What the Fetus People Don’t Want You to Know About Abortion and Contraception

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abortion

Here’s a really good video on abortion worldwide from Guttmacher:

This video makes a couple of points I’ve made here a few times.

One, criminalizing abortion doesn’t stop it; where abortion is illegal, it just goes underground. In fact, abortion is mostly illegal in the parts of the world with the highest rates of abortion, and mostly legal where the abortion rate is lowest. What really makes a difference in abortion rate is not criminalization of abortion, but use of contraceptives.

Two, globally, almost all of the women who die from complications of abortion got their abortions where they were illegal. Restricting abortion to “protect” women’s health is like restricting soap to protect cleanliness.

And then there is this:

In a study to be published in the December issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology, researchers “recruited more than 9,250 women ages fourteen to forty-five from St. Louis city and county for the five-year project” and educated them on different types of birth control. Seventy-five percent of the women chose implantable methods.

Five years later, the women included in the study had had nearly five times fewer abortions than the national average would have predicted, and and the rate of teenage pregnancies fell by an astounding 82%.

If Republicans get out of the way of public health and allow free contraception to be implemented nationwide, researchers concluded free birth control could prevent over a million unplanned pregnancies and over 800,000 abortions a year.

(The pro-reproduction rights people rarely have used this well documented fact as a counter-argument to criminalizing abortion, and some of them argue that promising to reduce abortion through wider contraception use amounts to admitting that abortion is “bad,” so they won’t do it. Needless to say — I think that’s stupid.)

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29 Comments

  1. Bill B.  •  Oct 7, 2012 @8:51 am

    Tis my chance to act like a legislator and be a man commenting on women’s issues!

    I would like both sides of the abortion “debate” to read and think about this. It certainly looks like what unbiased thinking would produce. But wait! Isn’t that “science” which is related to “reality” which we all know has, as Colbert has said, “a strong liberal bias”?

  2. Bill B.  •  Oct 7, 2012 @8:53 am

    P.S. This moves us away from arguing abstract absolutes, which is rarely fruitful.

  3. c u n d gulag  •  Oct 7, 2012 @9:25 am

    Conservative POV:
    There is NO such thing as an unintended pregnancy!
    Jesus wants you to have babies, so you have the babies. If Jesus didn’t want you to have babies, he’d have made you a man.
    And once some man, hopefully your husband (and if not – get married, you skanky ‘ho!), plants his Jesus-seed, it’s his right and your priviledge to carry his child to term.
    And give birth to it.
    And nurse it.
    And feed it.
    And clothe it.
    And raise it.
    And take it to church.
    And take it to Sunday School.
    And fetch your hubby/man a beer.
    And make his dinner.
    And wash and iron his clothes.
    And lay back and enjoy “it” whenever he wants “it.”
    That’s IF he’s still around!
    And who can blame him for running off on a Beeyotch like you, who whines about doing all of that for your man! Just remember – there are always younger ones out there who appreciate a good man, and know how to take care of him and his wants and needs! So, you’d better stay looking good and young – and ‘Yes, that dress DOES make your ass look fat! That’s ‘cuase your ass is getting fat! Do something about it!!!”

    See?
    That is your lot in life.
    And if God and Jesus didn’t want that to be your lot in life, he’d have made you a man. You’re a recepticle for man-seed, and a child incubator.
    So, quit yer bitchin’, fix me breakfast, fetch me cold beer during the football game, and make yourself pretty for some sexy-time later on tonight – right after “60 Minutes.” After all, it IS Sunday – and I can spare a minute or two for “the old ball-and-chain” right after “60 Minutes.” And then I can roll over, and not look at your face until morning, which is MY blessing.
    __________________________________________________

    Now, you all know that the above is not anything that I subsribe to. But too many men do.
    Religion is not only the opiate of the masses, it’s also the greatest tool ever invented for the suppression of women.

  4. Doug Hughes  •  Oct 7, 2012 @9:59 am

    You godless heathen will never understand. Pregnancy is not a matter of mere biology but it is the manifestation of god’s perfect will. God has a perfect plan which you can never understand. I do understand when I am filled with the spirit and speak in tongues which no one except me can understand. But then I forget. But it’s fun while it lasts. Excuse me for babbling but I forgot what I was saying… Oh, god’s perfect will.

    God has a plan, not just for every person who is born, but even for the people who have not been born or even conceived yet. When willful, wanton,lusty, buxom – forget buxom – that was a slip of the tongue, women engage in contraception, that flocks up god’s perfect plan. Contraception is the work of the devil. When they get knocked up – I mean fertilized – with my sperm, or anyone’s sperm, that bastard child is god’s will and government must compel her to be a slave to god’s will for the rest of her life, or until the little bastard can produce other bastards. Forcing women to do god’s will was an clause in the First Amendment until liberals took it out and put in Freedom of Religion. But it’s still there ’cause I believe in it.

