point of view is never shown on television or in the movies. I wouldn't mind it at all, if it weren't always the case, and I think it's pathetic that Juno received support for its radical depiction of a girl who goes against the grain by not keeping the baby!

It is a form of propaganda in that it denies, through statistically unlikely iterations of portrayals, what most often happens in reality. Abortion is very common. For the majority of women who have had abortions, the reality of the experience isn't anything like as traumatic as what the media would have you believe. Thus, this propaganda is harmful; it obscures reality, it makes open and honest discussion about a frequent event difficult or impossible for many, it makes those who might contemplate abortion ashamed and guilt-ridden because real reactions are so twisted on the screen that they've become the basis by which people judge.

I know plenty of women who've had abortions. They've gone in in the morning, come out a few hours later, and they've led the rest of their lives with no guilt or compunction about it at all. Why don't I ever see this portrayed? The reality is, it's because the uproar from rightwing, religious ideologues would make it commercially risky. So if you're going to judge things in terms of "agenda," ask yourself what kind of ideologues are really carrying the Big Stick. It's not the people who'd just like some parity in how abortion is portrayed, is it.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 2:35 PM on August 22, 2008 [33 favorites]


What to Expect When You're Aborting

A large sucking sound, sort of like the beginning of the universe.

Or the end.
posted by plexi at 2:38 PM on August 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's because the flip-side of that scenario, in which the woman DOES choose to have the abortion, is nearly NEVER portrayed.

Yes, never. Because the following films never existed.

* Fast Times at Ridgemont High
* Dirty Dancing
* The Cider House Rules
* High Fidelity
* The Godfather, Part II
* Vera Drake

Damn, that was just off the top of my head. I'm sure there are more.

Now, are there more movies about having babies than having abortions? Yes. Thousands more. But since there are significantly more children born than abortions performed, I think that's just reflective of real life.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:40 PM on August 22, 2008 [5 favorites]


Or rather, nearly never, like you say. Dirty Dancing. Yeah, nobody has EVER heard of that movie.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:41 PM on August 22, 2008


So, was this the exact point anyone else here concluded this blog was totally fake?

*raise my hand*
posted by ericb at 2:48 PM on August 22, 2008


emjaybee: Us humorless feminist types, you know, we tend to get all cranky about people not taking our right to bodily autonomy as a serious issue.

I'm totally with you. And I understand how important that is.

I guess the think people are a little, er, bemused at is the fact that this blog isn't so much "abortion is a misunderstood but often correct choice and the media's ridiculous portrayal of it is harmful to young women who choose abortions" (a message I could get with); this blog is really more "abortion is a misunderstood but often correct choice because FUCK YOU! I'm pregnant as fuck, living in a world of shitty Planned Parenthood doctors and hideous medical procedures that involve sticking metal in my cooch and giving me amnesia, and none of you spineless fucks, least of all you spineless fucks on television, understands it! Life is hell, abortion is hell, and I seem to be the only one man enough to go through it all! GGAARRGH!"

In a spirit of charity, I feel like she has every right to vent a little. And I really won't ever understand what she's going through - I can only be supportive of women who go through what she's going through. The, erm, verite of the blog might be a little helpful, I guess, to someone going through the same thing. It just seems like a more informative source could be found than this, were I a young woman about to have an abortion.
posted by koeselitz at 2:48 PM on August 22, 2008


Now, are there more movies about having babies than having abortions? Yes. Thousands more. But since there are significantly more children born than abortions performed, I think that's just reflective of real life.

In the United States, it seems that about 1 in 4 pregnancies ends in abortion, so six examples against "thousands more" is not reflective of real life.
posted by Pyry at 2:48 PM on August 22, 2008 [3 favorites]


Actually, the viewpoint you really never see portrayed is the poor young single mother who wants to keep her baby but aborts because she knows she's so poor she can barely afford the child she already has, in fact is so poor the cost of the abortion almost puts her and her child out on the street, and is tormented after the fact because she felt what she did was morally wrong but completely unavoidable. That's the scenario I've seen a couple times a social worker.
posted by The Straightener at 2:52 PM on August 22, 2008 [13 favorites]


Metafilter don't preach.
posted by chillmost at 2:52 PM on August 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


In the United States, it seems that about 1 in 4 pregnancies ends in abortion, so six examples against "thousands more" is not reflective of real life.

Since I can never trust spurious stats (and neither should you), I looked up birth rates and abortion rates in the U.S. from the CDC.

In 2003, there were 4,089,950 births in the U.S. and 854,122 abortions. That's an abortion rate of 17 percent, which falls every year. One in four? Not quite, and falling every year.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:59 PM on August 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


I know plenty of women who've had abortions. They've gone in in the morning, come out a few hours later, and they've led the rest of their lives with no guilt or compunction about it at all. Why don't I ever see this portrayed?

Because it would make an incredibly dull movie?
posted by The Bellman at 2:59 PM on August 22, 2008 [11 favorites]


It is what it is? Hell, that blog is what it's about.

If you're saying the blog is an abortion, or intimating that it is some dead and lifeless and inhuman thing, well, I guess we disagree. After all, how many young men do we see blogging about the sexual disease that was recently transmitted to them or the genital extension operation they recently had or some other traumatic event that is culturally embarrassing for a guy to admit to today? Apart from the fake or not question, it seems to me that we're holding this woman to a pretty high standard. If the blog is real, I think it's amazing that it exists at all. For everyone who is expecting the author to lay every emotional truth on the line here that one might be feeling, at 24, I think you might be expecting too much, and, in doing so, marginalizing what is quite possibly a somewhat amazing, unashamed firsthand view.
posted by onlyconnect at 3:01 PM on August 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


Movies and television don't suck because they don't include all possible characters. They suck because they're generally badly written. Society doesn't suck because we don't have movies and television with all possible characters. It's unjust because we don't consider or think about all possible viewpoints, and because we don't have an active dialogue about those things.

I mean, come on. Even if, five years from now, the laugh track roars as Amanda the soon-to-have-an-abortion girl on your favorite dumb sitcom rolls her eyes and says "whatever, dad" to her fake-sitcom-dad, I don't know if we'll be in a better place than where we are now. Though it does suck that that situation, that viewpoint, isn't more familiar to more people, something tells me that sitcom portrayal would make it familiar to people in the same way that Will & Grace taught millions of straight Americans how it feels to be gay.

How do you get a society to understand its members better, anyway?
posted by koeselitz at 3:02 PM on August 22, 2008


Slightly off topic: Copper T IUD more effective than "morning after" pill. And cheaper if you use birth control for longer than 2 years.
posted by Araucaria at 3:05 PM on August 22, 2008


onlyconnect: If you're saying the blog is an abortion, or intimating that it is some dead and lifeless and inhuman thing, well, I guess we disagree.

No. We don't really disagree. It was a horrid joke, to be honest, and I wish I could go back and delete it.

It used to be possible (eh, fifty years ago, I think) to throw the word "abortion" around in lighter spirits and not have it mean anything. Lately it seems to be making a comeback in that function, only this time it's got a cruel edge because it actually refers to an experience people go through. It's embarrassing to say so, but this isn't the first time I've joined in and used it humorously and derisively.

And I think I'm just going to have to stop. It's terribly insensitive. Sorry, all.

posted by koeselitz at 3:07 PM on August 22, 2008


because real reactions are so twisted on the screen that they've become the basis by which people judge.

there is something fundamentally fucked up about a person who makes decisions based upon how something is portrayed 'on the screen'. how about people start distinguishing reality from entertainment? instead of railing about fixing the entertainment, how about fixing the people?
posted by quonsar at 3:10 PM on August 22, 2008 [5 favorites]


And cheaper if you use birth control for longer than 2 years.

And you might get to visit Dr. House.
posted by Tenuki at 3:12 PM on August 22, 2008


Yes, never. Because the following films never existed.
...
* The Godfather, Part II


I must think that you have not seen this film, for you to so severely misunderstand what [NOT HERMITOSIS-IST] was saying. Or was Kay telling Michael about her abortion sympathetic to a woman's point of view before or after Michael slapped her around?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:18 PM on August 22, 2008 [6 favorites]


I guess the problem I have with this as a blog is that every woman I've known who's made the decision to get an abortion, the distance from decision to abortion takes between a week and two, generally dependent upon scheduling questions.

So, while getting an abortion can be a decent essay topic, I don't really see the, if you'll excuse me, the longevity required to make this something that fits the blog format.

Unless she's planning on getting a whole lotta 'bortions.
posted by klangklangston at 3:24 PM on August 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


Honest to blog?
posted by Mr. Palomar at 3:26 PM on August 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Okay, fine. For those of you who are disappointed in this blog, I will tell you about my abortions.

First one: I was 19. I was using a diaphragm. I got pregnant. I went to the Planned Parenthood. Fortunately, no asshats were protesting. I had a D&C. It was somewhat uncomfortable. The next morning, I had some bleeding and cramping. After a couple of days I felt fine again.

Second one: I was 33. Unprotected anal sex is a bad idea, y'all. I got pregnant. I went to the Planned Parenthood. Once again, no protestors--hooray! I had a D&C. Bleeding and cramping lasted three days this time. Then I felt fine again.

Do you want to hear about my root canals? Or my tonsillectomy? Or the time I had some skin tags lasered off?

Jeez Louise, I don't really see why we expect people to make fascinating, insightful documents out of their routine medical procedures.
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:30 PM on August 22, 2008 [24 favorites]


My guess is false-flag anti-abortion operation. How much do you want to bet this ends with her either:

A. Converting to christianity (cheesy miracle/vision optional), keeping the baby, and being rose-colored glasses happy in pleasantville forever. All of the associated problems with the situation will miraculously disappear or (more depressingly) she ends up married, pregnant, 'in the kitchen', and happy (depends on the regressiveness of the hoaxer.)

B. Depicted as more and more depressed afterwards until she finally kills herself. Loudly, with a suicide note on the blog. Searches in the local papers will fail to turn up anything.

