Republicans — April 24, 2012 at 8:56 am

The Real Battleground for 2012: Women’s Wombs


He who controls the uteri should be she.

We all know this: If you want to prevent abortions, you make sure everyone has health care, a high school education and birth control. Not the exact opposite. Then why do the people who purport to want to stop all abortions seem to favor almost every policy that makes them inevitable?

Egyptian-American journalist Mona Eltahawy offers insight to the roots of misogyny in her new piece about the Middle East for Foreign PolicyWhy Do They Hate Us?”:

“Our wombs are the future. And if you don’t control the future by controlling women’s bodies, you’ve lost control generally.”

This echoes the answer that serial rapist Noah Cross gives his pursuer Jake Gittes in the classic film Chinatown:

Gittes: Why are you doing it? How much better can you eat? What could you buy that you can’t already afford?Cross: The future, Mr. Gittes! The future.

This is a truth proven self-evident again and again—in the Middle East and in the United States. Those obsessed with control obsess on two things: rewriting history and women’s wombs.

This is why the GOP emboldened by a Tea Party movement that was supposedly not concerned with social issues passed 135 new laws limiting reproductive health care. On the federal and state level they’ve attacked Planned Parenthood, an organization that exists to provide preventative health care, birth control and choices for women.

These restrictions make no sense because abortion is more common when it’s illegal. So why does the GOP pursue them anyway? The future. AND they think they can get away with it.

Again, I’ll state that this election is about the future. Forget the benefits to women in Obamacare that are clearly at stake. Instead, imagine in election where women show up in vast numbers to state their disapproval of a GOP much too concerned with their wombs and much too ignorant of their health care.

This would change the debate in this country and begin a future worth living.

[CC image by Fibonacci Blue.]

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  • CB_Demented

     You know…there’s nothing more annoying than a grass roots organization that gets co-opted and perverted by political opportunists. I attended several rather large Tea Party rallies in several states when it all began, and I’m here to tell you there was NOTHING in the platform to do with anything religious or racially oriented. It was about government spending and constitutional rights…and that’s it.

    But what can you do. Politicians are opportunistic bastards, and there’s money to made, and thus power to gain, in jumping on, and then taking over a bandwagon.

    There have been an alarming number of laws passed in the last couple of years restricting abortion. I’m of two minds about this.

    First…I see only two valid restrictions on abortion. The first is, they shouldn’t be allowed after 25 weeks unless it’s a verifiable life threatening situation. Second, they should not be allowed for a minor without parental knowledge and consent unless said minor is either emancipated, or it’s a life threatening emergency situation.

    For the former, after 25 weeks you can pretty reliably bring a baby to term outside the womb. And there’s plenty of people dying to have a child if you don’t want yours. Also, if you can’t get your shit together in 25 weeks and have an abortion, your penalty for being an irresponsible ass is to have to finish the pregnancy and then give it up, if you so desire. It doesn’t matter the circumstance, you should be able to figure it out within 25 weeks and do what you need. Chalk it up to personal responsibility, and dealing with the consequences if you either don’t have it or are caught by extreme unfortunate circumstance.

    The latter comes from being a father. If you perform any surgery, no matter how minor, on either one of my children without my knowledge and consent, unless it’s to save their life, I will end you, either professionally, personally, or both.

    I also don’t get this bullshit about contraception. The only thing I can understand and agree with in terms of preventing contraception is if you try to force a religious organization to provide care that goes against the tenets of their faith. That’s unconstitutional.

    Unfortunately, for my personal feelings, is that the Constitution is very clear about states rights. If the state wants to limit abortion, and then they have the right to do so. There is no federal law legalizing abortion. There is only a SCoTUS ruling that says it isn’t illegal. There is nothing that says it can’t be restricted, much the same as there is no ruling that says that the right to bear arms can’t be restricted.

    Furthermore, even if there was a federal law, states could still choose to restrict in some way, much the same as states have chosen to ignore DOMA, and, quite rightfully, allow gay marriage.

