Killer Law

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abortion, Latin America

Last November, Nicaragua became the third country in the world, after Chile and El Salvador, to criminalize all abortions. There are no exceptions; not for rape, not for incest, not for threats to the life of the mother.

So far, this law has resulted in the deaths of at least 82 women. Rory Carroll reports for The Guardian:

Abortion has long been illegal in Nicaragua but there had been exceptions for “therapeutic” reasons if three doctors agreed there was a risk to the woman’s life. Those exceptions were no longer necessary, said the Nicaraguan Pro-Life Association, because medical advances obviated the need to terminate pregnancies. “The conditions that justified therapeutic abortion now have medical solutions,” says a spokesman. Pope Benedict XVI welcomed the ban but added that women should not suffer or die as a result. “In this regard, it is essential to increase the assistance of the state and of society itself to women who have serious problems during pregnancy.”

The “assistance” the state offers is to let women die. The article focuses on a young woman named María de Jesús González who was denied medical help for an ectopic pregnancy. These occur when the fertlized egg implants somewhere other than in the uturus, usually the fallopian tube. Ectopic pregnancies occur from 1 in every 40 to 1 in every 100 pregnancies. Ectopic pregnancies have no chance of ending in a live birth. Eventually the growing fetus will cause an internal rupture in the mother, leading to bleeding, shock, and death. The developing cells must be removed to save the mother’s life.

González was told at the hospital that any doctor who terminated her pregnancy would face two to three years in jail and she, for consenting, would face one to two years. … What González did next was – when you understand what life in Nicaragua is like these days – utterly rational. She walked out of the hospital, past the obstetrics and gynaecological ward, past the clinics and pharmacies lining the avenues, packed her bag, kissed her aunts goodbye, and caught a bus back to her village. She summoned two neighbouring women – traditional healers – and requested that they terminate the pregnancy in her shack. Without anaesthetic or proper instruments it was more akin to mutilation than surgery, but González insisted. The haemhorraging was intense, and the agony can only be imagined. It was in vain. Maria died. “We heard there was a lot of blood, a lot of pain,” says Esperanza Zeledon, 52, one of the Managua aunts.

According to the Nicaraguan health ministry it would have been legal for the doctors to remove the embryo growing in González.

But such is the climate of fear and confusion that the protocols are widely ignored and misunderstood. The doctors who turned González away from the hospital in Managua thought it was illegal, as did medical staff the Guardian interviewed in Ocotal, González’s home town.

“The ban has people frightened. You could lose everything – that’s the first thing on your mind,” says Dr Arguello, a leading critic of the ban. So far there have been no prosecutions but many doctors are unwilling to take the risk on behalf of women who are often poor, uneducated and from a lower social class.

No one knows how many other women have died.

The Pope seemed to acknowledge an increased risk to women’s health but Nicaragua’s government has made no formal study of the law’s impact. Women’s rights organisations say their 82 documented deaths are the tip of the iceberg. The Pan-American Health Organisation estimates one woman per day suffers from an ectopic pregnancy, and that every two days a woman suffers a miscarriage from a molar pregnancy. That adds up to hundreds of obstetric emergencies per year.

Human Rights Watch, in a recent report titled Over Their Dead Bodies, cited one woman who urgently needed medical help, but was left untreated at a public hospital for two days because the foetus was still alive and so a therapeutic abortion would be illegal. Eventually she expelled the foetus on her own. “By then she was already in septic shock and died five days later,” said the doctor.

The Catholic News Agency reports that last month Pope Benedict XVI praised Nicaragua for its policies “respecting” human life.

During his remarks the Pope praised Nicaragua for “the position it takes on social questions in the international arena, especially as regards the theme of life, and in the face of no small amount of domestic and international pressure.”

The Holy Father said it was very “positive that last year the national assembly approved the revocation of therapeutic abortion,” and he affirmed the “need to increase the aid that state and society provide to women who have serious problems during pregnancy.”

American “pro life” organizations like Concerned Women for America also support the Nicaraguan abortion ban.

Shortly after the law was passed in November 2006, N.C. Aizenman wrote for the Washington Post:

Jazmina Bojorge arrived at Managua’s Fernando Vélez Paiz Hospital on a Tuesday evening, nearly five months pregnant and racked with fever and abdominal pain. By the following Thursday morning, both the pretty 18-year-old and the female fetus in her womb were dead.