I've just seen to much of this kind of thing online to think this is real. Apparently mainstream religion doesn't have a rule against Completely Making Shit Up and Presenting it as Real to Make Your Point.
posted by Mitrovarr at 3:33 PM on August 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


> the poor young single mother who wants to keep her baby but aborts because she knows she's so poor she can barely afford the child she already has, in fact is so poor the cost of the abortion almost puts her and her child out on the street, and is tormented after the fact because she felt what she did was morally wrong but completely unavoidable

If abortion is so financially devastating, why wouldn't she go the adoption route?
posted by hjo3 at 3:42 PM on August 22, 2008


Unprotected anal sex is a bad idea, y'all. I got pregnant.

probably would have been a breech baby.
posted by quonsar at 3:44 PM on August 22, 2008 [3 favorites]


hjo3: If abortion is so financially devastating, why wouldn't she go the adoption route?

Oh, right. Because having babies is free.
posted by Mitrovarr at 3:46 PM on August 22, 2008 [5 favorites]


Yes, never. Because the following films never existed.
...
* The Godfather, Part II

I must think that you have not seen this film, for you to so severely misunderstand what [NOT HERMITOSIS-IST] was saying.


Agreed! And Dirty Dancing? Not a great example of a sympathetic look at a young woman who's decided to have an abortion.
posted by small_ruminant at 3:48 PM on August 22, 2008


Oh, right. Because having babies is free.

The adoption agency/new parent(s) don't normally cover the medical expense? (I'm actually asking, not trying to be snide and sarcastic.)
posted by hjo3 at 3:48 PM on August 22, 2008


hjo3: The adoption agency/new parent(s) don't normally cover the medical expense? (I'm actually asking, not trying to be snide and sarcastic.)

I'm sure charities exist in some places, but it isn't a constant or a given. I don't believe the adoption agencies cover it. Also, many people don't want it to be on-the-record, so they don't have to worry about their baby looking them up later in life (to the traumatization of all.)

Furthermore, one has to remember the rather heavy physical cost bearing a baby has, and that it might cause a long-term absence from work.
posted by Mitrovarr at 3:54 PM on August 22, 2008


I don't think many (any) low-income women can afford to take time off from work.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 4:01 PM on August 22, 2008


Having experienced two "spontaneous abortions" aka miscarriages and three "elective abortions," which is what most people think of when they think of the "a" word, I can say that the so-called "spontaneous" ones were way worse. Physically painful (just like labor, and yeah I have given birth four times sans meds so ooh), psychologically painful and just plain sad. The first happened before I'd ever had a baby and made me fear for my own fertility. Don't start about how you can always adopt; I'm adopted and so is my husband. As far as the elective ones go I have never experienced a moment of regret. And my birth mother told me plainly that if abortion had been a legal option in 1961 she would have taken the option. I was nineteen then, had just had the first one because I was an obstinate diaphram user and only went on the pill when my newly found "mother" said, "What! You go to Harvard and you got pregnant by mistake?" Well, shit happens. Ugly speech happens too. This person is pretty much everything I don't like about the internet, and Metafilter is kind of everything I do.
posted by emhutchinson at 4:05 PM on August 22, 2008


"I was 33. Unprotected anal sex is a bad idea, y'all. I got pregnant."

Wait, what?

Damn me, but I'm having a mental image of that trick that former coke heads can pull with the napkin going in one nostril and out the other.
posted by klangklangston at 4:05 PM on August 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


"I was 33. Unprotected anal sex is a bad idea, y'all. I got pregnant."

Jesus, I knew sex education was backward in this country, but....
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:13 PM on August 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


hjo3: The adoption agency/new parent(s) don't normally cover the medical expense? (I'm actually asking, not trying to be snide and sarcastic.)

If you're the type of woman that The Straightener is likely referring to (poor, not great health care, possible substance abuse problems), then no, no they usually don't.

Thanks for your apology koeselitz.
posted by jessamyn at 4:15 PM on August 22, 2008


"In 2003, there were 4,089,950 births in the U.S. and 854,122 abortions. That's an abortion rate of 17 percent, which falls every year. One in four? Not quite, and falling every year."

20.88%. Just sayin'.
posted by aerotive at 4:19 PM on August 22, 2008


Oh wait you're right, it is 17%. Damn this site's no editing.
posted by aerotive at 4:20 PM on August 22, 2008


From the perspective of writting:

I don't know if I could get an hour thirty comedy out of a girl getting an abortion. About the only thing I can think of is a zany comedy of her rushing to the clinic or something. It would have to have some really black humor in it, I guess Chuck Palahniuk could assist in its creation. Somehow I don't think this is going to be the summer popcorn movie the studios want, seeing as abortion is along the lines of getting a wart removed or a tooth pulled. It isn't a lifetime of events that having a child entails, I'll tell you that.

I guess our protagonist could be running out of time to abort the baby of a ugly/sleezy/stinky man. Rape is out of the question because it's not that funny (unless you're raping a clown yadda yadda). Maybe we could go the urban myth angle and have her pregnate by the toilet seat? I'm thinking that's our best bet. We could get that 'Scary Movie' chick in the starring role. This thing is going to be a turd on the best of days, so the extra publicity from all the churches protesting should help out.
---
(I wrote this with no intention of making fun of people who get abortions, just to point out writting a summer comedy around one is harder than writting 'Look who's Talking')
posted by The Power Nap at 4:23 PM on August 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Dirty Dancing? Not a great example of a sympathetic look at a young woman who's decided to have an abortion.

yeah, Dirty Dancing and The Cider House Rules , being period pieces, depict very well the sense of shame and secrecy around having abortions that's still with us today. The women I personally know who've had abortions aren't ashamed and they don't feel guilty, but they also don't discuss it with any but their closest friends. Understandably, considering how many people think it's eeeeeevil.

That's too bad. Stupid, damaging, shaming myths about "abortion", what it involves, the effect on women's psyches, who gets them and for what reasons, would have much less power if most of the women who've had one (most people know a woman who's had one, I bet, even if they don't know it) felt free to talk about their abortions. The internet's helping in this regard. I'll see if I can dig up some links I've come across.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 4:24 PM on August 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


No, 854122/(4089950+854122)=0.17.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:26 PM on August 22, 2008


Just so y'all know, it's possible for semen to live for a short time outside of bodies, so like, if you happen to get, I dunno, a drip? Or two? From one orifice to the other, yeah, it's totally possible to get pregnant.

Maybe you should check out Scarleteen? Speaking of, you know, sex ed.
posted by kalessin at 4:34 PM on August 22, 2008


Blogga Don't Preach
She's abortin' the baaaby...
posted by jonmc at 4:42 PM on August 22, 2008


Other sites where women share abortion stories:

From Feministing, What Makes For A Good Abortion?

I'm Not Sorry
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 4:45 PM on August 22, 2008


I think what people - like me - are upset about is that a well-educated middle-class white girl with a future in front of her would, in real life, nearly always have an abortion.

Ack. Because the "well-educated" part rules out strong religious beliefs? I wish it were so, but this is wishful thinking. Not reality.

I get what you're saying about media depictions, but The Power Nap addresses this well. Abortion as a comedic plotline would go over about as well as the murder of an abortion doctor would.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 4:52 PM on August 22, 2008


So, was this the exact point anyone else here concluded this blog was totally fake?

*raise my hand*


I didn't think it was fake, but it did make me doubt its motives, i.e. passiveincome.com.
posted by mrgrimm at 4:58 PM on August 22, 2008


as in trying to gain credibility to blackhat seo, but i'm not sure what the angle would be.
posted by mrgrimm at 4:59 PM on August 22, 2008


And I do think a blog on this subject could be fascinating. But this one certainly isn't it yet.
posted by mrgrimm at 5:00 PM on August 22, 2008


And Dirty Dancing? Not a great example of a sympathetic look at a young woman who's decided to have an abortion.

I thought it was sympathetic to the character who needed the abortion. She was very young, single, poor, working a summer job as a dancer, and the "father" was an asshole player who claimed the baby wasn't his. Unfortunately when seeking an abortion her only option was to go to a back alley butcher. She seemed happy with her decision once she got proper care from a doctor.
posted by orange swan at 5:01 PM on August 22, 2008


> I know plenty of women who've had abortions. They've gone in in the morning,
> come out a few hours later, and they've led the rest of their lives with no
> guilt or compunction about it at all. Why don't I ever see this portrayed?
> The reality is, it's because the uproar from rightwing, religious ideologues
> would make it commercially risky.

I understand outragefilter requires that there must be a wicked villain somewhere when the world doesn't work the way we would like it to, but in fact the right-wing nutjobs have nothing to do with making that kind of movie or TV show commercially risky. Here's what makes it risky:

Show me a magazine with a pretty girl, a dog, or a baby on the cover and I'll show you a magazine that sells.
- William Randolph Hearst

A show about a woman walking away from the clinic leaving the biodisposal bag behind with no guilt or compunction isn't going to leave audiences feeling warm and fuzzy and going "Awwwww" and hence isn't likely to sell much of anything. And Hollywood knows it, and doesn't approve the scripts or finance the shows. Your villain isn't LOLXTIANS, it's Mammon.
posted by jfuller at 5:10 PM on August 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


"but in fact the right-wing nutjobs have nothing to do with making that kind of movie or TV show commercially risky."

No, that general middle America is also icked out by abortion does not mean that an assured James Dobson freak-out would not also work against making the movie profitable.
posted by klangklangston at 5:16 PM on August 22, 2008


Re: how you can get pregnant from unprotected anal sex:

Gravity, guys. Gravity.

This is not rocket science, you know?

Somebody needs better sex ed here, but it's not me.
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:17 PM on August 22, 2008


I should say that the first thing my GYN asked me when I said "But I don't know how I could possibly have gotten pregnant" was "Did you have unprotected anal sex?"

Apparently, she sees a lot of this, because people forget about the fact that liquids are subject to gravity.
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:19 PM on August 22, 2008


If she's in a place where there's tight security around the clinic, then she's likely in a place where she can't be open to anyone about what's going on, including family and friends.

Are you saying that because the clinic has a lot of security, then it's probably in a conservative area? Because her description sounds exactly like the Planned Parenthood location in lower Manhattan.
posted by lampoil at 5:21 PM on August 22, 2008


Dirty Dancing always struck me as moralistic in that she got what she deserved - it's only because we liked her that they didn't go all the way and let that abortionist kill her. And that movies of that ilk seem to kill people very rarely.

