Monday, April 07, 2008

What I end up getting on UND's crappy search engine

UND has the most out-of-date, random search engine. Tomorrow, we are going to have a symposium on the rights of a child, and I wanted to know if there was a more comprehensive list than the flyer I have. When I went searching for it, I found this. UND has plenty of "pro-life" organizations, but I hadn't seen this one before (I didn't know we had ANY other organization claiming to be feminist on campus, besides the Pro-Choice Voice). Since my laptop died, and I can't write on Truth Commissions until I'm out of work, I figured I'd write about this. (The original is in italics, my response in normal writing).

ProWoman Answers to ProChoice Questions Talking Points
· No woman deserves to have an abortion.

No person deserves to have an surgery. It's not a matter of "deserving" anything, it's just one of those things we have to do. I don't "deserve" to scrub toilets, but if I want a nice-smelling bathroom I have to.
· "It's our body. It's our choice." That translates into "It's our problem."

Generally, yeah. Having a female body means that we have female "problems". This includes periods, breasts, and the possibility of pregnancy. Guys have their own problems.
· Abortion advocates pit women against children. Lack of resources and support are the real enemies.

Really? Feminists don't support women and children?
· We need to systematically eliminate the root causes of abortion primarily lack of practical resources and emotional support.
No argument here.

Avoid diversions from what is important Those who oppose our prowoman, prolife position often bring up ancillary issues they believe will cast us in a negative light. Be prepare to reject the confrontational, negative tactics and reinforce our woman centered message and solutions.

Okay, I'll try and stay on topic
· Sometimes you are talking to a woman who has had an abortion. She may assume that you are choosing a baby over women or condemning her. Never attack the questioner.

· Acknowledge the reasons that drive women to abortion, but emphasize that abortion is
not the answer. Women need holistic solutions and deserve real support.

Rape and incest
· It is normal to wish you could erase a painful experience such as rape. The woman deserves our support. · Abortion is a second act of violence against the woman. It doesn't erase the memory.

Abortion isn't an act of violence if a woman wants it. Much like sex is not an act of violence if it is consensual, but IS an act of violence when it's non-consensual, a wanted abortion is not harmful. When a woman is raped, and becomes pregnant, the pregnancy can be a violation of that's woman's body, over and over again. She now has to have her body overtaken by a foreign body, risk her health, her job, and her station in society. Abortion isn't going to erase the memory, it'll merely stop the continuing violation. If she chooses to continue the pregnancy, because she feels like that'll help her get over the rape, that is her CHOICE, and should be supported. Much like the difference between sex and rape is consent, the difference between a wanted pregnancy and an unwanted pregnancy is worlds apart.
· We should punish the perpetrator of the crime, not the victims.

Duh. I would even go a step further and say that we should try and prevent rape by empowering women and teaching guys that consent is the presence of a "yes" not an absence of a "no". But, as it stands, rape prosecution is really, really, really low. And that still doesn't address the fact that a rape victim is still pregnant, and if she doesn't want to be, it is a continuing violation.
· One Vanderbilt med student told other students that the "abortion was worse than the rape."

So? I still can't figure out how this is an argument.
· Pregnancy is not a punishment. Julie Makimaa's mother ("Victory Over Violence" issue of The American Feminist) told her that she was the "only good thing to come out of the rape."
Good for her. I'm glad she was capable of finding peace from her experience. That doesn't mean that every one will, or should.

· When someone asks about exceptions for rape and incest, we must think of how that
makes those feel who were conceived through sexual assault. As one Berkeley grad student said to her prochoice peers, "I have a right to be here."
Yes, she does. Most of the time, we can point to some random negative experience that can result in our birth. My random experience was my mom had ovarian cancer, and was told she wasn't able to have kids for at least five years after the surgery. If my mom wouldn't have ovarian cancer, she would have been using birth control, and quite possibly I wouldn't have existed. That doesn't mean that I don't have a right to exist, it merely means that it was her choice if she wanted to continue the pregnancy after the random bad thing happen (RBT= ovarian cancer). Some of them are more negative than another, such as the case of the Berkeley student born of rape. Her mother choose to have her, that gave her the right to exist. That's really all there is to it: we have the right to exist because our mother choose to bear us. Looking into the conditions of our conception is really silly: if my mom wouldn't have ovarian cancer, I wouldn't have existed, but I still want to eliminate ovarian cancer. If her mother wouldn't have been raped, she wouldn't have existed, but I still wish to eliminate rape.

