They even pay postage.
October 14, 2009 7:20 AM   Subscribe

Notary fee: $3; County Clerk Recording Fee: $16; Protecting your land from abortionists forever? That'll cost ya $77.

Pro Life Properties of Texas, LLC uses deed restrictions to "stop abortion forever, one property at a time." Its founder, Ron Bryce M.D., is a failed small town politician whom has been using a story of a failed abortion 20 years ago to wrench hearts and sway minds to the pro-life agenda.
posted by fontophilic (68 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Yes, but can they prevent abortions on my newly purchased plot of land on the MOON?
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:25 AM on October 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


People have some strange priorities.
posted by dortmunder at 7:26 AM on October 14, 2009


What happens when I sell my property?

Your abortion prohibition “runs with the land” and will remain in effect for any future owners of your property. All Restrictive Covenants are brought to the attention of the buyer at the time of closing.

Can the abortion prohibition on my property be reversed?

You can reverse any deed restriction you add to your property prior to transferring ownership; once the property is sold with the deed restriction, it restricts the land in perpetuity, or permanently.


I can't wait to get home and put a restrictive covenant on my land requiring the Federal Government to provide free healthcare to all living on my parcel. It's 100% iron-clad! In perpetuity! Oh and also one that prohibits freedom of religion (forced atheism) and speech (no mentioning my impending hair loss).
posted by DU at 7:29 AM on October 14, 2009 [53 favorites]


Don't these people have more productive things to do with their time? Seriously, if you want to save children, why not put all this energy towards your local food bank or something?
posted by Go Banana at 7:32 AM on October 14, 2009 [7 favorites]


Yeah, good luck with that, crazy doctor in Texas. Per Shelley v. Kraemer, restrictive covenants can't be used to enforce anything that's unconstitutional, and unless the Supremes topple Roe v. Wade, or unless Texas thinks their state court can overrule it, Texas courts can't legally enforce anything these idiots register on the deed.

Also, do they even read the tripe they're advertising?

When abortion-related businesses move in, property values tend to decline. You can "immunize" your property against this with a pro-life deed restriction.

Uh-huh. Similarly, tigers on your property tend to lower its value. But for only $19.95, you can purchase this rock that keeps them away!
posted by Mayor West at 7:37 AM on October 14, 2009 [47 favorites]


Wait, so now I have to look at my deed to see if my home abortion business is legal or not?
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 7:40 AM on October 14, 2009 [21 favorites]


See also
See also
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:42 AM on October 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm not sure Shelley v. Kraemer would apply here, actually, as that case was a matter of asking the courts to enforce a racially-restrictive covenant. It's certainly the case that you can lose free speech rights on a restrictive covenant, since many covenants restrict the use of signs and political statements on your property. It'd have to be litigated, in any case, raising the cost of building in that town to an extent that it might not be possible for a Planned Parenthood to afford it.
posted by anotherpanacea at 7:51 AM on October 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Also, case case case. If that's the case at all. UPPERCASE too.
posted by anotherpanacea at 7:53 AM on October 14, 2009


Oh man, I hope this guy isn't looking to move anytime soon. If so, then whomever is selling him his new house should do one of these deed restrictions to require that whenever Ron Bryce introduces himself while on his property he must do so as "Ron Bryce, Professional Dingus." If someone follows up and asks him why he is a dingus, the deed requires him to answer "Because I never learned how to use the bathroom. Also, I smell bad."

He will also be required to keep on the premises at all times his body weight in, I dunno, let's say instant mashed potato flakes. Consumption of said flakes or any other potato product by him on the deeded land would lead to a period of involuntary nudity followed by a probationary period where Ron Bryce would be required to wear a pink t-shirt that is two sizes too small for him with the word DINGUS bedazzled across the front.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:58 AM on October 14, 2009 [14 favorites]


I'm not sure Shelley v. Kraemer would apply here, actually, as that case was a matter of asking the courts to enforce a racially-restrictive covenant. It's certainly the case that you can lose free speech rights on a restrictive covenant, since many covenants restrict the use of signs and political statements on your property. It'd have to be litigated, in any case, raising the cost of building in that town to an extent that it might not be possible for a Planned Parenthood to afford it.

You might be right... I'm not a lawyer, but the language in Shelley seems pretty clear: private parties can choose to abide by the terms of a restrictive covenant, but neither can seek judicial enforcement of a covenant that violates the 14th (and presumably any other) amendment, because enforcement by the courts would constitute state action. Roe hinges on the 5th, 9th, and 14th amendment, and the less-specific 'penumbra of privacy,' so it seems (on its face) like a court decision enforcing something in violation of Roe would be just as bad as a decision enforcing a racial covenant.