I don't really care if the blog is real or not. I'm just grateful to have another type of voice out there about it. We need different viewpoints like this.
posted by agregoli at 5:21 PM on August 22, 2008


So what you're saying is that buttsex in space is a good contraceptive?
posted by jonmc at 5:22 PM on August 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


Buttsex in space would be well worth risking abortion #3!
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:27 PM on August 22, 2008


i dont know. Kinda got us all talking about abortion.
posted by captainsohler at 5:27 PM on August 22, 2008


Dirty Dancing always struck me as moralistic in that she got what she deserved - it's only because we liked her that they didn't go all the way and let that abortionist kill her.

I got the same message, only they saved her to show how big-hearted they were, to help a Woman Like That. Bleh!
posted by small_ruminant at 5:44 PM on August 22, 2008 [3 favorites]


"Are you saying that because the clinic has a lot of security, then it's probably in a conservative area?"

That's been my experience and the experience of the folks I've known who had "secret" abortions. I didn't have to surrender electronic devices, but I was the only person allowed past the security point. The clinic I went to was also subject to photographic surveillance by protesters who'd put the pictures on the web.

I made that guess because the picture the blogger put up and her description, plus no mention of a support structure (friends, family, etc), plus freaking out. More of a gestalt, I guess.
posted by no, that other sockpuppet at 5:45 PM on August 22, 2008


from the perspective of writing, I think The Power Nap is not quite right. there's not likely to be a summer blockbuster anytime soon, but I can imagine something akin to The Vagina Monologues going over well.

(17% = a bit more than 1 in 6. which is not so far off of 1 in 4?)
posted by object-a at 5:48 PM on August 22, 2008


It...is a liquid, but to the best of my knowledge it is not The Blob, and is unlikely to crawl out of one's rectum and from there up one's vagina...or, you know, so I would have thought. Since my last post, I have since collected a...fair amount of semen, placed it in a dish, and held a flame to it, just to see, and indeed it produced an inhuman shriek and skittered up the ceiling, just like that scene in The Thing. Consider me schooled! And, also, kinda scared.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:55 PM on August 22, 2008 [6 favorites]


How can you make an hour and a half comedy out of someone having an abortion?

Well, to begin with, it requires some imagination and skill at storytelling. But it can be done.
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:12 PM on August 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Kittens, I don't know what position you like to have anal sex in, or where you keep your vagina and your anus, respectively, or how much lube you like to use and what kind, but think about it some more, maybe.

All that's necessary for sperm to swim up your vagina to your cervix is that some semen get inside your vulva. Having unprotected anal sex without anything that might potentially contain semen getting inside your vulva is quite a challenge, in my experience. I just didn't understand (until my GYN explained it to me) that the semen/lube/santorum soup is actually a very healthy environment for sperm.

Seriously, guys? I'm sure that mocking me is completely hilarious, but spreading birth-control misinformation is the US government's job the last time I looked.
posted by Sidhedevil at 6:15 PM on August 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


Semen also gets more liquid after a few minutes.
posted by kalessin at 6:15 PM on August 22, 2008


In response to emjaybee's post

Abortion isn't about bodily autonomy. It's about killing.

If you want to have an honest conversation about the topic, at least don't mince words. It's indisputable that there's mitotic cell division by something with a different genetic make-up than you. To say a fetus isn't alive, but a virus or bacterium is, requires such a fucked-up convolution of thought as to be plainly erroneous.

You may have a good argument that it's not HUMAN life, or not SENTIENT life, or that you should be allowed to kill it anyway. But it doesn't change the fact that you're killing something. At least own up to it.
posted by jock@law at 6:20 PM on August 22, 2008


I for one learned something very very useful here.
posted by tingting at 6:25 PM on August 22, 2008


To say a fetus isn't alive, but a virus or bacterium is, requires such a fucked-up convolution of thought as to be plainly erroneous.

I'm reading what she said over and over, and I don't think she said that at all.

If you really want to go there, have at it, but this was a decent discussion about some complicated topics and turning it into a "BUT WHAT ABOUT THE MURDERZ" doesn't seem to be the best way to keep that vibe alive.
posted by jessamyn at 6:25 PM on August 22, 2008 [3 favorites]


I'm totally not trying to mock you, Sidhedevil, but I am -- like you -- sensitive to misinformation on these subjects, and (below) is pretty much what I've always understood to be true (site is just a little bit NSFW, but this is the complete text anyway, so....):

For those who don't want to read the rest of this column, the answer is: NO, you can't get pregnant from anal sex.

What you have to understand is that the urogenital system is completely separated from the gastrointestinal one. You can't get pregnant from anal sex for the same reason you can't get pregnant from oral sex: the two tracts are entirely unrelated, even if they are close to each other.

I know many have written me about unusual situations, so let's walk through a worst case scenario. First, the man would have to ejaculate (and he should be wearing a condom anyway, so this shouldn't be an issue). Next, the semen would need to dribble out of the anus. The semen would need to contain a sufficient number of sperm that were still viable (and not destroyed by time or the inhospitable environment of the rectum). Those sperm would then have to somehow migrate into the vagina. Sperm are not like flopping fish; they need the environment of semen to survive. So, the semen -- with sperm intact -- would need to dribble into the vagina. Even if all this occurred (highly unlikely), the sperm would then need to work their way up to the fallopian tubes and hope to meet an egg at just the right time.

So, while I am not saying it is impossible I think you should spend your time worrying about far more likely things that could happen, like a giant cow crashing through your ceiling :)


I'm really trying not to be a dick about this, and I realize I'm failing, but you have to realize that this is something I've always understood to be just about cosmically unlikely, and I'm really more inclined -- I'm sorry -- to believe that you guys had vaginal sex with a condom that, like, leaked. It's just a lot more...plausible? I mean, believe what you want, it's not my problem, but as far as I can tell, this does border on misinformation.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:32 PM on August 22, 2008


Abortion isn't about bodily autonomy. It's about killing.

Debate isn't about open, fair discussions. It's about fighting to define the terms in as loaded language as possible, apparently.

I masturbated yesterday. I probably will again tonight. Do you want to discuss the activity in terms of what I killed?
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:39 PM on August 22, 2008 [6 favorites]


kittens for breakfast, it seems like that quote is making a lot of assumptions about what occurred in any given sexual act. For instance: ejaculation in to the anus without any other "mess" ending up anywhere else.

(Plus, what's with adding that "the sperm would then need to work their way up to the fallopian tubes and hope to meet an egg at just the right time"? That is absolutely irrelevant, since sperm meeting an egg seems rather intrinsic to any sort of pregnancy.)
posted by Solon and Thanks at 6:41 PM on August 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


kfb, if you Google "can I get pregnant from anal sex" you'll find a lot of web pages that say things very different from the one you chose to quote from. "Unlikely" which is what mny of them say, is not at all the same as "damned near impossible" which is the conclusion you seem to have drawn. With someone here telling you that's how they got pregnant, I really don't understand what is causing you to push this particular issue and call her a liar. Are you really doing that?
posted by jessamyn at 6:41 PM on August 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


I am weirded out by folks who are annoyed by this site and have commented that it's a bad blog because it's too sarcastic or angry or bitter or emotionally detached or not written by a 24 year old.

Hell, I don't like it because it's poorly written, not informative, and bland. Anything interesting looks like it was cut and pasted from other site, and the author wasn't revealing anything interesting about her thought process except that there are some movies where people have babies and it's totally oppressing her.

Us humorless feminist types, you know, we tend to get all cranky about people not taking our right to bodily autonomy as a serious issue.

You know, I never said anything about feminists, humorless or otherwise. It's a little insulting to be painted with the reactionary brush because I don't feel that "Knocked Up" is demeaning to women. You don't need to do whatever it is your doing with that kind of comment. It's also totally unclear how movies like "Knocked Up" or "Look Who's Talking" don't respect women's bodily autonomy. I've heard it stated, but it seems the fact alone that a women having a baby (where it's kind of the point of the movie,) in the film is enough to condemn it.

It is a form of propaganda in that it denies, through statistically unlikely iterations of portrayals, what most often happens in reality.

A movie depicting something that is unlikely? So what? That's probably the weakest attack on these films I've seen so far.

Thus, this propaganda is harmful; it obscures reality, it makes open and honest discussion about a frequent event difficult or impossible for many, it makes those who might contemplate abortion ashamed and guilt-ridden because real reactions are so twisted on the screen that they've become the basis by which people judge.

I'm sorry, this is absurd. "Knocked Up" is harmful because the female main character doesn't get an abortion? Movies about pregnancy and childbirth are harmful, in general, because of the same reason? I honestly don't see how you get from A to B.

Why don't I ever see this portrayed? The reality is, it's because the uproar from rightwing, religious ideologues would make it commercially risky. So if you're going to judge things in terms of "agenda," ask yourself what kind of ideologues are really carrying the Big Stick. It's not the people who'd just like some parity in how abortion is portrayed, is it.

I'm not asking, nor do I care, about who has the "Big Stick." I was commenting on people who are offended or just generally put out by movies (comedies, even, ) that involve pregnancy and/or birth, saying that "a character like that in real life would get an abortion," or expressing displeasure that abortion was not seriously discussed in the film. To my ears, it sounds like nerds arguing about the realism of "Die Hard" or something. Pregnancy and birth is a conceit of the film, and while it might no be realistic, it's not like it's totally impossible, either.

If people simply want films portraying abortion in a more commonplace neutral or positive light, that's fine with me, (although like The Power Nap, I don't see a lot of comedic plots being based off of it,) but this "Judd Apatow can fuck himself" stuff is nonsense unless you are actually opposed to movies about pregnancy that don't have abortions, which is, as I said above, just as candy-coated as a religious person who will not brook any form of entertainment which ignores or downplays the holiness of God. Not because reproductive choice is like a religion, but because some treat their sacred cows as things that must be kowtowed and appeased at all times. Women's reproductive freedom can survive a comedy about a woman with an unplanned pregnancy and her goof-ball one night stand who is learning to become a responsible adult.
posted by Snyder at 6:41 PM on August 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Judd Apatow can fuck himself because he made a movie about a woman having a baby, framed it entirely through the experience of her loser boyfriend, made the women almost universally shrill harpies, left out any reasoning behind the female lead's decision to have the baby, and reversed the film's lone moment of genuine logic and honestly -- the moment when the two character's realized that just because they have a baby and are pretty nice people doesn't mean they will make a great couple -- in favor of a near-instantaneous reversal of behavior on the part of the male lead that causes them to magically get back together again.
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:46 PM on August 22, 2008 [13 favorites]


kfb, if you Google "can I get pregnant from anal sex" you'll find a lot of web pages that say things very different from the one you chose to quote from. "Unlikely" which is what mny of them say, is not at all the same as "damned near impossible." With someone here telling you that's how they got pregnant, I really don't understand what is causing you to push this particular issue and call her a liar. Are you really doing that?