· Rebecca Wasser Kiessling, a young attorney and mother who was conceived through
sexual assault asks, "Did I deserve the death penalty?"

For what? You can't get the death penalty until you actually exist.
· Could you look at someone conceived in violence and tell him or her they never should have been born?

No, because it wasn't up to me on whether or not they should have been born. That's up to the woman who actually bore them into existence.

What if your daughter was pregnant?
· I would love her and support her unconditionally and welcome my grandchild into this world.

Would you still love her and support her unconditionally if she didn't want to give birth?
What if your daughter was raped? · I would love her and my grandchild unconditionally, and I would do everything in my power to prosecute the perpetrator to the fullest extent of the law.
Same question.

Imposing values and morality on others/What gives you the right to tell women what to
· Our values are based on principles of nonviolence and nondiscrimination.

· I simply believe that we can do better for women. Don't you?

Um, I don't know how you can "do better" for women then letting them have autonomy over their body.

Don't women need to control their own lives?
· Obviously if she were truly in control and did not want to be pregnant then she wouldn't be pregnant. The question now is, what is the best possible nonviolent outcome for her?
Obviously, birth control fails, or women aren't always educated on how to use it, or are raped. There are things outside of our control; but this is one way to put it back under our control. And, to reiterate, abortion is not a violent act.

Don't you respect women enough to allow her to make a choice?
· Women do not have abortions as a matter of choice, but because they feel they have no support or resources to support a different choice. A coerced decision is not a free choice; it's a last resort.
Yeah, some women do have abortions as a matter of choice. We should, of course, offer support if they want to raise children. That's where the "choice" part of it does come in- there is more than abortion. But, abortion is also an option: if a woman doesn't want to be pregnant, she shouldn't be forced to be.

· We support nonviolent
choices single motherhood, fatherhood, grandparenthood, marriage and various adoption options. · A society that promotes abortion as a necessity underestimates women.
Abortion will always be a necessity for some women. There will always be pregnancy complications, there will always be birth control failure, there will always be women who don't want to be pregnant for any given reason. This isn't "promotion" this is just a fact.

What if her partner, friends or family abandoned her?
· Lack of support often coerces women into abortion. She needs to know that there are perfect strangers out there who will care for her even if those she counts on the most have let her down.· She also needs to know about child support laws that prohibit coercion by the father by physical force or threats to withhold child support.
Okay, I can't really say anything against this. We should support a woman if she wants to continue a pregnancy and have a child. But, the key phrase is "if she WANTS to".

What if she is poor?
· We do not eliminate poverty by eliminating poor women's children. It is degrading to poor women to expect or imply that their children aren't welcome.
No one ever said that abortion will eliminate poverty. But, if you don't have the resources to continue a pregnancy, or support a child; they aren't going to magically appear after the fact.

· She needs to know that there are pregnancy care centers listed in the abortion
alternatives section of the yellow pages that provide direct assistance and coordinate public and private assistance.
A bag of diapers and some heavy moralizing doesn't get rid of the expense of a pregnancy, and later a child.

She "just doesn't want it"
· It's always more complicated than that. We can address each of her concerns working together for peaceful solutions.
No, sometimes it really is that simple. Sometimes a woman just doesn't want to be pregnant. It's good enough for me, really.

You are antiwoman
· Abortion destroys that which makes us women.
Um, what? What makes us a woman has nothing to do with capable of being pregnant. And autonomy is what makes us HUMAN.

