07.22.09

Morality and abortion

Posted in Abortion, Political rant, Religion at 4:28 pm by angela

Inspired by an article in Salon entitled “What’s wrong with the new pro-lifers” by Frances Kissling, a woman who appears to be opposed to abortion but has lots of issues trying to reason her way through the sticky issue.

Twenty-eight pages of letters later, I came to a comment by keenplanner, who stated

The New Anti-choicers

Same as the old anti-choicers.

The bottom line is that abortion will never dissappear, even if it is made illegal. What will dissappear are clinically safe abortions performed by medical profesionals.

Over 40,000 women all over the world die from botched abortions. Do these anti-choice religious fanatics and bigots want the US to join the ranks of countries with filthy, illegal, back-alley abortion providers?

This movement should not be called anti-choice, and it’s far from pro-life.

They should be called pro-coathanger.

I responded (and have expanded):

If you hang out where anti-abortionists feel free to speak their minds, you will find that actually many of them do feel that the punishment for abortion should be death, even if that means that 1/3 to 1/2 of women would die.

Of course, you can’t tell by looking at a woman whether she is one of the guilty ones. But that simply means that in their minds, any woman they meet could already be a murderer, and every woman of childbearing age, given the “choice”, could become one with her next act of moral agency. This dovetails nicely with their notion of the nobility of women dying as a result of a doomed pregnancy.

They honestly believe that late term termination of healthy pregnancies is so frequent that it is a huge problem, that it is the natural tendency of women to change their minds in the last week of pregnancy for no reason whatever, and that women who do this have no problem finding doctors to accommodate them.

Step back and you see that men who lead the movement are arguing that women are morally inferior. Women made the “choice” not to “keep their legs shut”, and therefore, should be forced (but not “punished”) to bear and raise the baby at their own expense (unless of course it is marketable for adoption). It annoys them to no end that there is no stigma to this.

They see abortion as enabling women to “get away with” sex. They think that not only should women be forced to bear any such child conceived out of wedlock (or within a marriage that she should have known in advance was going to end), but that women who do end up raising such children should be punished by society with poverty, as should their bastard children.

Let’s look at the religious issue here that is never spoken, as the argument implies that sex is a moral choice for women but not for men. It’s just the old garden-of-eden story claiming that wicked women tempt men, who are too weak morally to resist. Therefore, women deserve to be punished for tempting men to have sex, but men can’t help themselves.

If men are truly morally inferior, then they have no business lecturing women about moral choices. How about this imperative for moral choices by men: Men who are opposed to abortion can end abortion now just by keeping their pants zipped up.

Here ya go:

11.15.08

Did you hear about the Priest who…?

Posted in Abortion, Accountability, Election 2008, Religion at 12:38 pm by angela

Yeah, really. It sounds like the start of a dirty joke.

He told his parishioners that they couldn’t take communion anymore if they had voted for Obama.

This has been in a lot of blogs, but since I don’t watch television, I don’t know if it’s in the MSM. However, there’s been an update. The Monsignor in charge of that parish has sent out a letter repudiating that position, and the local parish took down their position statement from their website.

Someone who formerly attended that church says that the priest is a money-hungry sob who would do anything for earthly goods and glory. His goal is to build a cathedral for his parish.

You can read the comments if you want to go to the article, but there are a lot of them. I’m just going to quote the one I responded to (which is mostly quotations itself).

Delicatemonster said in a comment:

From Sojourner’s Magazine

When President Bush took office, the nation’s abortion rates were at a 24-year low, after a 17.4% decline during the 1990s. This was an average decrease of 1.7% per year, mostly during the latter part of the decade. (This data comes from Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life using the Guttmacher Institute’s studies).

Enter George W. Bush in 2001. One would expect the abortion rate to continue its consistent course downward, if not plunge. Instead, the opposite happened.