Not at all. I'm working from the assumption that unprotected anal sex was not the only thing happening in her relationship, but that it was the only unprotected sex (that could remotely lead to a pregnancy) that was happening in her relationship; and that when a pregnancy did happen, the presumption was that the unprotected sex act must have been the cause. Mind you, I myself am presuming that the unprotected anal sex was not a one-off; if it was, then yeah, I think it's more plausible than immaculate conception, sure. But if it wasn't, then I would guess that condom failure (which often goes unnoticed) during vaginal sex is the much more likely cause of the pregnancy.

What disturbs me about what Sidhedevil's saying is that it's...well...pretty much not something that's going to happen to most people, ever, and so to me it's an invalid source of concern. I don't think it's something people need to worry about. Which isn't to say people shouldn't be protecting themselves. I just think that, when we have enough sources of legitimate sexual worry, it's not a great thing to add one to the pile that sounds more or less...um...not terribly likely.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:53 PM on August 22, 2008


* Fast Times at Ridgemont High 1982
* Dirty Dancing 1987
* The Cider House Rules - abortion
* High Fidelity
* The Godfather, Part II 1974
* Vera Drake


If these are examples which display a varied approach to abortion, then you've pretty much proved my point.

For one, Fast Times At Ridgemont High, The Godfather, Part II and Dirty Dancing are all between 21 and 34 years old. I've seen attitudes towards abortion change in less time than the fifteen years I've been here. For a teenage girl thinking about abortion, these films don't even register. They're outside personal history in much the same way that an Annette Funicello film would have been for a seventeen year-old watching Fast Times would have been on its release. I could also argue what the depiction of abortion means in these films (most of it negative), but relative to right now, these films are ancient history.

Vera Drake and Cider House Rules are more recent, though it's probably unfair to consider them anything but adult fare (especially Vera Drake, which few saw anyway. But even in these films, I'm not sure of the message. I took from both of them the ridiculousness of the illegality of abortion, but that's me. Many people perceived them in opposite fashion. Certainly, the abortions they depict are gruesome. There are sympathetic characters in both who are clearly anti-abortion. But to depict either of these films as a sort of "anti-Juno" is deceitful. I admire that both films could foster reasonable discussion of the issue of abortion, both pro and con. But in that sense, they are neutral, and in no way nullify the anti-abortion message of nearly all that the entertainment media create.

This leaves High Fidelity. To be honest, I barely remembered anything about abortion until I reread a description of the film. Here's what Salon said about it:

It is not surprising that "High Fidelity," directed by Stephen Frears and based on a 1995 British novel by Nick Hornby, has received almost no attention for its pro-choice politics. Its abortion plot line occupies about three minutes of film time.

Running down the list of things he did to cause his girlfriend to leave, Rob (the protagonist, played by John Cusack) tells us that, among other things, he slept with someone else while his girlfriend, Laura (Iben Hjejle), was pregnant. He quickly explains that he didn't know Laura was pregnant, but Laura knew about his infidelity and, as a result, had an abortion without telling Rob about the pregnancy in the first place.

Rob learns of the abortion during a conversation with Laura about having children. She breaks down and tells him about the abortion. Mortified and full of guilt, Rob responds by chastising Laura for having had an abortion without consulting him. And then he does an amazing thing. He tells the movie audience -- flatly and without melodrama -- that his response was both spineless and insincere. It was not a valid complaint, he admits sheepishly, but just more evidence of his selfish unwillingness to take responsibility for cheating on Laura. And then he starts talking about something else.


So yes, a commendably fair three minute bit. I admire that, even if the abortion still seems to carry a shadow of darkness common to most Hollywood production. It dealt with the issue fairly, for the most part.

But three minutes is nothing in light of the barrage of films and televisions that preach an opposite message.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 6:57 PM on August 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


I also know a woman who got pregnant via unprotected anal sex when there was unequivocally no other way it could happen. So kittens for breakast, with all due respect, I think you need to listen a little more and type a little less.
posted by Rumple at 6:58 PM on August 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


What disturbs me about what Sidhedevil's saying is that it's...well...pretty much not something that's going to happen to most people, ever, and so to me it's an invalid source of concern.

I think the point is it could happen to people -- especially people who think it couldn't happen to them, again unlikely is not impossible. Unless you have some specific data that this isn't happening -- sidhedevil not only related her experience but mentioned that it was mentioned by her GYN as well.

Unless you think people are just saying this because it's more palatable somehow than saying "oh guess we used a condom incorrectly..." discounting someone's story of it happening to them just seems sort of odd.
posted by jessamyn at 7:01 PM on August 22, 2008


If these are examples which display a varied approach to abortion, then you've pretty much proved my point.

But that's not what Cool Papa Bell said - you're grossly mischaracterizing his argument. He was responding to the claim that "It's because the flip-side of that scenario, in which the woman DOES choose to have the abortion, is nearly NEVER portrayed."

So to the claim that "abortion is nearly NEVER portrayed", he provided a list of popular and well-known movies in which an abortion is portrayed. I don't believe he made any claim about how varied the approach was.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 7:10 PM on August 22, 2008


I'm not entirely sure how I made it through reading the comments in this thread.

This girl, who I will assume to be real, and actually having an abortion, until and unless she proves that assumption to be wrong or someone sleuths her out, is blogging about the truth of her life and the best you can do is say that it's bland and/or poorly written and/or not entertaining enough for you?

She's not here for your entertainment. That is your first mistake. There is very, very little on the web that shows a woman's personal experience with abortion, and if you are a scared young woman googling the internet for support or information, you want most of what you find googling "abortion blog" as much as you want a fake family planning clinic.

My God, this is the time that being a sex positive feminist becomes a huge pain in the ass. I want to be able to explain all of this crap to you, why you should care and not be an asshole, but I just am out of energy for it from 1,000 million copies of the same battle online.
posted by Medieval Maven at 7:10 PM on August 22, 2008 [6 favorites]


If abortion is so financially devastating, why wouldn't she go the adoption route?

I hate to bring this one up, but she might be black and/or Hispanic and is well aware that her child might have quite a bit of trouble making it out of the system.
posted by thisjax at 7:17 PM on August 22, 2008


Unless you think people are just saying this because it's more palatable somehow than saying "oh guess we used a condom incorrectly..." discounting someone's story of it happening to them just seems sort of odd.

Well, not to me, because one seems very likely (a failed condom during vaginal sex), and the other seems like winning some sort of freakish lottery, and I'm more inclined to believe the likely one. I don't think there is a way to prove it is or it isn't happening, but there is the general anatomical lay of the land which would seem to indicate against it, and that's the thing I can't really shake here. I know the nice thing to do is to just say, "Sure, that could totally happen, wow, that really sucks," but frankly, it sounds a lot like some weird bullshit you'd hear in an evangelical sex class, and I guess this is me knowing how all the Dawkinsites feel when the Invisible Sky Man subject comes up and they see red and can't let it go, and I hate those people, so okay, fine: Sure, that could totally happen, wow, that really sucks.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:18 PM on August 22, 2008


She's not here for your entertainment.

Good thing no one complained about the blog taking that tack.

There is very, very little on the web that shows a woman's personal experience with abortion, and if you are a scared young woman googling the internet for support or information, you want most of what you find googling "abortion blog" as much as you want a fake family planning clinic.

Yup. And this blog does not alleviate the need for good, first-person writings about abortion in any capacity, in my opinion. I guess that not liking this blog is some sign to you that we're just insensitive dunderheads who just don't get it, but I'll kindly ask to stow your condescension and explain why this is a worthwhile blog.
posted by Snyder at 7:36 PM on August 22, 2008


Snyder - really? there are quite a few comments about it being poorly written, and then an *entire digression* about how abortion just doesn't make for great film. I don't think, personally, that the writing is particularly bad -- and I don't think it is, actually, all that bad particularly in light of some of the other, apparently REALLY GREAT STUFF that is digg'ed and so forth all around the web -- it's not great writing because it's not detached enough, it's not good writing because she's snarky, etc. That's not really saying it's not good writing. That is saying, or seeming to say, that this kind of writing about this experience makes (the editorial) you very uncomfortable about it.
posted by Medieval Maven at 7:46 PM on August 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


But that's not what Cool Papa Bell said - you're grossly mischaracterizing his argument. He was responding to the claim that "It's because the flip-side of that scenario, in which the woman DOES choose to have the abortion, is nearly NEVER portrayed."

Yeah, I've reread it and you're right. What was always in my mind, though, is that abortion is rarely portrayed as anything but a largely negative thing. And that's not always the case, of course.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 7:48 PM on August 22, 2008


My God, this is the time that being a sex positive feminist becomes a huge pain in the ass. I want to be able to explain all of this crap to you, why you should care and not be an asshole, but I just am out of energy for it from 1,000 million copies of the same battle online.

Because you apparently have a monopoly on the "truth" of this situation, if only you could just explain it to us simpletons? Maybe some of us know people who had abortions who were significantly affected by the experience, and who do question whether they did the right thing. I realize the official "sex positive feminist" position permits no quarter -- Abortion May Not Be Characterized Negatively! -- but that's not the reality either, or at least not the universal reality you'd like it to be. Look, I'm happy that an abortion apparently has as much impact on some people as having a wart removed. But you don't do your argument any favors by implying you're the one with all the answers, and everyone else is just an asshole.

By the way, I'm all for the right to abortion. I just don't trust people who seem hell-bent on convincing the world abortion is no big deal (just like I don't trust people who are hell-bent on convincing the world abortion will send you to ... well, hell).
posted by pardonyou? at 7:54 PM on August 22, 2008 [3 favorites]


Because you apparently have a monopoly on the "truth" of this situation, if only you could just explain it to us simpletons? Maybe some of us know people who had abortions who were significantly affected by the experience, and who do question whether they did the right thing. I realize the official "sex positive feminist" position permits no quarter -- Abortion May Not Be Characterized Negatively! -- but that's not the reality either, or at least not the universal reality you'd like it to be. Look, I'm happy that an abortion apparently has as much impact on some people as having a wart removed. But you don't do your argument any favors by implying you're the one with all the answers, and everyone else is just an asshole.