    You can’t have it both ways. Either states have the rights not specifically granted or forbidden to the federal government by the constitution, or they don’t. If they don’t, then they can’t ignore DOMA. If they do, then they can put some restrictions on abortion and gun ownership, provided they don’t outlaw them.

    • yay, goodies

      This is all good and well, except two things. First, and superficially, it is 27 weeks. Second, and more importantly, who the hell are you to tell a woman what she can or cannot do to her body? A minor I understand, but a woman over 18? It is not your decision. It is no one’s decision but hers.

      • Nate Kemper

        But you forgot one thing… Do you really think that women over 18 make the best decisions? If you really want to see something, visit this image A little long, but you obviously need to see it. The other thing, it isn’t the choice of the woman over her body, but the body of another human.

        “I notice that all those in favor of abortion have been born.” -Ronald Reagan

        PS. I’m 13 years old and even I know that abortion should be “restricted.”

        • Ah, To Be a Kid Again.

          If that “human” can not breathe, eat or survive without the symbiosis of the mother’s womb, it should not have more rights than an independent adult human. PS. You’re 13 years old, you have no clue about the weight of the responsibilities of an adult, especially those of bringing a child to term. 

          • Dareniem

            So, according to you any child that cannot survive on it’s own has less rights than everyone else? I guess we can start aborting infants and toddlers since they are not “independent humans” and without anyone to take care of them they won’t survive on their own.

            The Constitution is clear, everyone has the right to life. If a person cannot handle a child then they should be on birth control or not having sex at all.

          • Sinlesshindsight

            So you set the terms of somebody else when it comes to their body or their sexual activity, right?

          • CB_Demented

            Do you support the laws that allow a woman to be charged for abusing a child for taking drugs while pregnant? Do you support the charging of a murderer for the death of a fetus as well as that of the mother? How about laws about trans-fats? Laws against the use of recreational drugs?

            And you’re damn right I set terms with sexual activity. So do you. There’s all kinds of rules about when and where you can have sex. Do you support sex in public? How about in front of kids? Pedophilia ok with you?

            Of course not. So why is it any different to expect someone to have personal responsibility when they have sex?

          • Ah, To Be a Kid Again.

            I specifically stated ”
            If that “human” can not breathe, eat or survive without the symbiosis of the mother’s womb” – are infants and toddlers still in the womb? 

          • Flagrun2

            Extremist sensationalism.

          • CB_Demented

             neither can people on life support. Should we just pull the plug randomly on them either?

            I’m not talking about an unformed fetus here. I’m talking about a 24+ week old fetus that is capable of life outside the womb on life support.

            And i’m 46 with 2 kids and a wife who had a miscarriage and who had to make the choice between endangering her life by waiting to have surgery, or waiting a few weeks until the fetus was strong enough to survive said surger. So I’m quite well aware of all of the responsibilies and issues involved in child bearing, and having to make difficult decisions about life and death regarding the process.

            I’m absolutely 100% for the right to choose…provided you are responsible enough to make that choice before the child can live outside the womb.

          • Ah, To Be a Kid Again.

            i stated: ”
            If that “human” can not breathe, eat or survive without the symbiosis of the mother’s womb” 

            people on life support aren’t crammed back up inside another person to keep them alive. I agree with you, my response was to the 13 year old posting sensationalist propaganda. 

          • CB_Demented

             And a premature baby at 25 weeks of gestation can live, breath, eat and survive like any other person on life support, and isn’t “crammed inside another person” either.

            The 13 year old is obviously being 13…opinionated without the benefit of wisdom to back it up. But statements by adults who should know better run contradictory to logic.

            I have no problem with abortion. In fact, I’ll be happy to say as a staunch conservative, that I’m not only pro choice, but pro abortion. I believe the mother has the right to choose. It’s her life, and her body. I think it’s fucked that the man has no say in it since he’ll be financially responsible, but there really is no way around that without abrogating the rights of the person stuck with carrying the child, and considering how most young men are, we’d have nothing but abuse if they had a say in whether a baby was aborted.

            But I also, as a conservative, believe in personal responsibility. And if you want to have the right to terminate a potential life, without the benefit of giving that life due process, then you best do it before that life is capable of being sustained outside the womb. In general terms that’s somewhere between 24-27 weeks. If you can’t be bothered to get your shit together and terminate the pregnancy before you hit that 4 month barrier, or you suck it up and finish what you started when you chose to have sex.