· As Alice Paul, the original author of the Equal Rights Amendment, said, "Abortion is the
ultimate exploitation of women."
Okay, I keep looking for the context of this quote, and I cannot find it. The only quote I can find is on "pro-life" sites. Not that it matters; it's a general appeal to authority, and as such, a logical fallacy.

· Abortion is a reflection that we have failed women and
women have settled for less.
Um, what?

The "morning after" pill, so called "emergency contraception"
· The "morning after" pill is basically a megadose of chemicals.

Well, it's not really a "megadose", but close enough. The morning after pill is basically birth control pill.
· There has been no testing or information about the longterm effects of these drugs on women and future children.

Well, the FAA approved it, and there is no reason to suggest that it will have any long-term ill-effects. So far, nothing has come of it. It's okay to be hesitant, but seriously, that's why we have the FAA in the first place.

· Rather than being a simple, private alternative to surgical abortion, it actually requires three or four visits to a doctor.

Well, the idea is that you don't have to get, you know a surgery. Any time you get a surgery, you risk infection- there's less of risk of infection with RU486. But, yes, it requires at least 2 visits to the doctor, and sometimes more because of insane "waiting period" laws.

· Women may suffer the trauma of aborting at home or work and seeing a recognizablefetus.

Some women may, not all women. There is no way that you'll see a recognizable fetus. RU486 can only work to the 9th week, and that's pushing it for most doctors. At 9 weeks, a fetus is about 9 mm big and looks like this.

· Men wouldn't tolerate a drug this potentially dangerous and ineffective. Why should

Yeah they would. See: Viagra. See: Steriods.

· If a miscarriage is one of the worst things a woman can experience, then intentionally
inducing an abortion is a reflection that we have failed her.

There is a world of difference between a wanted pregnancy and an unwanted one. In a miscarriage, women are looking forward to having a child. In an unwanted pregnancy, the women feels her very body has rebelled against her.

Abortion ·
abortion requires three days of coerced labor. · Women are awake during the delivery and witness their children's brains being removed from their children's skulls. How will this affect women emotionally and psychologically?

Late-term abortions are generally done because there were major problems, such as the fetus is already dead, or that the pregnancy will kill the mother, or the fetus has horrible abnormalities. I don't doubt that this would be fairly horrific for the woman involved, particularily considering most of these would be wanted pregnancy. But, outlawing it just puts women's lives in danger.

· The procedure can damage the cervix, contributing to multiple miscarriages in the future.

See above.

if the fetus is or could be disabled?
· If actual or potential disability is a reason to devalue children before birth, what cruel
message does this send to disabled people who are already born?

I agree, this is a bad reason to have an abortion (for me). But, I'm not the one who's pregnant, so I'm not the one who gets to decide. This is one of those things that must, must be up to the woman. Anything less is an encroachment on a woman's bodily soverignty.

Aren't there enough children in this world, and what about those in foster care?
· There are two million vetted American couples awaiting adoption. Many of the children waiting to be adopted are waiting because of legal processes, not lack of loving homes. · The population in this country has increased because of legal and illegal immigration andlongevity not births. Forty million abortions in 30 years have not enriched our country.

Seeing as forty million abortions allowed women to be secure in their own bodies, yeah, I'd say that's an enrichment. And yes, there are enough children in the world- The USA is not "the world".

Make abortion rare
· They say they want to make abortion rare but available. Why would you want to make something rare unless it is bad?

Lines like this make me want to be overly snarky. But, the snark-less answer is because "abortions are not fun". I want abortions to be rare, just like I want heart surgery to be rare: so people don't have to go through either. I wouldn't want to ban heart surgery just because it's painful and gruesome: same applies to abortion.

We want to make abortion rare, unthinkable, and

Unthinkable? Nope, I want women to have a full range of options on what to do with their lives. I want to reduce the rate, so I guess I semi-agree with unnecessary, but that is never going to happen, and it definately hasn't happen now.

Personally opposed · Why are you opposed to it?