This is a really-poorly-thought-out plan on another front, because Planned Parenthood could still buy up land anywhere that hadn't added a covenant to the deed. (Unless it was itching for a fight, in which case it would probably be the ACLU funding it anyway) That means they need 100% compliance (at $77 a parcel) for this to have a chance at achieving its exclusionary goal.
posted by Mayor West at 8:02 AM on October 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh man, I hope this guy isn't looking to move anytime soon. If so, then whomever is selling him his new house should do one of these deed restrictions...

Whoa whoa whoa, let's not compare apples to oranges. He wants to restrict abortions for women using a technique once popular for restricting where black people could live. Whereas Ron Bryce is a white man.
posted by DU at 8:04 AM on October 14, 2009 [5 favorites]


Is Pro-Life Properties of Texas, LLC associated with any political groups?

No. Pro-Life Properties of Texas, LLC is not associated with any political groups or campaigns.


Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiggggghhht.
posted by brain_drain at 8:05 AM on October 14, 2009 [4 favorites]


...private parties can choose to abide by the terms...That means they need 100% compliance...

I'd be happy with 100% compliance on pro-choice abortions.
posted by DU at 8:06 AM on October 14, 2009


My suspicion is that this kind of restriction is probably unenforcable (google books).
posted by KirkJobSluder at 8:09 AM on October 14, 2009


My real property class was a while ago, but who is the beneficiary of these covenants? Yes, there is a burden that touches and concerns the land, but my hazy memory says that the covenant must benefit someone - a covenant that merely restricts subsequent uses of the land without providing a benefit to anyone is nothing but a one-party contract, and is useless.
posted by 1adam12 at 8:17 AM on October 14, 2009


I think this endeavor is stupid, juvenile, and pointless, even if you grant that abortion is wrong (and I don't grant that). But I've got to admit, his story about the failed abortion does get to me.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 8:25 AM on October 14, 2009


Yes, there is a burden that touches and concerns the land, but my hazy memory says that the covenant must benefit someone - a covenant that merely restricts subsequent uses of the land without providing a benefit to anyone is nothing but a one-party contract, and is useless.

See the bit upthread about how "When abortion-related businesses move in, property values tend to decline. You can "immunize" your property against this with a pro-life deed restriction." That's their laughable 'benefit.'

The idea that this will affect even one abortion clinic is so absurd that it's obviously a money grab. You know who's going to buy these? Residential property owners. You know where abortion clinics aren't located? Residential zones. No sane commercial property owner is going to saddle his or her property with a politically-motivated, litigation-inviting restrictive covenant.
posted by jedicus at 8:25 AM on October 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Who said they were targeting the sane?
posted by mccarty.tim at 8:30 AM on October 14, 2009 [3 favorites]


Personally, I'm going to tweak my deed so that the next person to move in owes me taxes. So that they can't complain that they're not getting anything, I'll send them a sketch or a poem each year. Maybe both if they're real jerks about the tax.
posted by mccarty.tim at 8:33 AM on October 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


So, I could register a mandatory abortatorium on my (hypothetical) Texas property? '

I mean, the shame of this is that it's only ever going to be even middlingly effective in rural Texas, where the proportion of jagoffs to humans is higher. I could see a whole small town going this way. But because those are also loci for all sorts of behavior that lead to abortions (poor sex ed, incest, rape), the question of access is a more pressing one. No one could seriously eliminate the abortions in Austin.

Finally, man oh man, I just gotta come up with some scam that separates the righteous from their dollars for no real benefit. Get 'em all ginned up about, I dunno, restricting gang activity or drug sales on their property or something. Or documents that preclude Obama from showing up.
posted by klangklangston at 8:36 AM on October 14, 2009


once the property is sold with the deed restriction, it restricts the land in perpetuity,

Per-puh-... Pppp- per purp... Gee what's what funny werd?

or permanently.

Well... why dint you just say so in the first place! What are ya... elitist?
posted by yeti at 8:36 AM on October 14, 2009


[AN ATTRACTIVE SUBURBAN HOUSE - DAY]

Realtor: And this is the master bedroom, which has an original fireplace and a recently-renovated bathroom, en suite.

Wife: I love it!

Husband: Pretty neat. I know I shouldn't say this, but I'm loving the house. It might be the one.

