Archive for Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Letter: Women’s issue

October 23, 2012

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To the editor:

“Women’s right to choose” takes on an additional meaning this presidential election. It is true that the women’s votes will be the decisive factor in this election. These schoolboyish debates, which resemble auditions for the “Actors Studio,” in my opinion, have changed few votes, but the women’s vote is uncertain. It seems that this is right for it is the women who have more to lose in this election than anyone. It will be more than academic interest to see if they take a huge chance on losing all they have gained.

Almost of equal importance is to look at the vice presidential race, as these two will be but a heartbeat away from the presidency. Biden is a known quantity while Ryan is more a conservative Republican seemingly more addicted to the extreme right of the Republican Party. This election is a huge important choice and it will be in the women’s hands to decide the fate of the nation.

Comments

Joe Hyde 2 years, 5 months ago

Ultra-conservatives and Christian Rightists have for the last three decades been aggressive and vocal in their efforts to take away, or prevent access to, medical services that give women better control over their reproductive lives. These ultra-conservatives are the main ideological and financial support structure for this election's Republican candidates for President and Vice President.

It would be unwise for women of childbearing capacity to overlook or dismiss the strident anti-choice rhetoric of the Republican Right. Gov. Romney in the debates tried to soft-pedal this issue, probably to make himself appear a political moderate. However, were he to gain the office of President I suspect his "power position" will quickly default to the Republican Right's clear campaign of suppressing women's reproductive self-determination.

This is indeed an important election for America as its outcome will impact women citizens in many ways, not just the reproductive issue. Still, if you're a female voter who happens to be physically capable of conceiving and delivering a baby, you really ought to consider what Republican conservatives keep saying about a woman's right to reproductive self-rule.

They want decision-making power over women; they don't want women exercising it for themselves. You have to wonder why they don't mind their own business and deal with their own pregnancies, or the prevention thereof, and leave everybody else out of it.

verity 2 years, 5 months ago

I have to fault you, Mr Hyde, for focusing on women who are capable of reproduction as being at risk. Everybody (women and men) is at risk under a far right anti-woman regime and it is not just about reproductive rights for women. It is about all our hard-earned rights for equality.

All women have a lot to lose in this election and reproductive rights are to an extent the basis for all other equality. As a women who is not capable of reproducing I stand with all women to go forward rather than backward.

While I understand why Mr Hickam is focusing on women, I would say that not only will most men lose rights in a takeover by a far-right oligarchy, they have a lot to lose if women lose more rights. Pretty much a lose-lose for everybody.

Flap Doodle 2 years, 5 months ago

"...Biden is a known quantity..." Yeah, he's a rodeo clown on acid.

2 years, 5 months ago

We need to keep Biden around just to make random pronouncements about stuff like air travel and 7-11s. He's a national treasure and it would be a shame to see him relegated to the role of elder statesman. Dude should be the Vice President forever.

paulveer 2 years, 5 months ago

Are any of you out there really an undecided voter?

Do any of you really believe that any votes are currently being won and lost?

George Lippencott 2 years, 5 months ago

You man most of the posters on here are not in the undecided column??

2 years, 5 months ago

I wonder how it is any more true to say that the election will be decided by women than by any other subjectively-selected majority or almost-majority of voters. Is it not also true that the votes of independents will be "the decisive factor in this election" and for the same reason? How about right-handed voters? White voters? Voters over 40? Voters west of the Mississippi? All of them - and even in some sense those who don't vote - will decide the election.

The letter-writer seems unsure whether the best way to attract the votes of women is through flattery ("it will be in the women’s hands to decide the fate of the nation") or fear ("more to lose in this election than anyone") and so mixes up a steaming cup of both. I suspect that those women who are open to such emotional manipulation probably do not find themselves among the undecided at this late date.

jonas_opines 2 years, 5 months ago

This letter about women's issues, as written by a man, still seems to be talking down to women. Telling them what they'd lose, telling them who they should vote for. I think they should be allowed to make up their own minds on how they can best protect their own rights and interests. The ones I know are pretty smart, and pretty well-informed already. A few of them even support Romney. And you know what, even if I disagree I respect their ability to make an informed opinion and not tell them they're voting against women's interests.

Cait McKnelly 2 years, 5 months ago

Most of the women I know are smart enough to vote in their own best interests. Unlike a lot of Kansans.

KSWingman 2 years, 5 months ago

Most of the women I know are smart enough to know what their OWN self interests are, and to vote accordingly.

Must be hell on you that so many Kansas women vote the way they want, and not the way you want them too.

Cait McKnelly 2 years, 5 months ago

And it must seriously chap your cheeks that the "own best interests" of women aren't necessarily in line with yours.

KSWingman 2 years, 5 months ago

I am not concerned with anyone else's self interests. I'll vote for mine, you'll vote for yours, and the other voters of Kansas will vote for theirs.

But I didn't presume to know anyone else's self interests, yours included. You did. "Unlike a lot of Kansans" were your words.

How will you feel when the majority of female voters in Kansas pull the (R) lever? Will you accept that they voted in their best interests, and not yours?

verity 2 years, 5 months ago

Interesting that it seems to be men who find Mr Hickam's letter objectionable to women. I have been a feminist for as long as I can remember, even before I'd heard the word and I don't find it condescending. As I stated above, we are in this together. Men have just as much, if not more, to lose if women become less equal and you should be concerned.

Are you willing to take the consequences if women lose access to birth control coverage or even birth control itself?

Do you really want women to make less if you happen to be in a situation where your wife/significant other is the only one in the household who has a job?

Yes, any majority or almost majority can swing the election. We happen to be discussing women here.

2 years, 5 months ago

"Are you willing to take the consequences if women lose access to birth control coverage or even birth control itself?"

Men already have to take the consequences, even if a women becomes pregnant purposely or deceptively. They get to provide 18 years of child support and have no rights at that point in regard to whether "they are ready to become a parent." In short, men already don't have the very thing women are allegedly going to lose.

I wonder how many feminists would support the unfettered right of men to get a virtual abortion. One easy payment of $500 and men could walk away from the "problem" - no guilt, no legal or financial responsibility - forever. What do you think? Fair is fair?

Cait McKnelly 2 years, 5 months ago

What a sexist piece of BS. You're placing the entire responsibility for contraception on women alone. YOU (and other men) are just as responsible for it as your partner. If you don't take that responsibility then live with the consequences.

2 years, 5 months ago

"YOU (and other men) are just as responsible for it as your partner. "

Actually, men are more responsible, that's the point. According to feminists, the woman has every right to terminate a pregnancy at any time, for any reason, no matter who objects, correct? In short, she can legally and morally walk away from any and all responsibility for the "products of conception."

Should men have the same right?

Katara 2 years, 5 months ago

So what do you propose about the physical risks of pregnancy? A man completely avoids those no matter whether he wants to keep the baby or abort it.

Say I get knocked up and want an abortion but the man does not and I am forced to carry the baby to term. I get gestational diabetes. This increases my risk of Type 2 diabetes by 60%. I end up developing Type 2 diabetes shortly within 5 years of the birth (the time frame in which it usually develops as a result of gestational diabetes) and it requires maintenance medication to manage it.

Can I submit the bill to the man for all the medical expenses incurred as a result of my carrying the pregnancy to term & giving birth? I wouldn't have developed the disease had I been able to abort.

Or say I give birth but die due to hemorrhage. Can my family sue the man for wrongful death because he wanted to keep the baby and I wanted to abort?

jhawkinsf 2 years, 5 months ago

I don't think we're talking about forcing a woman to carry a baby against her will. What is being suggested is that if an unplanned, unexpected pregnancy does occur, one in which the woman is not ready for financially or emotionally and she has the option of abortion, then the man, if he too is not ready, financially or emotionally, then he be given the option of avoiding that 18 year commitment.

Actually, if a man were given this option, the woman would have more information upon which to make her decision. And it will be her making the final decision. But if the man comes right out and says he's not wanting this child and is willing to pay to get out of the responsibility, then the woman knows that raising the child will be on her and her alone. With that information, she will be able to make a more informed decision about what is best for her.

BTW - The likely result of allowing the man to opt out would be an increase in the number of abortions. I'm not aware of anyone who wants that.

Katara 2 years, 5 months ago

Larry Native said " There should be a buyout option if he wants out and she keeps the baby and that is the amount of an abortion or the guy gets the baby and all the bills if she wanted the abortion."

So there is discussion of potentially forcing a woman to keep the baby.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 5 months ago

I guess I should have inserted the word "seriously" as I cannot imagine under what scenario a woman could be forced to carry to term a fetus just because the potential father insists upon it.

But the bigger point is this. While all this talk of allowing a buyout sounds good, when you get into the nuts and bolts of how that would work, it causes more problems than it solves. Suppose a man is given that choice and he does opt out. Now the woman has two choices, both bad. She can either have the abortion, which pro-choice and pro-life advocates agree is something we should be working to minimize. Or she can carry to term and become a single mother. Yet single motherhood has many inherent problems, not the least of which is that the child is put at greater risk for a variety of problems.