Wow, did I say that? Wait, no, I did not. I said this was this particular woman's truth. And, by the by, there is no "sex positive feminist" position on abortion, other than, I suppose, that if you have one it's no one' s business but your own because you are entitled to bodily autonomy. Neither did I say I had all the answers. You can stop putting words in my mouth at any time.
posted by Medieval Maven at 8:02 PM on August 22, 2008


I just don't trust people who seem hell-bent on convincing the world abortion is no big deal (just like I don't trust people who are hell-bent on convincing the world abortion will send you to ... well, hell).

So the opposite of hell is no big deal?
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:10 PM on August 22, 2008


Snyder - really? there are quite a few comments about it being poorly written, and then an *entire digression* about how abortion just doesn't make for great film.

That's two different subjects. There is discussion about the blog, and then some discussion the ease of making an entertaining comedy about abortion, which are two wholly separate things.

...it's not great writing because it's not detached enough, it's not good writing because she's snarky, etc. That's not really saying it's not good writing. That is saying, or seeming to say, that this kind of writing about this experience makes (the editorial) you very uncomfortable about it.

No it's not. Maybe you missed where I said there is a need for good first-person blogs about abortion, but I'm not uncomfortable about with reading about abortion, but I feel the writing is lazy and sparse. I'm not getting anything interesting or revelatory from this blog, I just think it's pretty disposable. Nothing about her situation, about her decision to have an abortion, her confidence or otherwise about such a decision, just bitching about movies and her local Planned Parenthood clinic, often in rather nonspecific ways. ("The doctor was shitty." Wow, can you vague that up for me?)

The most recent post is getting there, but overall, this blog is nothing to write home about.
posted by Snyder at 8:11 PM on August 22, 2008


Coming late to the party, and about a tangiential issue, but Hal Hartley's feature Trust deals openly with a character who pragmatically contemplates terminating a pregnancy, with the support of a nurse at a clinic (on one side) and a male friend who offers to help her raise the child (on the other). It might be as ancient history as Fast Times, but it's worth a mention.

(Yes, I do seem to be "the Hartley girl" here on MeFi.)
posted by pxe2000 at 8:16 PM on August 22, 2008


Let me just say this again: For all the men who think this blog is no big deal, assuming it is authentic, how's about if you show me a blog written by a 24 year old guy that explores his decision to get penis enlargement surgery? Then let's compare them, and see which is better written and more informative and less snarky and more entertaining.

Does that seem weird? It does to me. I don't think the quality of the writing is necessarily what would make these blogs interesting or some sort of cultural artifact or event. It's the fact of providing a perspective that otherwise is not very available on the Internet (though a few other links to abortion discussions were provided above). I mean, pregnancy blogs -- now there is a very hipster thing to do, and if you've got a uterus, maybe you should have a blog, which leads down the road to mommy blogs, and product placement, and maybe even a book deal. But an abortion blog? I think in general people don't want to blog their abortion because it's emotionally difficult and there is a stigma that if you need to have an abortion you have been irresponsible and done something wrong. Even though alot of women get them. So I'm sorry that the blog is not entertaining enough for you, but consider the possibility that if you were a 24 year old woman who got pregnant by mistake and was considering her options, "entertainment" might not be your number one priority. But whatever. Carry on.
posted by onlyconnect at 8:20 PM on August 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Neither did I say I had all the answers. You can stop putting words in my mouth at any time.

When you said you wish you could "explain all of this crap to" us, I took that to be a claim that you had the answer about the "right" way to view this blog. My mistake.
posted by pardonyou? at 8:37 PM on August 22, 2008


I feel like the argument and disconnect here is that some people view this blog as a conversation or diary about a personal topic, and others view it (not as "entertainment") but as they might view a book about the subject.

The second group then view this blog as being up for criticism and other discussion (like any written work designed to be read by strangers) while the first group thinks that such criticism is rude and inappropriate (like written work shared or viewed in a more personal way.)
posted by Solon and Thanks at 8:50 PM on August 22, 2008


If abortion is so financially devastating, why wouldn't she go the adoption route?

The abortion was financially devastating in relative terms to this particular young woman's income, which was strictly welfare, which isn't much at all. There are no free abortions, at least not in Pennsylvania; plead poverty as much as you want, Planned Parenthood is still going to ding you for the $350 they charge everyone else. $350 for her basically meant missing rent, which she was already barely keeping up with, which meant a likely eviction from an apartment it took twisting a lot of arms to get for her. Adoption wasn't an option because she was at a turning point in her life where welfare, because she was still in her first two years, was letting her go to community college in order to satisfy her requirement for gainful activity. If she had the baby she would have had to leave school, might not have been able to go back, and would have been derailed at this one crucial moment in her life where she had a chance to change her future path. She knew the pregnancy was a huge mistake that was complicated by the fact that she and her mother both were deeply Christian. Her mother understood the necessity for the procedure but wasn't comfortable with it. She was tormented for days before she even had the procedure, she waffled back and forth about keeping the baby, crying at my desk and asking me what she should do. I told her it was really her decision to make and I couldn't influence that decision though of course I wanted to tell her not to blow her one chance at finishing college to have a second kid she can't afford, that would almost certainly condemn her to a life of grinding poverty.

This is a 19 year old girl we're talking about, btw, it was really hard watching her go through this.
posted by The Straightener at 9:02 PM on August 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


but at the same time, if you're a woman, his movie can feel like just another in the deluge of Hey Go Ahead and Have that Baby, It'll be Great, Gals! mindset of pop culture.

Did we see the same movie? Maybe I was in the john during the scene that showed it was great; all the stuff I remember showed a pretty painful path.

As Astro Zombie enumerated, there's plenty wrong with the movie in other ways - it's not necessary to lay blame on it for not examining a different choice that would have ended the movie before the 20 minute mark.
posted by phearlez at 9:43 PM on August 22, 2008


I must think that you have not seen this film, for you to so severely misunderstand what [NOT HERMITOSIS-IST] was saying. Or was Kay telling Michael about her abortion sympathetic to a woman's point of view before or after Michael slapped her around?

But that's not my point, but thanks for playing, as usual.

The assertion was made that a decision to have an abortion is "nearly never" portrayed in the movies. That's simply not true. I made no mention of how it's perceived or played out.

But if anyone thinks an abortion in the movies is going to play out as anything remotely positive, instead of the gut-wrenching, tragic decision it is ... wow, I really can't help you there.

Don't hate on Dirty Dancing, by the way. The movie's entire plot hinges on a decision to have an abortion (Baby steals money to pay for it, then Baby steps in to cover for the dancer), how truly awful it is that they used to be illegal in the U.S. and how great it is that several people rally to this woman's aid.

The movie was incredibly popular among women who are in their 30s and 40s right now, who are exactly the kind of women that will have the most influence on public policy.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:49 PM on August 22, 2008


FWIW, here's what I wrote when I had an abortion at 19.
posted by tits mcgee at 10:05 PM on August 22, 2008 [10 favorites]


What is all this referring to the unborn child as it. Is this how people deal with the fact that they are killing an unborn child?
posted by cmacleod at 10:36 PM on August 22, 2008


Yes. They also drink wolf's blood, set fire to hobos, and burn US currency in order to dance naked around the bonfire. Some, drunk on the pleasure of committing legal murder, attack policemen while dressed in ninja costumes and steal their precious man fluids.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:43 PM on August 22, 2008 [7 favorites]


Is this how people deal with the fact that they are killing an unborn child?

What if someone doesn't agree with your assertion of "fact"?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:49 PM on August 22, 2008


Yes. They also drink wolf's blood, set fire to hobos, and burn US currency in order to dance naked around the bonfire. Some, drunk on the pleasure of committing legal murder, attack policemen while dressed in ninja costumes and steal their precious man fluids.

I don't get the humour.

All I see is some kid, like so many today, unable to live up to the responsibilities of her actions. Take a pill and the inconvenience will go away. Bah.
posted by cmacleod at 10:53 PM on August 22, 2008


All I see is some kid, like so many today, unable to live up to the responsibilities of her actions.

That's not much of an argument. I see a lot of adults unable to live up to the responsibilities of their actions, both inside and outside of the bedroom, but they are treated as equal human beings and given the freedom to make and fix their mistakes. Perhaps "kids" deserve to be treated like equal human beings, too.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:58 PM on August 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


I don't get the humour.

That's fine, grandpappy. Obviously you've made due without bothering to get a whole lot of things.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:59 PM on August 22, 2008


To be more explicit, a list of things you haven't bothered to get:

1. Deciding to have an abortion is taking responsibility, even if it is the decision you personally would not choose; for most it is not an easy decision, and should not be dismissed lightly;

2. Calling a zygote an "unborn baby" is a loaded term, that, besides being medically inaccurate, serves no function except to privilege your specific bias with a moral weight that it does not inherently have;

3. Calling the legal medical extraction of a zygote "murder," besides being legally inaccurate, serves no function except to privilege your specific bias with a moral weight that it does not inherently have;

4. Calling an adult a "kid" suggests they lack a maturity you possess, but this maturity was not demonstrated by your decision to come in and smear ill-thought out moralizing and "get off my lawn" posturing onto this thread.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:07 PM on August 22, 2008 [17 favorites]


cmacleod: All I see is some kid, like so many today, unable to live up to the responsibilities of her actions. Take a pill and the inconvenience will go away. Bah.

Except that they actually WILL go away. If you start a grease fire in your kitchen, do you 'accept the consequences of your actions' and let your house burn down, or do you grab the fire extinguisher? Stopping an emergency or disaster is not 'failing to accept the consequences of your actions', it is preventing them entirely - almost always acknowledged as a good thing.

Anyways, it's irrelevant. Look, there's only two arguments worth making with regard to abortion. The first is whether the fetus is sapient. If it isn't, then there's nothing to worry about - the procedure is fundamentally the same as having a wart removed, nothing of any importance dies, and there's no point in worrying about it.

If you assume or believe that it is, you move on to the second argument, which is whether a woman's right to bodily autonomy trumps the fetus' right to life. This is a thornier and more depressing argument, although I'd like to take the opportunity to compare it to forcing you to sell a kidney on the black market so that the proceeds can be used to save a starving child in Africa.
posted by Mitrovarr at 11:11 PM on August 22, 2008


All I see is some kid, like so many today, unable to live up to the responsibilities of her actions.

