Save Roe
January 24, 2003 11:33 AM   Subscribe

Save Roe. If not to fill out the on-line petition, the cartoons of Bush are pretty funny.

Now, how effective are on-line petitions, anyway? Are there any examples of on-line petitions resulting in any change, a new law, a law defeated, Bush getting impeached, or something similarly positive?
posted by rich (42 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: pointless bickering



 
I love the online petition that a friend just sent me. It claims that the UN is gathering signatures to stop a war with Iraq.

ya know, in case this whole UNMOVIC thing doesn't work out.
posted by Vidiot at 11:40 AM on January 24, 2003


rich, I'm one of the biggest supporters of abortion rights, and fully support any logical attempts to protect the Roe v. Wade decision. That said, let me explain why this post is going to be deleted.

1. You posted a link to a petition. 2. It's a link to a ridiculously partisan issue that is infamous for the extremes in rhetoric the two sides arguing it push themselves to. 3. To many, the over-broad questions you asked after placing the link looks like you're trying to cover up the fact that this is a blatantly agenda-based link.

I know I'm somewhat of a pot calling colors here, and like I said, that may not be your intentions, but that's what it looks like, and even as someone who agrees with you on protecting Roe I don' see how this is going to lead to anything good.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:44 AM on January 24, 2003


The question has also been asked before.
posted by pfuller at 11:48 AM on January 24, 2003


Questions to ask about an online petition:
  1. Does it say who the petition will be delivered to?
  2. Does that person have the authority/power to effect the change the petition is seeking?
  3. Does that person have any reason to be influenced by the people who signed the petition?
  4. Is there a date at which the petition will stop collecting signatures and be delivered to its target?
  5. Is there a way to verify that the people who signed the petition are in fact real people, who actually signed the petition on their own?
Snopes has a pretty harsh view of online petitions: "E-petitions are the latest manifestation of slacktivism, the search for the ultimate feel-good that derives from having come to society's rescue without having had to actually gets one's hands dirty or open one's wallet."
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:49 AM on January 24, 2003


too bad the thread 's gonna be deleted, the Dana Delany video was pretty cool
posted by matteo at 12:00 PM on January 24, 2003


Lets save Wade while we're at it!
posted by jmd82 at 12:01 PM on January 24, 2003


The defense rests.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 12:02 PM on January 24, 2003


"That said, let me explain why this post is going to be deleted.
posted by XQUZYPHYR"

That's weird, when did XQ take over Mefi?
posted by Outlawyr at 12:08 PM on January 24, 2003


the Dana Delany video was pretty cool

I don't know about you guys, but I always like to know where Hollywood celebrities stand on major issues of the day. They can contribute so much to our debate and discussion!
posted by Durwood at 12:09 PM on January 24, 2003


It's a link to a ridiculously partisan issue that is infamous for the extremes in rhetoric the two sides arguing it push themselves to.

So true. I heard a story on NPR earlier this week (All Things Considered) about some women activists in Boston from both side of the issue that sat down together to discuss the issue and see if there was some common ground. Before they could even talk they had to sit down for hours and debate what words could be used. They had to write them down on a poster so as not to fall back into their own rehetoric (the pro-abortion, anti-choice crap inter alia).

They figured out that there was no common ground per se. But, for what it's worth, they became friends. One of the few positive things I have ever heard of coming out of this particular debate.
posted by probablysteve at 12:15 PM on January 24, 2003


XQUZYPHYR.. not to get all high and mighty here, but you, my friend, should step back before thinking of lecturing me.

You're intential derailment notwithstanding, I think I've been around here long enough to know what I was doing.

As for the link, I had a massive amount of things to post about it, other than the petition. Such as the cartoons. Funny cartoons! (But of course, we could actually think about the implications of having such cartoons on a petition site, and what they may signify).