This may not apply to me, because I'm about 80% sure that if I was pregnant, I would be on a plane to Minneapolis so fast it would make one's head spin.

· If it is not good enough for you, why do you think it is good enough for other women?

I don't want to go to business school, either, but far be it for me to deny that to other women. Women are not interchangable: are values are each going to be individually different.

wouldn't wish an abortion on my worst enemy.

Um, I guess I wouldn't either (See above about abortion being not fun). But, if my worst enemy needed one, I would sure want her to be able to get one.

So you believe that a tiny speck a zygote, blastocyst, embryo or fetus has rights over a woman?
· I don't believe in discrimination based on size, age or location. Do you believe that a child has less of a right to exist because they are small?Are large or tall people more valuable than small or short people? If that is the case, most women should have fewer rights than men!

Have you ever asked a child if they ate all the cookies in a cookie tin, and they reply "Cookie monster eats cookies on tv"? I kind feel like that right now. This "answer" sort of sounds like it's answering the question, but in reality, has nothing whatsoever to do with the question.

· Fetus is a Latin word meaning "young child" or "young one." But in practice fetus is
becoming a clinical, dehumanized term for an unborn child. Imagine if some group tried to deny medical care for gravidas. Once someone figured out that was the Latin word for pregnant women, the bewilderment would quickly shift to outrage.

Fetus is the medical term for "the unborn young from the end of the eighth week after conception to the moment of birth, as distinguished from the earlier embryo." This is just what it is. The Latin meaning for something is no longer the English meaning for something, and in multiple cases, can have nothing to do with the original roots. Denying care for "gravidas" would be bad, because they are actually human beings. Interestingly enough, if you're denying pregnant women the abortion option, you are in fact denying them medical care.

If "it" can't feel pain
· Neonatal pain experts have testified before Congress that the younger one is, the more sensitive to pain they are and the unborn the most sensitive of all.

It's really hard to feel pain if you don't have a brain, or a functioning nervous system. They don't say who these experts are, or even when they testified at Congress, so I can't oppose that.

· Women feel the emotional and physical pain from an abortion, too.

Women feel emotional and physical pain from pregnancy and birth, as well.

Clinic violence
· Violent individuals do not represent the prolife movement any more than the Unabomber represents the environmental movement.

Okay, then I'd recommend distancing yourself from them.

A few final thoughts on confrontational situations · When confronted or insulted, don't take it personally. Take it as an opportunity to learn, share, educate and inform. · Look at the issue from a "prochoice" viewpoint. Point out how our approach actually gives women more choices by addressing the reasons that drive women to abortion.

You don't give women more choices by taking a choice away from them. This is a complete and utter failure to see anything from a "prochoice" side.

· Remember that those under 30 have never known a day without legalized abortion, and
it has been sold to them as a right, like owning slaves in other countries today, and in our country over a century ago. Challenge them to think for themselves. Don't be surprised when most of your listeners who expected to differ with you greatly end up saying, "I agree with 95% of what you are saying."

Well, I think I disagreed with more than 5% with them.


At 3:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 1:24 PM, Blogger Goddess Cassandra said...

I'm curious if I keep getting the same anonymous commenter. Anonymous, if you would please leave some sort of name, it would be helpful, because then I'd be able to know that it was only one person putting completely random, nonescensical comments.

At 1:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Federal Aviation Administration approved the morning after pill?

Is that only for use by members of the mile high club?

At 5:49 PM, Blogger Goddess Cassandra said...

LOL, I'll change that. I meant "FDA".

At 6:19 PM, Anonymous Cactus Wren said...

My standard response to the "Fetus is just Latin for 'young one'" (or "small baby", or "tiny person", or whatever version they're putting around this week) is: "No. Fetus is English for fetus. It is derived from a Latinate root meaning 'swelling' or 'growth' -- just 'antenna' is derived from a Latin word meaning 'sail yard'. But whether you're talking of a radio or an insect, antenna is English for antenna, and fetus is English for fetus."


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