          • Ah, To Be a Kid Again.

            I’m not sure where the miscommunication is. I have been saying all of this, all along. If a child is viable outside the womb, then it should have the rights of an individual. if it is completely dependent on the symbiosis of the mother’s womb, it is not an individual, and does not deserve greater rights than an individual. 

        • Brook

          The problem with restriction is that people will still get abortions. And we have no right to restrict someone’s rights to their own body. 
          On that note, I do agree that late-term abortions should not be allowed because at this point, the fetus is almost fully formed. 

          Prior to that however (first trimester), this isn’t the body of another human yet. It’s simply a collection of cells. 

          Also being 13 doesn’t really tell you enough about the world yet.
          I’m 20 and don’t know enough to start lecturing people or deciding what they should do with their bodies. 

          • CB_Demented

             Sure we do. We tell them they can’t take recreational drugs. We tell them they can’t take painkillers or anti-biotics without a prescription and that if they can’t get one, they’re S.O.L.  We can’t ask someone to end our life for us, even if we’re in pain.

            The government tells us all sorts of things we can’t or can do with our  bodies…so we most certainly can tell women that they can’t kill a fetus that is capable of life outside of their body. And it’s ridiculous to suggest that we can’t.

        • Alex

           That is not what an aborted baby looks like. An aborted baby in the usual and most common time frame (3-8 weeks) looks like a tiny piece of phlegm, like spit. It looks nothing like a human. These bloodied corpse campaigns are moronic and untruthful.

        • This is what a typical abortion looks like. If you didn’t have the gestational sac separated, would you be able to pick it out?

          • CB_Demented

            Yep. That’s about it unless it’s partial birth, which is really pretty rare.

        • Rogueleader080

          Everyone drop what they’re doing! The 13 year old has it all figured out!

          P.S. Women over 18 may not make the best decisions, but they are most definitely better than the decisions of 13 year old kids. Grow up.

        • lmb

          Nate, you’re an a$$.  You DO realize that there are MANY MANY women over 18, don’t you?  And yes, we are capable of making good decisions.   You are not the keepers of the womb.  Keep it in your pants and you won’t have to worry being affected by abortion and your manly rights.

        • Waffles

          . Do you really think that women over 18 make the best decisions?
          I dunno if this was supposed to be ironic, but damn it made me laugh. 

          I’m 13 years old and even I know that abortion should be “restricted.” 

          Oh, that explains it.

          As for Demented, I generally agree with him. 27 weeks is a long time. That is over half the pregnancy. People see weeks and don’t seem to realize this translates into six and a half months out of nine. As an overarching decision I feel that women can do what they want. Their body, and having a child-whether you give it up or not-is staggeringly expensive and painful, not to mention deforming in some ways. On the other hand, if it were my lady doing it I’d be looking at them cross for beating around the bush for half a year before bailing out altogether. This of course comes with complications, such as the lady not knowing they were pregnant (Be surprised that that can happen, but some bodies just don’t warp like others).

        • samthor

          But YOU forgot one thing….. history. 

          You should see how messy and ugly the illegal back alley abortions are.
          Laws will not stop women from terminating an unwanted pregnancy. 

      • Dareniem

        The right to property does not supersede the right to Life, I think we all can agree on that but when is something alive?

        I believe once the heart is formed (around 8 weeks) there is a “body” and becomes it’s own property and therefore, is alive. Much like the argument “Who are you to tell a woman what to do with her own body?” I  would ask, who are you to tell that baby it’s life/body is less important then the woman’s?

        • Sinlesshindsight

          Wow! Ok then if thats the case, child birth is one of biggest risks posed to a female in just terms of health, forgetting all the mental and financial aspects completely. So the right to life of a woman can be quite pressing here as well, ain’t it? I’m pretty sure you’re a male. So in that case I would suppose a fully grown woman must be measured more in terms of life.

          This controversy of a definition of person is one of the most ludicrous one might ever hear and continues to this date in such a misogynistic fashion. 

