LJWorld.com weblogs Sharpening My Pen

The War on Women


In Indiana, a woman has been charged with homicide and feticide because, during a suicide attempt, she lost her fetus. She has been jailed without bond.

In Iowa, a pregnant woman accidentally fell down a flight of stairs. She was arrested for attempted feticide after telling ER personnel that early in her pregnancy she had contemplated abortion.

In Utah, a bill that would have imprisoned women for life for endangering their fetus through "reckless behavior" was proposed and then withdrawn (only for Constitutional reasons).

In Kansas, a bill advanced in the state Senate removes the "mental health exception" for late term abortion (the exception under which women with nonviable fetuses could abort) and at the same time removes the power of any physician from declaring a fetus nonviable.

In the US Congress, a bill has been introduced that would have IRS auditors force women who aborted because they were victims of rape to prove that they were raped.

Indiana Representative Eric Turner called the rape/incest exception a "huge loophole" and insisted that women would actually lie about being raped to obtain an abortion.

The antiabortion forces in this country have stepped up their game. They are no longer targeting just abortion doctors and clinics, they are targeting women. These laws and proposed laws are draconian and they are horrific. The toll they will take (and are taking) on women; mentally, physically and emotionally, cannot be told. They are wanting to jail women for being pregnant, unstable on their feet and falling down a flight of stairs. They are targeting victims of rape who can't prove they were raped. (There are ancillary bills being introduced with this. In Georgia, legislation was introduced that would change the legal language from calling victims of rape "victims" to "accusers", the only crime class that would be changed.)

Will they reduce legal abortions? By all means. But at what cost? Rape victims, already traumatized and victimized by one violent act, will be forced to bear the babies of their attackers, another violent act. Women will be jailed simply for voicing the idea that they may not want their baby. Women pregnant with babies with no hope of survival will be forced to carry those babies for months, only to see it be born and die. The Kansas bill is called the "fetal pain bill". There is no consideration for the fact that by making a woman carry a nonviable fetus they could actually be forcing that fetus to undergo months of pain and torture due to it's physical anomalies, only to die at birth. This puts the face to the lie that this bill is to "spare fetal pain". The purpose of the bill is to control abortion, even at the cost of causing pain to those the bill is claiming to protect.

The human costs of these bills and laws on the already born and even the unborn, are unacceptable. They prove that there is nothing "compassionate" about them and make a mockery of the term "prolife". They are not "prolife" laws, they are "antiabortion" laws and they prove that government will stop abortion at any cost, even if that cost is to those they are swearing they are trying to protect.


grammaddy 3 years, 12 months ago

...brought the sodas.. pass that bowl of popcorn...

jhawkinsf 3 years, 12 months ago

I've made this comment before and I'll briefly make it again. All of our rights that are enumerated in the Constitution have, over the years, had limits placed upon them. Whether it's speech, religion, the press, they all have had some limits placed upon them without losing the fundamental principle behind them. The right to an abortion has not been around for as long as those other's, but limits will surely and rightfully be placed on that freedom as well. The question is, what limits are acceptable without destroying the fundamental right? These tests will be making their way through the courts for decades to come, especially as medical science adds new information. There will always be some who will be opposed to all abortions in all cases. There also will be others who will claim that any restriction is an unnecessary infringement. These two groups usually shout the loudest and make the most demands. They drown out the voices of reason, those in the middle. They dominate the debate. For them, it's a zero sum game, it's all or nothing. But as I go to the airport later today, I know my freedom of speech is intact even though I will refrain from making comments about hijacking planes.

yourworstnightmare 3 years, 11 months ago


So, do you support abortion in some cases?

Also, you claim that abortion wasn't a right until recently. This is wrong. Only recently have restrictions been placed on abortion, which wasn't an issue at all to anybody, even the catholic church, until the early to mid 20th century.

Abortions have been conducted throughout history, including all of american history. Only recently have abortions become a concern for some.

I note that concern about abortion coincided with increased freedom and rights of women in society.

jafs 3 years, 12 months ago

So you're in favor of all of these laws, I take it.

jafs 3 years, 12 months ago

Nice non-answer.

Here's a thought: If you don't like cait48's opinions, don't read her blog.

That would solve your problem.

whats_going_on 3 years, 11 months ago

I'd bet good money that he didn't even read it, just wanted something to whine about, himself.

Jimo 3 years, 12 months ago

Crazy wingnuts have a form of expression beyond yelling and whining?

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 12 months ago

Then don't read it. No one has forced your fingers to the mouse or your eyes to the screen.

jafs 3 years, 12 months ago

Nice way to pull together for the good of the country.

mom_of_three 3 years, 12 months ago

not sure I would consider this "liberal drivel." I consider this about the rights of a population of people in this country.

llama726 3 years, 12 months ago

No, mom, the right wingers on this board are here to prove to women that pointing out unfair treatment or targeted laws against women is "whining."

whats_going_on 3 years, 11 months ago

Are you afraid you'll agree with it, or just afraid that you'll have nothing productive to say about it (oops...already done)

How mature of you.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 12 months ago

Both have had their philosophies discredited, Tom. I hate Freud with a passion for his misogyny and his hatred of the Irish. Sanger's belief in "eugenics" was in the context of a broader philosophy in the 1920's that she (mistakenly) bought into. She wasn't the only one who espoused racial bias. This was pretty much the height of the modern KKK. if anything, she exploited the right wing of her time period. That's not to say that they didn't leave some kernels of corn in the cow piles they left behind.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 12 months ago

So tell me, TS, does your "physician wife" feel the same way about these things? I'm sure she's familiar with words like "anencephaly" and "Tetralogy of Fallot" (with and without open foramen ovale). How does she feel that the government wants to take away the right of physicians diagnosing and prognosing the unborn? The government wants babies like these http://www.goldbamboo.com/pictures-t1066.html and these http://www.doctorshangout.com/photo/hydrocephalus-1?xg_source=activity to be born. How does she feel about that? Hmmm?

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 12 months ago

Ahhh so you only believe they are being victimized if they meet your standards of victimization. Pretty tough standards there, Tom. Let's hope your wife never has to live up to them. But then she obviously has enough money that if she ever found herself in such a situation she can participate in "medical tourism".