Wife: I'm so happy to hear you say that. I was thinking the same thing.

Realtor: And the kid will love the deck and pool! (smiles and nods at wife's bulging belly)

Husband: Oh, we aren't actually having the child. We were planning on moving in and performing a late-term home abortion.

Wife: Yes, we definitely don't want a baby. The deck and pool are for parties, not children!

Husband: And we're really committed to having the abortion done at home, where we have more flexibility with our incantations and symbols.

Realtor: I see. Well, I have some bad news for you. This house has a restrictive covenant that prohibits abortions from being performed on the property.

Husband: Come on!

Wife: You're pulling our legs, right?

Realtor: I wish I were. And once you buy the property, the restriction becomes permanent. You're stuck with it forever.

Wife: Well, this changes everything. No wonder the asking price is so high! (cries)

Husband: (comforts wife) There, there. It'll be okay. There are other houses on the market. I'm sure one of them is just as perfect and won't pose any issues with our offering to the Prince.

Realtor: Unfortunately, these restrictive covenants are sweeping the state of Texas. Pretty soon, there won't be any houses left where you can perform a home abortion.

Wife: I hate America so much!

Husband: Let's move to New York.

[SCENE]
posted by brain_drain at 8:40 AM on October 14, 2009 [57 favorites]


Following jedicus' post, I'll reiterate that zoning and planning standards are what typically shape land use in the United Statesn, restricting uses to prevent conflicts (no heavy industry next to residences and whatnot). The decision in Euclid v. Ambler Realty Co., back in 1926, found zoning to be legal in terms of restricting land use for health and safety. Though this is a very specific use, most commonly allowed in commercial retail and office/professional land use categories.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:41 AM on October 14, 2009


The zoning of a property can easily change over the course of a decade. Someone comes in with an offer that's too good for the city or county council to refuse: jobs and more taxes for a "new urban" development or a light neighborhood-oriented commercial. The fallow plots of land that were set aside 30 years ago for a single-occupancy subdivision that never got off the ground is now prime for a business complex. And you have large tracts of land that are zoned for mixed residential/commercial.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 8:49 AM on October 14, 2009


Psst. Hey,buddy. Over here. How's it going? Man, this is your lucky day. See this piece 'o paper right here? This is an official government-looking, non-debatable, ironclad document that grants me sole ownership of that bridge over there. I'm a little strapped right now, though, so I'm willing to let it go cheap - but only to an honest-looking fellow like yourself.....
posted by Benny Andajetz at 8:51 AM on October 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


large tracts of land

*snicker*
posted by Fezboy! at 8:59 AM on October 14, 2009 [3 favorites]


Ok. I have a question. I guess this is as good a place as any to ask it of my fellow mefites of all political persuasions mods, if you disagree and think this is a derail, then delete this with my blessing

I'm a liberal. I'm a vegetarian. I'm a agnostic (I don't find the question of the existence of god particularly interesting or relevant; I think god is pretty unlikely, and that morality must be derived from a desire for all beings to avoid suffering) I've always more or less quietly run with the pro-choice crowd, because the people whom I agree with on many other things vastly supported that position.

I completely sympathize with and support the idea that a woman who is pregnant has every right to decide what to do with her body. I also understand that the prohibition on abortions earlier this century was an unqualified disaster. Abortions happened anyway, and many women suffered and died for lack of a legal and safe way to obtain abortions.

Despite all that, I've got to admit that things like this guy's story about a baby who survived an abortion and lived for a few hours really gets to me. I'm not under any illusions that "life begins at conception" or some such tripe; I don't think an embryo is capable of experiencing suffering, and therefore I have no qualms about killing them, doing research on them, whatever. And I don't think there's anything wrong with contraception - the sperm don't mind.

But late-term abortions, when the fetus has a brain, and probably thoughts....those trouble me. By six months, the baby is pretty clearly alive and able to suffer - it has a complicated brain, it moves, etc.

To me, it seems like the best argument in favor of legalized late-term abortions is that giving birth is significantly dangerous for women, and it must be their decision whether or not to go through with it; even in a case where there are no obvious dangers, it may well be a choice between their life and the baby's life, so we have no choice as an ethical society other than to allow the woman to choose. That makes sense to me, but I don't feel like it's a very solid ethical position, and it still makes me uncomfortable.

I guess my feeling is that late-term abortion is a terrible thing. However I think it would be both ineffective and a humanitarian disaster to prohibit it, and I don't think it would be ethical given the risks a woman faces in childbirth.