I always hear this, and it always sounds like this to me:

She had sex. Now she doesn't want to take her punishment.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:19 PM on August 22, 2008 [14 favorites]


I see a lot of adults unable to live up to the responsibilities of their actions, both inside and outside of the bedroom, but they are treated as equal human beings and given the freedom to make and fix their mistakes. Perhaps "kids" deserve to be treated like equal human beings, too.

True. This is more than a simple mistake and a decision more deserving than the nonchalant flippant attitude I read from her ... and asinine attempts at humour.
posted by cmacleod at 11:22 PM on August 22, 2008


All I see is some kid, like so many today, unable to live up to the responsibilities of her actions. Take a pill and the inconvenience will go away. Bah.

A generation of two ago, it might have been reasonable to expect someone without a high school degree (or with one, barely) to go out and create a reasonable life. That's much less true today.

Here's a sobering fact: if you're born below the poverty-line in any "wealthy" country, the one in which you are least likely to work your way out of it is the United State of America. Sure, there's social mobility between classes here - as long as you don't start out at the bottom. (Yes, of course, some people still manage. But a smaller percentage do than in any comparable country.)

The odds are really, really stacked against you, especially if you're young, poor and / or lack education.

Let's look at the dominant social conservative mentality in America:

1) It works to make abortion inaccessible to women.

2) It works to prevent sex education which includes the teaching of birth control methods.

3) It supports regulation which would, among other things, allow "religious" medical professionals the right to deny prescribed medication, including birth control and day-after pills, to women.

4) It lobbies for the elimination or lessening of many special programs which would assist those who are disproportionately likely to have abortions: single women, the poor, the young and those lacking education. These include affordable secondary education, early education programs, many health care programs, sponsored daycare, and many many more.

5 It tends to support health care policies which have had the effect of making adequate medical care inaccessible and unaffordable for many.

Those women who have to travel for hundreds of miles to have an abortion, because they understand how poor their lives and the lives of their would-be children are likely to be aren't merely "taking a pill" so the "inconvenience will go away." They're making a responsible decision based on what they know of their specific situation.

Many of us see fifteen year-olds having babies as hugely irresponsible. Their peers who look at their situation and decide to have an abortion often appear to us as the one who are truly living up to the responsibility of their actions.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 11:23 PM on August 22, 2008 [14 favorites]


This is more than a simple mistake and a decision more deserving than the nonchalant flippant attitude I read from her ... and asinine attempts at humour.

Maybe she doesn't see it that way. Who are you to judge? Honestly. I'm really curious. Who are you to decide that this is more than a minor medical inconvenience. Also, when did you get to decide what is funny and isn't?
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:29 PM on August 22, 2008


instead of the gut-wrenching, tragic decision it is ...

Umm, no. It's not. At least not for most of the cases I've known, though of course there have been exceptions.

If a woman gets treated for an STD, is she failing to "live up to the responsibilities of her actions" by not suffering through the symptoms and possibly endangering her life? Because that's about as logical as that argument sounds. Abortion is a medical procedure. It's a nuisance. It's expensive. It's uncomfortable. It's all the same bad things as getting warts burned off, and that's about all.
posted by small_ruminant at 12:40 AM on August 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


Thank you Sidhedevil for putting into words what I've always believed.
posted by bendy at 3:21 AM on August 23, 2008


And Dirty Dancing? Not a great example of a sympathetic look at a young woman who's decided to have an abortion.

Oh come on people, I haven't seen this yet!
posted by mecran01 at 4:28 AM on August 23, 2008


Wow, tits mcgee, that's a really intense post. Thanks for sharing your experience.

Ok, it seems really freaking bizarre to "thank" someone for writing about something really personal like that which was obviously, um, sub-optimal. What's the etiquette for this? Is there a word for "Thanks and I'm Sorry! All at the same time!"? Maybe in German?
posted by grapefruitmoon at 6:18 AM on August 23, 2008


tits mcgee - d&c with no anasthesia, right? Me, too. Hurt like a bitch.

Glad you were able to stay with your SO.

Thanks for the post, and I'm sorry, too.
posted by no, that other sockpuppet at 7:01 AM on August 23, 2008


Yeah, tits, your blog was way better than wtewa's (although the writing has improved in her Friday post). That "oh shit I'm pregnant' kick to the belly is something most heterosexually active women can relate to. Thanks for publishing it.

As to the movies mentioning abortion I can't believe no one has brought up Citizen Ruth. Yeah, I feel it wimped out in the end but it was really funny while also feeling very authentic. It is also twelve years old.
posted by saucysault at 7:09 AM on August 23, 2008


(Whispers) I mentioned Citizen Ruth.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:38 AM on August 23, 2008


about how abortion just doesn't make for great film.

I think the point being made here is that while abortion doesn't make for a great comedy, there is no reason why it couldn't be the basis for a a great drama. One movie came close: Love With the Proper Stranger in which Catholic shop girl, Natalie Wood, gets pregnant after a one-night-stand with musician, Steve McQueen. This 1963 movie was very controversial because of the frank portrayal at how these two virtual strangers (both in relationships with other people) deal with the pregnancy. There is a harrowing scene which begins with a back-alley abortionist laying out the tools of her trade but ends with McQueen having second thoughts and convincing Wood to leave. This movie is a lot more honest and thoughtful about sex and its consequences than movies coming out of Hollywood today. I would love to see a remake but without the happy ending-- instead of two people coming together to have a baby, how about two strangers who get together to make a serious decision but then realize they are indeed strangers unsuited to each other?

One modern movie that gets it right is the Romanian film, 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days because the drama is not about the woman's decision (that is easy for her) but about the hoops she has to jump through in order to obtain the abortion she desires. And where is the American equivalent? Where is the movie about the Kentucky mother with 3 children who has to get permission from her husband, and look at ultrasounds, and travel 300 miles, and come up with $600. all before it is too late?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 11:13 AM on August 23, 2008


So I'm sorry that the blog is not entertaining enough for you, but consider the possibility that if you were a 24 year old woman who got pregnant by mistake and was considering her options, "entertainment" might not be your number one priority.

Speaking for myself, I do not necessarily believe that good writing = entertaining. I wouldn't read a blog like this expecting chuckles. As I said, this is an excellent idea for an online journal and could be a welcome resource, both in terms of information and a sincere insight into the myriad of emotions that are experienced by people facing this same decision.

But I don't see much of anything new here in terms of information, the emotion is one-dimensional, tone is forced, and the writing is bad. Can we be not too crazy about the aesthetic aspects of this blog but applaud the idea behind it?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:45 PM on August 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


All I see is some kid, like so many today, unable to live up to the responsibilities of her actions.

So, in your opinion, fertile women who aren't ready or willing to carry a pregnancy to term -- because they're too poor, are still in school, can't put their career on hold, don't want to go through the permanent changes in their bodies, have medical problems that make pregnancy risky, have four children already, etc -- should simply never have sex with men.

Okay.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 1:55 PM on August 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


One modern movie that gets it right is the Romanian film, 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days because the drama is not about the woman's decision (that is easy for her) but about the hoops she has to jump through in order to obtain the abortion she desires.

I will put that movie on my "to see" list. One of the things that is fascinating to me about Romania -- I lived there for a year just a few years post-Ceausescu -- is how it's a very religious country and yet has NO abortion debate. Abortions are freely available and legal, or were when I was there. This is primarily because the Ceausescus were total crazy people who wanted to expand the country and so basically encouraged and almost forced women into pregnancy.

You'd get pregnancy tests at work, birth control was illegal (and only obtainable from the black market which was often led by Roma folks which sowed further ethnic tensions along those lines) and abortions were unthinkable. The Romanian orphanage problem -- still a problem because of people's decisions to bear children instead of get abortions but at least they're CHOOSING -- stemmed from a lot of these "forced" pregnancies to women who were unable to provide for a child.

Anyhow, just thought it was interesting.
posted by jessamyn at 2:09 PM on August 23, 2008


4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days is one of those films, like Vera Drake, that sidesteps the pro and con arguments of abortion itself, only to make the valid point that people are going to have them anyway. The fact that the film is set in Ceauşescu-era Romania only makes that fact more startling . . . if I didn't know better, I'd imagine that Jessamyn was exaggerating about the situation there and then. She's not.

To expand a little, women were more than "encouraged" to have children. They were forced to undergo monthly pregnancy tests at work, in part to "catch" pregnancies too quickly for women to attempt home abortions. The penalty for having, performing or assisting in procuring abortion was stiff - tantamount to a death penalty in many cases. Taxes were levied against married couples with fewer than five children. Any form of birth control was illegal.

The result? Tens of thousands of unwanted babies, many of whom died or were permanently damaged in state-run orphanages due to poor medical care, poor nutrition, even the lack of an occasional human touch. Many of these babies were HIV-positive and died of AIDS and related maladies. Thousands of young women died horrific deaths as a result of botched abortions and related infection. This didn't dissuade thousands more from doing the same thing, and suffering the same fate. An entire generation of Romanians who wouldn't have been born under a more tolerant regime suffered from homelessness, unaddressed medical and psychological issues, lack of education, lack of jobs, lack of hope.

I do support free access to abortion for all women. I realize that's contentious to some and downright Satanic to others. I also respect the religious and moral beliefs of others, so long as they do not limit the freedom of others who do not share their beliefs. But after many years of pondering the issue, I've come to what I believe to be a fair and pragmatic litmus test on the issue of abortion, and that is:

Any society that allows a single child to languish in an orphanage, and any society that does not fully provide for the basic needs of its children (healthcare, shelter, food) has no moral authority to restrict abortion. Create a society in which children are guaranteed what should be theirs by right, and then your indignation at abortion will have some validity.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 3:12 PM on August 23, 2008 [12 favorites]


She had sex. Now she doesn't want to take her punishment.

Do they really believe that abortion is murder?
...the leaders of the abortion criminalization movement have consistently put their political weight behind policies which make little or no sense if they genuinely think that abortion is identical to child murder. And those same leaders routinely endorse policies that make a lot of sense if their goal is to penalize women who have sex - to, as I’ve heard many of them put it, make sure women "face the consequences" of having sex.
posted by kirkaracha at 5:06 PM on August 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


Geez, it wasn't even a "simple mistake" on my part either time: I had one birth control failure and one thing that nobody ever told me was a pregnancy risk.