Jimo 3 years, 12 months ago

If there's one thing that's become clear about Tea Partiers - their objection to spending is too much spending on people not "like us" (you know, darkies, poor people shh!)

Ag welfare -- no problem (remarkable how many GOP congressmen suck at the taxpayers' teat) Weapons porn -- got it in sufficient quantities to blow up the planet Millionaire welfare -- never enough (enough said) Corporate subsidies -- is it really a subsidy if you're just pass the collection plate on empty oil and gas "incentives" -- the right to pollute is absolute good gov't -- letting industry lobbyists literally write the legislation (what's a Know-Nothing supposed to do, write the bill himself?) Social Security -- that's not welfare (at least for the first 18 months of checks) and on and on and on.... until one day --

"We're broke! Billionaires have never--ever!--been richer, but we . . . we're broke. How did that happen ?!? Well, guess the middle class will just have to share in sacrifice with the poor. It's not as if there's another choice."

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 12 months ago

I think it's pretty telling that to this time no one has actually addressed, y'know, the post, except for possibly jhawkinsf. And by the way, jhawkinsf, I don't consider myself "extreme" on this matter. I don't necessarily agree with abortion on demand, especially in the last trimester. Neither do I agree with persecuting women and the unborn.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 12 months ago

For the purposes of having an intelligent discussion, those who appear to be on the extreme, but claim not to be, might begin by telling us what compromises toward the middle they are willing to make. Just as an example, someone who professes to be pro-life might say they believe that an abortion is fine if it's to save the mother's life. Or a pro-choice advocate might say they believe in parental consent for a minor. It's a way of moving the dialogue along from the fringes toward meaningful discussion.

tomatogrower 3 years, 12 months ago

Can you imagine being adopted, and searching for that wonderful reunion with the birth mother and finding out you were a product of rape? And can you imagine the trauma to the mother, even though the extreme right wing could care less about the mother. First she is raped, then for 9 months she has to relive that rape. Then years later when she has possibly healed and moved on, the child shows up on her doorstep allowing her to relive it again. But then I guess that's just whining, isn't it?

pizzapete 3 years, 12 months ago

No, I don't even want to imagine something as messed up as that.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 12 months ago

So, from my middle ground, I believe women have the right to an abortion in the first trimester. Abortions in the third trimester should be severely limited. The second trimester, well, I'm torn. I think minors should get parental consent. I think there is the need for fathers to become more responsible for the pregnancies they cause (50%). While expecting fathers to step up to the plate and be responsible, I think they should be given a voice during the pregnancy. I think abortion for the purposes of gender selection is abhorrent and even if extremely rare, as a society, we should condemn it with our words and as a matter of law.
And I think all the name calling, innuendo, back biting in the comments section can be comical, at times, it becomes old quickly. It frequently shows the buffoonery of the writers and gets in the way of more interesting dialogue.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 12 months ago

There are many laws that are virtually impossible to monitor and enforce. However, it's a statement of who we are and what our values are.
There was an article in the paper, maybe two months ago, that referred to a woman in Australia who aborted her twins, because they were not the desired gender. How this whole thing became public, I have no idea. But I have no problem with us, as a society, saying this is wrong.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 12 months ago

I would be automatically suspicious of such an article. Start checking sources. Just because it's "on the internet" doesn't make it so. I've gotten wary of posting anything that doesn't come from multiple sources (and doesn't refer back to each other in a circular manner). For instance, every statement I made in this blog post came from reputable news sources and not just "left wing feminista" blogs.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 12 months ago

Just for sake of honesty, I'm fairly new to the world of computer use. I would have no idea how to cut and paste a source from one article on the net to another. I'm just old and limited in my computer skills. As I write this, I'm trying to remember where I read it. Was it on the net, in the LJW, honestly, I can't remember. But I'm sure I read it somewhere and someone with greater skills than I can surely research it, if they are so inclined. All that said, I did read it and at least at the time, it seemed credible to me. Maybe while I learn the world of computers I need to learn to take things with a grain of salt.

verity 3 years, 12 months ago

"I don't care for her reason either but the woman didn't email me for advise."

Bingo, we have a winner.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 12 months ago

I'm hoping spam bombing is a bannable offense.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 12 months ago

Not a mod. Somebody else. And I have to say I'm annoyed at the "123 test" spam in my e-mail inbox, although I think they are trying to figure out why their comments aren't showing up.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 12 months ago

Here's hoping that spam bombing is a bannable offense.

maybeso 3 years, 12 months ago

It's been said before, but it bears repeating: if men got pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 12 months ago

That doesn't explain the right wing female legislators supporting this cr*p.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 12 months ago

And this has what to do with my blog post/? Not that I disagree with you but it's your side that's cutting all funding to Planned Parenthood, who spends far more money on education and treatment of STDs than they ever have for abortions. The mere fact that funding is cut is just another salvo in the war.

Jimo 3 years, 12 months ago

Strange too how in the era where almost all union members were men, unions were in their golden age.

Now, with the ranks of unionized women surging, the disdain shown (usually by men) to unions has surged as well. "Spoiled, pampered, lazy, gorging for themselves at the expense of others. How typical of women. Errr..... unions."

And if there's any break at all for unionized labor today, it's shown for members of the police and firefighters unions -- unsurprisingly, dominated heavily by men (and whites).

I'm sure there's no connection.

Jimo 3 years, 11 months ago

Perhaps you've missed recent television coverage. Do you get tv inside your bubble?

ivalueamerica 3 years, 12 months ago

The GOP believes in little government and lots of freedom.....FOR BIG CORPORATIONS

They still seem to believe in lots of intrusion and regulation into our personal lives.

ivalueamerica 3 years, 12 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

wmathews 3 years, 12 months ago

You should flag the post. Then it sends me an alert and I can look at it quickly instead of waiting for you to respond to it.

jafs 3 years, 11 months ago


Did you really not know that the way to get comments removed is to flag them?

bad_dog 3 years, 11 months ago

It's rather hard to believe that a veteran of so many removed posts and disappeardededed identities doesn't comprehend that clicking the "suggest removal" link located directly below the comment does just that-suggest removal to the moderator.