Generally speaking, and I'm prefacing this by saying these are my personal values, but once that child is born, it's well being is more important than the well being of either parent. I could care less if the father has an overwhelming financial obligation. It's the child I'm concerned with. And don't even begin to tell me that paying child support for 18 years makes you a father. Being a father makes you a father. Holding a sick child at 2:00 am so your wife can get some rest makes you a father. Wiping a nose, changing a diaper, and then changing another and another. Being a role model every day of your life. That makes you a father. The financial obligation is a mere inconvenience. It's a splinter compared to having your arms and legs blown off. It's nothing. And as such, I could care less about that nothing, once the child is born.

Opt out is BS.

Katara 2 years, 5 months ago

I agree with you. Opt out is BS which was why I wanted to delve into the nuts and bolts of how that would work. People need to see what those are when they discuss "opt out".

As for a situation where a woman can be forced to carry a child when the potential father insists on it, there are abusive and controlling people out there who would do such a thing. A man who wishes to control the woman could simply delay and delay on a decision until it is past the time for unrestricted abortion and goes into the time where abortion is limited only for the life of the mother.

Also, a minor impregnated by a relative could be forced to give birth because permission for an abortion by adults in the family is denied. Some states allow for the minor to go before a judge to get around that but not all.

And if the woman chooses to keep the baby, she can be forced to recognize parental rights of a father who never intended to be involved in child rearing (her rapist). Were you aware that 31 states allow rapists custody and visitation rights?

http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/22/opinion/prewitt-rapist-visitation-rights/index.html

jhawkinsf 2 years, 5 months ago

There are many laws on the books that no one pays any attention to. I would ask if in those 31 states, are there real cases of convicted rapists trying to visit (I'm loathe to use the words "their children, but I really don't know what to call the relationship).

But the way I see things, and perhaps a couple of posters don't seem to agree with me is this, Roe has been established in law for long enough that it's not going anywhere. The Rehnquist court, the Roberts court, they're no more overturning Roe than they are bringing back separate but equal. Those bells can't be un-rung. Slavery isn't coming back and women won't lose the right to vote.

But that's not to say it won't get tweaked from time to time. It should. I say that only because all our rights get tweaked from time to time. Abortion should be no different. If speech, religion and the press can be looked at, surely abortion as well. It's no more an assault on woman's rights than Citizens United was an assault on my freedom of speech. I continue to speak, write, whatever I choose whenever I choose. Lucky for me, I choose not to yell fire in a crowded movie theater. Yet with even that grand assault, I still have a freedom of speech. And when the Supreme Court tweaks Roe in the future, you will find you will still enjoy the right to choose.

Katara 2 years, 5 months ago

I guess you didn't look at the link. It is a about a woman whose rapist is fighting to get custody of her daughter that was a result of the rape.

notaubermime 2 years, 5 months ago

"While all this talk of allowing a buyout sounds good, when you get into the nuts and bolts of how that would work, it causes more problems than it solves. Suppose a man is given that choice and he does opt out. Now the woman has two choices, both bad."

If the man did not want to be a father, then that woman is going to face those two bad choices whether or not the father opts for a buy-out. If anything, it might reduce the rare cases where a woman intentionally gets pregnant with a man whom she has no interest in beyond child support. This is undoubtedly an extremely small number of single mothers, but a buy-out is more about equality of choice than societal restructuring.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 5 months ago

You mention equality of choice. But the problem is that there is a third person involved, at least if it proceeds to the point of a child actually being born. If the man is given the choice to opt out, and a child is born, what of the child's rights? Or what of the child's best interests.

There was a case I read about oh, maybe a decade ago. A man and a woman had a child, they lived together for a few years and then split up. At some point in time, the father became aware that he was not the biological father and sued to recover the money he had spent on the child as well as to stop having to pay child support. At first blush, I agreed with him. Clearly the woman had deceived him and he had been victimized. But the court ruled against the man on both counts. He could not recover the money he already spent nor could he simply walk away from his parental obligations. When I heard the court's reasoning, it was quite compelling and forced me to change my mind completely. The court ruled, and I have to agree, that what is the best interest of the child trumps the rights of either the mother or the father. The father held that child. That child smiled at him, called him daddy, comforted him, loved him completely. The father simply can't walk away from that. Nor could the mother deny shared custody or visitation, based on him not being the biological father. Fatherhood, motherhood is more than DNA. The courts sided with the individual most in need, most at risk, most innocent. That being the child. In my opinion, they were correct.

jafs 2 years, 5 months ago

That's a disturbing case to me.

Yes, the interests of the child are very important, but it seems that the woman has done a rather bad thing, and there are few consequences for that.

And, the man did nothing wrong, and yet has serious financial obligations, which don't really belong to him.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 5 months ago

The fact that the man did nothing wrong is beside the point. He received substantial benefits according to the court's reasoning. And from personal experience, I can tell you with certainty that when that child first say "daddy" to you, you are receiving a substantial benefit. The first time the child tells you he loves you or gives you a kiss, you receive a substantial benefit. The value of that may be hard to calculate by a court, but to a real father, it's easily worth more than child support.

This whole discussion about opting out fails to realize that in 9 months, there is going to be another person with interests of their own. Two people can't enter into an agreement that involves three parties, especially when that third party will be substantially harmed.

jafs 2 years, 5 months ago

I'm sure that's true.

But, I'm also sure that it's painful to find out you've been lied to, and that the child isn't yours.

This sort of thing rewards women who trick men into thinking they're fathers, which isn't a great thing, in my view.

That's not the kind of behavior we want to reward, and thus increase.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 5 months ago

Of course, you're assuming she knew she was lying to him. It is possible she really thought the child was his.

Regardless, his relationship with the child doesn't necessarily have to change. He can still be the father and he can rise above the circumstance. And presumably, she is not be rewarded, the money is going for the support of the child.

jafs 2 years, 5 months ago

Maybe so. Either way, it's painful for him, I would think. And, given your description, I would say the most likely thing is that she had an affair while they were together, which is also not great behavior, right?

The way that child support payments work, as far as I know, is that money is given to the parent, and they have no obligation to show that money is being used for the children, either directly or indirectly. So, she absolutely benefits from continuing child support payments.

Why shouldn't she have to find the actual biological father, and get those payments from him?

Katara 2 years, 5 months ago

jafs said "The way that child support payments work, as far as I know, is that money is given to the parent, and they have no obligation to show that money is being used for the children, either directly or indirectly. So, she absolutely benefits from continuing child support payments."

That is completely incorrect. A parent paying child support can, at any time they feel the money is not being used in the interests of the child(ren), have the court require an accounting of the money from the parent receiving the child support. Some controlling parents use it as a way to get back at the parent with custody unfortunately.

Katara 2 years, 5 months ago

jhawkinsf said "This whole discussion about opting out fails to realize that in 9 months, there is going to be another person with interests of their own. Two people can't enter into an agreement that involves three parties, especially when that third party will be substantially harmed."

Exactly and this is also why women can not waive their rights to child support even though she and he may not want any parental relationship. The court does not allow that. Even terminating parental rights does not terminate the child support obligation (although many courts with step-parent adoption because another person is assuming the financial and legal obligation of parenting).

An example of this type of thinking is an incident I had years ago. I was rear-ended at a stoplight. I had my preschooler and my newborn in the car with me. The father of the girl that hit me wanted me to settle with him for the damages. No one was hurt. My newborn didn't even wake up from nap. As part of the settlement, he wanted me waive all rights to sue including for any medical issues that could appear later as a result of the accident. I had the right to waive my rights to sue but legally I could not waive my children's right to sue should any medical issues turn up later as a result. They were not my rights to waive.

This is also how courts view the issue of child support. It is not either parents' right to waive the rights of their children.

2 years, 5 months ago

"This whole discussion about opting out fails to realize that in 9 months, there is going to be another person with interests of their own."

Bingo, which is why even though I'm the guy who proposed the opt-out, I agree with you that it's ludicrous. I only proposed it to illustrate a point that y'all have done a masterful job of exploring.

The problem is, of course, that while "two people can't enter into an agreement that involves three parties" logic dictates that either the fetus is a party or it is not. If it's a party - or rather a person - then not only is Dad's opt-out BS, but so is Mom's opt-out. If Dad can't walk away, Mom can't walk away. After all, what's worse, leaving the kid without a dad or leaving him without a heartbeat? If the kid has claims that trump Dad's rights, then he has claims that trump Mom's. One does not get to have it both ways. But one can only call Dad's opt-out BS if one assumes that the fetus has rights, or at least moral claims, on those who brought him into existence, and that those claims exist from before birth.

It's a huge irony that between this thread and the one on individual rights, one theme has developed from a certain segment of the commentariat. That theme is that all of us have rights that must be balanced against the rights of others. No one is an island; all of us must temper our claims in the face of societal demands. All, that is, except abortion-seekers, whose rights are absolute. There's something a little morbid about that, and a little tragic to boot.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 5 months ago

The same line of reasoning occurred to me. I've resolved it in the same manner that I've outlined in a couple of other posts in this thread. That being that none of the rights we have are absolute. Those that frame this issue in absolute terms are doing themselves and the entire issue a disservice. This is no different than the old "I can't yell fire in a crowded theater, yet I still have freedom of speech" line of thinking. Compromises have to be made, both in philosophy and in practical application.