I found three states that have posted multi-year statistics through 2003, and abortion rates have risen in all three: Kentucky’s increased by 3.2% from 2000 to 2003. Michigan’s increased by 11.3% from 2000 to 2003. Pennsylvania’s increased by 1.9% from 1999 to 2002. I found 13 additional states that reported statistics for 2001 and 2002. Eight states saw an increase in abortion rates (14.6% average increase), and five saw a decrease (4.3% average decrease).

Under President Bush, the decade-long trend of declining abortion rates appears to have reversed. Given the trends of the 1990s, 52,000 more abortions occurred in the United States in 2002 than would have been expected before this change of direction.

How could this be? I see three contributing factors:

First, two thirds of women who abort say they cannot afford a child (Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life Web site). In the past three years, unemployment rates increased half again. Not since Hoover had there been a net loss of jobs during a presidency until the current administration. Average real incomes decreased, and for seven years the minimum wage has not been raised to match inflation. With less income, many prospective mothers fear another mouth to feed.

Second, half of all women who abort say they do not have a reliable mate (Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life). Men who are jobless usually do not marry. Only three of the 16 states had more marriages in 2002 than in 2001, and in those states abortion rates decreased. In the 16 states overall, there were 16,392 fewer marriages than the year before, and 7,869 more abortions. As male unemployment increases, marriages fall and abortion rises.

Third, women worry about health care for themselves and their children. Since 5.2 million more people have no health insurance now than before this presidency – with women of childbearing age overrepresented in those 5.2 million – abortion increases.

The U.S. Catholic Bishops warned of this likely outcome if support for families with children was cut back. …

What does this tell us? Economic policy and abortion are not separate issues; they form one moral imperative. Rhetoric is hollow, mere tinkling brass, without health care, health insurance, jobs, child care, and a living wage. Pro-life in deed, not merely in word, means we need policies that provide jobs and health insurance and support for prospective mothers.

As I wrote in a blogpost to conservative Catholics,

If you want to keep abortions at their lowest possible level, vote for the candidate who will actually help the working poor to support their children–that only makes sense. That candidates name is not John McCain, who assumes an income just shy of five million is actually middle class, who rails vehemently against ‘spreading the wealth’, and who thinks maintaining Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthiest one percent is just dandy; while arguing for a jury rigged healthcare system that would further burden the poor by actually taxing their health care benefits. Voting for a candidate who can actually attempt fairness in our tax codes and redistribution in some meaningful way is being truly ‘pro-life’ in its largest and most generous sense.

DelicateMonster a slightly left of center reading experience

I wrote:

I would disagree with the idea that the effect of policies that disproportionately affect single mothers is incidental. I think it is intentional that they have the effect of permanently disadvantaging both the woman in this position and her children. The current administration has attempted to pass programs that give tax breaks to married couples, claiming that somehow these would be a disincentive to remain single, as though the only reason single mothers decided not to marry was because there weren’t enouogh punitive programs in place.

Bush has been trying to return women’s health to a biblical state. Preventing conception is going against god’s will, since god wants women who have sex outside of marriage to get caught and be forced to raise bastard children. Women whose lives are threatened by a problem pregnancy should be denied medical care and die, even if there is no hope for the life of the fetus.

The logical extension of this is that only the Christian Science health model (prayer-only) is really following the will of god in any medical case. Did god really want Sarah Palin to have all that plastic surgery to make her look more appealing to voters? I think not. That was definitely going against god’s will.

Health care for single women? Only if they can afford to pay in advance. But it’s perfectly acceptable for them to pay the taxes that subsidize health insurance for the employed.

It’s all part of the demonization of women in general that says that late term abortion is a huge problem, and many women currently choose to terminate healthy full term pregnancies on a whim. It says that women are child-like creatures who need to be told what to do, just like Sarah Palin and her followers who have been taught not to think, question or learn.

Sarah Palin does need to be told what to do, as her internal compass seems to be stuck on the same message from the campaign. I bet she’s gotten tons of advice on what to do, but she can’t learn from it. She saw so much “success” with that demagogue act that she’s going to go with it.

I’ll tell her what to do: Sarah, sit down and STFU.

Hmm, maybe I could start a petition drive on that…