    This it the true truth and all that scientific gobbledeegook is the chicanery of Lucifer who has possessed that poor woman Barbara. If an exorcism can’t be arranged, Baptism of the Dead is being planned. I expect the divine force of my words has convinced you. If you are white and can dress appropriately, church services start at 11:00 sharp. Bring your checkbook.

  5. Jim  •  Oct 7, 2012 @10:43 am

    Oh I loved the snark, but as a retired firefighter, and the one who rode in the back of an ambulance for the first five years of his career as a first aid responder. I was never so happy as to see the first of the make it legal for abortion laws. Many of the late saturday night calls were not from drunken accidents, but from those dying of botched attempts at abortion.
    Personally I never understood the other side of the arguement, no mom, no baby, that simple. But these girls had now a “stigma” attached to them? how, why? Didn’t it take two? The “religous” arguements are so stupid. All I saw was a human who needed help, and dying because they were not allowed to be watched over in a hospital.

  6. muldoon  •  Oct 7, 2012 @10:44 am

    Fact: Good sex education programs and contraception practices reduce abortions.

    Question: Are there biblical prohibitions against abortion and/or contraception?

    Fact: No — with one Old Testament exception: should a man cause another man’s wife to abort, the husband can elect to levy a monetary fine , but if the wife dies as a result the offender may be charged with murder.

    Question: What did Christ say about abortion and/or contraception?

    Fact: Nothing.

    Question: Biblically speaking, when does human life/ person-hood begin?
    A. prior to conception
    B. at conception
    C. when baby takes its first breath
    D. when baby is a month old

    Answer: C and D are correct (A and B are highly questionable).

    Question: So why are those “good Christians” REALLY so adamantly opposed the abortion and contraception?

    I strongly suspect the reason is more anti-women than pro-life.

  7. Stephen Stralka  •  Oct 7, 2012 @11:08 am

    Abortion, like any other medical procedure, is neither “bad” nor “good.” If I need surgery, it’s “bad” to the extent that I’d rather not have to have surgery, but it’s “good” to the extent that the treatment I need is available. I don’t see why abortion should be any different.

    So I think the argument that contraceptives prevent abortions is a good one. It also helps to illuminate the stupidity of the “pro-life” position. At the same time that these people are wailing and gnashing their teeth over the great holocaust of unborn children, they’re actively promoting policies, like restricting contraceptive access or disinformation-based sex education, that have the effect int he real world in increasing abortion rates. Sort of like complaining about how hot it is while pouring gasoline on the fire.

  8. Swami  •  Oct 7, 2012 @12:40 pm

    Muldoon.. The correct answer is A to the “good/ real” Christain..
    According as he has chosen us in him before the foundation of the world

    @ Doug..you got it.. God has a plan, not just for every person who is born, but even for the people who have not been born or even conceived yet.

    Thomas Paine said it best when he said something to the effect that..” once you cross that threshold of reason, anything can be justified.”

    Frederick Douglass…” a sanctifier of frauds”

  9. moonbat  •  Oct 7, 2012 @1:03 pm

    So why are those “good Christians” REALLY so adamantly opposed the abortion and contraception?

    While Christ said nothing in particular about these subjects, there is a lot in the New Testament about “taking care of the least of these”, and I suspect this is the moral foundation for a Christian’s concern for the unborn. A defenseless child, or proto-child, if you will.

    At least, that’s the cover for it. There’s a lot more going on here than a concern for the unborn. Tristero (over at Digby) has called it the right’s “War Against Fking”.

    But what grinds me, is that the right’s concern stops there. Once you’re born, you’re on your own. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve quoted Matthew 25 to conservatives (“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat..thirsty and you gave me something to drink…naked and you clothed me…”) and they get very uncomfortable very quickly, and make all kinds of excuses for why the state cannot be involved in this. I simply look at them in the eye (as best as I can if I’m on-line) and tell them point blank that they are Not Serious about following the Lord’s commands. It’s the rebuttal to GHW Bush’s “Thousand Points of Light”, IOW the right’s belief that all this should be voluntary and left to charity.

    BTW, for those of you who don’t know the bible, this is the one passage you should memorize, and have at your instant recall, for those times when you’re arguing with people from the Christian right. Go right now to your bible and read Matthew 25:34 onward. You’ll be glad you did.