While a fetus can't have rights and not have rights at the same time, unless we suspend absolutism and say that sometimes the fetus does and sometimes it doesn't and courts will spend centuries splitting hairs as to when and when not. While that may sound like an effort in futility, it's exactly what happens with all our rights and it's what should happen with this one as well. Obviously, the rights and freedoms of the mother will also be looked at as well as the father's rights.

BTW - Just as our outlook on a variety of rights has changed in the past two centuries, there's no reason to believe they won't continue to evolve in the next two. About speech, religion, abortion. Courts will and should respond.

notaubermime 2 years, 5 months ago

Everything you mention took place after a pregnancy opt-out would be an option. You can make choices right up until the pregnancy passes the viability point. After that, the rights of the child come into play and the choices of the adults dwindle rapidly.

Liberty275 2 years, 5 months ago

Look at it from a different point. As you note, both are responsible, but the pregnancy is inside the woman's body. It may be your kid, but it is inside the woman, and only she should be able to make decisions regarding her body.

That is why libertarianism is a greater friend to abortion than liberalism can ever hope to be.

A liberal might be persuaded by your ideas regarding the decision to abort a human because you are appealing to their sense of fairness, but a libertarian looks passed that to the freedom of each individual to make their own decisions.

2 years, 5 months ago

" It may be your kid, but it is inside the woman, and only she should be able to make decisions regarding her body... "

I've often wondered about the Libertarian position on this. And the reason is that I'm as libertarian (note the lower-case l) as you'll find outside the party. I may be unaffiliated, but that should not be confused with moderate. I have voted for more Libertarians than any other party in the last decade, and not because I don't know what they stand for.

That said, it seems to me that your libertarian argument boils down to "The woman has the right to abort because the fetus is in her body." And hey, that sounds sound, but let's reduce it to symbolic logic and see if it's valid.

"A woman has the right to kill a fetus because it exists in her body." Or X has the right to kill Y because it exists in her Z.

Now we have to say "right to kill" because abortion is not merely showing Y (the fetus) the door and saying "GTFO, n00b." Even if the fetus is viable, abortion results in a dead fetus, no? So it's no good saying, "Well, it's just expelling the fetus" Viable fetuses are delivered all the time and manage to live, or so I'm told. So the argument for abortion from "my body" is that the woman can kill the fetus because she has a right to her body. X has the right to kill Y because it exists in her Z.

There are doubtless places where such logic wins: I have the right to kill skunks because they are in my pasture. But there are times where it loses: Susan Smith has the right to kill her children because they are in her car. Surely Susan Smith owns her car just as much as she owns her body.

The question the Libertarian needs to ask is not "is it the woman's body?" but "is killing the fetus an absolute right merely because it is in her body? Is killing a salesman a right because he is in my foyer? Or does the viable fetus, alive and human by every medical measure, also have rights to be considered?

Such an absolutist position as the Libertarians hold was defensible in the 1960s when the party developed it. But given half a century of medical advancements, it might be time to reconsider, all things considered.

Liberty275 2 years, 5 months ago

The woman is protected as a human by the constitution, and further protected as a citizen. The fetus can be guaranteed no rights under our constitution because it is not a person. One party has rights guaranteed by the constitution, the other party has no rights at all. That makes the choice easy. I could stop there.

" Is killing a salesman a right because he is in my foyer?"

No, but you don't actually own your home. It can be taken from you for no reason by the government through imminent domain. Your body cannot.

You are right about medical advancements and how they have pushed back the age of viability, which is a wonderful thing. However, the slip-sliding nature of that is too apt to shift (as you note) to support a philosophy other than pro-life.

The basic tenet of libertarianism, where your rights end at another persons body, is the only solid ground where we can form an opinion. That refutes your salesman argument as killing him would violate his rights unless it was self-defense.

Yes, Mrs smith owns her car. She can do with it on her property as she wishes. She can paint it pink or beat it with a sledgehammer. That's not our business.

You make a good point about viable fetuses being delivered, but after the delivery, the child id no longer part of the mother's body and has all the same rights she does. If a doctor botches an abortion and a child is born alive, the doctor should be held accountable to the fullest extent if he/she does not act with all their ability to save that life of that person and that citizen.

It's an ugly subject for libertarians because abortion is analogous to murder. But freedom demands we suffer that analogy as part of the price we pay for freedom. Nobody ever said philosophy was always going to be pretty.

2 years, 5 months ago

"these "libertarians" tend to lean much further into the Right hemisphere..."

You say that like it's a bad thing.

Actually, I have no problem with L275's logic, nor he with mine, I suspect. And I commend him for his honesty in recognizing the ugliness of the subject and that "abortion is analogous to murder." When the fetus is viable, I would argue that it's no longer an analogy. The difficulty in his position comes late in the term, the difficulty in mine comes early. C'est la vie.

Our arguments differ not in the logic but in the premise. For example, if L275 believed that a viable fetus is a person in the same way that a salesman is a person, then he would agree with me. If I did not believe that to be the case, then I would agree with him. My statement of the Libertarian position only fails when one assumes that the viable fetus is not a person, his statement fails when one assumes the opposite.

His position - that the viable fetus is not a person is legally correct (so I assume, as I'm no lawyer), while mine is scientifically correct. A person is a human being who is identifiable as an individual. The viable fetus is human as per DNA, a unique living being per DNA, and is identifiable. Therefore it is a person, the law notwithstanding (though it will be funny to see those who rely on legal definitions today argue otherwise when those definitions change. They will.)

But actually, you are the one who has sidestepped the logic, as I've already agreed that the woman owns her own body and can do with it as she sees fit, from prostitution to drug use to suicide. I don't even believe in making her buckle her seat belt. My problem is with the unnecessary killing of the viable fetus because the mother does not want him. It's not her body at all, but the body of a separate individual human being, that is at issue.

2 years, 5 months ago

"in these first few months."

I never talked about the first few months, everything I've said I have purposely limited to a viable fetus. I've already admitted that my position is less tenuous the earlier in the pregnancy we go.

But your uber-sciency answer is rather funny, as I've never seen any difference in DNA between a "potential" human and a real one. Please elucidate what mutations occur at the DNA level during birth that bring this potential human to actual humanity. What does potential human DNA look like?

And none of your rash of questions about legal procedures and responsibilities touch upon my argument at all - if I did not know better, I'd think you were merely squirting ink into the water. A person is a human being regarded as an individual. It's simply what the word means. Science, with all its chimeras and Latinesque phraseology can surely answer two questions about the viable fetus:

1) Is it human?

2) Is it a separate being from its mother?

If the answer to those questions is yes, then the viable fetus is a person.

As I mentioned to L275, 50 years ago when the Libertarians developed their platform, these questions were much easier to answer in the negative. But I suspect that with another half century of medical advances behind us, including the ability to differentiate between humans at the DNA level, they can be answered in the affirmative today. I fully expect that at some point in the future, the cognitive dissonance will be resolved, and the Libertarians will drop their admittedly difficult position and take up my admittedly difficult one.

2 years, 5 months ago

"This is not a scientific question, but a philosophical one."

That's actually pretty funny. So if someone finds a piece of muscle or bone at a crime site, science has absolutely no interest in whether that is that chunk came from a human or a rabbit and has no way to find out? Seriously, I think you misunderestimate science.

"science isn't concerned about this question,"

So science cannot differentiate between two people? It cannot distinguish between the rapist and the raped? It cannot tell whether the blood belongs to the victim or the accused? And it has no interest in such questions? I really wonder why we bother to do science if it is so inept at answering such simple questions.

No, my friend, science can easily answer both questions and does so all the time. That some people very much wish for it not to be able to, or for it to come to different conclusions, is not truly my concern. Good night and have a nice weekend.

2 years, 5 months ago

markoo: "to which I'm still waiting for a reference on this to support your term..."

@lol. Google: Define Person https://www.google.com/search?q=define+person&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

I'm pretty sure you'll see something like "Noun: A human being regarded as an individual." It's not my definition, as if I made it up just for this argument; it's what the word means.

Nor is that definition a straw man. The argument that a woman can do what she wants with her own body (with which I agree) utterly fails as soon as DNA shows that the fetus is not any part of "her own body." Your argument that such a determination cannot be answered by scientists but only by philosophers is laughable, but at least it explains why crime examination units routinely call in teams of philosophers when they want to identify whether remains are human. Biologists cannot tell the difference between a deer and a person, I guess.

So if the fetus is human via DNA and regarded as an individual (i.e different from the mother) via DNA, it's a person. Not my definition, the definition. But the beauty of philosophy is that it's ready to take up the case when an obvious answer is too emotionally painful to deal with. "Still a (wo)man hears what (s)he wants to hear and disregards the rest," and all that.

I don't know about chimeras - but I don't need to. All I need to know is that the viable fetus is not "a woman's body" (i.e. has a different DNA than the mother) to know that killing it is not akin to excising cancer - and I know science can answer that. If you want to know what that killing is akin to, ask the Libertarians. At least they are honest enough to admit it.

Liberty275 2 years, 5 months ago

Thank you. That's kind of you.

I think you are mistaking my nihilist streak for Mr Hoyt's position being to the right. He is just more torn by choosing a balance between freedom and life and erring on the side of life.