Perhaps he believed some "whiney conservative victim stuff" was needed to balance things out a bit...

whats_going_on 3 years, 11 months ago

I find it ironic that you're claiming other's want big govt when you apparently agree with these "big government" regulations on women's rights.

verity 3 years, 12 months ago

Like I said on another thread, these laws are meant to harass, pure and simple.

Do the people proposing them really believe that they will bring down the number of abortions? That is a serious question---and perhaps we will never know what is actually in their hearts.

I well remember the years before Roe v Wade---back alley and self abortions, sometimes ending in death. Desperate people already in desperate situations who saw this as the only way out. A 23-year-old mother of six, whose first child at the age of twelve was the result of incest. She died as the result of a botched abortion. I know some of you will say she should have kept her legs together. What I have to say to you would probably get me deleted, so I won't say it.

Only those who could scrape together the money for airfare to a place where they were legal could get a safe abortion.

I strongly suspect that if you could look into the hearts of the people who are proposing and pushing for these laws, you would find that abortion is not what they are really angry about and if abortion disappeared today, they would find something else to be angry about. Abortion is just a convenient scape goat.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 12 months ago

I would say that, ultimately, it is women at which they are angry. Maybe they were turned down for sex. Maybe their female boss is a devil in Prada and makes more than they do. Maybe they got angry at their mother the first time she said "No". No matter what, the controlling of someone's body is the ultimate control someone can exercise over another and these people are in control of our government. There is a quality of "We're gonna stick it to 'em and stick it to 'em good!" in all of this.

verity 3 years, 12 months ago

" . . . the controlling of someone's body is the ultimate control someone can exercise over another . . . . There is a quality of 'We're gonna stick it to 'em and stick it to 'em good!' in all of this."


And it will backfire. These sorts of things always do. The pendulum will swing back.

verity 3 years, 12 months ago

And, yes, Cait is right. It is a war on women. You can argue and nitpick all you want, but that is what it is.

beatrice 3 years, 12 months ago

Lots of radical and ridiculous propositions are proposed by legislators on both sides of the aisle that have zero chance of ever being passed. I believe many of the items mentioned in this blog are in that category. Politicians keep fanning the fire by introducing from time to time legislature that won't ever pass just to prove to their constituents that the arguments aren't settled. If all our arguments were truly settled, why would we need our glorious legislators?

jhawkinsf, really fine post at 10:55. I've thought on this issue for many years, and you summed up nicely much of how I feel. Any abortion much beyond the first trimester that isn't a life-saving procedure or a medical emergency doesn't seem right, in my view. (Determining no quality of life potential for the unborn if born qualifies as a medical emergency, in my opinion.) Just that seems like a reasonable compromise, although I know, like the gun issue, for some it is an all or nothing scenario.

One question I have, however, relates to your suggestion that fathers should have a say in the matter. It is a medical choice, so this is the one thing I disagree with. Does an ejaculation give a man rights, or does he give his rights away by giving his sperm away?

Odd analogy here, but I don't believe I can legally test your DNA if I steal your spittle from a glass you have been using, but what if you spit on me? Do I have the right to have your DNA tested if you freely give up your spit? (Any lawyers in the house?) Does a man give up his rights to what a woman can do with his fluids if he freely gives them away?

If a guy wants his rights protected on what happens with his sperm, then he shouldn't give it away. That is how I see it.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 12 months ago

Bea, of the six bullit points in my blog only half are proposed laws. (I am including the KS law in the legislation already passed as it has already advanced in the Senate. The law doesn't have a snowball's chance in Hades of not being signed by Brownback.) I'm sorry, but I find your attitude complacent and complacency is very dangerous. In fact, the people that create our laws depend on complacency. They depend on you not knowing or ignoring what they are doing until one day you wake up to accomplished fact. This isn't just proposed legislation, these are laws and women are being jailed under these laws, on at least one occasion in the examples I gave for a very spurious reason. How and why people can and do agree with these laws is beyond me.

beatrice 3 years, 11 months ago

You find my view complacent, and I find your's to be somewhat alarmist. oh well.

jafs 3 years, 11 months ago

I know you'll never change your mind on this, so this is probably a waste of time.

But, trivializing the man's role in conceiving children, and his role in supporting them and raising them if they're born seems rather off to me.

The decision to have or not have an abortion is not purely a medical decision.

And, the effect of that decision either way will affect the father.

Guys don't want their rights protected on "what happens with their sperm".

You could equally say, I suppose, if women want their rights protected with what happens to their eggs, ...

beatrice 3 years, 11 months ago

While you may object to the lack of the man's role in the decision process to abort or not, it is still the woman's body that is hosting the fetus. It is her decision and her's alone to make. There is nothing trivial about this.

jafs 3 years, 11 months ago

Absolutely nothing trivial about the man's role - that's exactly my point.

Your language and attitude in the above post trivialize that role.

Why are you so opposed to potential fathers having some input into what happens with their potential children?

The fetus is not equivalent to a woman's egg - it exists because of the interaction between men and women, and wouldn't exist without that.

Would you support laws that allowed men to have no financial responsibility for any children born without their consent? Or ones that offered the possibility of damages for men that wanted the child, but the woman aborted it?

After all, if it's just the woman's decision, why should men have to pay for it?

beatrice 3 years, 11 months ago

"Why are you so opposed to potential fathers having some input into what happens with their potential children?"

It isn't their body.

If we are talking about competent adults, are there any other laws that allow one person to have a say in denying another medical services? Can a woman stop a man from getting plastic surgery? More specifically, what about medical services relating to reproductive organs? Can a woman stop a man in which she is sexually active with or married to from getting a vasectomy or a sex change operation? Or the opposite direction, can a woman demand a man get a vasectomy (a far less intrusive procedure than a woman getting her tubes tied, by the way)?

To answer my own questions, as far as I know a woman doesn't have that kind of control over the decisions a man makes with his body, and a man doesn't have that kind of control over a woman. As I understand the laws of our country, one person doesn't get to have a say over another's body.

Also, any intervention in a woman getting the medical procedure of her choice means unwanted delays, lawsuits, etc....

