Isn't It Ironic?

Irony. I love it. Ever since I heard Alanis Morrisette’s “Isn’t It Ironic?”, I have been a huge fan of irony. Irony is congratulating myself (a little early) on my son making it all the way through asthma season without any problems, and then having him go into full-blown asthma attack the next day. Ironic, really. In politics, amidst the hypocrisy, dishonesty and general idiocy, irony provides a breath of wry comedic relief - enough to remind myself to try not to take myself (or anyone else) too seriously.

Today’s tale of irony comes to us from the feminists – supporters of feminism, defined as “the movement aimed at equal rights for women”. From what I understand, they seek to end discrimination against women. One of the big platforms for feminists is unfettered access to abortion.

It’s interesting to see some of the consequences of this abortion. One is that sex-selective abortion is rampant in many countries around the world. Sex-selective abortion is when a woman waits to see what the sex of her unborn baby is (using technology like ultrasound) and then aborts it if it is the undesirable sex (primarily female). We already knew that China’s one-child policy has led to boy births outnumbering girl births 120 to 100. However, due to sex-selective abortion, the female sex ratio in India is also at an all-time low. The discrepancy is as much as "300 girls to every 1000 boys among higher caste families" in one state. Steven Mosher of the Population Research Institute says:

This is done in India in epidemic proportions. It’s done in China. It’s done in many, many of the civilizations of East Asia and Southeast Asia . . . The feminists, who want to eliminate all distinctions between men and women, are only exposing their unborn sisters to a horrible form of genocide.

Ironic, isn’t it? You might be thinking, “Well, that’s in other countries. That doesn’t happen here in America”. Not so.

Researchers contend that sex –selective abortions are reducing female births, and some of that is occurring in the United States. Female babies are being aborted largely by Asian immigrant families in America, based on the age-old cultural prejudices in their home countries.
Bill Saunders of the Family Research Council notes the “irony”:
Pro-life people are often accused of being anti-woman. The fact of the matter is legalized abortion is resulting in the disappearance of what demographers call the “girl child” around the world because a lot of potential parents are using medical technology to abort girls.

So our laws and our technology in America support sex-selective abortion, which is essentially discrimination against unborn women. How is that for feminism?

So now that this consequence is readily apparent, will anything change? Will feminists seek to reverse the killing off of their own kind? It doesn’t appear to be so. President Obama has already reversed the “Mexico City policy” so that the U.S. will now fund abortions internationally again. That’s progress. Now we’ll help more women who want to abort their daughters worldwide. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the move will

help save lives and empower the poorest women and families to improve their quality of life and their future.

Too bad there won’t be as many women or families – kind of hard to form families when your men greatly outnumber your women. (Just ask all the sexually frustrated men in China) And my tax dollars will be paying for it. I guess “now” I’m proud to be American.

Things won’t be any different here in the U.S. either. President Obama has promised to sign the Freedom of Choice Act, which will eliminate all state restrictions on abortion. Planned Parenthood is asking for more money (after supporting his candidacy, I imagine they are looking for a “payback” like so many other liberal groups). The result will be more access to abortions, including those for the purpose of sex-selection, which means that more daughters than sons will continue to be killed off here in the U.S.

My question is directed to those of you who view yourself as both feminist and pro-choice: How do you feel about that? How do you feel about women being discriminated against (by women) in this manner? Do you support it? Do you support our tax dollars paying for it?

I suppose we’ve come a long way, baby. (Just not sure we’re headed in the right direction)


Frank Staheli said...'s my body!! It's my choice!!

People in the U.S. are now finding out whether their child will have Down Syndrome to help determine whether they want to abort. As with anything that is largely a matter of convenience, it will only get worse in the U.S. as we imagine and then emulate all the possibilities as they exist in China, India, and elsewhere.

Most women need abortion like Gloria Steinem's fish needs a bicycle.

RAP08 said...

Stephanie, I had never thought about it in that light, definitely ironic. Thought I wonder if most people who work so hard to support abortion would themselves make that choice. Speaker Pelosi for example has several children, but then I guess since she is rich that it is fine for her to have children. Her standard of living is not impacted by having 5 children. Abortion is really only needed for those less fortunate people who need to kill thier children to improve their lives.
I had to laugh when I heard about her statements about categorizing contraception and abortion as stimulating the economy. I did not realize that I as a person was a drain on the economy. I alway thought that our children were our most precious resource. Maybe she thinks if we stop having kids we will save on education spending, then we will all be able to have big screen TVs. Some quality of life that would be.

Stephanie said...

RAP08, you bring up another ironic tale. Despite population decline posing a real economic threat (see Demographic Winter and the works of Harry Dent), and a need to increase our rate of repopulation in order to maintain our standard of living, Pelosi is calling for money for population control as a stimulus. It's not just ironic - it's laugh out loud funny. In fact, the whole idea that this stimulus package will "stimulate" the economy seems like a joke to me. I think it's a way to make massive liberal legislation changes by pulling the wool over people's eyes and "scaring" us (again) into thinking that the government can save us. That's another joke. There's no end to the comedy provided by politics these days.

mfranti said...
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mfranti said...


so outlaw selective abortion (not saying i agree with the practice) and the live birthed baby girls we dump her into a rice paddy or drowned her the mother's bedside in a pail of water

or...the more sypathetic mothers and grandmothers can abandon them in a city street where, if they are notsolucky, be forced to live in a dying room without any semblance of human life (nat'l geo did a piece on dying rooms in china-disturbing)

what is your point stephanie?

you can't blame "the feminists" for this. it's the policies of the governments that force women into these horrible dilemmas.

either they terminate the pregnancy or they kill a baby...

would you chose the latter?

mfranti said...

...and these are not cold an heartless women chosing to terminate/kill their baby's often thier male counterpart who forces/takes/kills/ the baby.

sick sick sick

The Faithful Dissident said...

OK, I'm probably going to regret even stepping into this discussion because if there's anything we've debated more than Prop 8, it would probably be abortion. But I just had to point out something.

For those of you who don't know, I'll state for the record:

I'm not "pro-choice" in the true sense of the word. I uphold the Church's moral grounds for an acceptable abortion, but I do NOT support a total ban on abortion.

I'm probably not a true "feminist" either. I think Gloria Steinem can be pretty obnoxious. But I appreciate a lot of what the feminist movement has done for women.

This gender selection via abortion problem that Stephanie writes about in this post is horrendous and I do not support it. However, I think it's wrong to place the blame on feminists or the feminist movement for this. You may view feminists as being the enablers of abortion, but the reasons why some people in this world feel the need to abort a female baby is exactly what feminists are out to change. Nothing will change until these "age-old cultural prejudices" are eradicated. Honestly, the lives that many of those girls are born into in a place like India make a compelling argument for aborting them. I don't agree with it, but it's sometimes hard not to see it as a better alternative.

I have problems with the way that Stephanie sums it up as her tax dollars going to fund abortions. If that's all that it were about, I would be appalled as well. But for those of you who are interested in knowing exactly what the UNFPA is about and what your tax dollars will be going to, I suggest that you read this.

I think Pelosi had it right when she said that poor women across the world will be empowered. Not because they will all rush out to get abortions, but because they'll have easier access to family planning, which in itself cuts down on unwanted/unplanned pregnancies that often result in abortion -- legal or not, funded or not, safe or not. And without the UNFPA, or if it's operating at a reduced capacity due to lack of funding, more people -- men AND women -- WILL suffer needlessly -- generations of them.

So maybe I'm just looking at whether the end justifies the means, as "liberals do," but I just can't see why the UNFPA is a waste of your taxpayer money.

mfranti said...

"Despite population decline posing a real economic threat"

6.7 billion people inhabit the earth at this time.

the brith rate is at 1.2% a year or 80, 460,000 a year or 220,438 ppl per day.

and if you really want to look for solutions to this problem of selective abortions and baby girl first need to unerstand that women in these countries have no social standing, they have no power

so in essence, it's patriarchy.

do away w/ patriarchy and make it so women are equal to men and have the same education/career opportunities as men and our population will decrease...but not liek you think.

it will likely have a stabilizing effect on the world.

but that is the ideal, isn't it?

mfranti said...
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Stephanie said...

mfranti, sex-selective abortion is already illegal in India. However, abortion is not. The government outlawed sex-selective abortion after this problem was apparent. It doesn't appear to have done much. I doubt they enforce the law because it is primarily the wealthy who violate it. The wealthy who can afford ultrasound use abortion to rid themselves of girls. The poor use infanticide. Honestly, to me, both are equally gruesome.

You can blame the government or caste system in other countries for an incentive to abort girls, but not in the U.S. Sure, people bring their culture from other countries, but should our laws support these practices?

Stephanie said...

Also, I'm not necessarily blaming feminists for sex-selective abortion itself. I am noting the irony that even after this "unintented" consequence has come to light (that female babies are being aborted here in the U.S. just because they are girls - essentially discrimination against women), feminists (who are supposed to fight for the rights of women) are not changing their position. If feminists/pro-choicers push for sex-selective abortion being outlawed in the U.S., I'll eat my words, but I don't see it happening. They've spent too long dehumanizing fetuses and misrepresenting agency for that.

Stephanie said...

Also, FD, from what I understand, the U.S. did use tax dollars for international family planning under Bush. We just didn't give the money to organizations who also provided abortions. Of course, being conservative, I'm not too crazy about my tax dollars being used to fund international family planning, but I'm not morally opposed to it the way I am morally opposed to my tax dollars potentially being used to pay for abortions.

Stephanie said...