  10. c u n d gulag  •  Oct 7, 2012 @1:17 pm

    A Conservative:
    Is a person who is sure that somewhere, somehow, there are people having more fun in their lives than they are – and, rather than joining them, figures, THEY MUST BE STOPPED AT ALL COSTS!!!

    Conservatism:
    A philosophy of life that believes that misery loves company, and by being the miserable jerks that they are, they’re merely being companionable.

  11. LongHairedWeirdo  •  Oct 7, 2012 @1:39 pm

    Well, I sympathize with those who want to avoid linking birth control to reducing abortion, to avoid making abortion out to be ‘bad’.

    I wouldn’t want that to be the official, proper position, mind you, where people who disagree are widely considered misogynist. But I want some people pushing back against the idea that abortion is this horrible icky thing, and must always be avoided. Because if folks buy into that notion too broadly, it’s so much easier for legislatures to push abortion restrictions, because it’s now “obvious” that society has an interest in trying to prevent that icky thing.

    So I want some pushback. I want some radicals who make the moderates seem ever so much more reasonable, and I want the Overton Window pushed. I don’t want “safe, legal and rare” because I don’t accept that someone else gets to decide what is properly rare.

    All that said – if a person who wants broad access to low cost (or free) birth control, and can’t work with an organization who *is* willing to say (officially) that they’re trying to reduce the number of abortions, I think purity is getting in the way of pragmatism.

  12. muldoon  •  Oct 7, 2012 @1:41 pm

    Swami, the ambiguity of Ephesians 1:4– “According as he has chosen us in him before the foundation of the world — makes my brain hurt.

    That said, I agree with you wholeheartedly.

  13. Swami  •  Oct 7, 2012 @1:56 pm

    It all can be encapsulated in the term..The wingnut mind.

    What are the common elements in reason between building a wall on the Mexican border for the sake of stopping illegal immigration and Vaginal probes for the sake of stopping abortion?

  14. Swami  •  Oct 7, 2012 @2:23 pm

    Rush limpaugh calls you feminazi’s just because you women want autonomy of your own bodies. Is he tearing down freedom/promoting enslavement or defending the truth of God?

  15. Swami  •  Oct 7, 2012 @2:25 pm

    I don’t know if I’ve said this before…But Michelle Bachmann is on the House Intelligence Committee.

  16. erinyes  •  Oct 7, 2012 @4:50 pm

    “But Michelle Bachmann is on the House Intelligence Committee.”
    Jeeze, that’s like ME being on America’s Top Model with Tyra Banks ; with my hunch back, “funny” leg & all.’Just don’t seem right, I tell ya……
    I DO think Marcus would work out fine on the House decorating committee (just a hunch!).

  17. maha  •  Oct 7, 2012 @5:41 pm

    Tristero (over at Digby) has called it the right’s “War Against Fking”.

    Right. For the activists it’s about stifling women’s sexuality. They don’t really care about reducing abortion, or they wouldn’t also be opposed to contraception. They just want to make it illegal so it can be punished, and if lots of women are having illegal abortion, that gives them opportunity to do a lot of punishing.

  18. Swami  •  Oct 7, 2012 @5:59 pm

    I DO think Marcus would work out fine on the House decorating committee (just a hunch!).

    XX and X? “Oh, these curtains are just divine!”

  19. muldoon  •  Oct 7, 2012 @7:38 pm

    Moonbat, I can see how “Whatsoever you do to the least among us you do unto me” could be interpreted to extend to zygotes, embryos and fetuses, some of which (not all, by any means) have the potential to become living, breathing babies. For me the kicker — as you have so clearly noted — is that this current Christianist concern for the least among us ends at birth. Since Jesus was a Jew, and he did not contradict the O.T. “breath of life” or one month-old criteria for person-hood, I’m pretty sure he wasn’t counting the contents of a woman’s womb as “the least among us.”

    Maha, I’m also not so sure this is about stifling women’s sexuality. To me it seems more like using religion to relegate women to subservient status via control of her womb. (I think Gulag nailed this up thread.) Why else, considering that it takes a sperm to fertilize an egg (she was doing just fine on her own, you know, unpregnant and going about her own business), is the man’s participation in this event completely ignored? Men will be men; they have needs; it’s a woman’s responsibility . . . Oh, puleeeze.

    When Christionists omit men from the equation, their mysognistic intent is clear: women and their children must suffer for the mother’s “sins”. The man who caused the pregnancy gets to skate.