So....my question is this - what do you pro-choice people think about late-term abortions? I doesn't seem clear cut to me - am I missing some crucial moral issues or arguments? Am I being ethically consistent in my views? I'm guessing the real answer is that it is a difficult question with no clear answer, but the abortion debate has become so incredible polarized, that I feel like pro-choicers and pro-lifers must have extremely clear ethical arguments about why their positions are unambiguously right. I'm just not sure I understand them. And if you read this far, you get a candy-cane for reading my long-winded blathering. And if you skipped to the end, you get a candy-cane too.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 9:00 AM on October 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is a rip off. My "PLEASE KEEP ABORTIONS OFF THE LAWN" sign has been working just fine. Cost two bucks!
posted by orme at 9:06 AM on October 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


"But I've got to admit, his story about the failed abortion does get to me."

Yeah, that would be enough to make most people feel differently about the situation. Like me, for example. Having experienced something as cruel as seeing a failed abortion at a date late enough that the fetus could move its arms and legs, wow, that would make me devote a shit-ton of time toward ensuring it never happened again, by pushing for safe sex education and free prophylactics and making damn sure people with an unwanted pregnancy could have immediate access to a safe and legal early-term abortion.

Waiting periods for abortions, and denial of safe sex education, and outright lies regarding the efficacy of barrier methods or hormonal birth control are responsible for more late-term abortions than anything. These measures have been put in place by the same people who want abortion to be illegal. If they weren't working so hard to stop abortions, we'd have much less of a demand for them because less people would be getting pregnant without intending to do so. If there exists anywhere an "abortion industry" as this doctor so eloquently puts it, it is the fault of the pro-lifers. They are the only ones benefiting from this shit.

Nobody WANTS an abortion. Nobody WANTS to kill a potential child. Some people are put in an impossible situation, where making that choice is the only option for them - not because they WANT to make the choice, but because they are FORCED to make the choice. The pro-life crowd never acknowledges this. The pro-choice crowd doesn't spend nearly enough time reminding us of this. The rhetoric is either "kill babies" or "don't kill babies" and neither side sees the idiocy of their positions.
posted by caution live frogs at 9:06 AM on October 14, 2009 [15 favorites]


I think this endeavor is stupid, juvenile, and pointless, even if you grant that abortion is wrong (and I don't grant that). But I've got to admit, his story about the failed abortion does get to me.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 8:25 AM on October 14


q: what is the difference between this story and bambi
a: there is none they are both made-up stories
posted by Optimus Chyme at 9:09 AM on October 14, 2009 [5 favorites]


neither can seek judicial enforcement of a covenant that violates the 14th (and presumably any other) amendment

Well, as I've already noted, private parties regularly use covenants to enforce speech restrictions. We talked about this a while back when a Denver Home Owners Association enforced a 'no-sign' rule against a 'peace wreath.' They eventually backed down, but because of public pressure and internal politics, not legal issues.

The deal with Shelley is that race is a special category and state actions regarding race receive special attention, i.e. strict scrutiny. This is not the case for abortion clinics, and anyway the 'penumbral rights' theory of privacy has been deprecated by more recent SCOTUS decisions, notable Planned Parenthood v. Casey. That said, I am not a lawyer, either.

I'll reiterate that zoning and planning standards are what typically shape land use in the United States

That's true. But many states have been very successful in using those strategies plus others to prevent Planned Parenthoods from being located nearby. This is just one more potentially effective strategy for pro-lifers to enforce their beliefs on others. Just because you and I think it's wrong won't stop it from working, sadly.
posted by anotherpanacea at 9:12 AM on October 14, 2009


Salvor Hardin, I think you're being inestimably naive. Only 1.5% of all abortions take place after 15 weeks- five months. And of those, all but 1% of them are therapeutic abortions due to devastating birth defects.

Sadly, you can't find out until 20 weeks that your fetus has no brain and will not survive birth. But every time a pro-lifer manages to horrify otherwise pro-choice people with 1% of 1% stories, they help take away the right for women to end a pregnancy that is probably going to end in a funeral anyway.

I've already talked about my late term abortion here, so I won't repeat, but I will link. I suggest you read the entire George Tiller thread to get some perspective.
posted by headspace at 9:13 AM on October 14, 2009 [14 favorites]


I think this endeavor is stupid, juvenile, and pointless, even if you grant that abortion is wrong (and I don't grant that). But I've got to admit, his story about the failed abortion does get to me.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 8:25 AM on October 14

q: what is the difference between this story and bambi
a: there is none they are both made-up stories
posted by Optimus Chyme at 12:09 PM on October 14 [+] [!]