The mystery of what happened during the intervening 36 hours might not ordinarily have catapulted Bojorge into the headlines of a nation with one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the Western Hemisphere.

But a week before her death on Nov. 2, Nicaragua’s legislature had voted to ban all abortions, eliminating long-standing exceptions for rape, malformation of the fetus and risk to the life or health of the mother. Now, outraged opponents of the legislation have declared Bojorge its first victim.

“It’s clear that fear of punishment kept the doctors from doing what they needed to do to save her — which was to abort the pregnancy immediately,” said Juanita Jiménez of the Women’s Autonomous Movement, an advocacy group that is leading the campaign to reverse the ban. “This is exactly what we warned would happen if this law was passed. We’ve been taken back to the Middle Ages.”

So-called “right to life” advocates in the U.S. will tell you categorically that “There is no such thing as an abortion to save the life of the mother.” “Life of the mother” is not a valid exception, they say.

Of course, if ever their own sorry carcasses were about to be opened up by a couple of “traditional healers” without anesthesia in a last-ditch effort to avoid death by internal rupture and hemorrhage they might feel a bit differently.

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49 Comments

44 Comments

  1. dr. luba  •  Oct 8, 2007 @9:14 am

    Who was it that said “if men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament”?

    Bastards.

    They’ve decided that the life of a fetus is more important than the life of a woman. What they don’t consider is that without the living woman, the fetus will die as well. Or perhaps thay just don’t care.

    And this is what the religious right wants for America–their brave new world, their utopian ideal.

    Bastards. Every one of them.

  2. c u n d gulag  •  Oct 8, 2007 @9:29 am

    Sweet Jesus!
    These people wouln’t know Jesus if he walked in the door.
    He’d be too radical for them. And, I’m sorry, Mr. “Pope Benedict XVI ” but you wouldn’t recognize him either. He’s too peaceful…

    ‘Two death’s for the price of one’ is not a great sell-job.

    How do these people sleep?

    Have you no compassion, sir’s? Have you no compassion? No EMPATHY? If it was YOUR daughter, would you want her to bleed to death?

    Really!?!?
    OK, then – let her bleed…
    I guess that bleeder’s lead to better leader’s…

    I can’t believe I read this,
    I can’t believe this exist’s.
    I just can’t.
    But the, looking around, I do – I can…

    Breathing is easy,
    Just inhale.
    Breeding is easy,
    Just let nature take its course.

    Empathy, now that’s tough….

    For the love of whatever God you believe in, can’t you feel something???????????????????????????????????????

  3. maha  •  Oct 8, 2007 @10:02 am

    What they don’t consider is that without the living woman, the fetus will die as well. Or perhaps thay just don’t care.

    This exemplifies that the real motivation, festering in the unexamined depths of their ids, behind their fanatical opposition to all abortion is a desire to control and punish women for their sexuality. “Saving babies” is the excuse, not the reason. They don’t give a bleep about the babies once they’re born, or for María de Jesús González’s living children who must grow up without their mother.

  4. A Canadian Reader  •  Oct 8, 2007 @11:10 am

    This post makes me physically sick.

    I remember years ago finding a long article on the Internet about anti-abortion activists (help me someone, what is the real term for these nutcases?) who would have abortions themselves or ensure that a loved one got an abortion while continuing to picket clinics and prevent other women from getting the same service.

    Isn’t this just further proof that the right is a haven for those who thrive on hate, greed and disdain for their fellow human beings?

  5. Larkspur  •  Oct 8, 2007 @11:13 am

    In one of those links, the speaker natters on about how some day, possibly, it might be possible to remove the uterus with the living fetus inside it, and place the fetus in some life-supporting container (artificial incubator), thereby enabling both the fetus and the mother to survive the crisis. But, he adds, even if the fetus dies anyway, at least it wasn’t an abortion.

    Huh. Why do they hate children so much? ‘Cause for sure, that mom wouldn’t be having any more kids. Should she survive.