          • CB_Demented

             The only disagreement I have with this stance, is how come you get to decide the male has to pay for your decision for 18+ years?

        • CB_Demented

           i’ll be happy to tell you it’s less important right up until the time it can survive outside of the womb.

          And I’m the guy that says it’s a parasite right up until that time.

      • Research Woman

        First I want to say that CB_ had a great response! It was rational, unbiased and thorough.  Second, “yay, goodies”, what do you have a problem with?  Having an abortion after 27 weeks is a horrible thing!  I am pro-choice, if it’s done within the proper time frame.  Do you know realize that even at 27 weeks, the doctors have to break the bones of the fetus during the abortion?  I take it you are not an experienced doctor or ob/gyn.

      • CB_Demented

         Ok…we can debate the number of weeks depending on who’s medical data you look at. I’m certainly bendable there, but they are being pretty successful of keeping premature babies alive past 24 weeks, and I was padding it a week. You want to do it 3 weeks, fine.

        But as to who am I to determine? I’m the one who read the constitution and remembers pretty vividly the part about not depriving someone of life or liberty without due process. And if the fetus is capable of life without being in the mother, it’s now a person…an innocent person at that. 

        I’m also the one that remembers quite vividly nearly all the liberals I know being rather vociferous in their objection to depriving due process for murdering asshole terrorists in Gitmo, so I wonder why it’s ok to deprive an innocent child of their life without due process.

        I’m also the guy who has no say in the woman’s choice one way or the other. But I sure as hell get to pay for it for 18+ years if she chooses, without any input from me, to keep the child. She can always give the child up for adoption, but I can’t opt out of my parental responsibilities if she doesn’t.

        And it has nothing to do with religion because while I have faith, I’m not a religious man, don’t attend any church, and have almost no use for organized religion of any kind. It’s purely a matter of law. If it’s reached a stage where it can survive outside the mother, albeit with medical technology, then it’s a person…and it deserves the rights any other person has. It’s kind of ironic that we sure as hell don’t mind charging people with an additional murder when a fetus is killed with the mother. But if the mother wants to kill it even after it’s viable, when then that’s just her choice? Right. No hypocrisy there.

        I am also the one who believes in personal responsibility. If you’re an adult, and you choose to have sex, and you choose to not use adequate birth control, or it just plain fails, then you need to take responsibility for all that goes with that. If you end up pregnant, and don’t want that child, then you need to get your shit together within the 27 weeks, if you insist on that time period, and take care of it. If you can’t, and it’s not a medical necessity to end the pregnancy to save the life of the mother, then you should just be up shit creek and have to deal with the consequences of your actions. Have the child, and give it up for adoption if you don’t want to keep it. That’s what being an adult is all about. Personal responsibility. If you don’t have it, then you shouldn’t be having sex in the first place.

        If the man legally has to deal with the consequences for 18+ years of his life for the decision to have sex just one time should the woman choose to keep the child, then the woman can deal with the consequences of not having an abortion prior to 27 weeks. She can cope with the discomfort and pain for the final 13 or so weeks to come to full term. If she doesn’t want the child then, someone else will and some will even pay for all her expenses and discomfort for the privilege.

  • Toka313

    Expect lots of comments, it’s up on the front page ‘o Reddit..

    • hoohah

       brace yourselves…………………

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  • mc1964

    The right wing doesn’t so much want to end abortion, they want you poor, ignorant, dependent, and
    tied down with kids. They want you to sit at home listening to Rush Limbaugh and Fox News so
    you think what they want you to think. They want you making more minimum wage workers and 
    criminals that they can lock up in their for profit prisons. 

    • Dareniem

      I’m not fully against abortion myself but just because someone doesn’t have an abortion doesn’t mean you have to keep the kid… there’s this thing called adoption, where people who actually want kids but can’t have their own take the kids that are born to those who either can’t support them or don’t want kids.

      • Sinlesshindsight

        There is also something called post natal trauma besides the carrying for 9 months of which the last 3 months one is almost decapitated, quite flustering for an unprepared “mother” especially with limited means. Adoption – check the statistics – they would not cover the abortions.