Not to be argumentative, but just to expound, if you boil the question to ethics, our root function is to reproduce. Ethically, not killing your young is the right thing to do. He and I agree except on when a human becomes a person. I say birth, he say's viability. I'm only right because you cannot define a time when a fetus is viable outside it's mother. You can define when the last part comes out.

What day of the pregnancy do you think abortion should be made illegal?

My saving grace is that I have a solid basis for my position while his is rooted in sand, no offense to Mr Hoyt. I like his position better, but I have no choice other than to accept my own.

notaubermime 2 years, 5 months ago

"One easy payment of $500 and men could walk away from the 'problem' - no guilt, no legal or financial responsibility - forever. What do you think? "

I actually think that is a great idea. In order to be liable for child support on a child born out of wedlock, a man has to be notified in writing of the pregnancy. The man will then have until the middle of the second trimester to pay an amount equivalent to half the cost of an abortion and sign off on his parental rights. If he does not do so by the that point, he is liable for child support and has parental rights.

Liberty275 2 years, 5 months ago

How many of you "pro-choice" people support a person's choice to have sex for money?

Kate Rogge 2 years, 5 months ago

Yeah, Liberty. How much money are you talking about here?

Liberty275 2 years, 5 months ago

I had $40 in my pocket so I used that number. I'm with you, let the market decide.

MarcoPogo 2 years, 5 months ago

You don't have to be "pro-choice" to be into prostitutes. That's been proven time and time again by members of all parties (including "key parties").

Liberty275 2 years, 5 months ago

"You don't have to be "pro-choice" to be into prostitutes"

That's arguable, but I won't. The point was that if a woman should be given the right to abort a human from her body, that's no different than giving her the right to rent out parts of her body to someone else.

Kate Rogge 2 years, 5 months ago

Check out Leslie Gore's "You Don't Own Me" public service announcement urging women to get out and VOTE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMxtbA...

verity 2 years, 5 months ago

This thread has gone completely off course and I shall be guilty of adding to the mess, but I can't resist.

It seems to me that men have several choices to stay in control of their reproductive rights with all those greedy women wanting to have their babies in order to get money or to conceive with them and then get rid of the result.

Vasectomy

Keep it in your fly

verity 2 years, 5 months ago

Sarcasm was intended.

Since men can't get pregnant, you are making false equivalencies.

And I apologize for feeding the trolls.

notaubermime 2 years, 5 months ago

Women can have a tubal ligation if they do not want to get pregnant from a rape and the only form of birth control they need is a bottle of aspirin between their legs.

Or... we can stop with the pretenses that mistakes don't happen. People make bad decisions all of the time. I support a woman's right to have an abortion before viability. I support it because having a child can dramatically alter the financial reality of one's life and can be too large of a task for someone who is not ready for it yet. The same is true for men. I don't think "equality" is one standard of reproductive rights for women and another for men.

2 years, 5 months ago

Actually, they are not false equivalencies at all, since I was not talking about pregnancy but equality and responsibility.

Both Cait48 and you gave advice to men that boils down to (in her words) "If you don't take that responsibility then live with the consequences." In other words, the time to think about pregnancy is before it occurs - afterwards is too late. Funny how when the same advice is given to women, it screams oppression.

Therefore when it comes to responsibility, it seems to me that no equality is really intended. Maybe that's why they are only women's rights.

verity 2 years, 5 months ago

My remark, as I said, was intended as sarcasm as so many men in past threads have recommended that women keep their legs together or suffer the consequences.

I agree with notaubermime's solution (14 hours ago at this point).

However, due to the very real biology of the matter, it is the woman's body. Nothing can change that. If she choses, she will have an abortion, legal or not. She will also not have one if she choses---at least under current law. Do you wish to change that so you can have control over that also?

It's been said again and again and again, but I will say it one more time. Making birth control readily available is the best way to bring down the number of unintended pregnancies. Win for everybody, no?

jafs 2 years, 5 months ago

Yes, that's great.

But, there's also failure to use contraception, and most methods aren't near 100% effective.

A personal anecdote - I was dating somebody, and she said once that if she got pregnant, she would never have an abortion. That was the point at which I realized the relationship wouldn't last, and I ended it not that long afterwards.

If I'm involved in the situation, then I feel I should have a voice in those sorts of decisions. And, the way she said it, it was clear that she didn't feel that way.

The best outcome is for both people involved to discuss it and agree on a decision. Failing that, there should be some way that one person isn't unduly oppressed because of the others decision.

True equality means that both men and women take responsibility and make decisions, both before and after sex. Giving women the full decision making power while holding men financially and emotionally accountable seems a bit off to me.

And, even if the woman I mentioned would have been ok raising the child on her own without any relationship or financial assistance from me, I'd have to make peace with the idea that there was a child of mine in the world that I had nothing to do with, which might be hard.

My preferred solution to unwanted pregnancies is to prevent as many of them as possible, and for the remaining to be brought to term and adopted by loving families, if the birth parents aren't ready or willing to raise the kids.

But, I know, of course, that there are numerous practical problems with that approach.

verity 2 years, 5 months ago

Of course the ideal situation is for both people involved to discuss and come to a mutual decision. However, as you obviously realize, this is not always possible. I would support legislation such as notaubermime has suggested.

But back to the biology thing---if the results of a man having sex with a woman is pregnancy, the results reside in the woman's body and the man has given up a certain amount of control. At present there is no way to get around that. What would you propose to make this equal?

I respect your preferred solution, but it does present many problems. As you well know, each situation is different.

jafs 2 years, 5 months ago

I would suggest that if a woman wants to have the child, and the man doesn't want to, that he shouldn't be held financially accountable for the child.

And, that if the situation is reversed, and the man really wants the child, whereas the woman doesn't, perhaps he can accept full responsibility for it if she has it.

notaubermime 2 years, 5 months ago

Completely agree, the trick about sarcasm is that it can sometimes be difficult to understand the manner in which it is meant. I also think it is not enough to have birth control readily available. There should also be adequate education on birth control in schools. Nothing reduces teenage pregnancies like birth control education programs.

verity 2 years, 5 months ago

You are absolutely right. Educate, educate, educate. And base it on facts, not wishful thinking.

verity 2 years, 5 months ago

Short article, so I will post it.

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - What would happen if every woman in America could obtain free birth control? Washington University School of Medicine researchers tested that idea and came up with some pretty impressive results.

In a group of more than nine thousand local women, free birth control dropped abortion rates by more than 62 percent and teen birth rates were about one sixth the national average, according to lead researcher Dr. Jeffrey Peipert.

“The big decrease is, we think, is because 1) contraception was very available and at no cost 2) women in this project were using the most effective methods of contraception. 75 percent were using the IUD or the implant,” Peipert said.

Those two forms of contraception had been found in an earlier Washington University study to be 20 times more effective than the pill, patch or ring.

Peipert says the abortion rate for women in this study was 4 to 8-per-thousand, compared to the US rate of 20-per-thousand. The teen birth rate fell from 34-per-thousand nationally to just 6-per-thousand in this study. There was also a reduction in the need for repeat abortions.

2 years, 5 months ago

"My remark, as I said, was intended as sarcasm..."

Yes, I saw that. The difficulty with sarcasm is that (unlike my sarcastic Biden note above) it fails when it corresponds exactly with what many argue seriously.

booyalab 2 years, 5 months ago

As a woman who isn't brainwashed by the left, I think there are a lot more issues women can learn about besides "reproductive rights" (whatever that means). I'm not even saying who you should vote for, I'm saying women's issues are boring and if that's all you care about then you're boring too.

booyalab 2 years, 5 months ago

Yeah, I'm brainwashed. That's why I spend time on a board where 90% of members have starkly different views from me. It's simply amazing how the right can brainwash conservatives by immersing them in liberal opinions.

Liberty275 2 years, 5 months ago

" "reproductive rights" (whatever that means)"

It's a euphemism for abortion.

Katara 2 years, 5 months ago

Actually, no. It also means that you cannot be forced to abort a fetus if you want to carry it to term.

Liberty275 2 years, 5 months ago

Nobody forces women to abort children in America. Your use of the term is wasted. Why are you wasting words if not to protect your euphemism?

Liberty275 2 years, 5 months ago

They and the doctor should be in jail.

Liberty275 2 years, 5 months ago

I wasn't doing that. If any competent adult woman is forced to have an abortion it should be punishable. You add in that the victim has down's syndrome and that makes it a little more complicated, but I'm not sure merely having down's syndrome takes away your rights. A person has to be very incompetent before the state should make the decision. The parent's never should. If the daughter is being forced, at best, I'll give their parents a day in court so a judge can determine the girls competency and with advice of the parent, a decision be made whether to abort.

Maybe the girl was profoundly handicapped and a judge made the decision, or maybe the parents violated the girl's rights. You don't make that point clear and I have no interest in operation.rescue.com. If I wanted to be on that web page I would be.

What mental ability did the girl have? You can tell me that.

As for the doctor, whether he is alive or not is irrelevant. If the girl was competent to decide against abortion and the doctor performed an abortion he should have been charged with assault and perhaps murder if the girl died because of the abortion.

If she was a ward and the decision was made legally, then naturally the doctor was innocent.

I assumed the girl was competent enough to make her own decisions, otherwise you wouldn't have used her as an example.