The reason feminists/pro-choicers won't push for a law against sex-selective abortion is that it opens the door to potentially limiting abortions for other reasons, and their objective is completely unfettered access to abortion. If they recognize that unborn females have human value, they have to recognize that unborn babies in other situations (like with Downs syndrome or even just unwanted babies of either sex) have value. Like I said, if they do, I'll gladly eat my words. In the meantime, I'll poke fun at those who supposedly are proponents for women's rights but who are willing to sacrifice unborn women to their cause.

Stephanie said...

Regarding population decline, from the "Demographic Winter" site I linked to:

Worldwide, birthrates have been halved in the past 50 years. There are now 59 nations, with 44% of the world’s population, with below-replacement fertility

Sometime in this century, the world’s population will begin to decline. At a certain point, the decline will become rapid. We may even reach population free-fall in our lifetimes.

For some countries, population decline is already a reality. Russia is losing three-quarters-of-a-million people a year. Its population (currently 145 million) is expected to fall by one-third by 2050.

Question: If birthrates are declining, why does the world’s population continue to grow?

If it’s already in motion, a car in neutral will continue moving for a while, especially if it’s going downhill, even if gas isn’t being injected into the engine.

Today’s population growth is due to two factors: 1. higher fertility rates in the 1950s and 60s, and 2. people living longer than ever before.

The thing to remember is this: Declining birthrates will equal a declining population worldwide at some point in the next few decades. In the West (especially in Europe) population decline will become a reality much sooner. In some countries, such as Russia, it’s already happening.

A nation’s demographic future can be seen in its current birthrate. In Europe, the number of children under 5 has declined by 36% since 1960. Worldwide, there are 6 million fewer children, 6 and under, today, than there were in 1990. If present trends continue, the United Nations estimates that by 2050 there will be 248 million fewer children in the world then there are now.

There are other interesting statistics on the site. Harry Dent (that I also linked to) believes economies, the stock market, etc. are directly correlated to demographics and that depression is coming because of our aging population. The lower replacement rate has not left enough people to purchase their homes or maintain productivity. It's an economic theory - one I happen to agree with.

Quimby said...

Stephanie, study after study has shown that abortion rates really aren't any lower in countries that outlaw abortion than in countries that allow unfettered access to abortion - In fact, some countries that allow unfettered access to abortion actually have lower abortion rates than some countries that outlaw abortion. But illegal abortions lead to infection, infertility, death of the woman, etc. So, criminilise abortion and kill women and babies (because criminilising abortion will not stop it); or allow abortion and save women's lives, while working to assure that there is less of a need for abortion? Not a hard choice for this feminist to make.

Stephanie said...

Welcome, Quimby. If I am remembering correctly, I believe congratulations are in order for you. So, congratulations! I hope all is going well for your family.

Quimby said...

The anti-abortion argument simply does not stand up to logic:

1. Most people who are anti-abortion are conservatives. Most conservatives supported the Iraq war. So, killing a fetus is bad, but killing thousands of American men and women and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi men, women, and children in a war based on a lie is morally acceptable and indeed laudable?

2. You speak of the value of the fetus. What of the value of the woman? Why is it that the value of a fetus should be considered, but not the value of the fetus' mother? I know an elderly woman who was forced by an abusive husband to have four abortions. If she'd said no, she would have been beaten, perhaps killed - and of course that would have killed the baby too. But her life isn't as valuable to the pro-life crowd as the life of the fetus.

3. Most pro-life people are also anti-teaching about birth control. There was a fascinating article in the New Yorker a couple of months ago, "Red Sex Blue Sex," that stated that conservatives (particularly evangelists - and the author was including Mormons in that group) have higher rates of teenage pregnancy because the message the kids get is, "Don't have sex. If you have sex and get pregnant, don't have an abortion." Birth control isn't mentioned, and so most evangelical teens don't use birth control - partially because it's not mentioned and partially because there's this mental trick they play, that, "If I go out with birth control it means I'm intending to have sex. If I don't go out with birth control and I have sex it means it was just an accident." Many evangelical teens who get pregnant, get married. Early marriage is one of the leading indicators of divorce. Hence, many of these pregnant teens wind up as single mothers. Coming from a single mother household is one of the leading indicators of teenage sexual activities. And so the cycle continues. Paradoxically, children from more liberal households, which discuss and encourage birth control and actively discourage teenage pregnancy, are more likely to have "successul" marriages and families (if you define success by longevity of the marriage and children being raised by both partners) than children raised in conservative, religious homes.

I have yet to meet anyone who is pro-abortion who is actually a cheerleader for abortion: "Yay, abortion! I'm going to go out and get pregnant just so I can kill another fetus! It'll be my 12th this year, and don't you know, IK just love killing my feti! Wanna come to my coat-hangar party afterwards?" Most of us on this side of the fence think abortion is horrible and would never consider making that choice for ourselves unless we were forced to for health reasons; but we see it as a necessary evil because the alternative is far, far worse.

Quimby said...

Stephanie, whoops, I missed your post sandwiched in there. Yep, a beautiful baby boy born Christmas Eve. (And if he ever gets a girl pregnant, pow, right in the kisser! And I mean ever. Even when he's, like, 30 and married to her. 'Cause I'll still be too young to be a grandma.)

The Faithful Dissident said...

"If feminists/pro-choicers push for sex-selective abortion being outlawed in the U.S., I'll eat my words, but I don't see it happening."

I'd like to see a clause in Roe vs. Wade to outlaw sex-selective abortion. In theory it sounds good to me, but I know that in reality it will be difficult to stop those who are aborting simply because the fetus is female.

"Of course, being conservative, I'm not too crazy about my tax dollars being used to fund international family planning, but I'm not morally opposed to it the way I am morally opposed to my tax dollars potentially being used to pay for abortions."

Are you morally opposed to your tax dollars potentially funding abortions of young girls who have been raped (some of them repeatedly, and by gangs) internationally? In some places of the world such as Darfur, and right now especially DR Congo, we're talking hundreds of thousands of women and girls being raped by men using sexual violence as a weapon. In some areas, almost all of the female population has been raped at least once. Many of the perpetrators are HIV positive, which means the victims likely will be as well.

I'm not going to lie and say that no woman in the third world will ever seek an abortion that we don't deem to be morally acceptable. Yes, your tax dollars are probably going to fund some immoral and needless abortions. But is it enough to justify withholding help from all those who should have the right -- and one could also argue the need -- to terminate a pregnancy because she has been a victim of rape? Or because her life is in danger? Or because she's just a child herself? Is it enough to justify withholding help from agencies who have the potential to not just offer a safe abortion alternative, but most efficiently provide knowledge about sexual health, birth control, protection from AIDS, and help to those who are already HIV positive?

You know, I appreciate those who are pro-life enough to give birth to a baby even when they have been raped. As much as I disliked Sarah Palin, I have nothing bad to say about someone who could give birth to a rape baby of her own free will. I understand that it's a matter of faith for her and I respect that. But when one person's view of religion and morality means that others have to needlessly suffer, it's hard for me to get on board. Take for example the Catholic Church in Africa. I have great respect for a lot of Catholic beliefs and their high regard for morals and human life. The Church was criticized for not promoting condoms in areas where AIDS is rampant in Africa. I think it's ridiculous to expect the Church to start handing out condoms or encouraging people to use them if they don't believe in them, so I defend their right to abstain from doing so and to promote morality as the best way to eradicate AIDS (which I believe in myself). But when the Catholic Church went as far as to discourage people from using condoms, even instilling fear in people that condoms will actually give them AIDS or "help spread the disease," then that's when it totally lost my support. To me, that's just as big an abuse of power as American women aborting their babies for no reason other than that they're carrying a female.

Stephanie said...

That's a good point about the rampant rape that happens in other countries, FD. I hadn't thought of that.

Stephanie said...

Quimby, I've been saving an article just for this type of conversation. Conservatives are on the same side regarding forced abortions. The Eliot Institute

has studied other cases where women are commonly threatened, pressured, or subjected to violence for refusing to abort . . . The Elliot Institute is trying to convince states to pass laws forcing abortion facilities to screen women for coercion and not to do an abortion where coercion is involved. Solby believes women then could be helped with whatever situation they are facing.

I'm not going to threadjack into the Iraq war here. I am tired of that argument. I am also tired of birth control always being equated with abortion. I think there are a few extreme people who believe that, but I don't think the majority do.

The Wizzle said...

Well, all I have to say about the problem of sex-selective abortion in countries such as India and China is that FD is exactly right: the problem is so much more than the abortions. I would venture to call those merely a symptom of a culture that systematically devalues and oppresses women, silencing their voices and limiting their access to basic health care and health information. Over time, this has caused a cultural "preference" that seems to extend even when these women have escaped the government implementing the policies. These women come here and still "prefer" boy children. It's not because they're bad people. It's not because they're "feminists", or because the feminists "got to them" somehow. That logic just doesn't make any sense.

I wouldn't go so far as to say I recommend encouraging abortions in countries like this, where the people are so poor that additional pregnancies can easily be fatal due to lack of medical access, or at best perpetuating a cycle of poverty, hunger, and misery beyond my wildest dreams. The better solution is obviously access to birth control, information about their own bodies, better health care, clean water, food, etc. Honestly, I can't even get myself to type that killing the unborn would be the best option - but I can see where someone else might think that. The circumstances of these women are very dire.

I will say, though, that you have posed a very interesting question regarding outlawing same-sex abortion in this country (nevermind the problem of how one would implement that policy, since as you mention it hasn't seemed to work elsewhere): if pro-choice activists call for abortion restrictions for gender selection, then they saying that there is something inherently unjust about choosing one fetus over another for this reason. And if you concede that, you are basically saying that on some level, the unborn do have "rights" and it's a slippery slope from there. (And I almost never use that argument). So they really are stuck - or if they're not, I'd like to know how they get around it, and how they justify their positions.