    Oh, I am feeling hopelessly bitter. I know Shulamith Firestone posited that only successful artificial incubators could truly equalize society (forgive me, it’s been years since I read her work), but I suspect that once they get a sturdy model up and running, they’ll only be producing boy humans. I mean, we women are so messy and ooky and imperfect, plus we insist on talking.

    I picture Maria Gonzalez on that last bus ride and it makes me want to cry. She was so desperate and brave.

  6. maha  •  Oct 8, 2007 @11:23 am

    Larkspur —

    In one of those links, the speaker natters on about how some day, possibly, it might be possible to remove the uterus with the living fetus inside it, and place the fetus in some life-supporting container (artificial incubator), thereby enabling both the fetus and the mother to survive the crisis.

    Which of course begs the question, who the hell is going to pay for that? Righties are too cheap to provide children with decent health care, for pity’s sake, or poor working women with decent prenatal care.

    So let’s assume sexually active women can, without consequence or cost, simply deposit their embryos in an incubation center and go their merry way. Um, price tag, anyone?

  7. c u n d gulag  •  Oct 8, 2007 @11:56 am

    War, children, or the miltary?
    The choice is clear.
    War, weapon’s and the military.

    Fuck children.
    Fuck young mother’s.
    They don’t matter – except as fodder for the cannon’s.

    We, as a people, are scum.
    SCUM!!!
    We s as humans, are worthless.
    WORTHLESS.

    We stand for nothing. NOTHING!!!

  8. joanr16  •  Oct 8, 2007 @1:13 pm

    I saw two bumperstickers on a car yesterday. First one read, “SMILE – your mother chose life.” Other one read, “If you were cooler, you would be me.”

    I thought, If giving oneself an icepick lobotomy counts as “cooler,” then, yeah, I guess.

    People go to such trouble these days to be blindingly stupid.

  9. Bonnie  •  Oct 8, 2007 @2:13 pm

    Who was it that said “if men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament”?

    Gloria Steinem said that.

  10. Pat  •  Oct 8, 2007 @4:33 pm

    I second the “Bastards” comment and could not have said it better myself.

  11. Chief  •  Oct 8, 2007 @5:19 pm

    Catholics for sure, but most “Cristian” denominations also, have men as the absolute authority figure with women in no position of authority. Most so-called christians, especially Catholics are sick puppies.

    Mary Magdelane had it right, but they trashed her by the 2nd century.

  12. Krister  •  Oct 8, 2007 @8:41 pm

    #11. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (the Canadian equivalent to the ELCA) elected in July this year as its national Bishop the Rev. Susan Johnson.

  13. Zeke  •  Oct 8, 2007 @8:53 pm

    Oh give me a frickin break with the male bashing. Men are fighting on the front lines for a woman’s right to choose and the anti-abortion wackos are just as likely to be women as men.

    Just stop with the Woman-Good, Man-Evil meme. It’s tired and ignorant.

  14. maha  •  Oct 8, 2007 @8:58 pm

    Zeke — where do you see any male bashing? Did you actually read the post?

  15. Ahrahbeeh  •  Oct 8, 2007 @9:34 pm

    I think that Zeke may have misinterpreted bashing the religious right (calling them “bastards”, implying that the only reason they oppose a woman’s right to choose is because they aren’t women themselves) and insisting that men are the only ones who oppose women’s rights as male-bashing. I don’t think that he was talking about the post but the comments section.

    Personally, I’m surprised that the situation for Nicaragua has gotten so badly. Central America in general has never been pro-women’s rights but the women in Nicaragua could vote and even run for public office. In fact, Nicaragua is the first Central American country to have had a woman elected head of government. And Daniel Ortega, the current President, had vocally supported abortion rights and despite heavy and burdensome restrictions no serious movement was out there to completely illegalize it. I don’t know what changed between Ortega’s presidencies but hopefully the number of deaths that have resulted from these laws will force the government to reconsider.

  16. maha  •  Oct 8, 2007 @9:41 pm

    I don’t think that he was talking about the post but the comments section.

    OK. I do think that misogyny is at the root of opposition to abortion, but of course not all men are misogynists, and not all misogynists are men.