Supporting a child, on the other hand, is different. Until it is born (or viable), a fetus isn't a child. Once a child, then support is necessary.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 11 months ago

If you want full and equal partners in preventing unwanted pregnancies, and you want full and complete partners after the birth of the child, it seems odd that you would give no voice at all during the nine months in between. I think it's 100% wrong that so many fathers do not take their share of responsibility of children in today's society. But to those that do step up to the plate, to tell them they have no voice, seems to be a contradiction. I wonder if perhaps, and I'm just guessing here, but maybe the reason fathers do not accept responsibility is precisely because they feel left out of the decision making process.
A 16 year old girl can opt out of the pregnancy saying she needs to go to school, etc. We would call her responsible. The 16 year old boy, he can only opt out by becoming a deadbeat dad. Both were equally irresponsible in allowing the pregnancy. It's a tough call, I know. Maybe if women demand having the only vote in this matter comes at the cost of having so many deadbeat dads. That, is a high cost, maybe too high because not just the mother pays. So too does the child and society as a whole.

jafs 3 years, 11 months ago

Your position ignores the ambiguity and complexity of pregnancy.

And, the fact that a decision to have, or not have an abortion is not strictly a medical decision, unless the health of the woman or fetus is involved.

Also, you seem to have only two possibilities - a woman gets to decide for herself, or a man decides for her.

My worldview includes the possibility of joint decision-making.

beatrice 3 years, 11 months ago

So are both of you saying a man should be able to stop a woman from having an abortion, thus forcing her to have a child? That is the option. There is nothing ambiguous or complex about the final result of saying a man should have a say on whether or not a woman is allowed to choose to end a pregnancy. Men don't get to force women to have children, even if it is the man's sperm that fertilized the egg.

Sorry, it is a medical procedure and it is up to the woman to decide. I also can't help but notice neither of you tackled the questions about a woman having the right to force a man to get a vasectomy. It seems that either you would believe in joint medical decisions for an individual or you wouldn't.

Of course it is best if a couple can discuss the matter and come to a mutual decision. I'm not stating otherwise. What I am saying is that we can't have laws that allow men to make the decisions or have a say on what women do with their bodies. In the end, it is up to the woman to decide. In no way, shape, or form can we give men the right to force women to have children. That is the ultimate alternative to giving women the right to choose for themselves.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 11 months ago

I guess I'm saying that I reject the notion that it's a black or white situation. It's a complex medical and ethical decision, one that I honestly do not have the answer to. It's not just a woman's body involved and ultimately the decisions made will effect the mother, father, child and society. How we balance what may become conflicting interests is what I'm talking about and what confuses me at the same time.
If two teens do things that result in an unwanted pregnancy, she can opt out, can he? Should he, because if his option is to opt out financially, that hurts the child and society? Can society opt out by not providing services? If society is forced to provide services (money from taxes), should they have a voice? Just because I don't have the answers doesn't mean I can't ask the questions.
I gave the personal example a couple of weeks ago, after 15 years of marriage, my wife and I were expecting our first child. She wanted genetic testing and was intent on aborting if Down Syndrome was detected. I was opposed, I know I would love and care for whatever the medical condition of the child. Are you really saying I should have no voice at all? Thankfully, our child was born healthy, I would like to think of myself as having been a very responsible father and our marriage is now as strong as ever. I always felt is was our pregnancy, not her pregnancy. Isn't that what women really have been asking for? Full partners in preventing unwanted pregnancies. full partners during pregnancy and full partners after the birth of the child. Full equality.
Like I said, I don't have all the answers, but I do have ears, I'm willing to listen to thoughtful and respectful dialogue. And I will always strive to keep my end of the conversation respectful.

roadwarrior 3 years, 11 months ago

seems to me you think her choice centered around your ability, that defensiveness may have caused your failing to consider that SHE didn't consider herself capable. In a partnership, thats legitimate, it's assessing capabilities.

jafs 3 years, 11 months ago

All of that would be fine, if the outcome of the decision didn't have a significant and life long effect on the man involved.

And, I'd be more ok with it, if we had laws protecting men from the decision that they get no part of - but you don't like that.

Seems to me you want for women to have all of the power, but men to share in the responsibilities, which doesn't seem fair at all.

Why should a woman be able to decide whether or not a man has a vasectomy? Or vice versa? The worst case scenario there is that the couple breaks up - no lifelong responsibilities there.

beatrice 3 years, 11 months ago

Do you disagree that the alternative to what I am suggesting is that men would be given the right to force a pregnant woman to have a child? Are you in favor of a man being given the lawful right to make a woman have a child if the woman's choice is to abort? Those are the alternatives -- a woman has sole right to choose, or she does not and the choice is given to the man, despite the fact that it isn't his body.

To me, it is absurd to consider men being given that right over women. Now, once science can actually gestate a fetus completely outside of a woman's body, then I would agree that both parties would need to have equal say (although if two people have equal say and are on opposite sides of an issue, how is it decided?).

jhf, happy to know all turned out well for you and yours -- truly best case scenario.

jafs 3 years, 11 months ago

No, I don't agree - that's my point.

There are a number of issues that get adjudicated between men and women, and they don't generally come out so black and white.

For example, if I didn't want to have the child, and the woman did, perhaps we could agree to very limited/no financial responsibility on my end.

Couples deal with big decisions that affect each other all of the time - why should this be any different? If you're in a serious relationship and you're offered a job far away, do you just take it? Or do you discuss it with your partner and weigh the pros and cons, trying to find the best decision for both of you?

If I didn't believe in abortion and felt strongly that we shouldn't do that, and the woman didn't want to have/raise the child, I'd suggest that we find somebody to adopt it - those folks generally pay for most/all expenses.

Fortunately, I've never gotten anybody pregnant, and haven't had to deal with this personally. But, I was with somebody who said flat out "If I got pregnant, I wouldn't/couldn't have an abortion". That was the beginning of the end of that relationship for me, as it indicated no space for my feelings on the matter at all.

beatrice 3 years, 11 months ago

"If you're in a serious relationship and you're offered a job far away, do you just take it?"

Interesting analogy. While in a perfect world a couple would discuss one partner taking a job in a far away location and come to a mutual decision. (True of something as serious as whether or not to abort as well.) However, in the job scenario, wouldn't it ultimately be up to the person who would actually be doing the job, despite potential long-term financial hardships for the couple? The analogy you present would be that one party should be given legal say on whether or not the other party takes the job. How reasonable does that sound?