Katara 2 years, 5 months ago

Minors can be forced to abort their children. Legally they are still considered children but physically they are women (a girl becomes a woman when menarche starts).

Currently, women's reproductive rights include the right not to be forced to abort a fetus.

Reproductive rights cover all areas of reproduction. This includes the right not to reproduce (you have the option to be sterilized). It also includes the right to control when you reproduce (birth control) and the right to unrestricted reproduction (the Duggars and others who belong to the Quiverfull movement).

Liberty275 2 years, 5 months ago

"Minors can be forced to abort their children."

Under what law?

"Reproductive rights cover all areas of reproduction."

Just stop it. It was pro-abortion, then pro-choice, now its reproductive rights. What will it be next? Women's hygiene rights?

Nobody cares if you have your tubes tied, nobody cares if you take the pill and nobody cares how many recreational partners you have. There is nothing to argue there there. This is America and all those things are perfectly accepted. But you need some nice things to hide you not-so-nice thing. So you call your thing something new and surround it benevolence. We see through it.

Have the courage to be pro-abortion.

jafs 2 years, 5 months ago

It's really not true that "nobody cares" about those things.

Many on the right find them distasteful, and some think they're morally wrong, and they'd like to prevent women from choosing them. That's the point Katara and others are trying to make.

Katara 2 years, 5 months ago

Under current law, minors can be forced to abort their children. Their rights are limited under the law. Medical procedures require consent from their parents. Some states allow minors to go before a judge to obtain that consent but not all.

Reproduction covers a huge area. Reproduction rights involve way more than the termination of a pregnancy. It covers prenatal care, postnatal care. It covers rights to medical procedures that are performed during the pregnancy and birth. It covers the right to deny medical procedures during pregnancy and birth. It covers birth control for both men and women. It covers conception.

And yes, people apparently do care if I have my tubes tied (many doctors will refuse to do so if you are young because you might change your mind later). They care if I take the pill or pharmacists would not be able to deny women it because of their personal feelings about it. People care how many recreational partners a person has if that person has a communicable disease.

Reproductive rights cover a broad spectrum of which abortion is a part of. That is why they are called reproductive rights rather than abortion rights.

verity 2 years, 5 months ago

It also means the right to have access to birth control.

Liberty275 2 years, 5 months ago

Walgreens has birth control that requires no prescription. You can walk in and then back out with contraception and never see a doctor. That's just another excuse for your euphemism.

Katara 2 years, 5 months ago

Hormonal birth control requires a prescription. Condoms and other non-hormonal options have higher failure rates.

It is interesting that you assume that access to birth control cannot be restricted.

Katara 2 years, 5 months ago

http://www.nwlc.org/resource/pharmacy-refusals-101

Some examples of refusals in the pharmacy:

November 2010: Adam Drake attempted to purchase non-prescription EC at a Walgreens in Houston, Texas and was turned away, despite the fact that the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved that brand of EC for sale to men and women aged seventeen and older.


March 2010: A pro-life pharmacy refusing to stock or dispense contraceptives in Chantilly, Virginia closed due to lack of business. When it opened in October 2008, staff at the pharmacy refused to provide referrals or help individuals find contraception elsewhere.

January 2010: A mother of two in Montclair, California went to her local CVS to purchase EC after she and her fiancé experienced a birth control failure. The pharmacist refused to dispense EC to her, even though it was in stock, and told her to “come back in two and a half days,” at which point it would no longer be effective.

May 2007: In Great Falls, Montana, a 49-year-old woman who used birth control to treat a medical condition went to her local pharmacy to fill her latest prescription. She was given a slip of paper informing her that the pharmacy would no longer fill any prescriptions for birth control. When she called back to inquire about the policy change, the owner of the pharmacy told her that birth control was “dangerous” for women.

January 2007: In Columbus, Ohio, a 23-year-old mother went to her local Wal-Mart for EC. The pharmacist on staff “shook his head and laughed.” She was told that even though the store stocked EC, no one on staff would sell it to her. She had to drive 45 miles to find another pharmacy that would provide her with EC.

Katara 2 years, 5 months ago

cont'd


December 2006: In Seattle, Washington, a 25-year-old woman went to her local Rite-Aid to get non-prescription EC after she and her fiancé experienced a birth control failure. The pharmacist told her that although EC was in stock, he would not give it to her because he thought it was wrong. The woman had to repeatedly insist that the pharmacist find her another pharmacy in the area that would provide her with EC.

January 2006: In Northern California, a married mother of a newborn baby experienced a birth control failure with her husband. Her physician called in a prescription for EC to her regular pharmacy, but when she went to pick it up, the pharmacist on duty not only refused to dispense the drug, which was in stock, but also refused to enter the prescription into the pharmacy’s computer so that it could be transferred elsewhere.

January 2005: In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a mother of six went to her local Walgreens with a prescription for emergency contraception. The pharmacist refused to fill the prescription and berated the mother in the pharmacy’s crowded waiting area, shouting “You’re a murderer! I will not help you kill this baby. I will not have the blood on my hands.” The mother left the pharmacy mortified and never had her prescription filled. She subsequently became pregnant and had an abortion.

April 2004: In North Richland Hills, Texas, a 32-year-old mother of two went to her local CVS for her regular birth control prescription refill. The pharmacist refused to refill her prescription because of his personal beliefs. The pharmacist said he would not fill the prescription because oral contraceptives are “not right” and “cause cancer.”

January 2004: In Denton, Texas, a rape survivor seeking EC was turned away from an Eckerd pharmacy by three pharmacists, who refused to fill the time-sensitive prescription due to their religious beliefs. The pharmacists’ refusal put the survivor in danger of becoming pregnant due to the rape.

Liberty275 2 years, 5 months ago

So use four condoms and a sheet of cellophane until you get a prescription.

"It is interesting that you assume that access to birth control cannot be restricted."

75 cents will get you a condom in lots of men's rooms.

A business can sell what it want's. Come try and pay me $20 to wash your dishes if you need another example.

When the government prevents you from contraception, you have a complaint. I haven't seen one yet.

Katara 2 years, 5 months ago

Condoms have a failure rate and their are also latex and spermicide allergies (even men can have these allergies. men have way more fewer options for birth control than women). Not all birth is appropriate for everyone and some hormonal birth control is used to treat medical conditions (such as PCOS). There is simply no "one size fits all" solution to birth control.

The government does prevent you from contraception by enacting legislation like the legislation above where pharmacists are legally allowed to deny you the birth control you need. If you perused the examples above, you'll notice that the denial of birth control included non-prescription.

Interestingly enough, that 75 cents spent in the men's room can also buy you an unintended pregnancy.

booyalab 2 years, 5 months ago

If someone else has to make it, it's an entitlement not a right.

Liberty275 2 years, 5 months ago

If you buy it, what do you call it then?

jhawkinsf 2 years, 5 months ago

The problem with these euphemisms is that when one side uses them, so does the other. Pretty soon, neither side is capable of having an honest discussion. That in turn suits the radicals on both sides just fine, as neither wants an honest discussion. However, having framed the discussion, they have left out those in the middle who seek compromise.

verity 2 years, 5 months ago

Reproductive rights is not an euphemism. It means exactly what it says.

What about this conversation is not honest enough for you?

jhawkinsf 2 years, 5 months ago

If it means exactly what it says, then what exactly is it?

I don't mean to be flippant about that, but every single right that every single American has has come under review from time to time. Whether or not you like the Citizens United case, it was an issue of freedom of speech and the Supreme Court heard that case and ruled on it. Not long ago, I recall a person who videotaped a protest where there were allegations of abuse by the police. He posted part of the video on line and when the authorities wanted to see the entire tape, he claimed to be a member of the press. Freedom of the press? Courts heard that case, though I don't recall the result.

The point is that every single right comes under review. Every single right is tweaked from time to time. A recent joke about a bomb at an airport led to an arrest. Freedom of speech? That's for courts to decide. For better or worse, I'd be more nervous if reproductive rights never, ever came under review. I'd be nervous if the courts said we're done with this issue forever, we'll say no more, rule no more. With those rulings in the future, compromises will be forced upon us, like it or not. Just as they have been with all our other rights for two plus centuries. Whatever the term reproductive rights means to you now, may not be what it means to me and may not be what it means to either of us in the future. Those who frame the discussion in absolute terms are deluding themselves and sending a false message to their listeners.

Liberty275 2 years, 5 months ago

"Reproductive rights" means abortion. Cancer, STDs and the like are health care.

Katara 2 years, 5 months ago

You would be incorrect on that.

"Reproductive rights rest on the recognition of the basic right of all couples and individuals to decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing and timing of their children and to have the information and means to do so, and the right to attain the highest standard of sexual and reproductive health. They also include the right of all to make decisions concerning reproduction free of discrimination, coercion and violence.[2]" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reproduc...

Also reproductive rights include men. It isn't just a women's issue.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 5 months ago

I agreed with your definition right up until the word "all". There's that absolutism again. I can think of 1,000 times when I'm going to agree with you, but even if I disagreed with you on as few as 10, or 1%, and then the courts ruled in your favor 90% of the time, that still leaves the one. We must allow for that, for this right and for all of them.

Katara 2 years, 5 months ago

You don't believe that all couples and individuals should have the right to decide? Who do you suggest be denied the rights above?