Personally, I didn't think my petition questions were overly broad. I do however think that you should think before clicking and typing.
posted by rich at 12:18 PM on January 24, 2003


B. Cowboy Neal
posted by quonsar at 12:31 PM on January 24, 2003


I don't understand......why impeach Bush? What is he doing that other President's haven't done?

I don't think that XQUZYPHYR was trying to derail the thread, but I also hope that you're not trying to "moderate" this thread to only express your views.
posted by mkelley at 12:32 PM on January 24, 2003


SAVE ROE - STOP THE CAVIAR HOLOCAUST
posted by Pretty_Generic at 12:36 PM on January 24, 2003


Yeesh. Rich, I don't quite know why you're getting so huffy with XQUZetc. -- he's obviously in your corner on the question of abortion rights, and was being perfectly measured about why the thread's likely to be deleted, legit questions about the efficacy of online petitions notwithstanding. You think that's intentional derailment? Wait till the first shots get fired from the anti-abortion side. (Oh wait, they already did -- exactly six comments in.) Come on, you know there's no way this thread was going to limit its discussion to the general pros and cons of online petitions as opposed to opening an entirely heated debate about abortion rights.

And as for those questions re online petitions, I think they've already been answered: do they work? Probably not. On the whole I think they a) serve mainly as tools to gather mailing list info when it's from a legit organization, like this one; and b) serve to make people think they've done something about an issue, when in fact they've done very little or nothing. Want to protect Roe for real? It's going to take the same tactics that worked 30 years ago: protest, speak out about the realities of illegal abortion, physically protect clinics (and doctors/nurses/patients) when necessary.
posted by scody at 12:41 PM on January 24, 2003


Yeesh. Rich, I don't quite know why you're getting so huffy with XQUZetc. -- he's obviously in your corner on the question of abortion rights, and was being perfectly measured about why the thread's likely to be deleted, legit questions about the efficacy of online petitions notwithstanding. You think that's intentional derailment? Wait till the first shots get fired from the anti-abortion side. (Oh wait, they already did -- exactly six comments in.) Come on, you know there's no way this thread was going to limit its discussion to the general pros and cons of online petitions as opposed to opening an entirely heated debate about abortion rights.

And as for those questions re online petitions, I think they've already been answered: do they work? Probably not. On the whole I think they a) serve mainly as tools to gather mailing list info when it's from a legit organization, like this one; and b) serve to make people think they've done something about an issue, when in fact they've done very little or nothing. Want to protect Roe for real? It's going to take the same tactics that worked 30 years ago (and have kept it legal -- no matter how tenously -- since then): protest, speak out about the realities of illegal abortion, physically protect clinics (and doctors/nurses/patients) when necessary.
posted by scody at 12:42 PM on January 24, 2003


Yeesh. Rich, I don't quite know why you're getting so huffy with XQUZetc. -- he's obviously in your corner on the question of abortion rights, and was being perfectly measured about why the thread's likely to be deleted, legit questions about the efficacy of online petitions notwithstanding. You think that's intentional derailment? Wait till the first shots get fired from the anti-abortion side. (Oh wait, they already did -- exactly six comments in.) Come on, you know there's no way this thread was going to limit its discussion to the general pros and cons of online petitions as opposed to opening an entirely heated debate about abortion rights.

And as for those questions re online petitions, I think they've already been answered: do they work? Probably not. On the whole I think they a) serve mainly as tools to gather mailing list info when it's from a legit organization, like this one; and b) serve to make people think they've done something about an issue, when in fact they've done very little or nothing. Want to protect Roe for real? It's going to take the same tactics that worked 30 years ago (and have kept it legal -- no matter how tenuously -- since then): protest, speak out about the realities of illegal abortion, physically protect clinics (and doctors/nurses/patients) when necessary.
posted by scody at 12:42 PM on January 24, 2003


Stupid sexy TRIPLE post! AUGGHHHHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhh
posted by scody at 12:44 PM on January 24, 2003


Outlawyr and rich, I did my best to be polite about it, but obviously I hurt your feelings and/or seniority stating something that many have already agreed with in the time it took you to express your indignance that the lowly 14K'er flaunted before you. You are both cordially invited to get the hell over yourselves.