Wha...what? Bambi wasn't a documentary? Next you're going to tell me that Itchy and Scratchy aren't real.

But seriously - do you have some reason to believe that the story is fictional, or do you just distrust him because he's a scum-sucker? (Which he kind of sounds like) Is the story medically impossible? Has it been debunked?
posted by Salvor Hardin at 9:14 AM on October 14, 2009


So....my question is this - what do you pro-choice people think about late-term abortions?

Do you even know what late-term abortion is? Personally, I'm more pro-late-term abortion than I am pro-regular abortion.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:18 AM on October 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


headspace: You make a good point - it's important not to allow a few horror stories to cause a wholesale stripping of womens' rights, and I did not know that the percentage of abortions performed late-term was so small, but I don't think that necessarily has any bearing on whether or not late-term abortions should be legal. I certainly don't think this sad story should have any bearing on the legality of early abortions.

I've already talked about my late term abortion here, so I won't repeat, but I will link. I suggest you read the entire George Tiller thread to get some perspective.
posted by headspace at 12:13 PM on October 14 [+] [!]


Will do, thanks.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 9:20 AM on October 14, 2009


Do you even know what late-term abortion is?

Erm...I was under the impression that a common definition of "late term abortion" was an abortion performed after 5 months. Am I somehow betraying ignorance about this?

Personally, I'm more pro-late-term abortion than I am pro-regular abortion.

Care to explain why? I asked because I wanted to know the reasoning.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 9:22 AM on October 14, 2009


I am a practicing physician at Hyde County Hospital in North Carolina. This is a 100% true story that I am publishing in my church newsletter.

One day a woman came into the hospital for an abortion. She was nine months pregnant. I said "I can't give you an abortion" and she said that the Government passed a law that said I had to give her an abortion and that churches were being taxed to pay for it. She gave me the voucher. It said "Good for One (1) Free Government Abortion" on it. It had a picture of a dead baby being thrown into the trash by Uncle Sam. I said I would not perform the abortion but she was with a man who identified himself as being with the Government and that I had to. When I was aborting the baby the woman laughed and said she got pregnant on purpose so she could have an abortion. She said she was aborting the baby for Satan. I said "that is wrong" and the Government man laughed and said that from now on all babies were being aborted, for Satan. He said it came from the top of the Government. When I finished the abortion the woman and the Government man laughed and began to fornicate on the table where I did the abortion. They said they were going to keep doing this until all the churches were bankrupt. This is true story and it is going to happen to you, they are going to make all the babies aborted.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 9:27 AM on October 14, 2009 [42 favorites]


am I missing some crucial moral issues or arguments?

Yes.

This is basically a non-issue. There are strict upper limits on abortions in all but a few states. Even in states where it is legal, doctors often don't practice them, and there is a strict restriction that it is only for a case of a non-viable fetus or threatens the life of the mother. One of the few remaining places women in the US could recieve a late-term abortion was Dr. Tiller's clinic in Kansas. If you want to hear the other heartbreaking side of late-term abortions My Kansas Stories pretty well cemented my belief that late-term abortion needs to stay legal and protected. Many of these mothers and parents had the choice to deliver a baby who would die and suffer excruciating pain and live for a few hours or months, or have an abortion. Often these are conditions that couldn't have been detected until after the abortion limit in their states, and adding to the mire these parents have other children needing their care, and simply can't afford the life prolonging procedures that may increase this genetically doomed child's life by a few weeks or months. The alternative was recently featured on the blue, a baby born with out a brain. Though clearly the mother, family and doctors were all acting with compassion and love, the idea of a human looking organism's suffering being prolonged with no hope of survival is a more disturbing affront to human dignity than late-term abortion in my opinion.

Life, isn't black and white. Laws should acknowledge this and allow for flexibility.
posted by fontophilic at 9:29 AM on October 14, 2009 [4 favorites]


Do you even know what late-term abortion is?

Erm...I was under the impression that a common definition of "late term abortion" was an abortion performed after 5 months. Am I somehow betraying ignorance about this?


Sorry, I meant "Do you even know what late term abortion is for?"

Personally, I'm more pro-late-term abortion than I am pro-regular abortion.

Care to explain why? I asked because I wanted to know the reasoning.