(Which, kittens, is why I am annoyed about your continued comments about this: pardon me, but I would have to say that a GYN knows a lot more than you do about what is, and isn't, a pregnancy risk. As does AVERT. And every sex information site on the internet. This is information people should be aware of, and your scoffing doesn't make the facts any different.)

And no, having an abortion wasn't a "big deal" for me. Sorry to disappoint those of you who think it should have been.

And "it" is certainly an appropriate word to use for a fetus that hasn't sexually differentiated yet.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:06 PM on August 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


kirkaracha: ...the leaders of the abortion criminalization movement have consistently put their political weight behind policies which make little or no sense if they genuinely think that abortion is identical to child murder. And those same leaders routinely endorse policies that make a lot of sense if their goal is to penalize women who have sex - to, as I’ve heard many of them put it, make sure women "face the consequences" of having sex.

Yes, that's what I've noticed as well. If the members of the pro-life movement really wanted to stop abortion, they'd attack it from other angles - if anything they should be the most pro-birth-control people out there, since every unwanted child that isn't conceived is one that's never a candidate for abortion. However, they fairly consistently lean the other way - even on birth control methods that couldn't possibly be considered abortificants by anyone, like condoms.

When I see the pro-life people handing out free condoms themselves and not fighting the people who are, I'll believe they aren't using the issue as a way to shove women back into the barefoot and pregnant era. Until then...

(Note that I am sure there are some people in the movement like that. I only suggest that they form a small minority within it.)
posted by Mitrovarr at 7:09 PM on August 23, 2008


"She knew the pregnancy was a huge mistake that was complicated by the fact that she and her mother both were deeply Christian."

So her deep Christian beliefs weren't deep enough to prevent her from fornicating (fucking love that word, don't get a lot of chances to use it), I s'ppose.
posted by falameufilho at 10:52 PM on August 23, 2008


"Here's a sobering fact: if you're born below the poverty-line in any "wealthy" country, the one in which you are least likely to work your way out of it is the United State of America."

Sorry, do you have anything to back up this claim? Your assertion sounds FISHY to say the least.
posted by falameufilho at 11:00 PM on August 23, 2008


"Any society that allows a single child to languish in an orphanage, and any society that does not fully provide for the basic needs of its children (healthcare, shelter, food) has no moral authority to restrict abortion. "

You forgot a basic premise: a child in an orphanage has healthcare, shelter and food. You might argue that a child in an orphanage lacks the love and the care only a family can provide, but that's not what you are saying there. What you are saying is:

"Any society that allows a single child to languish in an orphanage where healthcare, shelter and food is available, and any society that does not fully provide for the basic needs of its children (healthcare, shelter, food) has no moral authority to restrict abortion."

Either your argument is a contradiction in terms or you are saying that NO society has such moral authority.

Also, your argument implies that a society with the moral authority to restrict abortion could exist, if only it would adhere to certain standards, which you didn't specify.

By extension, if a society could potentially have the moral authority to restrict abortion, this goes completely against the liberal view of abortion as the right of a woman over her own body, a right that theoretically is on the same level as, say, privacy or freedom of speech - there is no such right for abortion since it can be overridden by a higher moral authority.
posted by falameufilho at 11:34 PM on August 23, 2008


there is the general anatomical lay of the land which would seem to indicate against [pregnancy from unprotected anal sex], and that's the thing I can't really shake here.

Allow me to explain in detail.
  1. Man and woman have anal sex, either in doggie position or with woman on her stomach.
  2. Man ejaculates into woman's ass. Having an ass full of semen feels icky, so woman expels it with simple muscle contraction.
  3. Expelled semen dribbles downward, over perineum or "taint" in vulgar parlance, and alights upon woman's vulva.
  4. Woman flips over to lie on her back.
  5. Semen starts to trickle down into the vagina, and swims the rest of the way to the uterus, assisted by gravity.
  6. Man says "Wow, you are a totally hot babe." Yawns. "Well, I have to get up reeeally early for work tomorrow, but I am definitely gonna call. Bye!"
This being the internet, I'm sure you can find video of the process.
posted by Ritchie at 4:04 AM on August 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm very, very pro-choice. But I find thinking about having an abortion terrifying, and that's even with the knowledge that for various reasons having children would be a bad idea for me. So I highly doubt anyone has an abortion just because.

I come from a fertile family - I was born when my mum came off the pill to get sterilised, and happened to have sex in the month inbetween. I therefore tend to worry about these things.
posted by mippy at 9:19 AM on August 24, 2008


What you are saying is:

"Any society that allows a single child to languish in an orphanage where healthcare, shelter and food is available, and any society that does not fully provide for the basic needs of its children (healthcare, shelter, food) has no moral authority to restrict abortion."


No, that's not what I am saying. Children need more than healthcare, shelter and food. So if children anguish in an orphanage - even if those things are provided; than a society has little justification in forcing people to produce more children, when abortion is the only alternative.

Likewise, children do deserve more than love and a caring environment - particularly in a wealthy nation such as America. So If situations exist wherein children or their parents cannot reasonably obtain healthcare, shelter and food - and there are many such situations in America - then society again should not force people to have children simply because they become pregnant.

Either your argument is a contradiction in terms or you are saying that NO society has such moral authority.

My argument is not a contradiction in terms, as spelled out above. I think it is obvious that no society currently has such moral authority. But, fundamentally, I'm not a fascist ideologue when it comes to people's bodies, I believe that something of ourselves should belong to ourselves, namely our bodies.

But you bring up a good point, because the societies which come closest to ensuring that all their children have their basic needs supported are often also the ones in which abortion is fully legal and in some cases financially supported by the state - Sweden and Norway, for example.

I suspect the reason is simple pragmatism. Look at how conservatism has dealt with sexual and reproduction rights in America:

1) They preach absitinence. Fine. But they've dragged the government into it, and "virginity pledges" and the like - supported by the state - have been shown to have no effect at all. In fact, there is evidence that participation in such programs often leads to teens engaging in riskier forms of sex!

2) They deny birth control education and access to birth control under the "belief" (again, not supported by reality) that access to birth control will cause more teenagers to have sex. What this policy really does is to increase the number of unwanted pregnancies, STDs and, by extension, the number of abortions!

3) After denying basic sexual knowledge and access to birth control, many conservatives resort to characterizations such as the one originally posted above:

All I see is some kid, like so many today, unable to live up to the responsibilities of her actions. Take a pill and the inconvenience will go away. Bah.

That's having one's cake and eating it too, when you've worked to deny informed choices! Blame the victim you helped create.

All this because of a crucial mistake: the despotic supposition that there's some way to stop kids from having sex in the first place! There's no evidence in the entire history of mankind that this has ever been the least bit successful, so while liberals are often derided for "pie-in-the-sky" thinking, it's this very conservative idea that truly wins the prize.

-----

So I highly doubt anyone has an abortion just because.

No, "just because" would be a stupid reason to have an abortion. But if you're saying that you can't believe that some women who make this decision and carry through with it go back - almost immediately - to their lives without regrets, pains, doubts and whatever else, you're very wrong. This thinking is, I think, societal conditioning. Since I've been in America, I've heard this sentiment many times, and it seems to be an obvious ploy to instill doubt and fear. It seems to have worked as well, which is the terrifying thing.

But in my native country of Yugoslavia, as well as places I've spent a lot of time, this is an unusual thought. Most women in Romania or Bosnia or similar places who have an abortion do not see it as any big deal at all. Statistics show that a full-term pregnancy is ten times more likely to result in medical complications; a simple tonsillectomy is more than twice as likely to result in medical complications - and who worries about a tonsillectomy? I've been sitting around a table with other women in Sarajevo, where someone will mention, "I had a termination on Friday" in a more casual tone than you'd mention finding a grey hair at the age of 25. They mean it, too. (I couldn't find figures for Bosnia, but in Romania nearly half of all pregnancies (46%) end in abortion. And it's simply not an issue.)

But even in America I meet women for whom it's no big deal. When someone here mentions they've had an abortion and you ask how it was, and the first thing they say is, "Well fuck, I wish it cost less than $400, 'cause I could have bought a new purse for that!" Well, it's hard to believe they're that upset.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 2:17 PM on August 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


I would like to know at what age the men who are protesting the wrongness of abortion in this thread first had sex, and whether they were ready and equipped at that time to have a child, and if they have been fully ready to have and support a child at every point since then when they have had sex. Because if not this moral outrage against women who have failed to guard their vaginas with the vigilence of a championship ice hockey goalie is a bit much.

Sometimes (though not often) men do pass this test, and at least then although I disagree with their position I can respect them for living by the principles that they would have others live by. But when men can't connect their anti-abortion stance with their own sexual behavior, I just can't respect their position. Sorry.
posted by onlyconnect at 2:47 PM on August 24, 2008


Looks like her legs aren't the only thing she has trouble keeping closed.
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:00 PM on August 24, 2008


Dude, wtf? Come to America and say that again, and although I am a puny girl, I will challenge you to a fight. You can even have the first swing. What a horrible thing to say. Blech. Flagged.
posted by onlyconnect at 3:13 PM on August 24, 2008


But when men can't connect their anti-abortion stance with their own sexual behavior, I just can't respect their position. Sorry.

I'd have to say that even men who've been ready for the "consequences of sex" - hell, even those who've only had sex for the purpose of procreation - ought think twice before telling women what they should or should not do with their own bodies. For much the same reason that someone who practices abstinence would still be out of line for scolding people for enjoying sex. It's just not their god damned business what the rest of us do.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:15 PM on August 24, 2008


Dude, wtf?

Well, what? It's an extremely crass blog, "grunging" up abortion and making it seem hip and anti-establishment.
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:47 PM on August 24, 2008


Anyway, my point is there are theoretically a lot of scared young girls out there right now, who have been fucked and fucked over by some sumbitch, too petrified to tell their folks and too ashamed to seek professional medical consultation, turning to the internet for information, reassurance, advice, whatever, and, well, this blog can only really genuinely have one target audience, unless the author is just out to stir shit, and if this is the kind of half-assed, uncompassionate rubbish those theoretical young girls are stumbling across, then fuck her.
posted by turgid dahlia at 4:00 PM on August 24, 2008


The implications of your statement are:

1. This woman could not keep her legs closed and that is a problem, i.e., good women should be chaste. (WTF?)

2. This woman can't shut up about her abortion, and that is a problem, i.e., good women should be quiet. (WTF?)

I can take it a step further and adapt #2 with the further information you have provided, which would be:

2.b. This woman has made a crass blog about her abortion, making it seem hip and antiestablishment, and good women shouldn't write that kind of blog.