  20. buckyblue  •  Oct 7, 2012 @9:53 pm

    I read about the different ‘first time’ experiences of Denmark and American kids. They both happened at about the same time, sixteen, but the Danish kids had sex in the house with their parents present, with their parents permission, after a discussion about birth control. American kids had sex alone, meaning with their partner, and rarely if ever told their parents. And they rarely used birth control. Know this my son has his first girlfriend, and it was homecoming a few weeks ago. We had another ‘talk’, only this one about birth control and how he had to use it if things progressed to that. My wife and I felt like we had been preaching more of the ‘abstinence only’ sermon and decided to face facts and prepare our son. We, of course, being loving parents, grilled our son when he got back. KIDDING. But we do feel that it’s very different and we need to be much more mature in handling this. But it is certainly better for the boy. The easier thing would be to say, “Don’t Do It”, but that’s just not realistic, we felt much better about it. Plus, it made him very, very uncomfortable. And parents live for those few moments with their teenage kids.

  21. justme277  •  Oct 8, 2012 @12:08 am

    I know I have said this before, but the subject has been my lifes reality. I was a unwanted trash can baby at a time before abortion was legal. I lived in and out of foster homes (lovely places with church elders who turn out to be child molesters and drunks) until the age of 12. I hit the streets then until the “state” finally washed their hands of me at 16. No body talks about what happens to people like me when they are promoting “life”..instead they speak of how “lucky ” I am to be here while I sit alone on holidays. Yep real lucky. I was brought up by one family of christian right wing nut jobs after another – one family gave me back dozens of times for the kinds of things like “being wicked” in 1972 for daring to suggest that cell phones should be invented so we didn’t have to sit home and wait for a call. The shit I have put up with so the fetus people can feel proud that they saved a life is no way for anyone to grow up and it makes me kinda sick to think there might be others like me.
    But here is what I cannot understand for the life of me about this bunch of bible thumping non- thinkers..they claim to be these wonderful christians(and perhaps some are) all the while they don’t trust this God for shit to deal with these matters. I mean IF you are so faithful of your God why on earth WORRY about this “pro life” nonsense? Don’t you trust your God to handle it- and better than YOU could? I mean if some ho needs smitting dont they think maybe God could smite better? Did they read the bible? God kicks some ass and takes some names in that book – duh, Noah..hello? I mean don’t ya think your God who parted the sea might” have this” under control and may not need your mortal”help”?
    Notice the obits section in the paper. Are you a christian of faith? Then you can see God has no trouble picking em off as he see’s fit, when he see’s fit with no help from your dumb ass..you wanna help God ? Take in a homeless person. You ARE your brothers keeper(it’s in the book oh ye of little faith)
    And then there is this:These kids MUST be born, so the states or some agency is tasked with “reassigning them” to “loving families” (sometimes AGAINST the wishes of God to parents who couldn’t have their own kids- see the irony there?)..
    because they don’t trust God to do it.
    As a kid I wanted to know(that got me sent away for mental testing) why they thought God was not perfect enough to send me right back where I was if I belonged there? And why they thought children who were abortions were not sent back to this God to be returned (if it was his will) to where they were suppose to be- I asked” what do these babies go to hell?” I wanted to know how come people thought they could reassign live babies better than their God could..Didn’t they trust him to send us back to parents who actually WANTED us? I still want that answer- instead of being called a ungrateful Godless liberal who hates America
    But confront a fetus person after living a life like me and you will find out that they hate you and wish you were dead- if you don’t conform to their “I am so lucky” speech all us parentless kids are expected to smile and repeat on command they have no use for it..I am the side of the story BOTH sides ignore and I am what everyone is fighting about.
    If I had had a choice I would have taken the gamble on God rather than the state to reassign me. And if the christians are right I would still be right here right now if this is where I was suppose to be. This is the argument the fetus people need to be having with their selves. Where is their faith?? Whether abortion is good or bad is not the question, the question is why do I suffer in this world alone because someone else has WEAK religious faith and why do we pass laws based on that weakness? Everyone of those damn people should have to walk a day in the life of someone they sentenced to this world all alone.

  22. justme277  •  Oct 8, 2012 @12:25 am

    Thanks to Maha for having a place where people can respectfully voice a comment about issues of importance. It struck me as I wrote my comment how grateful I am and I just wanted to say Thanks! I forget to say that often enough here over the years but it has not gone un noticed- just thought you should know. You are one gifted dame– thanks for sharing it with us all these years!

  23. moonbat  •  Oct 8, 2012 @12:35 am

    I read about the different ‘first time’ experiences of Denmark and American kids.

    I remember taking a “psychology of human sexuality” course in college, taught by a sex therapist, who stated that America is the number one sexually repressed country in the world. Needless to say, her (short-lived) course was one of the most popular classes on campus.