I wasn't "taking over" the thread any more than the six or seven other posters who pointed out the obvious: this thread isn't going to last the night. At least I made an attempt to be civil instead of jump-starting a text-based orgasm of in-jokes about breakfast food.

On preview: thank you, scody.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 12:53 PM on January 24, 2003


that site loads so slow that the baby would have been born by now. i'd like to see these funny bush cartoons (which you would think would have been linked in the post), but screw the waiting... also odd is that the petition, the alleged focal point of the post is also not directly linked. that said, i stand by my original answer:
B. Cowboy Neal
posted by quonsar at 12:56 PM on January 24, 2003


Roe is 80 percent overturned already. Casey v. Planned Parenthood opened the door for states to regulate abortion to the point that anti-abortion states can pretty effectively regulate abortion out of existence. If Roe were completely overturned, anti-abortion states like Oklahoma and Louisiana would just do legally what they have already done in fact. Pro abortion states would keep abortion legal. Democracy in action. What's so bad about that?
posted by boltman at 12:57 PM on January 24, 2003


Democracy in action. What's so bad about that?
Simply put, this is one of those issues which methinks we never be put to rest. The debate will not subside if Roe v. Wade is overturned. Rather, it will just completely turn to the state level...This leads me to believe that the debate will hit closer to home than ever. Before, both side could argue over one, national thing. Now, it'll be a plethora of things on the local level (one could make a case this already true in places like GA, but would be even moreso than ever). As long as Roe v. Wade stands, pro-lifer like me will want the court case overturned. Of course, if Roe v. Wade is overturned, then the pro-choicers will immediately decry the abuse of women's rights wherever abortion becomes completely illegal. Hence, a neverending debate.
posted by jmd82 at 1:05 PM on January 24, 2003


The supposed UN Antiwar petition is a fake - see what the UN has to say about it here.

And scody, you say "It's going to take the same tactics that worked 30 years ago: protest," etc. Actually, those tactics had nothing to do with the Roe V. Wade decision. I'm not looking for a fight here, but the majority reached their verdict pretty much because they wanted to, and for their own reasons. The problem is, anything created by judges can be destroyed by other judges.

If people really favor abortion rights, they should work for a constitutional amendment guaranteeing. That would forever take away the possibility that a pro-life court will harm abortion rights.

But I suspect that actively campaigning for such an amendment is last thing abortion rights groups will do. Why?
because you need a permanent sense of crisis to get people to keep funding your group.

So it's very much to their advantage for Roe to always be on the verge of being overturned and need saving.

I think it's the same way for the anti-abortioners, too.

So if you really have an opinion on this issue, drop the permanent crisis talk and work for a constitutional amendment for your view.
posted by Jos Bleau at 1:12 PM on January 24, 2003


I would point out that pro-choice and anti-Roe v. Wade are not mutually exclusive. One is a moral decision, the other judicial.
posted by apostasy at 1:14 PM on January 24, 2003


scody, pulling a sgt. serenity to up his rankings.
posted by jonson at 1:16 PM on January 24, 2003


"indignance that the lowly 14K'er flaunted before you"
Are you high?
posted by Outlawyr at 1:22 PM on January 24, 2003


I agree with jmd82. There is a conception among the mainstream of American liberalism that an overwhelming majority of thinking people support abortion rights, and there is only that pesky vocal minority of Christian Coalition types who keep whining about it. I'm not sure that this conception is entirely accurate. I suspect that the issue is relatively evenly divided -- much more so than, say, racism, or even welfare -- and that many non-religious anti-abortion people like myself tend to keep quiet for fear of being identified with James Dobson, Ralph Reed, and company.