  17. Molly, NYC  •  Oct 8, 2007 @10:23 pm

    They’ve decided that the life of a fetus is more important than the life of a woman.

    dr. luba – Close, but not quite. The life of the fetus doesn’t mean squat to them either. However, as a means of harassing women of child-bearing age, pretense of concern for the life of the fetus is a terrific weapon for these genuinely evil people.

  18. just my 2 cents  •  Oct 8, 2007 @10:34 pm

    apropos to that last comment, maha, amen –in fact, double amen

    sometimes ( indeed, often) the women are more virulently anti-women than any man could imagine himself to be

    whatever you other females out there may think of Hillary, remember wjhat you just said to be the unfortunate truth, and then think again about how the important having a woman president will be for us, our daughters and for all other women

  19. Mayfly  •  Oct 8, 2007 @11:09 pm

    During and after the first Gulf War I was a clinic escort/defender in a US city with intense and often violent anti-choice activity.

    It was an open secret that many, many men who had served in the Gulf War came to the clinic with their wives because of severe, life-threatening fetal anomalies. These young couples wanted babies. But the fathers had been exposed to Depleted Uranium.

    We are still using Depleted Uranium in Iraq today. There are many, many horrible birth-defects there as well.

  20. brantl  •  Oct 8, 2007 @11:52 pm

    I wish Hillary was the woman president that those of us on the left deserve. But I don’t think she is. On the left I can only see Kucinich as being the honest person we deserve as president; on the right the only truly honest one is Ron Paul.

    I feel very sorry for the Catholic Church, in John Paul the second they had somebody that was a poor excuse for a human being, now they’ve taken a step backwards to a poor excuse for Torquemada.

  21. KingCranky  •  Oct 9, 2007 @12:27 am

    I completely agree with the Bastards comment

    I don’t have to worry about getting pregnant, but telling anyone what they can do with their body is something that can affect me just as easily

    Which is why I’m completely pro-choice, and why the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the safest type of late-term abortion this year is so infuriating, so if this post I did helps, please use it however you see fit
    Abortion By The Numbers

  22. Batocchio  •  Oct 9, 2007 @5:09 am

    Horrific.

    It’s not about life, it’s about social control. As the saying goes, conservative commitment to life ends at birth.

    I’m pretty outraged by any of these scolds and busybodies, because the cost is so high. To hell with their self-righteous, medieval values. In their minds, it’s who cares how many women die, as long as they have their purity? How about a concurrent law that forces these people to attend every funeral of a woman killed by their insane policies? Bastards is right.

  23. Another voice  •  Oct 9, 2007 @9:26 am

    Wait a second, Catholic Charities is one of the largest charity organizations in the world. The argument that they are only concerned until birth is completely erroneous.

    I wish a few of you could actually read the doctor’s explanation of what he means by saying that there is no such thing as an abortion to save a mother’s life. His point is that a procedure where, in rare cases, one must incidentally let the fetus die while saving the mother is not an abortion in any morally relevant sense of the term.

    Personally I have only very recently modified some of my views on abortion from being rather conservative. But it was people like you who kept me conservative. Closed-minded, radical screamers who had nothing constructive to add to the discussion. Take a class in the art of persuasion and maybe you’ll have some victories. Your tactics at this point can do nothing but reinforce the Right’s stereotypes of the “crazy liberals.”

  24. Another voice  •  Oct 9, 2007 @9:28 am

    And, by the way, removing this fetus was LEGAL! This is a problem of education of doctors, not the law per se.

  25. maha  •  Oct 9, 2007 @10:09 am

    But it was people like you who kept me conservative.

    People like me who think that women are not brood animals? I’m so ashamed. Excuse me if I have a hard time sounding gentle and good-humored when women are dying in agony.

    And, by the way, removing this fetus was LEGAL! This is a problem of education of doctors, not the law per se.

    It’s a problem of a climate of fear perpetrated by the Fetus Nazis, and note that Jazmina Bojorge didn’t have an ectopic pregnancy.

  26. Powkat  •  Oct 9, 2007 @12:10 pm

    I escorted patients at a clinic in the late 80′s – early 90′s. And yes, it is true – people who picketed the clinics sometimes brought a relative or friend in to have an abortion. Everyone of them believed their reason was valid; apparently only their reason since some of them were back on the picket lines afterward.