So the dude who just complained that a woman can't keep her legs closed and her mouth shut is now complaining that a woman blogging about her abortion is too crass? Hey kettle, meet pot.
posted by onlyconnect at 4:02 PM on August 24, 2008 [4 favorites]


Oh, I don't care about the abortion itself. She can abort herself inside-out for all I care, six days a week, forty-eight weeks a year. And she can fuck and suck whoever and however and whenever and wherever. And she can write whatever she wants, on any subject, however she chooses to, in any medium and format. And I can throw crude comments at her. And you can call me on it. Because that's how the system works.

But please don't be presumptuous about my feelings on what constitutes a "good" woman and what I think "good" women should do in order to remain "good".
posted by turgid dahlia at 4:10 PM on August 24, 2008


Anyway, my point is there are theoretically a lot of scared young girls out there right now...

If that was in fact your point there were many ways to make it that didn't seem like dismissive HURF DURF MY IDEEZ ABOUT YR VAGINER yakking that would have been more well-received.
posted by jessamyn at 4:12 PM on August 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


If that was in fact your point there were many ways to make it that didn't seem like dismissive HURF DURF MY IDEEZ ABOUT YR VAGINER yakking that would have been more well-received.

Point received, and ditch the comment if you like. I gotta take a leak anyway.
posted by turgid dahlia at 4:13 PM on August 24, 2008


This being the internet, I'm sure you can find video of the process.

Like I said, Ritchie, if Sidhedevil is positive this is the only way this could possibly have ever happened, then cool. I can accept that. If it's that this is the only time she'd had sex without a condom in the logical window of conception, but she had becondomed sex at other points during that window, then I would guess there is a more likely explanation. Like a broken condom (that went unnoticed) during vaginal sex. The reality is, if more than one sex act took place within that window, then there is no way for she or I or...well...anybody to know which sex act resulted in conception. I know that the odds are that it was not a sex act that involved inseminating someone's rectum. But think whatever makes you happy, I guess.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:36 AM on August 25, 2008


I know that the odds are that it was not a sex act that involved inseminating someone's rectum.

But you've seen the many links people have provided that show many experts saying that unprotected anal sex has a non-zero chance of resulting in pregnancy. No one said she or anyone gets inseminated through the rectum, but the early link you provided just gives weird-bad advice about pregnancy (fallopain tubes? really?) and could, to my way of thinking be more likely characterized as misinformation than what Sidhedevil is relating about her own experience.

So I guess what I'm saying is that it seems you think it's more likely that there was condom failure that went unnoticed. I'm thinking [along with Sihedevil and her GYN] that her explanation is more likely. It seems like a stalemate [we'll never really know] and I'm always inclined to believe that people are generally telling the truth.

I guess my general context for this is that I know, as a woman, there's always a tiny voice saying "omg I hope I don't get pregnant!" whenever I engage in any sort of body-fluids-based-sexplay at all, just because it's a BIG DAMNED DEAL to get pregnant, no matter whether you're pro-choice, pro-life or somewhere in-between. And when I say a big deal, I don't mean like "Always life changing!" but your body changes in some ways that never unchange, and you have plans to make, more than you would if you were just fooling around and not getting pregnant. I think I'd notice a broken or leaky condom. I think most women would.

Getting a bunch of morning-after quarterbacking about what other people think about your sex life, pregnancy and subsequent abortion just seems odd. It's not like she's saying she got AIDS from a mosquito bite (something most experts agree is impossible).
posted by jessamyn at 6:59 AM on August 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


onlyconnect - I first had sex at 22, sortly after I had my vasectomy and while making enough income to in theory allow my gf to be a stay at home parent. However, I guess I fail your test, as I'm pro-choice (well, if it were my biological kid, I'd be extreemely pro-abortion - something quite different, despite a lot of anti-choicers trying to equate pro-choice with pro-abortion) ... damnit.
posted by nobeagle at 7:20 AM on August 25, 2008


nobeagle, you certainly do pass the "test." That is, your position on abortion does not conflict with your own sexual behavior. The fact that you have been responsible about sex doesn't conflict with your pro-choice position. People can be pro-choice and just not want to deal with abortion or the possibility of children coming up. The opposite position, however -- where people are against abortion but don't limit their own sexual behavior as though they are not responsible for the consequences of their sexual actions -- is what I find hypocritical.

I think you understand my basic position and are just sort of teasing me, which is fine. But seriously, I do have alot of respect for you for heading off the abortion question at the pass, so to speak, whether you are pro-choice or anti-abortion.

And Marisa Stole the Precious Thing, I don't really disagree with your position, either. We should all take a step back before we lecture to someone whose shoes we have never walked in. For me, though, when the person doing the lecturing can't even follow their own rules, at least I know from the start that I don't owe them any particular respect or attention.
posted by onlyconnect at 7:56 AM on August 25, 2008


So I guess what I'm saying is that it seems you think it's more likely that there was condom failure that went unnoticed. I'm thinking [along with Sihedevil and her GYN] that her explanation is more likely. It seems like a stalemate [we'll never really know] and I'm always inclined to believe that people are generally telling the truth.

Well, again, I'm not saying that she's lying -- I'm saying that, barring the idea that she had at that time a sex life that was made up entirely of unprotected anal sex (which...maybe she did? I am working from the assumption, however, that she did not), that there is a much more plausible explanation for how this conception happened, but (for whatever reason) she's chosen to accept this kind of far-fetched idea as what must have occurred. It's not a matter of someone lying or not lying, it's a matter of someone logically tracking back, and somehow landing on this event as the one that led to conception, and I'm thinking...maybe a one wasn't carried somewhere? Because really, that's the likeliest scenario? Like, for real? It's great that she believes it, but I'm just going to remain the Scully in this episode of The XXX-Files, I'm afraid. Ultimately, it makes no real difference to anyone, though, and at this point (hell, all along!) it's arguing a point for no real reason, so....
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:50 AM on August 25, 2008


So...basically you're still saying you *think* she's a liar or otherwise mistaken. You have no reason to doubt anyone's claim of how they got pregnant, if it's plausible, and this one certainly is, as you've been shown. I have no clue why you're still pressing the point. It's making you look rather insistant about being right about something that from where I'm sitting doesn't make any difference in your life or this discussion whatsoever.
posted by agregoli at 10:00 AM on August 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


(Furthermore, I guess the reason I even posted about it is because I'm finding your whole line of disbelief a bit rude and unnecessary, so I hope that I'm not inciting you to doubt it further. It really doesn't matter in any way shape or form, as you noted).
posted by agregoli at 10:02 AM on August 25, 2008


We should all take a step back before we lecture to someone whose shoes we have never walked in. For me, though, when the person doing the lecturing can't even follow their own rules, at least I know from the start that I don't owe them any particular respect or attention.

I can appreciate that, definitely. At the same time, single men and single women are facing to different possible futures if an unexpected pregnancy looms on the horizon. But yeah, an anti-choicer who swings his dick around any ol' where is particularly reprehensible for being a hypocrite on top of being a judgemental prick. I'm reminded of that clichéd adage about whether or not there would be much of an anti-choice movement if men could get pregnant.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:21 AM on August 25, 2008


So...basically you're still saying you *think* she's a liar or otherwise mistaken.

Well, I don't think these things are equivalent, as you seem to. I think the only reason this is still going on is that we all seem to think it's desperately important that we get the last word, and I'm as vulnerable to that as anybody, but I really will go on with my day after this. But no, to reiterate, if it's very important that Sidhedevil believe this, go for it. I'm not believing it, because (a) it's not likely, and (b) there isn't a way she can know that this was when she conceived, unless she had no other type of sex (or, indeed, no other sex at all) within the timeframe, so in essence, she is very likely overlooking sexual episodes that more logically would result in pregnancy in favor of believing this other thing, which everyone agrees is at least very very rare. So I would guess that she is mistaken, but I do not think she is a liar. Clear? Okay.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:39 AM on August 25, 2008


Remember when this thread was about the post, kfb? Those were good times.
posted by lumensimus at 10:53 AM on August 25, 2008


The best, lumensimus. The best.

To get back on track (i.e., the actual blog under discussion), is anyone else reminded of this? Or does my overall cynicism just get the better of me lately?
posted by kittens for breakfast at 11:07 AM on August 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's not just you:

From your link: "If 500 people favorite this comment, I'll disable my account."

From this discussion: If 500 people favorite this comment, I'll... er...

Never mind.
"

I'd been wondering who that [NOT HERMITOSIS-IST] upstart was..
posted by lumensimus at 11:12 AM on August 25, 2008


Well, I don't think these things are equivalent, as you seem to.

No, I just think it's pretty outrageous to doubt someone's plausible claim about her own body and her own knowledge of how she got pregnant for no obvious reason except that you seem to want to be right about it. It's really personal and invasive to keep harping on this point, particularly since it has nothing to do with the discussion or the topic at hand.
posted by agregoli at 11:18 AM on August 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Nor does it matter one whit to ANYONE here what you think about it. It's none of your business, nor does your opinion matter. Your insistance on showing how much you doubt her claim is really, really odd.
posted by agregoli at 11:20 AM on August 25, 2008


Uh, I doubt her claim (not that she believes it) because it's extremely far-fetched. And it obviously matters to you very much what I think about it, because you can't shut up about it. And really, the next time that something is to be considered no one else's business, I strongly suggest not mentioning it to a community of tens of thousands of people. I find your unwillingness to let this subject go, despite my best efforts to walk away from it, really really odd, agregoli.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 11:33 AM on August 25, 2008


despite my best efforts

I do not think "best efforts" mean what you think they mean.
posted by onlyconnect at 11:40 AM on August 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I'm working on it. Anyway, I don't want to take anything else away from the discussion, so I'll stop repeating myself. Agregoli, if you want to keep doing this minus the audience, feel free to email me or whatever.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 11:45 AM on August 25, 2008


it's extremely far-fetched.

Except that it's not that far-fetched according to most sources linked here. It's unlikely but not AIDS-from-mosquito-bite unlikely.
posted by jessamyn at 11:54 AM on August 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Sometimes Metafilter can be so idiotically liberal...
posted by jock@law at 6:05 PM on August 25, 2008


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