Because forcing a woman to carry a child to term when it's just going to die anyway is cruel.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:30 AM on October 14, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'm guessing the real answer is that it is a difficult question with no clear answer, but the abortion debate has become so incredible polarized, that I feel like pro-choicers and pro-lifers must have extremely clear ethical arguments about why their positions are unambiguously right.

I guess you've never really read any pro-life arguments against abortions, but they all basically boil down to "They're all babies! And Jesus says it's wrong!"
posted by Caduceus at 9:31 AM on October 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Well, Salvor Hardin, if you want to let one abortion horror story decide that all late-term abortions should be illegal, please also make sure you ban amniocentesis, which can accidentally induce abortion and usually isn't performed until 20 weeks into the pregnancy.

Make sure you also ban caesarian section births, as they can accidentally result in traumatic birth injury which results in the death of the child. Make sure you also ban natural births, as they can accidentally result in traumatic birth injury which results in the death of the child.

99% of late term abortions are not performed for convenience, they're performed because the fetus is in some way already nonviable. In what logical universe does it make sense to ban 99 absolutely legitimate abortions, on the off-chance that somebody with an ulterior motive *didn't* make up the 1 sob-story that's tugging your heart strings?
posted by headspace at 9:33 AM on October 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


I don't think anyone is really for abortions. They're a distasteful part of life. I'm for having the *choice* to have an abortion, but I'd rather expend effort and money on educating people and providing safe contraception so the number of unwanted pregnancies goes down and fewer abortions are needed in the first place. As a dude, I don't want the gubment regulating the use of my nutsack or penis so in all fairness I have to fight to keep the gubment's regulation of womens' body parts to an absolute minimum as well. Gubment doesn't get much bigger than climbing INSIDE YOUR BODY. It's quite hypocritical of conservative 'small-government proponents' to support government regulation of uteruses. Besides, life begins in the nutsack. Sperm have motility, a goal, they compete with each other -- that ain't life? Of course it is. Human too: they have human DNA. So if there is to be gubment regulation of reproduction, the nutsack is the place to regulate, because if you stop the little things there, there's never a need for abortions at all. But...keep your hands off my nuts!
posted by jamstigator at 9:44 AM on October 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


"But I've got to admit, his story about the failed abortion does get to me."

I've been known to cry at touching ads, but those are also fabricated lies designed to manipulate my emotions.
posted by GuyZero at 9:51 AM on October 14, 2009 [4 favorites]


Not to get too defensive, but I'm pretty sure Salvor Hardin was only asking for reasons that a late term abortion could be performed. And look, there they are right above me. From their comments, sounds like SH would support abortions in the case of a nonviable child - that is, one who would die anyway. It didn't sound like SH was suggesting all late term abortions should be illegal, only that what happened in the story seemed wrong.

People here have mentioned plenty of reasons above as to why late-term abortion should stay legal. I suppose I should let SH speak for themselves, but it seems like an honest - if naive - remark. If one's goal is to educate, shaming your student for thinking the wrong thing is not as effective as the internet seems to think it is.
posted by scrutiny at 10:06 AM on October 14, 2009 [9 favorites]


>I mean, the shame of this is that it's only ever going to be even middlingly effective in rural Texas

Oh, there are plenty of communities where this would probably be a hit, and not just in the Bible Belt. But, and here's the thing, they're the kind of places that kids want to get away from in the first place, and if they have to go out of town for some other reason...
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:30 AM on October 14, 2009


Finally, a solution to the problem of pro-lifers accidentally selling their properties to abortion doctors.
posted by nanojath at 10:45 AM on October 14, 2009 [3 favorites]


is the story medically impossible? Has it been debunked?

I did a bit of poking around before posting trying to find out if his particular story was true or not. I was unable to verify his specific account, though it has been reposted, sometimes without attribution, all over numerous pro-life websites. His story certainly isn't a medical or scientific account, being published in two religious publications.

I was able to find a few stories of babies being "missed" in early abortions, and one case of one twin being aborted, but not both. Most abortions don't result in a baby being "born." Early abortions simply use suction, so what I would suspect took place was a D&E, or dilation and extraction abortion was performed. These would happen from weeks 15-25. At 15 weeks "social" abortions are prohibited in Texas and the "health of the mother, or non-viability of the fetus" part comes in (not sure where the law was in 1989). 25 weeks is the upper limit in Texas and any baby born before 7 months, is not going to survive no matter how healthy it is. Likely what was happening is a fetus not expected to survive, or a critically ill mother was given a D&E. This baby was born moving and with a heart beat, where as most in this situation would not survive birth. The fallacy here is that this baby was not going to survive anyways. This is another racket pro-life people use to sway pro-choice or ambivalent people saying that doctors are prohibited from giving life saving care to an unsuccessfully aborted baby. The fact of the matter is, these babies weren't going to survive, either from genetic anomaly, or from the death of the mother.