I guess maybe they'd say that the rights of the already-here trump the rights of the unborn - but allowing that the unborn might have any rights at all makes abortion an absolutely horrific thing. Obviously.

The Wizzle said...

Oh, and about the Federal Abortion Ban - to make it short, I do feel that healthcare decisions ought to be made, as much as possible, by doctors and their patients. Not Conrgress. So-called "partial birth" abortions are the best medical option in some circumstances, and I do not think it's a good idea to take that avenue away from a woman in dire medical straits who might need it. It sounds like a good thing to get riled up about, but I think it's a red herring.

The Wizzle said...

This is exceptionally hard to think about while my sweet 4-month-old is rolling around next to me, cooing and drooling on me. What a world we live in!

Stephanie said...

You know, Quimby, I think that most people who support abortion do so for good reasons - particularly feminists who looking out for women in particular. However, I still find it ironic that in a country with laws prohibiting the discrimination of women, this form of discrimination against women will be allowed to continue - and feminists would be among the strongest supporters. Not that they actually support the practice, but they wouldn't want to do anything to interfere with a woman's right to choose whether or not to abort her own baby.

Amy said...

Hey Guys. I saw this on someone's facebook profile last week, and thought it was profound:

"Supporters of slavery were free. Supporters of abortion were born."

Quimby said...

It's much more ironic that you see destroying a few cells as murder, but destroying a small child or a fully-grown adult as acceptable (eg the Iraq war or the guys who killed the man who was trying to cross the border). It's not a "tired argument" at all.

And yes, let's not do an abortion where there is coercian, let's let the man kick her in the stomach or kill her instead. That makes so much sense! But hey, at least you don't destroy those few cells. Oh wait, yeah you do, because if you kill the mother, you automatically kill the child.

Quimby said...

Want to know some other problems with your broader argument here?

Why is it that you are all against government interference, unless it's personal? You're a libertarian except when it comes to abortion, and then you think the government has ever right to interfere? How do you see that as a morally consistent position?

Assuming sex selective abortion was made illegal, how would you even begin to enforce something like that? It may come as a surprise to hear that women who are desperate to end a pregnancy might resort to lying about the reason. There is simply no way you can enforce a ban on sex-selective abortion without it impinging upon women who are getting an abortion for other reasons.

And a larger issue I'd love to see you address sometimes - why is it that you conservative typs are the biggest rah-rah patriots there are, often extolling the values of the US governnment since it's "by the people, of the people, and for the people," but ultimately highly distrustful of the government to the extent that you think it's all corrupt, flawed, inherently evil, etc? Is that how you see "the people"? And if so, what's the advantage of government "by the people?" (Ironically, every other country that has government "by the people" has a higher level of trust in "the people" than the very Americans who like to go on at some length about how their government system makes them so darn superior.)

Quimby said...

FD said: . The Church was criticized for not promoting condoms in areas where AIDS is rampant in Africa.

If that was the extent of it it wouldn't be so bad. But no. It goes much further than that. When we were in Ghana we read an article in which the Archbishop actually told people NOT to use condoms because they couldn't prevent HIV/AIDS. His message was: "If you're going to have sex with someone who isn't your partner, if you're going to visit a brothel or get a little on the side, there's no reason to use a condom because it won't prevent HIV/AIDS and it may prevent conception which is a serious sin."

In a country as religious as Ghana (where even the taxi services have names like "Pray to God" - not the most reassuring message you want to see when you get into a taxi but anyway) the Archbishop carries some serious weight. In a country with as large an HIV/AIDS problem as Ghana, actively discouraging condom use should be criminal.

Quimby said...

Whoops, I should've read the rest of your comment, sorry FD. I've found that most people don't understand that the Catholic church is actively discouraging condom use so as soon as I read "Catholic church . . . condoms . . . Africa" I immediately get my back up.

Stephanie said...

Quimby, overall, you are making a lot of random accusations and assertions that aren't true.

RAP08 said...

Quimby, I think a lot of you examples where symptoms of a larger problem, woman forced to have 4 abortions by husband, rape in war torn areas in Africa. Treating the symptom never solves the real problem. It may make you feel better but it is better to address the real problems.

You draw the correlation between war and the deaths there with the deaths of babies from abortions. I don't know any sane person who thinks war is a good thing, necessary definitely but good NO!! All loss of life is regrettable but sometimes it is required. Now looking back was starting the Iraq war a good decision, I think not, but at the time I much like a lot of people thought there may have been some reason to do so, we were misled and misinformed. I think the same applies to abortion there are cases where it is better to perform the abortion but it should be the exception instead of the rule.

I think in an ideal world people would be abstinent before marriage and live in complete fidelity after marriage and never get divorced, no STDs or children born outside of a family. But since we live in a world where promiscuousness is celebrated, self gratification is the norm. We are forced to try and regulate behaviors which are destructive of society. We do not teach personal responsibility instead we teach how to avoid the consequences.

I will ask you a question then, if personal choice is so important why do we send suicidal people to mental institutions? Shouldn’t it be their choice to live or not? Now this may be a stretch but I think that just like depression can be helped and over time the desire to kill one self can be overcome. Unwanted pregnancy has a fixed length and then it is “cured”. Have you ever looked at the adoption waiting lists? There are people who would love to take care of the resulting children (not so much in the developing countries).

To respond to you question regarding conservatives trusting government. I think that we support the principles of the constitution which defines our government. We do not trust the people who make up the government. You have but to read a newspaper to see the corruption and misuse of power abounding within the ranks of our politicians to understand why we feel this way. I think we are better off since corruption is still widely viewed as a bad thing, where as there are many countries were corruption is the accepted norm. I personally think there is no one magical form of government, any government can be overthrown if enough people/power is against it.

Quimby said...

Stephanie, what accusations am I making? I'm simply pointing out the inconsistencies and weaknesses in your argument.

You are promoting the life of the unborn above the life of people who are already here, fully-formed and existing. You want to acknowledge the worth of a fetus; but what of the worth of a person?

RAP08, there is absolutely no evidence that a lower abortion rate leads to a higher adoption rate. There is absolutely no evidence that criminalising abortion leads to a lower abortion rate. There is absolutely no evidence that it does anything more than put women in greater jeaopardy.

I really don't understand your question about people who are suicidal. What is the link?

By regulating abortion, you are not trying to regulate a behavior which is detrimental to society (indeed abortions have existed since the beginning of time - if prostitution is the world's oldest profession surely abortionist is the world's second-oldest profession), you are trying to legislate morality. And you are doing so at the very real expense of womens' health and safety.

Rather than do that, why don't you encourage an end to patriarchy? Then female fetuses would be valued as much as male fetuses; young women wouldn't feel the need to have sex just to keep a boyfriend; and women would have the strength and courage to get out of bad relationships - all things that would have a real effect on the abortion rate, unlike criminalising abortion, which has nil effect on the abortioen rate.

RAP08 said...

Quimby, You say there is no evidence that the legalization of abortion did not increase the number of abortions? Could it be that it would be hard to collect the information. How many people use illegal drugs or any illegal activity? Who knows, we know how many get caught and if you take a poll you will get some number but the accuracy would be in question.

It has been proved that since legalization the rate climbed for some time, you can find a graph on wikipedia. Since we do not have data we can only conjecture that the number was equal to or less than when Roe vs. Wade became law. I would suppose that there are those who would not break the law, but once it was legal would then decide to avail themselves of the service. They have some data on why woman had abortions and “25.5% Want to postpone childbearing” so it was not convenient at that time to have a child. This is different from:

14.1% Has relationship problem or partner does not want pregnancy
12.2% Too young; parent(s) or other(s) object to pregnancy

Given this data I would feel comfortable saying that more abortions happen now then before. Is it proof? Not definitive but I think it makes sense.

I would not associate some crackpot Catholic Bishop in Africa with all people who oppose abortions; anymore that it would be to imply we would all bomb a clinic or shoot the people that work there. I think this example is just another example how people in authority have the power to cause great harm, kind of like the Muslim leaders who teach jihad.

You question whether we should legislate morality. Here is the definition “Morality - standards of conduct that are generally accepted as right or proper” you think we should not base legislation on good conduct? You think prostitutes and abortionist provide some benefits to society? Just because something has happened throughout human history does not make it a good thing.

I am in favor of promoting the value of woman; I don’t think you need to tear down men to accomplish this goal. Since this is a Mormon site I would ask if you agree with these statements from the Family Proclamation:

By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners.

Like I said we should address the real problems and not just the symptoms. The problem is that not everyone agrees on what the problems are. They truly believe the symptoms are the problem. I agree that if nobody wanted an abortion then we would not need to regulate them.

RAP08 said...

Oh my point about suicidal people is that it is their body they should be allowed to choose. If they want to put some lead in their head who are we to say "you are crazy".

Hope that helps in the context of my previous comment, two back.

Quimby said...

I'm thinking mfranti's "sigh" says it all.

Where am I tearing down men? What does that quote from the PotF have to do with anything?

You have quite clearly not thought through the implications of your stance on abortion - as evidenced by your opinion that women who are being forced to have an abortion should be denied one. And as evidenced by your refusal to answer the question I posed re: enforcement of a law making sex-selective abortion illegal. And as evidenced by your refusal to admit that legislation abortion is absolutely contrary to the libertarian values you hold so dear when it comes to actually helping children who are the result of pregnancy to poor women (whose mothers chose not to abort them). You are so caught up in this idea that abortion is wrong that you have failed to reflect fully upon the implications of your opinion.

At this stage, I think "sigh" says it all.

Quimby said...