      • Gem

         What are we, broodmares?  We are not here to pump out babies for people who want them.  There are already lots of children in the orphanage, but aren’t being adopted because they’re too old and therefore full of a lot of psychological problems which come with being in an orphanage.

        I find it sick that people want to punish women with pregnancy.  Pregnancy.  As a punishment.  Childbirth, also as a punishment.  All because YOU feel they did something irresponsible.

        • Unpopular_Opinions

          Exactly, not to mention the over-abundance of people already walking the earth. Adding more children to the world just to be put in orphanages and only maybe get adopted. It should be the woman carrying who makes the decision. There are also the financial and emotional struggles that they would have to face. I honestly believe that some people shouldn’t be allowed to have kids anyway… You have to take a test to drive, right? Well then you should take a test to breed. I realize how silly that may sound but at the same time, when you are driving, lives are in danger. Same with having a kid. Some people are great parents but you also have people that can barely keep themselves functioning. (Much less a child who is impressionable) Be it holding a job, or even remembering to feed themselves everyday, some people cannot do these things. You honestly are okay with someone who can’t take care of themself having a child?

        • CB_Demented

           Yeah…we haven’t had ophanages for decades.

          And I don’t want to punish women for pregnancy. I want them to have personal responsibility for their actions and take care of that pregnancy, if they don’t want to have it, within 25 weeks. If you can’t get your shit together within 4 months, you shouldn’t be having sex in the first place.

          • Gem

             Clearly you have no idea what kind of red tape women have to go through in order to get one.  It varies from state to state, and now with bs like Arizona is pulling, it makes it all the more difficult to obtain.  You would need to know that you’re pregnant within three weeks of conception in order to get through these demands in time.  If you’re in a state that bans it completely, you have to get an appointment -outside your state- and get the transportation together too.  If you’re in Texas you have to be raped by an unnecessary trans-vaginal ultrasound and pay for that medical expense, be belittled and deal with a bunch of unnecessary psychological exams, which you also get to pay for if your insurance doesn’t want to or have to.  You have to weigh the choice if you want it to begin with, research if your state allows it, get the paperwork together, make the appointments, make the follow-up appointments since sometimes abortions don’t work the first time, follow the state-required obstacles such as the aforementioned (and there are plenty more where that came from).

            And they have to deal with people like you who don’t realize that saying “I want them to have personal responsibility for their actions…” is still coercing someone to go through a major health hazard, both physically and mentally, because you just plain don’t approve of their actions.

            And it’s very naive to consider adoption somehow an easy way out.

          • CB_Demented

             Clearly, you’re incorrect. I’ve been involved with more than one abortion of people having to “deal” including in Arizona. I’ve also lived through the details of difficult pregnancies with family, one of whom nearly died. I’m quite familiar with the risks of both.

            And I never said it was an easy way out. Let’s make no mistake, or beat around the PC bush…you’re killing a baby. It’s not done forming yet, but it’s a baby.  It’s a difficult decision to decide to end that life in favor of your own and there are plenty of women who, while they support the choice of women who want to, could never do it…my wife included. It’s even more difficult to give one up for adoption.

            But guess what. Dealing with difficult decisions is what being an adult is all about. And if you can’t deal with it, then develop a taste for oral or digital male gratification, buy yourself a good sex toy, and remove the possibility that you’ll have to make grown up decisions and take personal responsibility for your actions.

            4 months is plenty of time to get your ass out of state and have it done. In fact…being in Arizona, you can get it done an hour longer than it takes you to drive to an adjacent state or Mexico.

            And I’m absolutely in agreement that all these restrictions about ultrasound, and counseling, and all the other bullshit that some states have put on the requirements are just that…bullshit. Either make it legal, or don’t.

            But the point is, it’s within a state’s right, and if you don’t like it, you don’t have to live in that state, or you can get organized and find enough like minded individuals to change the laws…or an even larger number of like minded people and change the Constitution.

    • CB_Demented

       That’s kind of ironic considering the “left wing” wants to make you dependent on the government for as much as they can.