    I’ve also read words by Osho on the subject of pre-marital sex:

    Pre-Marital sex is one of the most important things to be decided by human society.

    ..In a better human society, premarital sex should be appreciated the way it is appreciated in a few aboriginal tribes. The reasoning is very simple. First: nature has prepared you for something, you should not be denied your natural right….
    There are aboriginal tribes which are far more human, natural, where pre-marital sex is supported by the society, encouraged, because that is the time to learn.

    In aboriginal societies I have visited, it is a rule that after the fourteenth year the girl, and after the eighteenth, the boy, are not allowed to sleep in their houses. They have a common hall in the middle of the village where all the girls and all the boys go and sleep. There is no need for them to hide behind the car, in the car porch. This is ugly. This is society forcing people to be thieves, deceivers, liars…

    In the aboriginal society they live together in the night. One rule only is told to them: “Don’t be with one girl more than three days, because she is not your property, you are not her property. You have to become acquainted with all the girls, and she has to become acquainted with all the boys before you choose your life partner.”

    The aboriginals have found the way. It is very rare that a girl gets pregnant. If a girl gets pregnant the boy and the girl get married. There is no shame about it, no scandal about it, no condemnation about it. On the contrary, the elders bless the young couple because they have proved they are vigorous; nature is powerful in them, their biology is more alive than anybody else’s. But it rarely happens. What happens is that every boy and every girl become trained.

    ..What I am saying is that if they had experienced sex at their peak years, its grip over them would have been lost. Then their whole life they would not be looking at Playboy magazines; there would be no need. And they would not be dreaming about sex, having sexual fantasies. They would not be dreaming about sex, having sexual fantasies. They would not be reading third rate novels and looking at Hollywood movies.

    All this is possible because they have been denied their birthright.

  24. Swami  •  Oct 8, 2012 @1:45 am
  25. erinyes  •  Oct 8, 2012 @5:26 am

    Justme, WOW! You’ve had quite a ride.
    There are many days when I look back over my past and think about how unfair life has been. I grew up dirt poor in a 3 room shack in Florida (no AC, Mother had severe psychological problems, etc.) Now , at 58, I have two bad knees, a lower back problem, arthritis in my left thumb; everything from my truck’s driveshaft to the fridge has need replacing this year. Daughter is in College, which at times appears to be a black hole (for money) We’re up-side down in the house, have way too much on the credit cards. We have three cats that are getting on in age,I had to have one little guy put to sleep about 3 weeks ago. He was about 17 and had kidney failure. That put me in a funk for about 2 weeks. The big female cat got sick shortly after, her vet bill was $200.00
    All this means I cant slow down. I’m lucky enough to have a good job, but the economy is very slow here, and my wife’s commissions are very bad, so I pick up side work whenever I can. I’m in constant pain because of the knees, but I can’t slow down just yet and get them fixed (I need 2 replacements, the right is bone on bone, and I’m quite bowllegged ( that funny leg) because of it. I’m nor religious, but I thank God for Samuel Adams (or at least toast him) several times a day.
    All in all, I look back and realize the ride has not always been good, but I sure learned alot, and what I’ve learned has shaped who I am. We currently have a “throw-away_ kid living with us, her parents tossed her out, and she was living on the streets for several months.(she is attending a local community college now) It’s tough for us to make ends meet, but there’s always room for one more at our table, daughter is away at school, so her room is available.
    I don’t know what the future holds, but my skills seem to be in demand, and I may be able to have a couple of my medical problems fixed before Christmas.

  26. c u n d gulag  •  Oct 8, 2012 @6:36 am

    justme,
    All I can say is, “WOW!”

  27. Bill B.  •  Oct 8, 2012 @7:37 am

    @justme and bucky: Thank you.

  28. Swami  •  Oct 9, 2012 @11:22 pm

    Romney is hard to keep up with. I don’t get his practice of stating one thing and having his campaign walk it back hours later. Other than sowing complete confusion I don’t see an advantage to it. Does anybody know what his game is?
    Maybe he’s being decietful by semantics when he says,“that I’m aware of”, but other than that possibility I can’t make sense of him or his tactic.

    http://news.yahoo.com/romney-promises-no-abortion-legislation-004508435–election.html

  29. c u n d gulag  •  Oct 10, 2012 @6:17 am

    Swami,
    The tactic is, he says blatant lies on TV in a debate in front of tens of millions of people, and then his spokespeople tell dozens of reporters that the statements needs some correction, and start walking them back.
    The networks and the newspapers lead stories?
    “Mitt Takes Pres to Task.”
    The spokesperson corrections aren’t covered on TV – no time – and are in section B, page 12, in the newspaper.

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