RAP08 - Re: abortion/suicide - First of all I think it's a bit insulting to compare the two because it automatically puts the idea out there that a woman who wants an abortion is mentally unstable (even though I'm sure that's not what you meant to imply). Second, I think there are situations where suicide could be quite rational. Having worked in aged care I have seen more friends than I care to count die from horrible, painful diseases; at the very least it makes me question why we think euthanasia is really such a bad thing. Thirdly, as every suicide prevention worker will tell you, if someone really wants to kill themselves, they'll find a way to do it. Which is pretty much the argument I'm making about abortion - If someone really wants an abortion, they'll find a way to have one. The only thing is, it probably won't be safe and it could end up killing them, too. And why should we let that happen? When you make abortion illegal, you send the message that a woman's life is worthless - If she has to kill herself in the process of killing the fetus, well, better she do that than continue living after she's killed the fetus. I'm saying that the woman's life has value - indeed I'm saying that the woman's life has more value than the fetus' life (since, after all, the fetus is entirely dependent on the woman for its survival). I'm saying that since abortion has always and will always be with us, we should work to make it safe, legal, and rare.

matt said...

If I may, let me add a vomit to your sigh. You must be kidding right?

This line is great, "First of all I think it's a bit insulting to compare the two because it automatically puts the idea out there that a woman who wants an abortion is mentally unstable (even though I'm sure that's not what you meant to imply)."
If you drew this conclusion from raps statement, grow up and stop acting like Kieth Olberman.

And you say, "When you make abortion illegal, you send the message that a woman's life is worthless". Quimby, are you really Rachel Maddow? You twist words so beautifully!

How about, when you make abortion illegal you send a message of RESPONSIBILITY!

This one word is my main beef with the majority of liberal arguments. I understand that there are cases where abortion is necessary, but it is NOT THE NORM. As Rap cited, 25% are for convenience alone. Please do not stand up for these people.

Here is where the conservatives and liberals really collide, the issue of morality. Conservative are generally religious and taught to do what is "right". We (conservatives) generally believe we will bring the judgments of God upon us as we become more and more of the world. It's what we have been taught for centuries. In addition, if your study the founding fathers, they proclaimed that the constitution will only work under a "religous and moral people."

I understand not everybody is and has to be religious, but it is what this country was founded on.

Send, teach etc. a general message that responsibility for ones actions is the key to success, and poverty will decline, abortion will decline, and the government will not have to be our so involved in every action.

Stop using the extreme examples as the reason to legalize abortion. Let's prevent the decision from needing to be made and we'll all be shiny happy people.

Anonymous said...

Quimby, don't let him get to you - that's just Matt - way to stick in there. Holy Crap, people, if you can sit here on your high horses and talk theoretically about all the moral problems of abortion, and how the third world countries are so wrong for allowing it or whatever (and continually ignore Quimby's very valid point of conservative support of US military intervention) - especially with the "irony" that stephanie pointed out - with her typical witty demeanour - let me ask one question? How many of you are willing to go to China and adopt a baby girl from an overcrowded orphanage in order to save her from the living conditions that MFranti pointed out. That's what I though - its really easy to condemn stuff from our overstuffed office chair in our nice living rooms. - if each wealthy US family went and adopted 2 Chinese still wouldn't really scratch the surface of the problem - because there is so many of them - but at least we could practice compassion, instead of sitting here all fat and happy, regarding our own narrow dogmatic view as the eternal truth and ignoring the reality of the situation of the world - Matt, Stephanie, you grow up.

Matt - the 25% that are for convenience alone does not constitute in any possible way, a majority - that's one quarter - leaving 75% (I did read the other two statistics) that are NOT for convenience - it would seem, then, that the convenience argument is the extreme case. ANd I promise you, if you gathered those same statistics from Africa, South America, or China, you'd have a different result. Practice some compassion, folks - its supposed to be the central tenant of the restored gospel, right. cheers.

Quimby said...

You know what, Matt? I was going to reply, but you aren't really worth the effort. You don't even want to attempt to understand the nuances of the pro-choice position; you are just so hell-bent on demonising it. Because you know us godless, heathen liberals - we're just hell-bent on bringing you all down with us.

It's so easy to preach "responsibility" to the women involved, particularly when, if the men involved actually took some, a lot of abortions could be prevented.

And for the record, "25.5% Want to postpone childbearing” does not necessarily mean conveniance. Obviously you've never seen or experienced gut-wrenching poverty. But again, let's demonise the women instead of seeking to understand where they're coming from. They're just sluts, right, and they deserve it.

(BTW, Stephanie, my apologies - For some reason I thought I saw your name in front of Rap's comments re: me "tearing down men." I am sorry.)

Quimby said...

Rick, thanks for the support.

Ironically (there's that word again) it was only once I became pregnant with a child who was very much wanted that I became so pro-choice. Once I had a first-hand knowledge of the physical and emotional strains of pregnancy, and once I had that first-hand experience worrying about expenses, making ends meet, etc. - It was only then that I realised, "How dare I insist that any woman should go through this with a child she really does not want?" Pregnancy and childbirth carry real, serious health risks (just look at maternal mortality rates - I read recently that it's safer to jump out of a plane than to give birth, and that's in Australia, which has a very low maternal mortality rate). Add on top of that the financial and emotional cost of raising a child. Even if a woman has an abortion for nothing more than sheer conveniance, well, obviously it'd be better if she'd never gotten pregnant in the first place, but who is anyone to sit there on their high horse and insist she takes the risks?

(And Stephanie, I really am sorry. Really. Grovelling now. Wish I could edit it.)

Quimby said...

Whew. I just re-read the comment and realised I didn't actually address it to you Stephanie. Still, my apologies for even thinking it was you.

Re: those stats - Two things to consider: 1. There's no basis for saying the abortion rate was "equal to or lesser than" pre-RvW (really, how do you even make an assumption like that?); and 2. I'm talking about international stats comparing like countries now, today. Society was different in the pre-RvW days. Lots of forced marriages. Also lots of unreported back-alley abortions. Less of an acceptance for teenage mothers. You're comparing apples and, I don't know, lumps of coal.

RAP08 said...

Quimby, Sorry for the randomness of my message, that is the main reason I do not have a blog can’t seem to keep a consistent thread.

You said “Rather than do that, why don't you encourage an end to patriarchy? Then female fetuses would be valued as much as male fetuses;”

This is why I posted the statement from the PoF. I wanted to understand what you are proposing with the end of patriarchy? I thought you were implying the traditional role of a man had to be redefined so that women would be given the respect they deserve. I may have misinterpreted it so please clarify for me.

I must admit that I did not know you question regarding the enforcement of sex-selective abortion was directed to me; I was not really involved in the discussion at that point. I had not really considered the issue until this post so my perspective is fairly young and is still developing. I will only think out loud about options in the USA as there are too many other issues in China and India and I am not familiar with them. My immediate thought was that you make it gestational age of the fetus, ie if you can identify the sex, 12-16 weeks, it is to late for an abortion unless …(you fill in the blank with your favorite “legitimate” reasons). Then I realized that women then would just go and get one from another doctor or from a black market source. Requiring an ultrasound for all abortions would just push the desperate women to the black market. Of course the system could be corrupted, bribe the technician etc. But then I guess there are ways to circumvent all laws does that mean they have no value? Only a small percentage of speeders are given citations, should we then do away with all traffic laws? I do think there are ways to offer free services with strict requirements so that those who truly “qualify” (again you define that how you like) can get the service. Those who want an abortion as an after the fact birth control just because they can’t be bothered to take responsibility for their own choices would find it much more difficult.

Ultimately I think the laws sends a message to the people, youths in particular, these are the unacceptable behaviors which you should ovoid or there will be consequences.

I would like to point out that I have repeatedly taken care to state the view that the are circumstances when an abortion is the best course of action. I stated earlier that there are times when war is necessary but should only be entered after great consideration of the ramifications; I view the decision to have an abortion as being similar.

If a woman is being forced to abort her child, since force is involved I would assume she wants to keep the child, then the criminal would be the party trying to force the issue. I would presume that there would be some threat of violence or abandonment which is taken as dire enough by the woman that she feels she really has no choice. I would view it the same as any domestic violence and think the case should be prosecuted the same. If a man is violent about a baby I would think the inclination is there to be violent about a whole host of issues. I am not an expert in the field so this is conjecture but I would not leave my daughter in a relationship with a man like that.

By the way I am not a libertarian I am a conservative :)

Matt thanks for you comments.

Quimby said...

feeding my baby and typing one handed but do away with traffic laws? yes please, it'd take away the worry when i'm going to work driving 120k in a 100 zone!

RAP08 said...

Rick, do you have any idea what it costs to adopt from another country? I have a friend who by the way adopted 2 kids from China, 2 very cute girls. I don’t know what she had to pay but I have heard that it can cost $20,000 per child. There are a lot of hurdles, which I think are good, hate to see the girls end up in some child porn/prostitution ring. Needless to say there are few people who can just drop $40,000 to get a couple of children. Odds are they have already spent a lot of money on fertility treatments and artificial insemination, at $10,000 a try. So a couple would need to spend $60,000-$70,000 before the 2 Chinese kids got a home, wealthy indeed!

It is true that most people want kids that look like they do.

RAP08 said...

Here are the complete statistics from Wikipedia

25.5% Want to postpone childbearing
21.3% Cannot afford a baby
14.1% Has relationship problem or partner does not want pregnancy
12.2% Too young; parent(s) or other(s) object to pregnancy
10.8% Having a child will disrupt education or job
7.9% Want no (more) children
3.3% Risk to fetal health
2.8% Risk to maternal health
2.1% Other

Judge their reasons as you will.

Quimby said...