What about the situation where the person offered the job wants to take it, but the partner doesn't want him/her to? Should a partner be allowed to say no to the other taking a position in your job scenario?

On the flip side of what you have been saying, should a man also be allowed to force a woman to get an abortion? Shouldn't he have a say to abort just as well as not to abort?

This would be granting far too much control for men over women, in my opinion.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 11 months ago

Interesting analogy about taking a job far away. What if taking the job included taking a child along, thereby denying access to an already born child. Maybe the person staying could not prevent the move, but should they be able to prevent the move of the already born child? Extend to a pregnant woman. Could she move, denying access of the child to the father? While we weigh the rights of the two parents, I really want to give some thought to the best interests of the child. And does society as a whole have some voice since all that I've heard indicate that a child born of a single parent does not achieve at the level of children of two parent households.
And one other point, if women are to have the final choice, wouldn't it be best if they had more information. As an example, if the woman knew that the man was likely to become a deadbeat dad or if the father would fight her tooth and nail for custody, she might make decisions that are different than if she did not have that information. Giving men an opt out (financially) might actually increase the number of abortions. Or it might lead to fathers becoming more responsible because they had the opt out and chose not to exercise it. Any thoughts? And just for the record, I deplore deadbeat dads with a passion. It tars the good name of fathers who have done all the correct things. I also deplore the assumption, common within society and certainly in the courts , that women get physical custody. I know times are changing, but we are nowhere near equality.

beatrice 3 years, 11 months ago

For the record, we haven't been talking about a child, but a fetus. We need to continue to make that distinction.

Society having a say? No, for several reasons. If children do better in a two parent home, for instance, what if one of the parents leaves or dies? Should the child be taken and put in a two parent home if it means it would be better for the child? Of course not. Silly question. Similarly, children tend to do better as a whole when raised in upper middle-class neighborhoods as well, so should we not allow those in the poorest neighborhoods to have children? Too many chefs (society) in the kitchen spoil the soup.

I never have said fathers should be able to opt out of paying for the raising of a child, even if I feel the man shouldn't have a say on whether or not the mother brings the fetus to term. Those remain two different issues as far as I'm concerned.

For the record, I have no doubt you deplore deadbeat dads (and moms). I also agree fully that men should be given equal consideration in custody battles. (battling over custody of a child -- truly a sad situation to begin with)

jhawkinsf 3 years, 11 months ago

I know you never said a man should be able to opt out. I'm suggesting that perhaps he should be given that opportunity. If she can opt out, equality suggests that maybe he should also. We have been talking about a fetus. When does life begin? I'm not a doctor, philosopher, theologian, or judge. Just an ordinary guy trying to make sense of a subject that is probably beyond my understanding. When my wife was pregnant, we read books like "What to expect when you're expecting". They showed a picture depicting a fetus at each month. At five months, I saw a human. Is it viable, does it suffer pain, is there sufficient brain activity to classify it as distinct from other animals? I don't know. That's why I said first trimester abortions, fine. Third trimester, no (with limited exceptions) and second trimester, I don't know.
I know biology prevents things from ever being totally equal, but if equality is the desired goal, then a balance of inequities seems like the best path.
The above scenario got me thinking. A pregnant woman gets a job far away. Maybe even to a foreign country. What are her rights and how do we balance them against his rights. What are her responsibilities and how do we balance them against his?

jafs 3 years, 11 months ago

That was just the beginning - I wouldn't argue for any legal rights about things like job decisions, precisely because your partner's decision about those will not involve you in any serious lifelong responsibilities without your consent.

The worst thing that happens is that you break up.

But wouldn't you want to discuss it with your partner, and have them discuss it with you? If they simply made a decision without that, how would you feel?

Next step - your partner wants to get artificially inseminated and have a child, and they want you to parent with them, sharing financial and other responsibilities. Serious discussion warranted or not?

beatrice 3 years, 11 months ago

Of course I believe partners should discuss every aspect of their lives together -- emotional, financial, spiritual, etc... I am not advocating for women to banish the men in their lives and to ignore their partners. I'm all for give and take and open discussions in a relationship.

Anything to do with children would be at the top of the list. This includes whether or not to have children, be it by artificial means or the old tried and true method. I'm really not trying to say otherwise. I just feel strongly that, in the end, with hopefully being in a situation where a woman can discuss the matter with the man in her life, it still needs to be the woman's decision of whether or not to bring a pregnancy to term.

Allowing men to have a say on a woman's right to choose whether or not to bring a pregancy to term (meaning, passing laws that actually gives them rights in these situations) is too intrusive on the woman's right to make her own medical decisions. Given all parties are competent adults, I can't imagine a scenario that would make me think otherwise.

Asking men their opinion on the matter, however? I would certainly hope so.

jafs 3 years, 11 months ago


Next, imagine that whether you want that child or not, her decision to have one will result in your being a legal parent, with financial and other obligations and responsibilities for the rest of your life.

But, since it's her body, it's her choice, and you have no legal rights in the matter at all.

In addition, once you are required to pay child support, you have no ability to make sure that money is spent on the child's welfare, or in any ways that you might agree with - you still have to pay it though.

Would that really be ok with you?

beatrice 3 years, 11 months ago

Sex can lead to children. We all know this basic fact of life. Even if you never have a class to tell you this, you get it. A man makes his decision when he originally chooses to have sex. (Yes, so does a woman, but then her decisions may not stop there.) This is his time to make a choice -- yes / no. He makes his choice that may lead to financial and other obligations right there, in the beginning. The woman's second choice comes slowly, over a few months. However, just because she has a second choice, that doesn't invalidate the man's initial choice.

Men do have the ability to seek joint custody and there are laws that give men a say in how a child is raised. If there is proof that child support isn't being used on a child's welfare, then a man can actually take legal action to change the situation, including gaining full custody of the children. So no, I don't agree with the scenario you set up. I do agree with the concept that men should have a say in how their children are raised and should be given equal opportunities for custody if they should seek it.