That being the case, the issue isn't going away; I think the most either side can hope for is to get a nice decisive court ruling like Roe vs. Wade that will last a few decades until it gets undermined by a whole slew of less-broad rulings, and then the cycle starts over again.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 1:24 PM on January 24, 2003


Recent poll on American attitudes towards abortion.
posted by apostasy at 1:37 PM on January 24, 2003


SAVE ROE - STOP THE CAVIAR HOLOCAUST

As a caviar harvester, I often must wade to collect the roe. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to meet with my sturgeon...
posted by ZenMasterThis at 1:41 PM on January 24, 2003


And scody, you say "It's going to take the same tactics that worked 30 years ago: protest," etc. Actually, those tactics had nothing to do with the Roe V. Wade decision. I'm not looking for a fight here, but the majority reached their verdict pretty much because they wanted to, and for their own reasons.

I'm not looking for a fight either, but the fact is the grassroots political atmosphere regarding women's rights in general of the early '70s did play a role in influencing the Roe decision -- the Court explicitly acknowledged as much in their written decision.

But I suspect that actively campaigning for such an amendment is last thing abortion rights groups will do. Why?
because you need a permanent sense of crisis to get people to keep funding your group
.

I don't know whether to be amused or insulted by this statment. (And I don't get any funding for "my" group, by the way -- you seem to have confused me with the president of NARAL.) I would love a constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to abortion -- just like every other pro-choicer I have ever known since I first became an activist (yikes, nearly 20 years ago, back in junior high!). I don't know anyone who "likes" having to fight this same fight over and over and over. I want it legal, and I want that to be the end of it. (Sort of like suffrage. You think we would have preferred to have the right to vote only guaranteed through the Supreme Court rather than a constitutional amendment, solely to keep dollars flowing to suffrage groups by creating a crisis every few years over whether or not women are capable of dealing rationally when confronted with a ballot?)

scody, pulling a sgt. serenity to up his rankings.

You're on to me, jonson! Except for that minor error about me being a he, but other than that.... very clever, jonson. Very clever indeed. I'll have to kill you now.
posted by scody at 1:56 PM on January 24, 2003


All this focus on supply ... does anyone ever take a look at the root causes of demand? I wonder if both sides could agree to work together on the root causes, and thereby reduce the demand?

Just a thought.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 2:00 PM on January 24, 2003


Sigh. Another note for the page. scody: is female
posted by jonson at 2:04 PM on January 24, 2003


Sorry scody, the Roe's a long verdict, mentions many things, and rests on a shadowy 'penumbra' theory, created for this ruling and never used again.

If an amendment is what you and other activists want, then I dig your cool zen-like way of never proposing one, never advocating one and not working for one.

Oh I can understand how seductive the tactics of permanent crisis really are. The fear, mixed with anger and a call to action lest there be imminent destruction, combined with righteous indignation, makes it so hard to let go.

There's nothing new under the sun - Christian ministers have been using exactly the same tactic for centuries - see Jonathan Edwards' Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God from 1741.

The holy text referenced changes from time to time, but it's always the same appeal. And so does the need for people with the plan for salvation to supported financially, of course.

If you want to keep abortion afe and legal, I say again, turn away from the rhetoric and tactics of permanent crisis and work for an amendment to settle the issue.

Anything else is just a permanent employment plan on behalf of activists and fundraisers.
posted by Jos Bleau at 2:25 PM on January 24, 2003


Since no one else will:

MetaFilter: You are cordially invited to get the hell over yourselves.
posted by Wulfgar! at 2:31 PM on January 24, 2003


As a caviar harvester, I often must wade to collect the roe. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to meet with my sturgeon...

Get your own beluga!
posted by Vidiot at 2:32 PM on January 24, 2003


Okay, maybe it's all this doobage I'm apparently smoking, but I still haven't been made clear on this: is this thread supposed to be about abortion or online petitions? That was sort of the point I was trying to make in the beginning, that's all.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 2:46 PM on January 24, 2003


Sorry scody, the Roe's a long verdict, mentions many things, and rests on a shadowy 'penumbra' theory, created for this ruling and never used again.