The line about the "embarrassed abortionist", (which you can spot in any hospital by their black cape, horns and big red A on their chest) is almost certainly confabulation. So yes, this story may in some part be true, but the circumstances surrounding it would greatly affect any moral conclusions to draw. Maybe the parents wanted to continue the pregnancy, but the mother was near death, perhaps it was a spontaneous abortion/miscarriage. The idea that some uncaring mother dropped off a 15-25 week old baby without second thought, and some devious "abortionist" scooped it up only dehumanizes the situation, and paints women as amoral whores who need to be restricted from their own bodies. It also conveniently casts Dr. Bryce in a noble role-- a shining white lab coat, fighting against these evil characters.

I'm not trying to paint Dr. Bryce into some kind of suspicious character, and I'm sure he's a nice guy, but a bit of a timeline may help understand his motives for publishing this story in 1989. He had done several missionary trips all his life, and practiced at a Fort Worth county hospital, later he moved to a private practice in the tiny town of Red Oak, TX, and found a place for his political aspirations. His track record as a strong supporter of pro-life helped him be elected mayor.

I'm hoping someone from Red Oak can shed some light on what happened in the summer of 2006. It seems that stemming from an investigation into a corrupt police chief (traffic ticket racket), and a city manager making money from deals with city property, a rumor started that a hospital was to be built in the town and Dr. Bryce stood to profit from it. Mayor Bryce then publicly supported the opponents of 3 of 5 city council members. When the City manager, chief of police and fire chief were caught in the scandal and fired, Bryce had effectively politically castrated himself, and humiliatingly couldn't even appoint a mayor pro-tem for lack of a second for his nominee. He then resigned with 2 years remaining, amidst talk of a recall.
posted by fontophilic at 10:53 AM on October 14, 2009 [4 favorites]


Fucking idiots. Banning abortion DOES NOT LOWER THE ABORTION RATE. It only makes it much, much more dangerous. So the fact is that these douchebags in Texas are accomplishing one thing only: increasing harm.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:02 AM on October 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


My neighborhood has a restrictive covenant preventing Blacks, Jews, Mexicans and Asians from living there. Needless to say, they do. I'm pretty sure these things are not enforceable for ever.
posted by nestor_makhno at 11:37 AM on October 14, 2009


Well, that didn't take long: prochoiceproperties.com
posted by slater at 11:41 AM on October 14, 2009 [4 favorites]


Noo! Pretty soon, I won't be able to perform vasectomies in my kitchen.
posted by Uppity Pigeon #2 at 12:21 PM on October 14, 2009


I've got to admit, his story about the failed abortion does get to me.

Several have already explained well about late-term abortions and why they occur.

Dr. Bryce's story reeks of lies.

In spite of the heartbeat I refused to prolong the ordeal.

MURDERER!
posted by mrgrimm at 12:25 PM on October 14, 2009


I wonder why babies like him can be killed, while others of us have our lives and rights protected. I've posed that question to those in my profession who perform abortions. I have been surprised by the number who justify it based on economics.

A typical response is: "It's cheaper in the long run for taxpayers to pay for abortions rather than letting unwanted babies be born and become a burden to society."


Have you ever heard anyone make that argument?

Dr. Bryce seems to be one very dishonest fellow. I wouldn't trust him one bit.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:26 PM on October 14, 2009


"It's cheaper in the long run for taxpayers to pay for abortions, rather than encouraging their grandmothers to run for vice-president."
posted by klangklangston at 1:30 PM on October 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


I wonder why babies like him can be killed, while others of us have our lives and rights protected. I've posed that question to those in my profession who perform abortions. I have been surprised by the number who justify it based on economics.

A typical response is: "It's cheaper in the long run for taxpayers to pay for abortions rather than letting unwanted babies be born and become a burden to society."

Have you ever heard anyone make that argument?

Dr. Bryce seems to be one very dishonest fellow. I wouldn't trust him one bit.