Just because I think men shouldn't have a legal right to prevent a woman from getting an abortion if she chooses doesn't mean I am against men having equal say and opportunities when it comes to raising children. Fathers should (and do) have a say in how their children are raised. Men and women may not yet be on an equal playing field in this regard in the courts, but laws are moving in that direction. I have no problem with that.

jafs 3 years, 11 months ago


So imagine that when you marry your partner, you are aware of the possibility I mentioned. However, you talk about it with them, and neither one of you wants to have children.

But, after marrying, your partner changes her mind. You knew the risks, but thought they were minimal.

That's akin to people who have sex but take precautions to avoid pregnancy (which aren't 100% effective).

beatrice 3 years, 11 months ago

This scenario does not change who gets to make decisions of whether or not a woman can (or must!) follow a pregnancy through to childbirth (and child). The man would still be financially responsible, even if it wasn't his plan to have a child. He had sex, which results in children, even at times when precautions are taken. Should the couple split, all things being equal, he should have an equal opportunity for custody.

jafs 3 years, 11 months ago


But you're missing my point.

In my analogy, you're married to a lesbian partner. Before you married, you discussed it and neither one of you wanted children. Then she changes her mind.

If her decision to now have a child via ai obligates you legally and financially for the rest of your life, do you still think it's just her decision, since it's her body?

You knew the risks, but thought they were minimal. Should you never marry, just because there's a chance of that happening? That's like your saying people shouldn't have sex if they don't want the risk of having a child.

I know it's hard for you to put yourself in a man's shoes - that's why I'm offering these analogies, so you can possibly start to feel what it would be like.

mom_of_three 3 years, 12 months ago

I am pro-choice, plain and simple. I could probably never have one, but I am not going to make the choice for anyone else or take away their right to do so. With that said, any laws which prohibit a woman's choice are wrong. While I agree wholeheartedly that late term abortions should be avoided except in medical or rare cases, its not for me or anyone else to judge them. It's not my decision, as its not my body. Therefore, the decision is up to the person whose body it affects.

llama726 3 years, 12 months ago

If only we had qualitative and quantitative data on why women have abortions, maybe we could figure out a way to reduce them.


"The reasons most frequently cited were that having a child would interfere with a woman’s education, work or ability to care for dependents (74%); that she could not afford a baby now (73%); and that she did not want to be a single mother or was having relationship problems (48%)."

Work on those items, you reduce abortions. No one wants the hard answer, but the hard answer is that until socioeconomic conditions improve for poor women in the United States, abortion rates will stay where they are. You can't force women to get into a relationship, but if you take away the biggest reason for abortions, it would surely reduce the number abortions that take place.

Think about the tremendous economic and biological cost to a woman from having a baby, and then think about how plausible it would be to deal with that as a single 19 year old with a high school education and a $25,000-$30,000 a year job at best. It would be profoundly difficult to even get the necessary medical care (because of your income), let alone deal with the costs of the child when they're born (Paid maternity leave is lacking in the United States, and many firms don't offer it).

verity 3 years, 12 months ago

Yes, we could be sensible and work on the causes of abortion in order to reduce them---and not just abortion, but the inequities in our system. Unfortunately, that is not really what this is all about.

As Cait said above, it's about control. I will add that it's also about sex. One (generally) has to have sex to get pregnant and often it is outside of marriage. I suspect that's the real reason so many people are so anti-abortion.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 12 months ago

This is far from "armchair psychology". I suggest you actually read some of the rhetoric (a lot of which is either half truths or outright lies) from Operation Rescue and The Army of God. Some of it reads like it was written by people who think vaginas are actual monsters that are going to get them. At the very least they are highly patriarchal, highly "Christian" (as they believe Christianity to be) organizations. The only difference between them and Westboro Baptist is what they focus on.

verity 3 years, 11 months ago

L-O, I find it hilarious that you of all people accuse other people of being an armchair psychologist---look in the mirror.

I've heard that laughter is good for one's health, so thanks for giving my health a big boost.

verity 3 years, 11 months ago

I quote from one of your replies to me, "It's incredibly selfish of you."

And from other comments you have made over the past ten days or so:

"You are a MONSTER."

"Of course taxation is legal theft and you know it. You just don't have the courage to admit it."

"Look at the liberal mindset: apparently if gudpoynt doesn't like what you're doing with your money, the government should just take it from you."

"You are so passive and obedient that you are a sheep."

"Your problem is that you are secretly afraid that the People really do want it and are afraid to admit it."

"You're a rather disturbed person, you know."

I also predict that you will not be able to let this go and will have a snarky reply to me.

I'm getting really healthy from laughing today.

Now I have to go and do penance for breaking my own rule of getting involved in a mud-slinging contest.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 11 months ago

Verity it's not nice to have a battle of wits with an unarmed person. LOL!

verity 3 years, 11 months ago

Oh, Cait, forgive me for I have sinned. The temptation was just too great.

llama726 3 years, 12 months ago

Agreed 100%. We might not agree on methods to do that, but at least we can see that much.

verity 3 years, 11 months ago

Oops, playing armchair psychologist, Ag.

Seriously, your compromise ideas are sensible and with a little tweaking I would agree with them. However, the most vocal anti-abortion people are not the kind to compromise or give even one inch. For many so-called born-again Christians (and this is not arm-chair psychology, I have much personal experience with this) compromise is a sin.

I do resent your calling what people like Cait and myself do whining. I'm usually a fairly calm person, but this subject brings out the anger. And you don't know what either of us do to combat this attack on women. I wouldn't call this blog whining. Cait is trying to educate the public and I thank her for doing this.

verity 3 years, 11 months ago

"As expected, the people who claim to have the most distaste for this topic, are the masochists who spend the most time here whining about it, without ever offering anything of substance. Typical 'attention prostitutes.'"