  • Sue

    What drives me crazy about the right wings “Pro-lifers” in US is that they say they are against abortions but then they do everything in their power to make sure more abortions happen. Here are all the ways Republicans make it so more women will choose abortion over having the baby…

    1) They take away affordable birth control.
    2) They take away funding for places that provided comprehensive sex education in favor of abstinence only education. Abstinence only education increase teen pregnancy.
    3) De-funding programs to help women who cannot afford their children. It is funny they care so much about the baby before they or even born but then do not care about the baby after it is born,
    4) Not supporting laws that would make it illegal for insurance that call pregnancy a preexisting  condition and there for the mother has to cover the cost of having the baby. Obamacare would stop this.
    5) Insurance companies make women pay higher more for insurance making it harder for women to get insurance to help cover their pregnancy. Obamacare would stop this. It cost around $10,000 to have a baby and that is if it is a low risk pregnancy if it is high risk then it can double. Here is a example from a place that has nothing to do with abortion issue:
    6) Not supporting teen parent programs that help keep girls who have a baby stay in school and go to college. I volunteer at a teen parent organization and they use to try to get religious groups to help out since they are supposedly for pro-life but they only looked down on our girls.They never help…
    I will take the “Pro-Life” people more seriously the moment they start supporting ways to help women with the ways to not get pregnant in first place, help make the pregency more afforable, and then support the child after they are born.

    PS If you want, I can source this all out but I am trying to be quick soo I will if I need to but only if the person wants a reasonable discussion. I do not want to waste my time if you want to just name bash…

    • CB_Demented

      1. Last time I checked, I haven’t seen anyone try to take away affordable birth control. The only discussion was that they didn’t want to make religious organizations pay for it.

      2. As someone who works for one of the largest school districts in the nation, in the most conservative county in the state, I can tell you that once we put a comprehensive sex ed program that begins with lifestyle choices as soon as 1st grade and continues in stages through 12th grade, our teen pregnancy rate went up just over 9% overall and as high as 13% in our more urban areas. This during a time of nationally declining teen pregnancy rates. Kinda puts a damper on the idea that these programs are all that affective.

      4. Not supporting the whole law is the issues. Breaking it down into constituent parts pretty disingenuous.

      6. That’s up to the individual district/state. Not the case here.

      Btw…rubbers are free at planned parenthood. How much cheaper do you want them to be?

    • CB_Demented

      1. Last time I checked, I haven’t seen anyone try to take away affordable birth control. The only discussion was that they didn’t want to make religious organizations pay for it.

      2. As someone who works for one of the largest school districts in the nation, in the most conservative county in the state, I can tell you that once we put a comprehensive sex ed program that begins with lifestyle choices as soon as 1st grade and continues in stages through 12th grade, our teen pregnancy rate went up just over 9% overall and as high as 13% in our more urban areas. This during a time of nationally declining teen pregnancy rates. Kinda puts a damper on the idea that these programs are all that affective.

      4. Not supporting the whole law is the issues. Breaking it down into constituent parts pretty disingenuous.

      6. That’s up to the individual district/state. Not the case here.

      Btw…rubbers are free at planned parenthood. How much cheaper do you want them to be?

  • Asdf

    it all stems from Catholicism, and the Catholic church has all these policies for a reason: it considers its members to be little Catholic-making machines. No birth control, no abortion, forced marriages, forced baptisms, every sacrament for that matter, all make it so that Catholics have no choice but to breed like rabbits and indoctrinate their children into little Catholics who can donate $$ to the Church. Other forms of Christianity follow loosely in those footsteps.
    tl;dr: Christianity is a meme

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  • The Christian Conservative Right Wing Dominionist aren’t really out to stop abortion. This is a war on premarital sex, having sex for pleasure and control of non-believers to force us to be subject to Christian rules! If the boy scouts pass a rule for the boy scouts and you are not a boy scout or a den mother or an adult boy scout leader, how can you be forced to follow boy scout rules?

    So the Christian Conservstive Right Wing Dominionist through the Pro-Life movement is a stealthily devised argument designed to covertly make secular space subject to the rules of the Christian religion.