Sorry, I don't think "adoption costs too much" is a valid argument here, not if you're not willing to accept "having a child costs too much" as a reason for having an abortion, not if you're not willing to accept "pregnancy is risky and I shouldn't have to go through it for a child I don't want" as a valid reason for adoption. You, yourself, said that women who don't want their babies should simply adopt them out - so you can't speak out of both sides of your mouth, saying they should adopt them out and then saying adoption is too expensive to be a viable option for pro-lifers.

Anonymous said...

yes I do know the cost, as I'm currently saving to adopt a baby from China.

RAP08 said...

Quimby, I did not say it cost to much, just pointing out that Rick's statement about wealthy Americans really does apply to wealthy people. I though he was making a general statement that Americans are wealthy compared to the rest of the world and so all of them should adopt. It was clearly my misunderstanding and he agrees it is not cheap.

Rick, I am glad to hear you are going to adopt.

I have three children of my own so trust me I understand what it costs to raise a child, not as good as my wife but I still have an idea.

RAP08 said...

Quimby, it sounds like we agree you said "we should work to make it safe, legal, and rare." our differences lie in the method of making it rare.

The Faithful Dissident said...

The problem is, as RAP08 said, that most people want kids that look like them. Also, they want a newborn.

Yes, adoption is expensive. $20,000 per child is about right, give or take a little. But how much does it cost to give birth in the US? I know it probably varies because people either have different insurance coverage or no insurance coverage. The consensus that I've heard from American friends and relatives is somewhere around $10,000 in medical bills for a normal delivery without complications -- and that was several years ago. My brother and his wife in Michigan have decent insurance but I know that they had to shell out several thousand dollars out of pocket (complicated pregnancy with gestational diabetes and risk of pre-eclampsia, plus a C-section delivery).

Let's say, then, that an American couple decides to adopt instead of have biological children. By saving on the medical bills for giving birth, you're approximately half-way there already. Adopt an older child and you also save on the costs of a crib, babyseat, a couple years of diapers, highchair, and all that baby stuff that costs a fortune. Before you know it, you're probably pretty close to that $20,000 figure.

Now, before everyone accuses me of criticizing all of you who have your own kids, I can assure you that I'm not. Having kids is a personal thing and I understand that most people have this drive to have their own biological kids. I respect that. I just wanted to put it into perspective when people always say, "oh, adoption is too expensive, it's not realistic." Well, yeah, it's expensive, but so is giving birth! It's not something that EVERYONE can afford, but it's probably not as hopeless for average Americans as you think. $20,000 bucks is the cost of an average car. Most Americans can afford a car -- even several of them. If people want to adopt badly enough, most of them will probably make it. It will require sacrifice, but isn't that what having kids is all about?

Matt, I don't think your "RESPONSIBILITY" argument holds any water in the third world. How can people be responsible if they've never been taught how to be responsible or given the tools to be able to be so? And yet Bush and other conservatives withheld funding from those who could have given them those tools simply because abortion was among the tools made available to them. And we've already established the reasons for abortions in the third world. I don't think there are too many women there who are looking to end a pregnancy because it interferes with their career.

I think that Rick summed it up pretty well. It needs to be about compassion. What's more important, being "right" or being compassionate? You know, maybe it isn't "right" that tax payer money is going to fund abortions in the third world. But how is it any more morally upright to say to a 14 year-old girl in Ethiopia dripping a constant stream of urine because of a fistula, "Sorry, can't help you because a mother of 8 in South America decided to abort the twins she was expecting because she didn't know how she would afford them." Or to say to an HIV positive mother in South Africa, "Sorry, you'll have to find meds somewhere else because rape victims in the Congo are having abortions." But that is, in essence, what Bush was saying. I understand the moral dilemma of paying for abortions. But what about the moral dilemma of not doing so and then leaving these people to perpetuate the cycle of poverty and ignorance about their own reproductive health?

Quimby brought up a good point about euthanasia. I also work in elder care and I've found that at times it seems inhumane that the terminally ill can't receive assistance to die with dignity on their own terms if they choose to do so. Really tough one for me.

The Faithful Dissident said...

Just one more thing about adoption. I think someone said earlier something along the lines that many couples want to adopt but there aren't enough kids up for adoption.

I don't know what it costs to adopt a child domestically, but it has to be cheaper than an international adoption. As well, this perception of there not being enough supply to meet demand is only partially true. It's only true if you limit it to Caucasian infants. There are probably relatively few of those up for adoption, but there are many older children, many of whom are probably minorities. For those who do decide to adopt internationally, the waiting period is usually less for those who are not holding out for an infant because most people want a baby, not a child.

Stephanie said...

Quimby, I'm not ignoring you. I have some thoughts - I just don't have time to sit down and write them out eloquently. (Plus, now I'm like 30 comments behind).

Um, speaking of having kids, I'm actually reaching the end of my first trimester tomorrow. I'm really sick and trying to take care of 4 other kids, so I'm limiting my computer time.

Quimby said...

(Insert sorority girl shrieking here) Congratulations!!!! Either you're a good mom, crap with birth control, or a glutton for punishment. Whichever it is, good luck with the pregnancy, and that's one little spirit that has just lucked out!

Stephanie said...

Probably all 3. :) Thanks, Quimby.

The Faithful Dissident said...

Congratulations, Stephanie! If it's a girl, then all her future boyfriends better watch out with all those older brothers. I have 4 brothers, but I came first. Instead of protecting me, they couldn't wait to get rid of me. :)

Stephanie said...

Um, okay, wow, where to begin? (Thank you, FD, for your well wishes) I guess I’ll just dive right in with some of my thoughts.

The Lord commanded us “Thou shalt not murder nor do anything like unto it”. Murder is illegal and immoral. However, sometimes killing another human being is justified, such as in self-defense or when the Lord commanded Nephi to slay Laban (I doubt that defense would hold up in court, particularly in Jerusalem ). For the most part, killing another human being is an abomination, but sometimes it is “acceptable” (tragic and sad, yes, but acceptable).

I view abortion the same way. I think it is immoral and should be illegal. However, sometimes it is justified and “acceptable” (tragic and sad, yes, but acceptable).

Our laws allow for killing another human being under “acceptable” circumstances. I really don’t see why it should be that much different for abortion. I believe that at some early stage in the pregnancy, the spirit enters the body. I don’t know exactly when. I personally don’t feel it is at conception because I’ve miscarried at 5 weeks and didn’t feel that a spirit had entered or left my body (I could be wrong). But, I’ve had two friends recently who have lost their babies at 20 weeks who both felt that a spirit had entered the body and passed away. My personal theory is that there is not one specific moment that all spirits enter the body. I think that there is agency involved so the spirit can choose to enter the body when it is ready. Of course, that’s just my opinion, but I do feel strongly that at an early stage, there is a real human soul there – not just a “few cells”.

If there is human life, then taking that life is killing or extinguishing it. Of course I don’t think that an unborn baby’s life should have more value than the mother’s life – abortion is “okay” (with prayerful consideration) if the mother’s life is threatened. But, abortion is killing a human life, so for reasons of convenience, preference, etc., I think it is akin to murder, so I think that our current laws legalizing abortion allow for murder, and I think that is a dangerous place for us to be as a society. I already wrote this post on Elder Nelson’s article last year in the Ensign. Plus, I found an article called “Little Children” by Elder Packer in which he talks about the “four transgressions which plague mankind, all of which inflict suffering on little children”. He says: Third, the deliberate destruction of the innocent and helpless by abortion is now widely fostered – even publicly funded . . . if these sins remain unchecked, civilization will be led unfailingly to destruction . . . I believe that.

Regarding war, in a just war, death is tragic and sad but “acceptable” and sometimes necessary. I am tired of the Iraq argument because I don’t feel it is a just war, and I don’t defend it. It took me a while to figure out what my position on it was. At first it sounded good that we should protect ourselves from potential threat (WMDs) on their soil and not ours, but when I read the part of the BofM where the Nephites want to attack the Lamanites in the Lamanites’ land as a pre-emptive strike, and the Lord says no because he won’t preserve them if they go on the offense, only if they fight in defense, I realized what a mistake it was.

Regarding law enforcement, sometimes police officers have to kill in their line of work in order to protect others and themselves. In that case, it is tragic and sad but “acceptable”. If they kill for another reason (anger, revenge, fun), it is murder.

So, to sum up this comment, I think that killing for self-defense is okay. If that means aborting a baby because a mother’s life is in danger, okay. If that means killing a robber who enters your home and points a gun at you, okay. I don’t really see any inconsistencies in that position.

Oh, one more thing, a common excuse for not changing abortion law to outlaw some practices (like sex-selective abortion) is that it would be hard to enforce. I don’t think that’s a good reason not to. I think it is important for us as a society to take a stand to protect the lives of unborn babies. If that means a few women lie to get an abortion, I’m okay with that.

Stephanie said...

I’m a libertarian until one person’s choices infringe on the rights and life of another person. The one main purpose of government is to protect its citizens – from outside threats and from each other. So, I support laws against murder, laws against theft, regulation of financial markets (to protect people from getting screwed over by dishonest, greedy other people). And since I believe that the unborn baby is a human life, I believe that our government has a responsibility to protect that human life, and that is why I oppose elective abortion. I find that to be a consistent position.