Dr. Bryce can blow himself for all I care, but I suspect that where he's coming from this is from the bit printed in Freakonomics about the correlation between the availability of legal abortion and the drop in crime rates at the time in which the aborted children would have been in their late teens . . . the implication being that unwanted children are more likely to ultimately turn out to get in trouble than "wanted" children. Then comes jail (etc) - and you can sort of see where this logic all heads.

The way he phrases it is pretty cold, but I've certainly heard people argue that society does not benefit from unwanted children, of which, it must be said, we have an ample supply on Earth. Frankly, I don't disagree with the "typical response" at all. I think that free birth control and free, legal abortions ought to exist as a matter of principle, and it certainly would be cheaper. That's not the impetus behind my support of legal abortion, and I don't think it truly is a "typical response," but that doesn't make it wrong.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 1:53 PM on October 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Thanks for the answers folks - especially from fontophilic. It is easy to forget in the face of pro-life propaganda that it almost never happens that someone waits for six months then aborts their baby just for the heck of it (or in honor of the Prince of Darkness) - it's almost always because the fetus is non-viable, or risk to the mother, or some similar dire, tragic, and ethical reason.

Dr. Bryce seems to be one very dishonest fellow. I wouldn't trust him one bit.

Hmm ... this is starting to sound pretty likely, especially if he forgot to mention in his story that the fetus that the evil abortionist nearly killed was in fact not going to survive anyway.

PS: scrutiny - thanks for the defense :)
posted by Salvor Hardin at 2:04 PM on October 14, 2009


Uh-huh. Similarly, tigers on your property tend to lower its value. But for only $19.95, you can purchase this rock that keeps them away!

I don't know what you're being so smarmy about. I bought one of those rocks off a guy and I've not had a single tiger problem since.
posted by turgid dahlia at 2:10 PM on October 14, 2009


The deadly new stats on abortion bans
posted by homunculus at 2:36 PM on October 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Jeez.

With some of these people you get the sense that the reason they are so pro-life is the nagging feeling that their afterbirth had a higher IQ than them.
posted by MuffinMan at 2:45 PM on October 14, 2009


from homunculus' link:

in the U.S., 87 percent of counties, as we know, have no abortion provider.

I believe that's the highest number of U.S. counties with no access to abortion since Roe v. Wade.

Frontline had a great piece back in 2005 about the last abortion clinic in Mississippi and the politics of how it got to that point.
posted by mrgrimm at 4:06 PM on October 14, 2009


All Restrictive Covenants are brought to the attention of the buyer at the time of closing.

For argument's sake, let's suppose that this thing is actually valid (which I doubt, but IANAL), then it's very important that the buyers be thoroughly notified of this restriction. If not, I believe that the rule of Union Carbide v. Oscar Mayer would apply, in which any additional provision of the contract would be made null if it is unexpected/surprising.
If it's a commercial property, then section 2-207(2) of the Restatement of Contracts would apply, basically stating the same thing: buyers must be made fully aware of any additional terms to the contract. Granted, they could probably bypass it with a simple objection to the clause, delivered in a timely manner.

And the part about it being "perpetually" bound to this "pro-life" ideology, even after it's been sold (meaning that the new owners cannot remove this provision from the contract even when selling the property to another buyer) seems extremely far fetched. I know nothing about property law in Texas but this organization better have an extremely good attorney to write such a contract set in stone.
posted by Neekee at 4:31 PM on October 14, 2009


and how on Earth could this provision be enforced???
posted by Neekee at 4:35 PM on October 14, 2009


Union Carbide v. Oscar Mayer.... Restatement of Contracts.... I know nothing about property law

That explains why you're using concepts and cases in contract law to describe a problem in property law. They're not related. Here's a primer. Also, Wikipedia.
posted by anotherpanacea at 5:58 PM on October 14, 2009


That said, let's start buying up land in Texas and writing restrictive covenants that deny the use of the property for church or football. :-)
posted by anotherpanacea at 6:06 PM on October 14, 2009


Oh man:

Are the services provided by Pro-Life Properties of Texas, LLC guaranteed?

Yes. Pro-Life Properties of Texas, LLC will refund 100% of your fee if we are unable to provide documents adequate for filing a Declaration of Restrictive Covenants.


This. This right here gives it all away. That response is such a transparent "fuck you" to anyone who uses their service that I guess the people who shell out deserve what they get.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 9:33 PM on October 14, 2009


I am eternally baffled that covenants are legal.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:34 AM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


You gotta have some place to store your nuns.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:22 AM on October 15, 2009


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