    And it was the great Gloria Steinam who said, ‘If men got pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament.’

  27. dr. luba  •  Oct 9, 2007 @3:36 pm

    “I wish a few of you could actually read the doctor’s explanation of what he means by saying that there is no such thing as an abortion to save a mother’s life. His point is that a procedure where, in rare cases, one must incidentally let the fetus die while saving the mother is not an abortion in any morally relevant sense of the term.”

    I call bullshit. I have taken care of numerous women who had to be aborted in order to save their lives. One was bleeding to death at 18 weeks of gestation; one had severe preeclampsia at 22 weeks and on the brink of stroke and hemorrhage; another had a large breast cancer which required immediate high dose chemotherapy. These were abortions in both the legal and medical sense of the word; oddly, the morally relevant sense of a word does not hold up in court.

    An abortion, in the medical sense of the word, is any termination of a pregnancy prior to viability, whether it be spontaneous (a miscarriage in common parlance) or induced. By outlawing all induced terminations of pregnancies, you condemn women to death. And that is what has been done here, all in the name of “life” and some vile, paternalistic god.

    Even if treatment of ectopic pregnancies is legal under this law, there is such a climate of fear on the part of doctors and nurses that they don’t want to take a chance and perhaps break this draconian law. In a true and just world, medical workers would put the needs of their patients ahead of their own, but we don’t live in that world.

    SImilarly, here in the US thousands (if not millions) of patients with severe, chronic pain are under-dosed because their doctors fear losing their medical licenses should they prescribe “too much” pain medication and run afoul of our anti-drug puritans and America’s draconian anti-drug laws.

  28. Jan Baker  •  Oct 9, 2007 @6:08 pm

    I agree with number 25, that the law was not the blame, but the education of doctors, who (possibly in a willing misinterpretation) are able to use abortion in cases where the medical solution cannot work. And also, think for a moment: here are the stories of the women who died. But what of the babies who die, not that a child might live or at least have a chance to live, but for vanity, a fling, selfishness, a career? A life! Many more lives than those lost by mothers. It is our privilege to give our lives for our children, when that is required. That is what it is to be a fully human, and not an animal, mother. That is love.

  29. maha  •  Oct 9, 2007 @7:11 pm

    Jan Baker, thou idiot: That was one woman who died. What about the rest? They weren’t all ectopic pregnancies.

    Sometimes pregnancies have to be terminated to save the life of the mother. There are hundreds of different reasons for this.

    That is what it is to be a fully human, and not an animal, mother.

    What is is to be fully human is to make informed decisions about our own lives and our bodies, not to be forced to give birth whether we want to or not.

  30. David Lightman  •  Oct 9, 2007 @7:17 pm

    It is time we did away with the genital mutilators and the woman oppressors. They call themselves by various names but they all wear the same cloth: “Organized Religion”

    The evil and ignorance has been foisted upon the word in the name of god is so plenty; that it is truly shocking to me that there is anybody left willing to defend that sick institution.

    But of course there is the money and the power. It is time we turned the blade on the religions of the world and cleansed ourselves of it.

  31. Rant93  •  Oct 9, 2007 @7:42 pm

    I second the motion that y’all get over the freaking male bashing with completely unfair statements like “if men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament” and similar BS. Statements like that sicken me and make me wonder why I, being the owner of a penis, should care about the suffering, real or potential, of the people who make those statements.
    >His point is that a procedure where, in rare cases, one must incidentally let the fetus die while saving the mother is not an abortion in any morally relevant sense of the term.
    So it’s OK to deliver a baby at three weeks, put it in an incubator and then let GOD kill it? As long as you give GOD the chance to save the baby by putting it into an incubator, it’s not considered an abortion? Mere wordplay by sadistic fundamentalist monotheists.

  32. dr. luba  •  Oct 9, 2007 @10:33 pm

    Yes, dear Jan, let us think not about adult women who die because of a stupid law, leaving behind grieving families–parents, husbands, other children–but of those clumps of cells who might one day have become human.

    Terminating an ectopic pregnancy is legal; terminating any other is not in the Republic of Gilead…..err, Nicaragua. So women will continue to die, unmourned by the likes of you, because they were, after all, just faulty incubators.