Yes, I am a big patriot. I love our constitution, which the Lord gave to us to protect our freedoms. D&C 134 gives a good explanation of the appropriate role of government:

1 WE believe that governments were instituted of God for the benefit of man; and that he holds men accountable for their acts in relation to them, both in making laws and administering them, for the good and safety of society.
2 We believe that no government can exist in peace, except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience, the right and control of property, and the protection of life.
6 We believe that every man should be honored in his station, rulers and magistrates as such, being placed for the protection of the innocent and the punishment of the guilty; and that to the laws all men show respect and deference, as without them peace and harmony would be supplanted by anarchy and terror; human laws being instituted for the express purpose of regulating our interests as individuals and nations, between man and man; and divine laws given of heaven, prescribing rules on spiritual concerns, for faith and worship, both to be answered by man to his Maker.
7 We believe that rulers, states, and governments have a right, and are bound to enact laws for the protection of all citizens in the free exercise of their religious belief; but we do not believe that they have a right in justice to deprive citizens of this privilege, or proscribe them in their opinions, so long as a regard and reverence are shown to the laws and such religious opinions do not justify sedition nor conspiracy.
8 We believe that the commission of crime should be punished according to the nature of the offense; that murder, treason, robbery, theft, and the breach of the general peace, in all respects, should be punished according to their criminality and their tendency to evil among men, by the laws of that government in which the offense is committed; and for the public peace and tranquility all men should step forward and use their ability in bringing offenders against good laws to punishment.

Government has an important role, but it is limited. Here’s where the Lord describes the value of the constitution. D&C 101:

77 According to the laws and constitution of the people, which I have suffered to be established, and should be maintained for the rights and protection of all flesh, according to just and holy principles;
78 That every man may act in doctrine and principle pertaining to futurity, according to the moral agency which I have given unto him, that every man may be accountable for his own sins in the day of judgment.
79 Therefore, it is not right that any man should be in bondage one to another.
80 And for this purpose have I established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose, and redeemed the land by the shedding of blood.

Regarding patriotism, I really liked Elder Packer’s talk this last conference about patriotism.

It’s when government goes beyond its basic role of protection that it becomes a problem. Just because a little government is good doesn’t mean a lot of government is better. I think it is worse because government starts doing things for people that they can do for themselves, and power becomes concentrated. We don’t need power concentrated in a few hands of the people in office (particularly if they are not elected but are appointed). The power needs to remain in the hands of the people, which is what our constitution is designed to do. A lot of what we see happening in the U.S. that conservatives get riled up over is judicial activism (overturning the will of the people) and attempts to dismantle the constitution, or to make it a “living”, transforming document. Also, congress just ignoring the will of the people and doing what they think is best (like we saw with the last bailout – despite the fact that their offices were overrun with faxes and emails saying, “Don’t do it”, they just did it anyways). We see these as usurping the will of the people and taking the power away from us. Plus, we have so much corruption in politics in the U.S. now. When it comes down to it, it is our fault for sending the same people back to Washington over and over again, but the Republicans are cleaning house right now.

Stephanie said...

This post wasn’t meant to be a condemnation of the women of China and India who are aborting their girls as much as it is a condemnation of the U.S. for allowing the practice here. I was setting up the scenario with the other countries to explain why sex-selective abortion is happening in the U.S. China’s one-child policy is bad policy. A woman pregnant with a second child simply does not have options. I can’t condemn her. In fact, I suspect that most of the girls in orphanages are “wanted” and would have been kept by their families if they had been allowed to. In India, I agree with Quimby that the culture that devalues women is the problem. Their caste system doesn’t give women many options since giving birth to girls is seen as “devastating” to the family’s economy. There are big issues there. But, in the U.S., we don’t have those issues! There are parts of cultures that people bring from other countries that we don’t allow because we are an equal society (thanks largely in part to feminists – I’ll give credit where credit is due). We don’t allow honor killings. We don’t allow female circumcision. We protect women from those practices. We could protect the unborn baby girls from being aborted just because they are girls and their parents have cultural “norms” that make them unwanted, but we don’t.

Some of you brought up the questions of “What are you going to do?” Well, as I’ve pondered the world problems and what I can do (me – a lowly housewife in Texas), I’ve come to the conclusion that doing all I can to spread the gospel is the answer. One of those articles I linked to says:

Mosher contends it has been a losing situation for female children for centuries. However, he says the rise of Christianity has actually helped females, not hurt them, because the Bible recognizes them as having souls and also as the pinnacle of God's creation in Genesis 2.

"Let's look back in history before the coming of Christianity. Virtually all societies treated women as not just the weaker sex, but the disposable sex," he points out. "Female infanticide was practiced by the Greeks, by the Romans, by most of the pagan societies -- and it was only with the coming of Christianity that the status of women was raised."

I recognize that the church is patriarchal in nature, but it teaches men to respect and love and treat women as equal partners. Talks like this one from conference are evidence of that.

President Monson asked us in conference to pray that more countries will open up to missionary work. A big one is China. I have friends learning Mandarin to prepare for when China opens up. I think that sharing the gospel in China has the potential to help reverse the policy so that families will keep their baby girls. For me, sharing the gospel is what I feel called to do (or, in the meantime, prepare a bunch of future missionaries), and I feel it is how I can have the most impact on improving the lives of people in the world.

Stephanie said...

Another random comment – I am very pro- birth control and family planning. I am more liberal than a lot of my Mormon friends on this. You might not think so considering that I have almost 5 children, but I’ve used birth control before and after every one, and all of my pregnancies were intentional (can you imagine how many kids I would have if I didn’t? I honestly think I am one of the most fertile women on the planet). I had a similar experience to Quimby in that I didn’t realize how “hard” childbearing was until I started. I also didn’t realize how overwhelming a bunch of little kids are. I don’t think we should just “leave it up to God” to decide if we are going to get pregnant (the Quiverful movement). I think that choosing to have (or adopt or not to have) children is a matter of prayer. Like the scripture in D&C says, “study it out in your mind, make a decision, and ask if it is right”. Concerns about money, physical health, mental health are very real, and we need to be responsible for ourselves and our potential children. So, I’m more of the type to want to make birth control easily accessible so people can be responsible – BUT I think it needs to go with a lot of education. I think that our society doesn’t value human life enough. I even have to admit that I support the government providing birth control (I was just poking fun at Pelosi for calling it a “stimulus” – really, she wants to save the government money by not taking care of kids, but that’s not the definition of a “stimulus”). It’s not ideal, but people shouldn’t be having babies they don’t want to have because they can’t afford birth control. I can think of many downsides to this (and I’d love to hear a conservative argument to try to talk me out of it), but I don’t think that abortion should be used as a form of birth control, so if I want to outlaw it for that reason, I think that valid forms of birth control need to be available so that women can make the choice not to have kids.

Still, even with birth control, pregnancies can occur. I think part of an appropriate education is warning of that risk. When you choose to have sex, you choose to take that risk. Not that you have to keep the baby, but I think that the baby’s right to live outweighs the mom’s inconvenience for a few months when she can adopt it out.

The church pushes both bearing your own children and adopting. I think it is a personal decision what we each decide to do. I have family members who have had some of their own kids and then adopted (one of my brothers is planning to do this, including a baby from China). I have family members and friends who have never been able to have children and, for whatever reason (I don’t know- none of my business), never adopted. (But, they have helped so many other people raise their children – either by bringing them into their own homes or going to their homes. Opportunities they might not have had if they had their own children). Personally, I’ve had my last three children (particularly #5) because the Lord told me to. I tried to fight #5 for several months until I couldn’t deny all the different impressions and inspiration I was getting. On FMH, I heard about a woman who wanted to have a baby, and the impression she received from the Lord was “no”. I just can’t ever judge or question anyone else’s choices with regard to this because it is so personal.

Rick, that is wonderful news that you are saving to adopt. Best of luck.

Quimby said...

See, I'm happy to stop at two children. So happy in fact that I refuse to even take it to the Lord - ignorance is bliss, and if I don't ask I can't be told to have more (and then I can't commit the sin of disobedience). If Heavenly Father wants me to have another child he's pretty much going to have to appear to me in person before I believe it.

Honestly, I don't like abortion. I wish it wasn't an option - in that I wish that every pregnancy was wanted. In order to get to that point, I think several things have to happen first:

1. All women have to have access to safe, effective, and affordable birth control. Preferably 100% effective. And they have to have the freedom to use it. This means no interference from religious leaders saying it's sinful. This means no interference from men saying they don't like it. This means giving women the right to control their fertility - which, in some cultures (even in some segments of Western society) is an idea that really threatens men. Which is one reason we need to destroy the patriarchy.

2. Another reason we need to destroy the patriarchy - Until women have full equality with men, unwanted pregnanices will continue. Why? Because there are too many young women who have such low self-esteem (and yes, I do see this as directly related to the patriarchy) that they will enter into sexual relationships simply to keep a man. Because there are too many men who abuse their position of power (relative to women) and coerce sex out of women. Because rape is ultimately about power - men rape women in part because women are seen as weak - so when we empower women, we will go a long way towards eradicating rape.

Empowering women will also go a long way towards giving women who are in abusive relationships the strength to leave those relationships. Nobody wants to see their friend or sister or mother or sister in law or workmate in an abusive relationship. But women who are in those relationships, are so convinced that they are worthless that they will not leave until they see their worth. I'm not saying the eradication of the patriarchy will completely do away with abusive relationships (let's face it, some people, men and women both, are just jerk-faces) but it can't hurt.

3. Stephanie, I know you'll disagree with this, but we need better social welfare. Too many women are living below the poverty line. Single women are especially vulnerable. If women are aborting children because they can't afford to raise them, we, as a society with a vested interest in stopping abortion, need to step up and help. (And please don't say, "Well, they just shouldn't have sex in the first place." Refer to #1 and #2.)

4. Better women's health - make pregnancy and childbirth less risky.

Even if all of those conditions were met, I would still want abortion to remain legal, because no woman should have to break the law to have an abortion that is life-saving or to abort a child that has no reasonable chance of survival. (That last one is really dicey, I know; but I certainly can't judge the woman who aborts a child who is shown to be developing without a brain, for instance. And yes, that does happen. I work with midwives, the stories I could tell you! But I won't because they insist on telling me all of them when I'm pregnant and that just turns me into the world's biggest worry-wart.)