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 11 months ago

Other than moving the cutoff from 22 to 24 weeks (the medical standard accepted by the majority of the medical community to determine viability) , I have no argument and agree. Abortion on demand past the point of viability is repugnant to me. However, I made a point on another post that women who get that far into pregnancy do so because they want their babies. Either they are dealing with a direct threat to their own life (and some women will actually forego life saving treatment and trade their life for their baby's) or their baby has no hope of survival no matter how long they carry it. I passionately disagree with the recently passed law in Kansas. The fact that this state has the outright hubris to deny the right of physicians to declare nonviability is beyond my comprehension and the fact that they would deny the right of women to abort due to nonvbiability is cruel and inhumane. The men (and I say "men" with the knowledge that the vast majority that voted for it were men) that passed this law should be strung up by their gonads. Just maybe they would feel the smallest amount of the pain they just inflicted on women. Lest one think my passion about this is over the top, I will admit that I am being influenced by personal experience. I refuse to go into details but suffice it to say the experience is horrifying and life changing. I don't wish it on any woman.

LoveThsLife 3 years, 11 months ago

In many states the morning after pill/Plan B is already over the counter. It's still kept in the pharmacy area but all a woman needs to do is ask for it...no RX required.

You will never get RU-486 over the counter...it is too dangerous to take without medical supervision.

Let's get real..Viagra isn't an OTC product because it requires a an prescription.

Kontum1972 3 years, 11 months ago

In the US Congress, a bill has been introduced that would have IRS auditors force women who aborted because they were victims of rape to prove that they were raped.

ya gotta be kidding...!

what if they were raped by aliens from another planet?

and what IRS form is that ?

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 11 months ago

Dunno but here's the article (with inline sourcing if you want to investigate further). http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/03/gop-bill-irs-abortion-audits

Kontum1972 3 years, 11 months ago

so if a congress person rapes someone.....its tax-deductible or is it if a IRS person rapes a congress person....its a trip to the bahamas?

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 11 months ago

Thank you for giving me my laugh for the day :D It's a serious subject but sometimes you just gotta.... It's either that or cry.

Kontum1972 3 years, 11 months ago

they are just a bunch of well-dressed clowns....who spin way too mucho.... if Lincoln was still alive he would be using that axe....i miss harry truman.....

yourworstnightmare 3 years, 11 months ago


So, do you support abortion in some cases?

Also, you claim that abortion wasn't a right until recently. This is wrong. Only recently have restrictions been placed on abortion, which wasn't an issue at all to anybody, even the catholic church, until the early to mid 20th century.

Abortions have been conducted throughout history, including all of american history. Only recently have abortions become a concern for some.

I note that concern about abortion coincided with increased freedom and rights of women in society.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 11 months ago

To answer the questions you asked me; Yes, I believe a woman has a right to an abortion in the first trimester, I'm torn about the second trimester, and I think third trimester abortions should be severely restricted, but available, as an example, if the mother's life is in danger. When I said the right to an abortion was a recent right, I meant that the other freedoms (speech, religion, press, etc.) have been around since our Constitution was passed. Roe v. Wade formally gave women the right to choose and is more recent than the other rights. Abortions before then were performed, I know.

verity 3 years, 11 months ago

"I note that concern about abortion coincided with increased freedom and rights of women in society."

That's a very interesting thought.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 11 months ago

Yes...and no. There's a very good history of abortion in the US here: http://www.prochoice.org/about_abortion/history_abortion.html Illegality of abortion coincided more with the rise of regulation of medical practice than with the rise of the rights of women. Abortions were performed, for the most part, by unlicensed midwives and practitioners. Licensed physicians pushed to outlaw it to get rid of their competition. One needs to also consider the state of medical care prior to the 20th century, as well. Childbirth, in and of itself, was a risky proposition and many women died in childbirth. Abortion, in these circumstances, posed a far graver risk. There was no need to outlaw something no woman would consider in the first place simply due to the risk of fatality.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 11 months ago

Like most families, there are "skeletons in our closet". My father, born in 1921, was the product of a second marriage and he had half siblings that were much older than him. One of those half siblings was a half sister who was 15 years older than him. In 1931, when my father was ten years old, his half sister, at the age of 25, already had four children. It was the height of the Depression and her husband was unemployed and couldn't find work. The family was doing what it could to get by but there was no denying that things were grim. When his sister found out she was pregnant with a fifth child, her husband was furious. He told her flat out to "get rid of it" or he was going to leave and abandon the family. She arranged to have an illegal abortion. About a week after the procedure she died from sepsis. This was something only whispered about between the adults. I didn't get the full story until I was well into adulthood. In the late '60's-early '70's when states were beginning to piecemeal legalize abortion prior to Roe V.Wade, my mother became very vocally prochoice. Part of this had to do with my aunt, along with other experiences that friends of my mother had, but part of it also had to do with the fact that this was the era of the "thalidomide babies". In 1962, the Sherry Finkbine abortion was all over the news and effected my mother greatly. It was due to the assistance of my mother that, after I was raped in May of '70, that I had one of the first legal abortions in Kansas in July of '70. She also made sure I had follow up counseling through the rest of the summer prior to starting my senior year of High School that fall. People can, and have, done everything but spit in my face because I aborted the product of a rape. I don't care and after 40 years I have no problem talking about it. I never felt the least bit ashamed, about either the rape or the abortion. I don't ask for pity either. I was victimized but remaining a victim is a matter of choice. There's a helluva lot more to me than just the fact that I was raped and had an abortion. But my experiences have also shaped me and contributed greatly to why I am so passionately prochoice myself, starting with the fact that I am my mother's daughter. So judge me if you will. I'll be more than happy to tell you to stick it where the sun doesn't shine.

zbarf 3 years, 11 months ago

Lots of smart people here but it blows my mind when a liberal well educated person says that the act of birth makes someone a live human being. Hello...21st century... we now can detect brain activity, pain reception, unique DNA, etc. As a civilized liberalized society, let’s pick a more accurate date of when life begins and start protecting that most defenseless little human.

Choice is a diversion.

zbarf 3 years, 11 months ago

This is one option but we are starting to see babies survive at 20 weeks. I think a better option would be the first brain activity or ability to feel pain.

My point is that this should be the debate. Not about womens rights as if we are talking about voting, equal pay, etc.

yourworstnightmare 3 years, 11 months ago

Agreed. Viability is not a good indicator, because of the parasite swap as described.

To me, it has more to do with voluntary movements and human-like brain wave signatures (remember, lizards have brain wave activity; it doesn't make them human). Pain also might be an indicator, but I haven't studied this enough to say.