  33. maha  •  Oct 9, 2007 @10:36 pm

    Statements like that sicken me and make me wonder why I, being the owner of a penis, should care about the suffering, real or potential, of the people who make those statements.

    It’s not about you. The secret to equanimity is learning not to take things personally.

  34. Rant93  •  Oct 10, 2007 @12:22 am

    http://www.gargaro.com/plmajority.html

    Abortion should be legal.
    Total 50.9%
    Men 52.5%
    Women 49.5%

  35. Rant93  •  Oct 10, 2007 @11:46 am

    Nice. Is deleting comments that you disagree with another secret to equanimity?

    Again, I was not taking things personally, I was taking the statement for what it is – wrong, wrong-headed, mean-spirited, and bigoted. The statement “if men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament” is no different from saying “if black people made the laws, car theft would be legal.” Even as a white guy, I would still find that last statement offensive, and I would hope that you as a woman would find it in your heart to find the former just as offensive. Especially since it flies in the face of the actual facts of the matter. You can’t excuse bigotry by telling someone “well, that hurtful sweeping generalization was probably meant the other members of your particular grouping, be more equananimous and support me anyway.”

  36. maha  •  Oct 10, 2007 @12:08 pm

    Is deleting comments that you disagree with another secret to equanimity?

    I find grown men (I assume) who snivel like little babies distasteful. (Also note that some of the people who made the statements you find offensive are men, and some disagreeing with it are women.)

    Look, son, the issue you address was already discussed earlier in the thread, and we don’t need any more whining about it. I keep a tight lid on comments here because I don’t like flamers. If all you have to contribute is whining and flaming, go away.

    In fact, I think a ban is in order. Good bye.

  37. janinsanfran  •  Oct 10, 2007 @3:14 pm

    This Guardian article is devastating.

    It is true that the Nicaraguan Sandinista revolution of 1979-90 somewhat relaxed legal pressure on women who needed abortions, though they never dared legalize the operation because of the Catholic Church. However, the revolution definitely unleashed some of the bravest feminists in Latin America in its wake. But in his eagerness to again become President of Nicaragua, Sandinista Daniel Ortega, the current President, made peace with the Church and women’s bodies are the terrain on which he paid for that bargain.

    Ortega is also credibly believed to have molested his teenage step-daughter.

    And the complex picture would not be complete if I didn’t add that his base of support is among Nicaragua’s very poor who hope for relief from his new Sandinista administration. Very complex picture.

    When I traveled there to look at water developments last March, I wrote up “Nicaragua for beginners” based on what others in the traveling party wondered about. If interested, it is here:
    http://happening-here.blogspot.com/search?q=nicaragua+for+beginners

  38. KingCranky  •  Oct 10, 2007 @4:05 pm

    If it was us guys who could get pregnant, there’d be no problems with abortions in the least, we’d get paid time off and paid counseling to deal with any emotional after effects we might have

    By telling women what they may or may not do with their own bodies, us males open the door for such behavior directed at ourselves, and I refuse to allow that to happen if I’m able to argue and vent about it

    And sticking up for always medically necessary late-term abortions is my line in the sand, and it’s one area in which us liberals should look to Slick Clinton, as he vetoed this kind of legislation on three separate occasions

    I will always support the women who are here now, this is not some kind of theoretical or game, the women who die because of botched abortions, or in a medically risky delivery, count as much as any of us do, their lives matter every damn bit as much as ours do

    This is really a simple matter of human dignity and autonomy

    Don’t like abortions, don’t have one, and don’t tell others they can’t either

    End of story

  39. Amen  •  Oct 10, 2007 @7:42 pm

    Comment #40, hit the nail on the proverbial head, it is about pro-choice although i would add with one condition the ‘secularity’ of the State.

    Pro-choice occurs in reference with the State as the embodiment of legislation. Nicaragua has shown clearly that the ‘secular’ has been diminished for a more of a theocracy. The Catholic Church is the power behind the State, much as many describe Islam or Sharia Law to be behind much of the rights of Women in say Iran.

    Those living in truly secular societies can have the debate between pro-life and abortion, yet those living in States where the regulations of the State superimposes itself on the individual regardless of the context do not have the same rights. In this case its religion as throughout much of history it has been, and todays it brings out it ugly head.