From the ruling (written by Blackmun): "The Georgia statutes, in contrast, have a modern cast and are a legislative product that, to an extent at least, obviously reflects the influences of recent attitudinal change, of advancing medical knowledge and techniques, and of new thinking about an old issue." (emphasis mine)

Blackmun made it clear in later statements that this line was a direct acknowledgement of the growing public support for legal abortion, and the fact that the modern abortion rights movement had actually been spurred, in part, by a number of moderate/liberal Christian denominations (as well as Reform Jewish) rethinking their stand on abortion in the 1960s after a University of Colorado study showing the high rates of injury, infection, and death resulting from illegal abortion.
posted by scody at 2:56 PM on January 24, 2003


I have never liked the fact that the debate is always framed by NARAL, NOW and other radical feminists as an "all or nothing" proposition. Why can't we favor the right to abortion, but still favor parental notification (or even consent) laws? Why do we have to support government funding or require military hospitals to perform abortions in order to be "pro-choice?" On the other hand, why do the pro-lifers refuse to recognize that abortions will occur irrespective of whether Roe is overturned or not? The time has come for reasonable people to sieze this debate away from the extremists.

By the way, I am skeptical that an online petition can serve any purpose other than to expand the sponsor's mailing list.
posted by Durwood at 2:56 PM on January 24, 2003


Personally I think it's ludicrous to claim that pro-choicers are using "tactics of permanent crisis." I'm no expert, but it seems pretty plain to me that the Bush administration has not only failed to recognize the spirit of Roe v. Wade, but has actively done everything in its power to remove the meager effects that the decision has had in the past thirty years. (And FYI, remember how Bush pretended he was not a pro-lifer for the 2000 election? Riiiight...) The reason that there is a crisis is because the legislative branch is blatantly abusing its power and disrespecting the our country's judicial system.


{ad hominem}

"Okay, maybe it's all this doobage I'm apparently smoking, but I still haven't been made clear on this: is this thread supposed to be about abortion or online petitions? That was sort of the point I was trying to make in the beginning, that's all."

- QZYJPQKJADJF

Is that how you say "I was dead wrong about the thread being removed, BOTH times I said it, and I'm sorry for being so rude earlier" in Assholish?

P.S. I know plenty of people that smoke "doobage" and they don't turn into snobbish jerks. Let's not blame God's gift to humanity for your lack of manners...

{/ad hominem}
posted by zekinskia at 3:56 PM on January 24, 2003


B: Cowboy Neal
posted by quonsar at 4:05 PM on January 24, 2003


If people really favor abortion rights, they should work for a constitutional amendment guaranteeing. That would forever take away the possibility that a pro-life court will harm abortion rights.

ever heard of the 18th amendment?
posted by mdn at 4:07 PM on January 24, 2003


Is that how you say "I was dead wrong about the thread being removed, BOTH times I said it, and I'm sorry for being so rude earlier" in Assholish?

O'Doyle rules! Seriously, that's just sad, zek. I mean, what's your point? The thread wasn't deleted so..... what? "You win?" How Will I go on.

Matt deleting it or not, perhaps you could, after nap time, address my point. Is this a thread about abortion, or about online petitions? If it's about abortion, it seems silly that the sole generic link was to the main page of the largest women's services group in the U.S. Seeing how upset people are about CNN.com links, what's the difference? And if it's about online petitioning, how come no one seems to be talking about it?

I'm having trouble with the segue between the two- again, I'm just as pro-choice as rich is, but in fairness, would everyone be as comfortable with a post like "here's a link to the Neuremburg Files... so what does everyone think about clever use of strikethrough text?"
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:34 PM on January 24, 2003


« Older Global newsstand   |   Appreciate Bubble Wrap Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments