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Are some women's abortions are less acceptable than others?

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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-07-11 05:28 PM
Original message
Are some women's abortions are less acceptable than others?

http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?article=choice_rank...

We pushed back against Republicans' attempt to create a hierarchy of rape. So why are we OK with a hierarchy of abortion?

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This extremely narrow definition nearly became law. After a concerted digital effort by pro-choice activists -- and some ribbing from The Daily Show -- the GOP announced Thursday it would strip the term "forcible rape" from HR3, the so-called No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act. The purpose of the bill is to prevent taxpayer subsidies from funding health-care plans that offer abortion, and while it will now make exceptions for "rape, incest, and the life of the mother," it still codifies the Hyde Amendment, which has denied abortion access to poor women almost as long as Roe has granted the right to everyone else.

I agree with Digby that the rape language was far from the only problem with this bill, but I disagree that this attempt to change the definition of rape is merely a distraction. Rape -- and its definition -- have long played a role in society's judgment of what is an "acceptable" abortion. Thanks, in part, to the Hyde Amendment, we already have a hierarchy of legal abortion -- one that goes beyond the gestational restrictions set by the Roe v. Wade decision and limits abortions based on much more arbitrary and moralistic criteria. Sure, those of us who are pro-choice are happy when draconian anti-abortion laws make exceptions for women who become pregnant as a result of rape or incest, but that doesn't change our underlying opposition to restrictions on this right. All women should be able to choose abortion, for any reason, under any circumstances, within the boundaries set by Roe.
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It's also tempting -- even for people who are nominally pro-choice -- to divide legal abortion into a million categories based on circumstances. I'm not talking about abortion at various stages of pregnancy. I'm talking about how we decide which Roe-sanctioned abortions we support and which we don't. A few weeks ago, a pro-choice friend of mine was appalled to learn that an acquaintance had gotten three abortions in one year. He questioned whether the woman was "using abortion as birth control." My answer? I don't know the circumstances, I don't pretend to know them, and frankly, I don't care. I support her choice. All three of them. Once you start passing judgment in such specific incidences, the slope gets pretty slippery.

There is a long-running debate among pro-choice activists about whether it's a savvy political move to highlight the most sympathetic cases. The truth of the matter is that we are more likely to describe the plight of the couple who really wanted a child but for medical reasons chose to have a second-trimester abortion than we are to talk about the 14-year-old who was simply unable to come to terms with the fact that she was pregnant until she was well out of the first trimester and needed a similar procedure. We make an example of our friend who needed an abortion after she was raped but not of our friend who needed an abortion because she was drunk and didn't make her partner wear a condom. We might bring up the fact that low-income women have a hard time paying for abortions, but how often do we come right out and say that the solution is taxpayer funding?

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MichiganVote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-07-11 05:30 PM
Response to Original message
1. Its nobody's business why anyone undergoes a pregnancy termination.
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-07-11 05:36 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Every person has their own reason and every reason is personal.
I agree with you.
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-07-11 05:31 PM
Response to Original message
2. i've always been -- and will always remain -- an abortion on demand guy.
women need to own their bodies -- first and last.
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hlthe2b Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-07-11 05:37 PM
Response to Original message
4. Apparently, poor women's abortions are worse..
Edited on Mon Feb-07-11 05:55 PM by hlthe2b
because the RW wants them to suffer their entire life for what they view their failure to "know their place in society" and thus, remain "chaste".... Some days I can not hide my contempt for RWers. Today is one of them.
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Iris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-07-11 05:42 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. well said.
Nothing wrong with a little righteous indignation now and again! :)
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-07-11 05:51 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. Had a person come in for her 3rd abortion in 1 yr and had to stop and think a bit
Why was it considered ok for her first, barely for her second and time to look down upon her for her third? Yes, it cost her money and was painful for her, and she couldn't have sex for a month after each, but other than that, what was the difference. I decided that if she was willing to pay and go through the abortion, it wasn't up to me to pass any moral judgment on her. It was up to me to give her as good care as I could, help her as she needed help.

That said, strongly believe that one of the perks of living in our country SHOULD be affordable accessible decent daycare that pays its providers a living wage. It would help everyone.
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hlthe2b Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-07-11 05:54 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. That and...
access to safe birth control, fully covered by medicaid and insurance. Women should not be in a position to HAVE to repeatedly make that choice.
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May Hamm Donating Member (244 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-07-11 11:41 PM
Response to Reply #7
11. Abortion as birth control? I'm all for it!

In my opinion a woman who is getting a third abortion in one year should have all the support she can handle. Give her free rides and chips and salsa while she waits because this woman has had either the worst luck or circumstances ever to happen to anyone or else she is not in a position to have control of her life or understand consequences.

In any case she is EXACTLY who we do NOT want to be forced to rear a child. Not until she gets whatever is wrong in her life together better and wants a child.
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-08-11 01:08 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. She is taking control of her life and understanding consequences.
Until, or IF, she wants a child, I'd rather not have her have to have a child. Yes, she had sex. At least 3 times that yr Did she use contraception that failed? Was she raped? Did she have health issues that made OC's not a choice, IUD not a choice, perhaps latex allergies (back when condoms were latex)? Did her partner(s) refuse to use that condom? Did she not care to prevent that egg/sperm from uniting? Was she glad to get that month break from having sex?

Lots of questions. I eventually got some very interesting answers, and she eventually had a child, was a very good mom. however, I fully supported her right to get the care she sought when she sought it.


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PeaceNikki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-08-11 03:45 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. That's always a dumb argument. It *is* a form of birth control.
It limits the number of children born. Always. When people say that they mean contraception - which it will never be.
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May Hamm Donating Member (244 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-09-11 12:17 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. So, what is your point?