Also this is sounds like absolutism -> "We must allow for that, for this right and for all of them." We must allow? Does that mean all the time?

jhawkinsf 2 years, 5 months ago

We must allow for review, yes, all the time. Freedom of speech is always open to interpretation, as it should be. So too, freedom of religion. Freedom of the press, certainly true and especially now with new technology (is a citizen who captures an event on his/her cell phone camera and then posts it on the net a member of the press, and therefore accorded things like the right to keep sources confidential)? Yes, all rights should be under constant review, abortion included. That doesn't mean freedom of speech is going away. But a person was just arrested for joking about a bomb while in an airport. We might have to make compromises while fundamentally keeping the right.

I recall a planned parenthood worker in the mountain region of Northern California taking a minor girl to the nearest clinic, which happened to be in Reno, Nv. Might taking a minor across state lines be prohibited? Perhaps. In fact, it might be prohibited if she were going across state lines for a breast implant or for a root canal. But if it were prohibited for the purposes of an abortion, the fundamental right to an abortion remains. Just the narrow circumstance of a non custodial adult taking a minor child across state lines. That's what I mean by tweaking the laws. (I remember the incident, but don't recall the outcome. I don't know if charges were filed, or what decisions a court made, if any).

Katara 2 years, 5 months ago

You didn't answer my question. You said that you disagreed with "all" in the definition. "All" in the definition is regarding all couples and individuals having these rights.

Who do you suggest be denied the rights in the definition I supplied?

jhawkinsf 2 years, 5 months ago

I meant "all" the time, which opens up the possibility that every person's actions might come under scrutiny. Not that every person's activity should come under scrutiny.

As an example, I might go to the airport today and say something that security there might take as a threat. Maybe. Whatever it is I said would then be interpreted by courts, ruled upon, appealed, more rulings, until it's ultimately codified into law. That doesn't mean if I go to the airport that every thing I say will come under scrutiny. Just that it's possible. Of course, in my life I've gone to airports hundreds of times without such an incident. But it's possible, in some very rare set of circumstances. Despite that possibility, I would maintain my freedom of speech. It's left intact.

As with the young woman I mentioned who went to Reno, it's possible for a court to rule that a non-custodial adult be barred from taking a minor across state lines for the purpose of having and abortion, yet the fundamental right to an abortion remains intact.

Katara 2 years, 5 months ago

And again, you fail to answer my question, instead choosing to sidestep it with irrelevant stories about airports and the freedom of speech.

You really should read the definition again. "All" refers to the fact that all people have these rights. Who do you believe should be denied the rights included in the definition of reproductive rights?

And, strangely, you make a case against your own argument regarding all the time. If not every person's actions should be open to scrutiny then there is no need to allow for review all the time.

You are using specious reasoning in an attempt to appear middle of the road and compromising.

I am not sure the reason for your stories. They do nothing to illustrate your point. The only story that might have any relevance to the topic is the young women in Reno.

The minor is the one being denied reproductive rights, not the non-custodial adult. The fundamental right to an abortion is denied to the minor so it is not intact. And a court that bars such action so that the minor is forced to carry the pregnancy to term is interfering with her reproductive rights as defined above.

In fact, you gave an excellent example of a woman being forced to carry a pregnancy to term when clearly she has no desire to do so.

At this point, your "all" argument is simply ridiculous as you engage in absolutist arguments yourself. I'm not really interested in that argument because it is silly. When you can make an argument that isn't playing word games, you may engage me again.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 5 months ago

This term you keep using, reproductive rights, is something that I'm saying is like freedom of speech. Freedom of speech is not absolute, it's meaning changes from time to time. That's what courts are for, to define what it means today, in any particular circumstance. So too, with reproductive rights. It's meaning changes from time to time, from circumstance to circumstance. Again, that's what courts are for. The "all" to which I referred is all of our rights, all the time, in the broadest terms, come under review, as they should.

It may be true that the minor is being denied her reproductive rights. Or it may be true that she doesn't have full rights yet, as she is a minor. That's something for the courts to decide. Not you. Not me. And maybe not even her. Unless you're arguing that the courts themselves have no authority in this area. But then I would assume you believe the courts have no authority to limit freedom of speech either. Or freedom of religion. Or are you elevating reproductive rights above all other rights, above speech, religion, press, etc.

All I'm doing is putting the right to choose on equal footing with speech, religion, etc. They all can and should come under review. They all can be compromised, if those compromises are reasonable as defined by our courts. If that's a specious attempt to appear middle of the road, I plead guilty.

verity 2 years, 5 months ago

If you find me boring, just scroll right on by.

Edit: This should have gone under boobylab's post.

David Reynolds 2 years, 5 months ago

No one wants to take away women being able to have an abortion for life saving health issues. What folks object to is using abortion as a means of contraception.

With every right comes responsibility.

verity 2 years, 5 months ago

Again, a false choice.

There are more than these two reasons for an abortion.

And, if you think that no one is trying to take away the right of a woman to have an abortion for "life saving health issues," you've not been paying attention.

Liberty275 2 years, 5 months ago

"With every right comes responsibility."

Prove it.

jaywalker 2 years, 5 months ago

“Women’s right to choose” takes on an additional meaning this presidential election.

NO, it doesn't. Quit being one of the sheeple.

Pastor_Bedtime 2 years, 5 months ago

But what on earth will these (mostly older guys) do to preoccupy themselves if they can't lord over women's bodies and their private decisions? Their bibles tell them it's correct to place their small, limited government in private places and private decisions ~ and because they are incapable of trusting women to make decisions for themselves, they will create a big government agency to do just that. Claim you've been raped? Probably didn't happen, and why not make lemonade out of lemons? At any rate, you'll need to plead your case to a government expert. And your birth control, well, some bible-thumpers object to most methods of it because it affects their concept of "personhood", so that'll be gone. Hopping on a plane, women? Be prepared for a visit to the airport's transvaginal checkpoint ~ after all, you may be going to a place where reproductive choices are still available. Remember, your reproductive capabilies are now everyone's business, and your big brother down at capitol hill will always know what's best for you. Our small, limited government will become as large as it needs to assure you women keep with the forced birth program.

A vote for Romney is a vote for Mourdock, for Akin, for Roeder.

booyalab 2 years, 5 months ago

Most likely, nothing will change in women's issues regardless of who is president. Newsflash: women's issues are a handy way of politicians getting votes. They don't actually matter to any politician. I guarantee you that Hillary Clinton wasn't thinking about reproductive rights after the Benghazi incident. Foreign policy matters. The economy matters. Birth control doesn't matter.

Pastor_Bedtime 2 years, 5 months ago

Haven't been listing to most of the campaigns, have you? Dismissing the issue is just what the nanny-stater control freaks like Mourdock and Akin want you to do. Ever hear of the supreme court? The issue is a different matter entirely when you realize it affects most women in this nation. It may not matter to you ~ so what the heck, it must not be an issue to anyone, right? But as you argue, there's nothing to see here, folks. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. Big government always knows what's right for you and your private parts, and women are just begging to be controlled, right? A vote for Romney is a vote to enslave women to the will of the ruling class.

Katara 2 years, 5 months ago

Birth control does affect the economy. It has a great impact on family finances.

roadwarrior 2 years, 5 months ago

support of individual rights. across the board. freedom to worship as you choose...freedom to pursuit of happiness as you choose...freedom of expression as you choose. These rights were NOT given to make us comfortable, they were given to make US free.

headdoctor 2 years, 5 months ago

These polls don't mean squat. if you want to shuffle figures Romney has an estimated 191 electoral votes to Obama having 253.

Liberty275 2 years, 5 months ago

RCP says 201 to 191 in favor of Obama.

Pastor_Bedtime 2 years, 5 months ago

Fewer jobs are from the after-effect of failed Bush policies.... Remember when RMoney stated "If" women are going to work during the debate? Women in the workforce isn't a priority of Mitt's ~ in fact, it runs contrary to the family model his faith and conservative background supports ~ women should be at home with the family and their large brood of children, if they're good Americans.

Well the women in my family see through this ruse and aren't about to sign off sovereignity of their reproductive organs and delegate their private decisions to a guy who promises jobs for all, but in the same breath holds hands in prayer with Mourdock and Akin for absolute control over women, who after all, cannot be trusted to make any decisions on their own.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 5 months ago

continued

Jafs. While this case highlights some troubling issues, I think the courts did the correct thing by looking at the person least at fault (the child) and the person most at risk (the child) and elevated their rights and interests above those of others. While the actions of the mother was very bad, the behavior of the father was only somewhat less bad. Walking away from a child in need, suing to get back money while cutting off an already established relationship isn't exactly good behavior in my mind. What did the child do wrong to lose the father/child relationship?

As to seeking out the biological father, if she knows who it is, if she can find him, if she has the resources to prove her claim, if he is capable of providing financial support, if able to provide that support, will he pay, if he is willing and/or able to provide an emotional relationship, then sure. But that's a lot of if(s). All the while, who suffers? The child. If I were the judge, I would tell that man to go kiss "his" child, tell him/her you love them unconditionally, and then behave like an appropriate father and role model. He will be rewarded beyond the financial investment.

jafs 2 years, 5 months ago

Well, I don't know about that.