    It is not to say that the ‘church’ is wrong or is to blame, or a ‘church’ can’t have a debate upon abortion and pro-life, yet the dogmatic teachings of dogmatic faiths that outrightly reject ‘philosophy’, means that you have no pro-choice, and hence one must accept the consequences of the ‘unfortunate’ reality they have been born in i.e. the State.

  40. dr. luba  •  Oct 11, 2007 @7:52 pm

    KingCranky,

    You sum up quite well what I’ve been trying to figure out how to say to the now-banned Rant93, who had his panties in a bunch over how mean we were being to men.

    A corollary to the abortion situation is the different approaches the insurance industry has taken to coverage of medications for men and women.

    Birth control pills have only rarely been covered by insurance plans. I used to work for one of the few HMOs that did cover them; I would save my samples for those non-HMO patients that came to our practice, mostly teens, blue collar workers and college students, who couldn’t otherwise afford them. BCPs were, then, about 25-35 dollars a pack. Even if I put a patient on the pills for a non-contraceptive reason (painful periods or heavy menstrual bleeding), it was nearly impossible to get most insurance companies to cover them as they would any other medication.

    Fast forward to the introduction of Viagra, a pill whose only function is sexual. The insurance company executives fell over each other approving coverage by their drug plans. And they still cover them.

    BCPS are now covered by more plans, but ONLY because female legislators in some states got laws passed demanding pharmaceutical parity. Rather than save money by not covering ED meds, the (largely male) insurance company executives grudgingly agreed to cover BCPs.

    Because hard-ons are sacred, I can only assume……

  41. Gary  •  Oct 13, 2007 @5:57 am

    I support absolute personal choice, not some political hack choosing for anyone something so personal. Anti-Abortion is a police state intrusion INSIDE the bodies of women. (Drug laws too.)

    That’s my position.

    The reason Gloria Steinem came out with DIVISIVE and insulting messages — pro-women via anti-men — is she was CIA before she was Ms.
    Look it up.
    She got outed as CIA by a real feminist group, while WaPo’s Katherine Graham (also CIA) tried to cover it up. Steinem finally had to admit and minimize.

  42. maha  •  Oct 13, 2007 @7:49 am

    Gary — Steinem was a Playboy Bunny before she was a Ms., but I think the CIA accusation was bogus. I am a veteran of second-wave feminism and assure you that Steinem represented real, mainstream feminism, and spoke for many of us. The Redstockings, the group that came up with the CIA charge, were a pack of radical Marxist homophobes that I did not choose to associate with.

    The quote “If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament” didn’t come from Gloria Steinem, but from Florynce Kennedy.

  43. blue  •  Nov 1, 2007 @4:24 pm

    This is yet another example of how unborn humans are somehow more valuable than living humans. Once these children are born, they can beg in the street for food. Let them starve to death or die from untreated medical conditions. But don’t you consider having an abortion to save your own life.

    How do these people justify this. Such a world.

  44. Ashley  •  Nov 3, 2007 @8:17 pm

    “If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament”
    That is a very correct point. It has nothing to do with male bashing. Also, men on this thread, when we say “men”, we are generally referring to the men of the religious right who are anti abortion. Also, the idea that pro-life is a way of controlling women is correct. Consider the ten commandments: do not commit adultery. With men in religions, this doesn’t seem to apply. With women however, it is fiercely enforced. This is to keep women in their place, which is what religion has been all about from the get go. Also, the other reason for pro life is the idea that fetuses, or a group of cells even, has souls at conception. What a load of tosh! If that were true, then God aborts fetuses ALL THE TIME. women have natural miscarriages without even knowing it a lot of the time. Sometimes they think their periods are a little strange, that’s it. It all comes down to science. Is a clump of cells worth more than a full grown person’s life(who’s had experiences, loves, etc)? And just forgetting the ‘life’ argument for a second, forcing a young teen to have a child, knowing it will ruin her future, possibly put her into poverty(no career b/c no college b/c child burdened), and will ruin the child’s future as well. Funny how we won’t flinch at slaughtering cows, sheep, and other animals for food or fur, who have more self-awareness than any fetus, but we cry at a group of cells.

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