Some women are in such circumstances that you or I cannot even begin to imagine why they make the choices they make. My point is that whether it is three abortions or six abortions, if this is the only way that a woman has to keep from being forced to have babies then who are we to question it? There is absolutely no doubt that any woman having a repeat procedure has been told of all the ways to prevent conception. This is the form of birth control she is able to use.

I'm sorry for her. I'm sorry for her life being like this. I'm sorry I can't just wish it all away and make it better. But I'm not sorry she has this option and I will work hard to see that this choice is never taken away from her.
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-09-11 12:24 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. Latex allergy, foam failure, rape, refusal of male partner to use condom, OC/health issue
So, if she'd just not had sex, she'd not be pregnant. If only he used the non-latex condom she provided. If only the next guy didn't rape her. If only she didn't have other health issues making use of the pill not possible. If only that foam had worked.
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May Hamm Donating Member (244 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-09-11 01:05 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. What the fuck is YOUR point?

How in the world does your reply have anything at all to do with what I wrote to someone else?
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-09-11 01:21 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. Since I am the OP, and my comment was the start of this subthread, I thought I'd add more
as to why she had those abortions, how her life was.

That is how forums work. People join in, sometimes the OP adds more. What the fuck is YOUR point with the rudeness?
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May Hamm Donating Member (244 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-09-11 01:50 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. I'm sorry for posting in haste. You are right. I was rude.

I was annoyed at something else. I should know not to read at any online forum when I am distracted by unrelated events.

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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-09-11 03:38 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. btw, thank you for your supporting a woman's right to chose a legal hygienic abortion.
seriously
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PeaceNikki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-09-11 04:49 PM
Response to Reply #14
20. My point is that anti-choicers use the "using it as birth control" argument is a dumb argument.
Edited on Wed Feb-09-11 05:01 PM by PeaceNikki
They like to throw it around when women have had more than one abortion - forgetting the fact that women are usually fertile for up to FOUR DECADES and spend most of that time trying to avoid pregnancy. We are in total agreement that we have no right to judge others for the choices they make.

We can trust women to exercise their sensible moral judgment; we can trust doctors to exercise their professional medical judgment, and that's all we need to regulate the process.

And I wasn't trying to imply that YOU were making that argument. I just hear these pricks try to discuss restrictions and limitations and use the argument that "some women use it as birth control"... um, yeah - even ONE is "birth control".
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shaayecanaan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-16-11 10:07 PM
Response to Reply #11
21. I agree
ultimately, its a lot cheaper for the state to simply pay for the abortions than pay for the unwanted children.

This is probably why it would have been preferable for abortion to have become accessible through legislation rather than as the result of judicial fiat as was the case in Roe v Wade.

Abortion is barely an issue in Europe, Canada, Australia etc because governments were forced to deal with the issue themselves. It's pretty hard to get a jury to agree to jail an obstetrician for performing an abortion. Moreover, Im not sure the public would want to see children growing up in institutions again, or indeed having to pay the costs thereof. Most western governments, when faced with this choice, made the decision of allowing women to access abortion.

To some extent having the matter dealt with by appellate courts serves to absolve governments of their responsibilities.
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May Hamm Donating Member (244 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-07-11 11:30 PM
Response to Reply #4
10. Unfortunately you write the truth

I will never understand why they are so full of hate and contempt for people who did not get born with a silver spoon. Even poor rightwingers hate poor people. I don't understand.
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PeaceNikki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-07-11 05:42 PM
Response to Original message
6. No, never.
This has always bothered me and always will.

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HockeyMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-07-11 05:51 PM
Response to Original message
8. They will never deliver a live baby from
a fallopian tube. They DO NOT like this. It doesn't fit nicely into their religious schedule; no such thing as abortions for the life of the mother.
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Rabblevox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-25-11 10:10 PM
Response to Original message
22. I am firmly pro-choice. However...
I had a girlfriend who aborted my child without even talking to me. She had told me she was on the pill, and neither of us wanted a child at the time.

Was that her "right"?

Yes it was.

However, I later found out that she had lied about birth control, and that ours was abortion #7 for her. Maybe it all worked out for the best, I'm doubting if she would ever have been "mother of the year" material and I'm certainly no "Father Knows Best".

But I loved her at the time, and would have welcomed and loved a child. I was not even given the chance to voice an opinion.

And that feels both wrong and sad.
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musette_sf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-11 09:19 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. IMHO what is "wrong" and "sad"
is the idea that a woman shouldn't be able to decide for herself whether she wants a child or not.

She didn't want a child. Her decision.

What were your possible outcomes, in retrospect? Here they are:

1. She doesn't want a child, she had information from you already that you didn't want a child, she terminates the pregnancy.

2. Your "love at the time" leads her to accede to your decision over hers; she gives birth; you break up after she gives birth; she is tied to you for the next 18 years and now has to deal with single parenting, and making sure the child knows its father, WHEN SHE DIDN'T WANT A CHILD WITH YOU IN THE FIRST PLACE.

3. She doesn't want a child, you do; for some reason she accedes to your decision, and is sentenced to almost a year of involuntary servitude with health risks up to and including death, and you snatch the child away from her as soon as it is born. She now has almost a year of life to catch up with, including losing a year of work towards her career, and possibly including lifelong health issues, and you aren't compensating her for her time, labor, and sacrifice.

I'm thinking #2 and #3 are wrong and sad options, for the woman. I'm thinking #1 is the ONLY option that takes the WOMAN's decision into account. And you DID say that it was understood between you that neither of you wanted a child at the time. So if she acted on information you'd already given her, you WERE already consulted on the decision.

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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-01-11 06:01 PM
Response to Reply #22
24. Sounds like communication between you was wrong and sad. Sounds like a sad relationship
Doesn't have much to do with the topic at hand, but sounds like a sad relationship.
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