Personally, I would love any child, regardless of whether or not they were mine biologically. But, I completely understand the anger that many men would feel at finding out a child wasn't theirs, after being led to believe it was.

If she doesn't know who the father is, etc. all lead to more judgement of her actions on my part. Women who have enough promiscuous and/or drunk sex that they don't know who the father might be aren't acting responsibly.

Bottom line - if the woman in this situation had acted responsibly, then the situation wouldn't have occurred the way it did. I'm not inclined to let her off the hook, or to blame the man equally.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 5 months ago

Wow, in the past you've accused me of being judgmental. Sounds like a little role reversal here. :-)

But the point remains, there isn't a need to judge her or him. Just decide what is in the best interest of the child. If that negatively effects her or him, so be it. Equally, not, so be it. Then, having ruled in the child's best interests for the purposes of child support, custody, etc., encourage the parents to behave like parents. Hell, offer them parenting classes. Isn't that a direction you would usually advocate?

jafs 2 years, 5 months ago

Yes - I can also be judgemental :-)

I find it disturbing that somebody who acts in that way would be rewarded by the system, and that somebody who did nothing wrong would be penalized.

There are a number of ways that the woman could have acted better:

  1. Don't have an affair.
  2. If you get pregnant, and you're not sure who the father is, tell the guy you're with.
  3. If you haven't told him already, tell him when you break up, and don't demand child support.

Any/all of these would probably have resulted in a different outcome, one in which the man isn't so resentful, and might have chosen to support the woman and child. And/or resulted in her finding the biological father, and getting the support from him, which would be more appropriate.

I'm not sure it's really the best interests of the child to force a man who's not really responsible to pay child support, especially when that means the relationship between the "parents" is strained and uncomfortable, as I'm sure it is in this case, given the lawsuit.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 5 months ago

I heard an explanation a number of years ago, one that I believed at the time, though I'm not certain it's true. It answers the question of why does a child have the father's last name and not the mother's. It's because maternity is always known, paternity, not so much. It's biology. We all know it, or at least we should. In the back of every man's mind is that question, is that child mine? Women don't need to ask that question. Men do.

Well, now we have DNA and that question can be answered definitively. But only after the fact. I use this example to highlight that in every birth, there is some measure of risk that it might not be yours. Maybe. He knew that risk or should have, and took that risk. His hands might not be as dirty as hers, but they're not clean either. When confronted with the truth, rather than rising above her lies for the sake of the child, he chose to behave like a child himself. He didn't "man up". He was hurt, resentful, Fine, show me a person who has never been hurt, never been lied to. It's not pleasant, but it happens to us all. It's how you respond that measures you. He cast that child loose. That child who loved him and who he professed his love for. That he could feel hate towards his wife, sure. That he could treat that child in that way, that's inexcusable.

jafs 2 years, 5 months ago

I think his hands are distinctly clean, up until the point he decides to sue for back child support.

If you're in a relationship and you have no particular reason to think your significant other is cheating on you, I won't blame you if you believe a child conceived during that time is yours.

In the ideal, abstract, I agree with you about the child, but I understand that people's feelings aren't that neatly separated. In other words, how he feels about the child changes because of how he feels about his ex and what she did.

Again, numerous things that she could and should have done to prevent this sort of thing from happening - the only thing you suggest he could do is to have been more suspicious that she might have been cheating on him?

Hardly the sort of thing I'd want to encourage, personally.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 5 months ago

Either my sarcasm meter is broken or that is the most foolish statement made yet this year. Please tell me it's the former. But if it is the latter, please, please do not contribute to the gene pool.

Katara 2 years, 5 months ago

justfornow makes insulting comments about women on this forum quite often.

Apparently racially tinged statements are not allowed but full out sexist comments are A-OK with the moderators.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 5 months ago

Wow, now that the offending comment has been removed, but not my response, it appears that my response is to my own comment above. Ouch.

Liberty275 2 years, 5 months ago

I got lost somewhere. I see a a "continued" and then you replying to yourself.

:-)

jafs 2 years, 5 months ago

Your above comment about child support is confusing to me.

I've seen judges tell plaintiffs that they had no control over how the women receiving child support spent it, and that they had to provide it with no strings or involvement in that, which isn't consistent with what you posted.

The men said things like "She doesn't spend it on the child", and the judges said "That's none of your business".

Do you have a source for the idea that men are able to ensure that child support is spent on the child, rather than on general living expenses for the women?

Katara 2 years, 5 months ago

Really? You've seen judges do this? Because I have to call shenanigans on that one.

All child support spending can be audited to make sure that the child support is being used to support the child. If you want an audit for an accounting of child support usage, it is called a Motion to Clarify Child Support Owed. You can also file for a modification of child support and an accounting of expenses must be presented. Of course, with that, non-custodial parent's finances will be under scrutiny and it could be determined that child support originally ordered is now deemed insufficient.

General living expenses for the custodial parent also benefit the child. This would include money used for rent or mortgage, money used for groceries, money used for transportation, etc. These things do benefit the custodial parent but also benefit the child. A child needs a roof over its head, food in its belly and means of getting places such as school or the doctor.

How would one go about determining the child's portion of the mortgage, the groceries or the vehicle used to transport the child in order to make sure the child support paid goes specifically for those costs that benefit the child?

There really isn't a way and whether the non-custodial parent likes it or not, child support rarely covers the true cost of raising a child. There are many expenses that a custodial parent automatically assumes just because of the nature of the child living with them. Little things like school supplies during the school year and not during the beginning of the school, money for school parties, birthday gifts for the child's friends when they are invited to a party, sports fees, fees for other curricular activities, special equipment or clothing for sports, etc.

The whole point of child support is to benefit the child(ren) and maintain as close as to the same standard of living that they had when the parents were living together. This is what the judge is to and will consider. How the parents feel about it is secondary.

jafs 2 years, 5 months ago

Yes, I have.

But, you may be right, that general living expenses are thought to benefit the children, and that's why the judges said what they did.

Child support shouldn't cover the full costs, right? It should cover about 1/2 of them, since both parents are responsible for raising the child, I would think.

Is child support money supposed to be kept separately, and documented as to how it's spent? If not, I don't see any way to find out if it's being spent on things that benefit the child.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 5 months ago

Jafs, I'll try to shed some light on this issue, though my experience is limited to some family members having gone through this and then I'm adding some of my own common sense. I think what I'm about to say is correct, though I'm not certain.

Suppose the non-custodial parent does in fact have custody 1/4 of the time. Weekends, every other holiday, things like that. That means the custodial parent has custody 3/4 of the time. Then income is factored in. Then judges use some mathematical formula to arrive at what should be child support, factoring in things like cost of housing in the area, was the child previously attending a private school and should that continue, if they still can afford it, things like that. But even in circumstances involving the bare minimum, food, clothing, housing, etc., The judge will set some number.

Then we all get to make some assumptions. Things like the child is actually being housed, actually being fed, actually being clothed. Or actually enrolled in the private school they previously attended. If the non-custodial parent can show or even suspects the custodial parent is not spending the child support in it's intended way, then they have the remedy of going to court.

Now suppose this scenario. Suppose we're dealing with a wealthy non-custodial parent, one who provided a mansion for his ex and child prior to the divorce. The court is probably going to rule that the child is entitled to continue living in that mansion like setting. Of course, that child will be living with the custodial parent, so while it may look like the non-custodial parent is paying for the ex to live in the mansion, that's merely a coincidence. The real purpose of the mansion like setting is for the child's benefit, the proof of that being that it will end at age 18.

jafs 2 years, 5 months ago

Only if the money is kept separately, and there's an easy way to document how it's being spent, right?

Otherwise it just goes into the bank account, and combines with other money/income.

Your hypothetical is interesting - I'm not at all sure that I would agree that somebody should provide a mansion that the ex can live in, just because they all lived in a mansion before they split up. Things change when people get divorced, and making sure the child is provided for doesn't automatically default to having the exact same standard of living as while the parents were married for me.

This is a difficult issue, and I'm sure there are many cases where exes don't provide the support they should, and/or it's difficult to get them to do it, but I also know some situations where the man is supporting the ex in ways I find problematic, and the ex isn't a very good mother. But, the courts are still biased towards granting custody to women.

My oldest friend (we met when we were 6 mos. old) was married, had a couple of kids and got divorced. In all respects, he would have been the better custodial parent - emotionally, financially, etc. And yet, the mother got custody, and he got to pay child support. Now, after both kids got in some bad situations having lived with the mother, he and his new wife have helped get them out of them, and out of living with her. But the whole thing could and should have been prevented in the first place, in my opinion.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 5 months ago

Courts certainly have some bias. There's an old saying in divorce, she gets the house, he gets the payment, she gets the car, he gets the payment, she gets the kids, he gets the payment. There is some element of truth in that, but courts are moving away from that. Not entirely, but headed in that direction. It's similar to women earning less than men. We moving away from that. We haven't reached the final destination, but we're headed in the right direction.

But separate accounts, accounting to courts, etc., that's a very difficult thing to do. It probably happens in only the most contested of cases. If the custodial parent sits down to breakfast with their child, must they have separate boxes of cereal, separate containers of milk? Must the bowl sizes be exact? Or is it sufficient to assume that if the child ate a filling breakfast, that's good enough.