But to that end - and to avoid late-term abortions - we need better prenatal screenings. At the moment the standard diagnostic screening is between 17 and 20 weeks. If further testing is needed it can take a couple more weeks before a woman has a final diagnosis. Aborting a fetus at, say, 24 weeks (marginally on the edge of viability for an otherwise healthy fetus) is harder on the parents - by that time, most mothers have formed a bond to that fetus. Surely it's better to abort a non-viable fetus at, say, 8 to 10 weeks, than at 24 weeks.

On the question of when life begins - I've been reading up on Dreamtime lately and I was struck with the idea that many Aborigines believe the soul enters the body at the quickening. That idea really appeals to me.

The Faithful Dissident said...

"Oh, one more thing, a common excuse for not changing abortion law to outlaw some practices (like sex-selective abortion) is that it would be hard to enforce. I don’t think that’s a good reason not to. I think it is important for us as a society to take a stand to protect the lives of unborn babies. If that means a few women lie to get an abortion, I’m okay with that."

You know, I agree with you on this one Stephanie. I don't think it would be unreasonable to insert some exceptions to Roe vs. Wade wording of being able to abort "for any reason." As you yourself admitted, it would be hard to enforce something like outlawing sex-selective abortion. To make such abortions officially illegal may be more of a symbolic gesture more than anything, since we know that some women are going to lie, but amending the law would maybe dissuade a few from doing it.

I found it interesting to read all of your comments about when you believe the spirit enters the body. This may surprise some of you, but I've always thought that the spirit is already "there" at conception. (Just my opinion, which is solely based on thought since I've never been pregnant and therefore have no experience.) The reason for this is that we believe that all living things have a spirit -- really, even down to the tiniest of living creatures. Even if it's just a single cell. Of course, at this stage it isn't physically a human being yet, but it has the potential to form a human body. Still, though, it's a human cell and therefore, I have always just assumed, it has a human spirit. Just like if it were a dog cell, it would have a dog spirit, a cat cell would have a cat spirit, etc.

So you could wonder how I, being of the opinion that even a single human cell contains a human spirit, could support things like stem cell research or abortion in some cases. A couple of reasons:

a) If an abortion is performed early enough under moral grounds (i.e. what the Church considers "moral grounds"), before the fetus has developed organs and the ability to feel pain, then it's hard for me to feel bad enough about it to make the mother (a fully-developed, living, breathing human being) go through physical or mental hardship in order to save the fetus at that stage. The problem, of course, is that although there are theories, we don't know exactly when a fetus starts to feel pain. So the earlier such an abortion is performed, the better. I think I would feel better about women being able to legally terminate a pregnancy "for any reason" if it were up to, say, 8-12 weeks (just throwing out a figure there). After that, it's quite likely that the fetus feels pain and then it becomes more problematic. I'm not saying that I think that abortion should be banned after that point, but rather that I'm not so comfortable with the "for any reason" wording.

b) When it comes to stem cell research and the like, I acknowledge that it's destroying at least the potential to human life. And, if I'm right that the human spirit is already present in that embryo, then you could argue that it's destroying a human life. But once again, I'm one of those people who believes that sometimes the end justifies the means. I just don't have that big of a problem with destroying a human embryo -- which we know does not have any organs or ability to feel any pain -- in order to possibly save lives or improve the lives of human beings that are already here, fully-developed and with the ability to feel pain. I understand the moral dilemma of destroying human cells, but I personally feel it's more immoral to not do so, for the reasons I stated above, when people are suffering every day with diseases that may very well be cured by those embryos.

Stephanie said...

Brigham Young has a quote saying he believes the spirit enters the body at quickening. The Bible also has a scripture that supports that. And, one of my friends who believes that the spirit enters at conception used a similar idea as FD that all things are created spiritually before physically, so the spirit would need to be ready first. This is how I look at it myself: if I get to the other side and find out that the baby I miscarried is waiting for me to finish raising it, bonus for me! But, how devastating would it be to have an abortion and get to the other side and meet the person that you aborted because you didn't think they were a real spirit! My friend told me of another friend who had a dream about a woman and felt that she was family and was very distressed about finding out who this woman was - she felt like she had missed her chance on earth and wondered if she herself had had a miscarriage she didn't know about. She found out that her mom had an abortion when she was younger, and she felt that this woman in her dream was her aborted fetus. Of course, all of that is just talk and theory, but I find it interesting to think about.

You know, Quimby, I probably agree with 95% of that last comment. I do think that we as a society need to take better care of the "widows and orphans". The scriptures talk about that a lot. I personally feel that a lot of welfare is being wasted on able-bodied men. We can't just lump all the "poor" into one category. I'd add that we need moral Christian values in our society that encourage men to form families and take care of those families. We let men off the hook too easily - and I do think that feminism has been partly responsible for that. Some feminists seem to think that women don't "need" men. I don't think that helps women because it encourages them to think that they can just become a single mom and do it on their own. It is HARD. I imagine that a lot of women who chose to become single parents (either because they planned it that way or because they accidentally got pregnant and chose to keep the baby) have found it to be a lot more challenging than they thought it would be. I guess that's why as I consider what I want to "be" (women's advocate, child advocate, "save the males" advocate), I choose "family advocate". Strong, healthy families are good for women AND kids (and men, too).

I don't think we should do away with all social programs, but I do think we should re-vamp them so they are more targeted to helping women and children - and not in a way that excuses men from responsibility, but in a way that helps those who truly need it. Honestly, I don't know how. But, what we are doing is wasting a lot of money (taxpayer dollars) and still is leaving a lot of the most vulnerable who really need the help without it.

One program that I am okay with in the U.S. is Earned Income Credit. It gives money to families (or single parents) who have worked with a low income and have children. You can get a tiny amount if you don't have children and make like $10,000. But, if you make about $30,000 and have two kids, you can get something like $4,000 back. I've fluctuated in my support of this. I think the main reason why I (currently) support it is that it is limited - you get it if the kids live with you and you provide care until they are 18. It helps people who are doing it "right" - who are being responsible for themselves - but who just don't make that much.

Again, I'd be interested in a conservative argument against it, but I think that it is a decent program. It helped my mom A LOT when she had kids at home. Sure, it is income redistribution, but it is very targetted to helping low income kids whose parents are working.

And, of course, my 5% disagreement is that I don't want all abortions to remain legal. I would like a policy that mirrors the church's position - abortion is "okay" under certain circumstances, but not for convenience or birth control or preference.

RAP08 said...


you continue to say we need to "destroy the patriarchy". Can you take a minute and explain what you mean by that statement?


Quimby said...

"Destroy" might be too loaded a word. I would like to see an end to the patriarchy; I would like to see a society in which men and women have equal and full ownership of their bodies; I would like to see a world in which men and women are treated equally by law and society; I would like to see a world in which the opinion of a woman matters as much as the opinion of a man.

Equality can be frightening. Time and time again, I have heard men and women both argue that what I am really after is female superiority, even as I use the word "equal". I once taught the YW and one YM who didn't want to go to his own class a lesson based on the book "Eve and the Choice Made in Heaven." Beverley Campbell is about as mainstream a Mormon as you're likely to find. She spear-headed the anti-ERA campaign, for crying out loud. She talks about equality in her book and talks about how men and women are equal firsts in the Kingdom of Heaven. I read out some of her quotes - all of which were very clear in saying "equality" - and the YM in attendance got quite upset and asked me why I was saying women were better than men. Which was odd, because if you've ever read Campbell's books, that's one of her central arguments - that it is Satan who wants us to believe that one gender is better than the other, that the gender wars play in his favor by dividing us against each other.

In practice I've met far more people who self-identify as anti-feminists who make statements about female superiority. How many times have you heard a woman say, "Why would I want to be equal to men? I'm already better than they are." How many times have you heard a man say, "We men need the priesthood to make us as good as women." I don't think either statement is true: I was not created any higher or lower than you. I am no more or less naturally righteous than you are.

For whatever reasons we have created a society in which men (collectively) have more power and influence than women. Throughout history we have neglected to take into consideration the ideas and opinions of 50% of our population. Even if you assume that the 50% that is female is as mixed a bag intellectually as the 50% that is male, you've got to accept that, no doubt, we've missed out on some very important things by excluding women from decision-making.

We continue to exclude women in other ways: Even in a Western society which has legal equality in many areas, we neglect to value things that are seen as "feminine." Little boys aren't dressed in pink because it's "girly" but we don't hesitate to dress little boys in blue - being "girly" is a bad thing, being "tomboy" not so much. We don't value domesticity - We only pay lip service to women's work, but we don't value it financially or emotionally. It's drudgery. We don't consider that, throughout history, women have used the private sphere to create; we don't consider that, throughout history, in the midst of some very difficult situations, women have continued to feed their families, keep them healthy, etc. Instead we take it for granted - this hidden history of women's work that is lost to us.

I think of the early interactions of indigenous populations and white explorers. Have you ever read Australian explorer diaries? In one sentence they talk about how there is nothing to eat, it's such a barren landscape and no man could survive; and then in the next they talk about how the natives are all fat and healthy and well-fed. Obviously there was food; they just lacked the humility to ask for the knowledge; and as a result many died. It's the same with our attitude towards domesticity: There is great knowledge to be had there - read an old cookbook and pay attention to the ingredients that are used and it opens up an entire world of, What was available? What was cheap? Why was that the case? What can we learn from that? - but instead of seeking after that knowledge, we just degrade it. We don't consider that women who grew gardens and put up produce and sold eggs and made quilts and kept clean homes all made an important economic contribution to their families - food grown and preserved is money saved because it doesn't have to be spent on food; quilts made from scraps is money saved because it doesn't have to be spent on fabric and wood and coal; clean homes is money saved in the form of fewer illnesses; etc.