A first trimester fetus is clearly not a human being, and a third trimester is likely a human being. Current restrictions on late term abortions are well justified. Restrictions on first trimester abortions are severe restrictions on individual liberty of women.

yourworstnightmare 3 years, 11 months ago

Let me put it another way. Restrictions on abortion coincided with medical advances that made it a real option for women, which also coincided with increased rights and liberty of women in society.

Funny how medical/scientific advances coincided with increased rights and liberty for women, and how organizations like the church suddenly became concerned.

I also agree that it is impossible to accurately determine when a human being is a human being. It likely is some time in the late second/early third trimester, correlating with brain activity, voluntary behavior, and viability outside the womb (and possibly pain; I haven't studied this enough to say one way or the other). The pain thing is sold like a pro-life bill of goods, though.

This is why there are already severe (and correct) restrictions on late term abortions. But to say a fertilized egg, a pre-implantation blastocyst, or even a first/early second trimester fetus is a human being just does not comport with reality. Nor does saying that a third trimester fetus is not something approaching a human being, and not deserving of consideration.

I think current restrictions on late term abortions (except in the case of health of the other) are justified, but restricting earlier term abortions is a severe restriction on the rights and liberty of women.

LoveThsLife 3 years, 11 months ago

So is a newborn a parasite because s/he can not survive in his/her own? S/he can not feed his/herself. S/he can not protect his/herself from harm.

The whole comparing a fetus to a parasite seems problematic to me.

booyalab 3 years, 11 months ago

Yeah, why would someone take the term "parasite" when applied to the emergence of human life to be demeaning? Ridiculous!

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 11 months ago

My right wing masters say I must respond. Yes?

Don Whiteley 3 years, 11 months ago

I don't know why Republicans spend their time and destroy their credibility this way. If we allowed abortion for incest, rape, and mental illness, we'd only impact the latest statistics by something less than .03%. Let's get beyond this and begin attacking the real reasons women get aboritions, which includes making fathers far more accountable.

llama726 3 years, 11 months ago

In a legal sense, I have to part ways with you here. Before I begin, please understand that I recognize a significant difference in the way men and women are treated in every avenue, and in nearly every case, women are discriminated against.

Child custody is not an example of this. I don't have the statistics, but it's incredibly (1-2% of all cases) rare for there to be true joint custody. Rather, custody is almost always defaulted to the woman.

We can expect this discrepancy in general. Speaking in generalities, many men are quite simply are less likely to be in the picture in the event of a divorce. But divorce law increasingly favors women. I can't find relevant data to back this up, but my notion is that men get an unfair shake in divorce proceedings, especially those involving their children (which is in no way excusing the men who don't meet their obligations).

If you want to go after the real reasons, then look at the economy and the data I outlined above.

booyalab 3 years, 11 months ago

"They are not "prolife" laws, they are "antiabortion" laws"

They are not "laws", they are "compulsory legislative suggestions".

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 11 months ago

I was always under the assumption they were laws when people actually got jailed because of them.

booyalab 3 years, 11 months ago

Don't worry, you can still live a normal life without the ability to detect satire.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 11 months ago

Detecting satire and sarcasm in print is difficult if you don't have the writing skills of Kurt Vonnegut.

Katara 3 years, 11 months ago

"On March 31st, 2011, in a floor debate in the Florida House of Representatives about the coordinated attack on privacy and women’s health, Representative Scott Randolph said “if my wife’s uterus was incorporated,” the legislature “would be talking about deregulating.”

The House leadership then added freedom of speech to its targets by formally chastising Rep. Randolph for using the word “uterus.” His spokesman said that “uterus” was “language that would be considered inappropriate for children and other guests.”

In a chamber where little over 20% of the legislators are women, how can we trust that legislators take women’s health seriously when they’ve decided that talking about a woman’s body is inappropriate? How can we trust that politicians respect free speech when they move to muzzle a fellow legislator who is speaking about a bill?

The truth is, we can’t. Real talk about women’s health is not inappropriate speech and should not be silenced, no matter how much those trying to regulate women’s bodies don’t like it. Protect yours: incorporate it." http://incorporatemyuterus.com/

Richard Heckler 3 years, 11 months ago

Claim:Under the proposed health insurance overhaul, tax dollars will be used to pay for abortions.

President Obama charged that one of the "fabrications" of the health insurance debate was that federal dollars could be used to pay for abortions in a new insurance system. But anti-abortion groups say the principal House insurance overhaul bill would allow for government-funded abortions. Some House Democrats also oppose the bill because they fear it could be used to pay for abortions.

Is it fact or fiction? A little of both. Taxpayer subsidies cannot be used to directly pay for abortions, according to the House Energy and Commerce Committee bill, H.R. 3200.

The key provision: the Capps amendment The bill includes an amendment by Rep. Lois Capps, D- Calif., approved by a vote of 30 to 28, which says federal funds cannot be used to pay for abortions in any government-run plan created by the bill. According to Capps, apart from cases of rape or incest, or where abortion is necessary to save the life of the mother, only "private funds from the policyholders' own premiums" could be used to pay for abortions.

What are 'public funds'? The premiums that policyholders will pay "are public funds once they go into the control of a federal agency," argues Douglas Johnson, legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee, which opposes H.R. 3200. So, Johnson contends, public funds will be used to pay for abortions. Supporters of the Capps amendment argue that only a person's own money would pay for abortions.

The anti-abortion alternative The House Energy and Commerce Committee, by a vote of 31 to 27, defeated an amendment offered by Rep. Bart Stupak, D- Mich., and Rep. Joe Pitts, R- Pa., that would have banned federal funds from being used "to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of abortion," except in cases where the mother's life was in danger, or in cases of rape or incest.

Of course birth control allows us to prevent pregnancy and plan the timing of pregnancy. http://www.plannedparenthood.org/health-topics/birth-control-4211.htm

GL 3 years, 11 months ago

These and all women who have been victims of the War On Women ought to run, not walk, to the nearest border and ask for asylum on Human Rights Violations. I am serious, it would only take a few hundred to so embarrass these "titans of politics" that they will retreat into their rat holes. I notice that it is mainly men arguing against a woman's right to her own body, the very ones who would rape women and than say she is asking for it.

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