Divorce can be one of the most bitter experiences anyone could go through. The situation you describe with your friend sounds like one of them. I've seen others as well. from my experience, one of the first casualties when it gets that far, at least inside the courtroom, is honesty. The lies come fast and furious. So the courts not only have to determine what is best for the child, but what is even true. I've seen the devastating effects of divorce, especially on children. I wish people gave more thought to that fact. The time to do that is prior to marriage, and then every single day of the marriage.

jafs 2 years, 5 months ago

My only point was that court is only a remedy if there's a requirement for the child support to be kept separately, so that it can be determined how it's being spent.

Otherwise, there's no way to know how it's being spent.

So, going to court is a waste of time, and won't work at all.

My understanding is that alimony used to be paid for the ex, and child support is supposed to be spent on the child, and that's the difference between the two.

So, if the ex is spending the child support money on themselves, that's not correct.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 5 months ago

Imagine this, Jafs. You've said you're married with no children, so this should be easy. Figure out how much of the household budget you consume and how much she consumes. It's pretty easy if you just assume 1/2 the housing is you and 1/2 is her. Easy again if 1/2 the electric bill is you and 1/2 is her. But suppose you actually tried to determine who uses more electricity, exactly what that percentage is, and then paid accordingly. Her hair dryer vs. you're time on a computer. Now who eats more, probably you as I'll assume you're a larger human being. But maybe she likes more expensive foods. But wait, you're a vegetarian, maybe that costs more, but wait, meat is pretty expensive. By the way, does she eat fish or chicken, beef or pork. They all carry a different price tag.

You get my point. It's not at all easy. There's going to be crossover spending. Some of the child support may get into the ex's pocket. Some of her money might get into the ex's pocket by way of her spending more than half the child's expenses. It'll be an accounting nightmare and should be reserved for only the most egregious cases. As long as the child is well taken care of, there should be no need for such accounting.

BTW - From the little I have seen of contentious divorces where both parties are so convinced they are correct that they're willing to fight every issue in court, the only winners to emerge are the lawyers. Both parents and child(ren) are worse for the acrimony.

jafs 2 years, 5 months ago

It would be easy to do if it were required that child support be paid into a separate account, and records kept of how the money is spent.

I have no problem requiring parents to support their children, but I have a little problem if that money isn't spent doing that.

Clothing for children is valid, but clothing for the custodial parent isn't. Toys for children are valid, but toys for the parent aren't. Money for a birthday party for the child is valid, but not for an adult's party.

Etc.

Failing that requirement, going to court is a waste of time, since nobody can prove how the money is spent.

General living expenses are harder to figure out, of course, but even there I'm not that comfortable if the parent is home all of the time, living lavishly, with big screen tv's, etc. and the child isn't there most of the time.

The main point for me is that child support is supposed to be for the child, not the parent.

Katara 2 years, 5 months ago

jafs, it is getting to the point that I feel you are deliberately being obtuse. It has been explained to you several times and in several different ways why it is extreme difficult, if not downright impossible, to keep the expenses of the child separate from expenses of the custodial parent yet you keep insisting on how much easier it could be if a separate account for child support.

Why don't you demonstrate with us how that could be done? Please be sure to factor in all elements of what is for the child's as jhawkinsf & I have explained. Please sure to factor in the child's portion of the mortgage, groceries, transportation, etc from the general living expenses.

I dislike playing the parent card but here we have 2 different parents explaining to you all the intricacies of financing a child compared to your experience with your friend who went through a contentious divorce and custody battle.

jafs 2 years, 5 months ago

Well, as I said, general living expenses are more difficult.

My point remains, as I have said numerous times, that one can't be sure money is being spent on the child rather than the parent unless there are separate accounts for child support, right?

By the way, as far as I know, the non-custodial parent isn't responsible for paying all of the child's expenses, but about half (or whatever portion the court decides is correct).

So, let's say we have a separate account for the child support. All that's necessary is for money from that account to be spent on the child. It doesn't even have to be spent on general living expenses at all. Spend money from that account on direct expenses of the child, like clothes, toys, food (for the child), etc. and money from the custodial parent's account on mortgage, etc.

That way we know for sure that child support money is spent on the child, and not the parent.

Katara 2 years, 5 months ago

You really have no idea how child support works and it is sad that you wish to continue to persist in your misconceptions about it despite 2 different people taking the time to explain it to you.

Neither of us said the non-custodial is responsible for paying all the child(ren)'s expenses but that the amount of the child support is dependent on the parents' income and also the standard of living that the child(ren) had prior to the divorce. Each state has its own formula as to how that is determined.

The reason that child support is not set up in a separate account is because child support is tied to not only the child's specific needs but also to the general living expenses of the child. Attempting to sort out the child's portion of the general living expense is not only very time consuming for the court and the parents involved but also very complicated as there is no cut and dried way to do it (as opposed to very obvious direct expenses such as school supplies, clothing, etc.).

This will just have to be yet another topic that I cannot discuss with you as you persist in your misinformation and misconceptions even when the correct information has been provided to you and there is tons of information out there to read. I really dislike that when people do that. It becomes willful ignorance on those folks' part and I have no tolerance for willful ignorance.

If you truly are interested in informing yourself on child support, you can start with these links.

http://www.kscourts.org/rules-procedures-forms/child-support-guidelines/default.asp http://www.dcf.ks.gov/Pages/default.aspx

jafs 2 years, 5 months ago

You don't do your case any great benefit by insulting people.

And, you have yet to respond to my point at all.

I say that society has a vested interest in ensuring that children are taken care of, but also in ensuring that money for child support is spent on the needs of the child, and not the parent.

If the money is mingled in with other funds, and all expenses are paid out of that, then there's no way to do that.

Katara 2 years, 5 months ago

You don't do your case any good by being obtuse or willfully ignorant.

You feel insulted a lot and that is your problem, not mine. If you are that sensitive to legitimate criticism, perhaps you should shut off your internet and find a hobby that is more suited to your extremely sensitive nature.

I have responded to your point many times and so has jhawkinsf. You refuse to listen. Again, your problem, not mine.

There is way more to child rearing than paying for toys, clothing, etc. Child rearing includes providing shelter, food, etc. This is the responsibility of both the parents. Because of the nature of providing shelter, food, etc, co-mingling of the funds is going to happen. You have yet to demonstrate a better way of doing this despite being requested to do so since you believe to be so workable. I have difficulty believing that you have a better way than what has been developed over a course of decades with input from judges, lawyers, parents and experts in child development.

When you do decide to become informed on child support and how it works along with why it works that way, you may engage me again in a conversation about that topic. Until then, do not respond to my posts regarding that topic.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 5 months ago

"Then" should be "than" and "broke" should be "broken".

jhawkinsf 2 years, 5 months ago

The two words before ignorant should be "you're" and "too".

jhawkinsf 2 years, 5 months ago

You were mentioning someone being ignorant?

Oreocat2 2 years, 5 months ago

It is nice to know that some Kansas men are even showing an interest in womens issues. The very fact that a very large percentage of the 47 percent of americans Mr. Romney declared he did not care about are women. Have you ever sent for , recieved and read The book of "Mormon" I have and it is alarming. There all decisions are made by a group of Elders (male) and the women have no right of appeal to their decisions. They oppose family planning, contraceptives and make prononcments about every phase of family life and it is their way or the highway. Someone tell me please whenever did a group of old men make iron clad rules about womens issues and EVER get it right? It is common knowledge that many in the right wing of the Republican party hold women responsible for Rape, Incest etc. saying it was as God intended. If a pregnancy occurs because of this and abortion is contrary to Gods wishs. We all know that the Republican party believed that deregulation was the answer for wall street and even after the 2008 debacle refuse to co-operate in bringing meaningful regulation to keep it from happening again. They are beholden to the international hedge funds and international marketing even at the expense of the shrinking American middle class. Romney himself has invested in companies that have moved manufacturing to

china for the sake of the cheap labor. There womwn workers get ,99 cents an hour and work 12 hour shifts with one day off a month. In companies Mr. Romney realized a 455,000 return on last year. While he pays at a 14 perc ent tax rate vs his secretary who pays at a 28 percent tax rate. WhAE IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?? aRE WE SO INSANE THAT WE WILL VOTE BACK INTO POWER THE VERY PEOPLE WHO VERY NEARLY DESTROYED THIS NATION. CAN WE DOUBT THAT THE REPUBLICAN INTERTS HAVE CHANGED SO RADICALLY THAT THEY WILL NO LONGER REPRESENT THE HAVES AT THE EZOENSE OF THE HAVE LITTLES AND HAVE NOTHING LEFT EXCEPT THE VOTE TO SAVE THEMSELVE FROM THESE RAVAGES UPON THE MIDDLE CLASS OF AMERICA WHICH NOW CARRYS ALMOST THE ENTIRE BURDEN AND IS L;OSING GROUND EVERY DAY. THE VERY FACT THAT AMERICA HAS HAD THE STABIULITY IT HAS HAD DEPENDED LARGLY UPON THAT HUGE MIDDLE CLASS THAT IS DISSAPEARING.

Liberty275 2 years, 5 months ago

"It is nice to know that some Kansas men are even showing an interest in womens issues. "

It would be nice if women took an interest in Mens issues. For instance:

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