And now I'm off on one of my favorite tangents - the feminist nature of domesticity - so I'd better try to get back to the topic at hand.

Earlier you asked about the POTF. I have a difficult time with the passage you quoted,because of the contradictory nature of "preside" and "equal." It's simply impossible for fathers (alone) to "preside" over a family while being "equal partners" with their wives. It is a linguistic nightmare - word salad.

Stephanie said...

I wish I would have found this article before I wrote this post. It turns out you don't need to wait for an ultrasound to determine the sex of your baby.

Gender Selection Come Stateside
Feticide - terminating a pregnancy based on the baby's gender - is illegal in India, yet the U.N. estimates that 2000 female fetuses are aborted there every day. Barbaric, horrific - and a problem that's 7000 miles away,right? Wrong.

Now available in the U.S. is the Pink or Blue Early Gender Test ($240), an at-home kit that purports to determine a fetus's sex from a pinprick's worth of the mother's blood as early as seven weeks after conception. Convenient, particularly for couples who "always wanted a girl" or in ethnic communities that value sons over daughters, as the test gives would-be parents ample time to abort if the gender they wind up with is not to their liking.

"Unless there's a real medical concern, like a high risk of a sex-linked disease, there's no good reason to perform such early sex tests," says Dr. Arthur Caplan, chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and the director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania. "And I'd be skeptical about their accuracy." In fact, a class-action suit by parents alleging incorrect results was recently brought against another gender-test kit.


Stephanie said...

Carol Lynn Pearson (Mormon feminist I love) has a poem regarding the loss of domesticity. It is called "Ms. Mead Said So" (I'm not sure what the significance of Ms. Mead is. Is she a feminist?):

In every trible
No island excepted

Basket weaving
If done by men
Is hot stuff
Real buff:

And basket weaving
If done by women
Is mere fluff
Not enough:

So women, of course
Are leaving their weaving

And whatever will we
Float the children in?

My husband gave me a copy of "Eve and the Choice Made in Eden" for a gift once. I always thought of myself as a "feminist" growing up and fighting against the patriarchy in society. But, I didn't really have a problem in/with the church until I went through the temple the day before my wedding. I had a hard time deciding whether I wanted to go back the next day. I struggled over it for several hours that night and finally decided that my husband-to-by just wasn't "like that", so whatever the church said, he didn't treat me as anything less than an equal. I cried every time we went to the temple for the first couple of years - then just sort of went numb. But, when he gave me that book and I read it, a lot of things started to make sense. Not that I understand everything, but I have more peace and acceptance and figure that the rest will come.

Regarding presiding and equality, D&C 107 talks about how the priesthood works. Verse 22 says that we have a First Presidency. Verse 23 says that we have a Quorom of the 12. And verse 24 says:

24 And they form a quorum, equal in authority and power to the three presidents previously mentioned.

Verse 25 talks about the Quorom of the 70 and verse 26 says:

26 And they form a quorum, equal in authority to that of the Twelve special witnesses or Apostles just named.

So, even though the First Presidency presides over the Quorom of the 12, which presides over the Quorom of the 70, they all are equal in authority. I don't know exactly how that "works", but it seems to me that it is the same thing in marriage. The husband presides but both husband and wife are equal in authority. Not that I fully "get it", but I think it is significant enough for me not to worry too much.

All right, tangent over. :)

Stephanie said...

That poem should say

In every tribe . . .

Quimby said...

I love that poem. I'd never heard it before. (I usually love her stuff.) The Ms Mead would refer to the anthroplogist Margaret Mead.

Honestly, the only legitimate reason to test for sex (as far as I'm concerned) is if you're trying to avoid one of those rare diseases that only affect one sex or the other. In that case, I could even see sex-selective abortion (for instance if there's a nearly 100% chance that your son or daughter will get some disease that will cause horrible pain and suffering) but those cases are probably very rare.

matt said...

It's been a few days but let me clear up some of what I was saying.

First, I am only referring to abortion in the U.S. I understand the are tremendous problems in other countries but we can only do so much there.

I brought up religion and the constitution because it deals directly with our country. If other nations believe abortion is acceptable to there God, so be it. I was not saying that liberals are God-less (although generally less religious than conservatives), I was meaning to say that liberals tend to carry the idea that any religion (or religious persuasion) can't/shouldn't be forced on anyone, therefore conservatives don't have a valid argument in saying that abortion is morally wrong.

On Quimby's question about conservatives supporting war, here's my take. As has already been mentioned, war is and always will be bad, but 1. The soldiers voluntarily signed up for war loving their country, knowing that death is a possible outcome. 2. The innocent that are killed is very tragic, but we have certain circumstances when fighting for freedom/protection is necessary. I
I realize that many do not believe that we are in war for valid reasons, but both parties voted to invade and now we have to deal with the consequences in a responsible manner, which is not playing armchair quarterback with the info we get from the media.

I know I was wrong that the 25% was not a majority, but Rap clarified that for us,
"25.5% Want to postpone childbearing
21.3% Cannot afford a baby
14.1% Has relationship problem or partner does not want pregnancy
12.2% Too young; parent(s) or other(s) object to pregnancy
10.8% Having a child will disrupt education or job
7.9% Want no (more) children
3.3% Risk to fetal health
2.8% Risk to maternal health
2.1% Other

I know I can't judge everyone, but it seems like the majority is about convenience.

Quimby mentioned that maybe I have never seen or experienced gut wrenching poverty. I served a mission in the Philippines, and let me tell you, I saw more poverty than most will ever experience. I also find it interesting that abortion is not common there despite a lack of money.

My feelings on abortion are right along the lines of what Stephanie has described. In general it is a demoralizing practice.

Here's an email I received from a friend:
"If you click on you can see the ad that the church wanted to run during the Super Bowl. I guess President Obama rescinded Bush’s ban on federal funding of abortions on Friday with no media coverage at all. Doesn’t seem weird that he has cameras for EVERYthing, but not this. Thought you might get a chuckle out of the ad!"

Quimby said...

Abortion isn't common in the Phillipines? Want to bet?

One in four pregnancies ends in abortion
70% of all unwanted pregnanices are aborted
One of the highest rates in Asia

Just because it's hidden, doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

Quimby said...

More from the article -

Official rates of abortion: 400,000 to 500,000

Official rates of women hospitalised every year because of botched abortion: 100,000

By wanting to hide or make abortion illegal, you are condemning these women to major medical problems. Once again, this isn't a matter of, "Make abortion illegal and abortion will stop." This is a matter of desperation - a desperate woman will have an abortion, safely or unsafely, legally or illegally. Either way her fetus is dead. Why harm the woman to further some political goal?

So yeah, I say that the decision to make abortion illegal (or in the case of the Phillipines, merely difficult to attain) is not about saving the fetus, but about punishing the would-be mother for some sin which is not entirely of her making.

And again, we see that "conveniance" has many different definitions: "The mother can't afford another child, so ends up choosing her five living children over the fetus in her womb." As a mother myself, I can sympathise with that: I would do anything to protect my children who are already here.

And as for your highly insulting comment about playing "armchair quarterback with info we get from the media", this war affects me in ways you can't even begin to imagine. Because of this botched up war (which was obviously based on lies, from the word go - even the UN Weapons Inspectors said there were no WMD; not to mention pretty much every reputable academic on Iraq or on WMD; not to mention plain old common sense if you stop to think about the shelf-life of chemical weapons) my family has been torn to pieces. Because of this botched-up war my husband no longer has a relationship with his sister; my husband and I no longer have a relationship with our nieces and nephews; my children no longer have a relationship with their cousins; and every single family get-together is a delicate negotiation: Do my parents-in-law invite their son (married to an American) or their daughter (married to an Egyptian, with half of his family living in Baghdad)? Would they rather see their daughter's grandchildren, or their son's? Because of this war, we can't be under the same roof. Because of this war, the hardships my BIL's family have gone through are unimaginable - and he puts the blame squarely on American shoulders - and so I and my family are tarred by association. This isn't about being an armchair analyst. This is about trying to find my way through a minefield of crap, and all because of a botched up war based on a series of lies.

Stephanie said...

A step in the right direction. I am interested to see what happens with this bill.

Stephanie said...

Sweden has decided that abortions based on sex of the fetus are A-OK.

Interestingly, the National Board of Health and Welfare issued the decision after an abortion provider requested clarification because a woman had already had two abortions because the fetus was a girl and had come in to be tested on a third pregnancy. This is what the abortion provider said:

Mr. Wedenberg worried in a letter to the board that "the matter has given rise to strong feelings among those involved who, perhaps justifiably, believe that the patient has gone through two abortions because of [the fetus'] gender" and wanted to know "if a caregiver within the public health system has the right to make reference to their own views and the dominant view in our country about genders' equal value, in preventing a patient, with perhaps a different valuation, from learning the gender of the fetus."

Sveriges Television reported Tuesday that the board, in response to Mr. Wedenberg's inquiry, decided it is illegal to deny a woman an abortion up to her 18th week of pregnancy even if her request is based on a sex preference.
Really, really sad. So much for equality.

badvegan said...

i find it strange that in over 70 posts the word "irony" has been used incorrectly and no one has said anything about it.

Ironic is when the actual meaning is the opposite of the expected or literal meaning.

For instance: "It was ironic that the doctor, after curing cancer, should succumb to it himself." "The rock star, who performed in packed stadiums nightly, was, ironically, incredibly shy."

It is frequently used to mean coincidence, but this is incorrect.
Nothing in the old song by Alanis Morrissette is an actual example of irony.

i am not trying to call people out, however so many people using a word incorrectly is perplexing to me.