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Pro-Choice Gaining Ground

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by ethics, Dec 5, 2002.

  1. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    It doesn't take a genius to figure out that conservative states tend to have more restrictive laws governing abortion while liberal states tend to have more permissive laws, right?

    Well, <a href="http://slate.msn.com//?id=2074736">not exactly</a>.

    The Arizona Supreme Court, not exactly a bastion of liberal thinking, recently ruled that the state Medicaid program must fund medically necessary abortions for women who don't have the means to pay for them. And Arizona is hardly an isolated case.

    This win for pro-choice advocates was the latest in a concerted state-by-state drive to undermine federal abortion decisions.

    Since 1980, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4, in Harris v. McRae, that the federal Constitution doesn't require Medicaid to pay for medically necessary abortions, pro-choice groups have been asking state courts to upend their funding restrictions by rooting the right to choose in their own constitutions. "Ignore McRae," goes the argument. "Our state constitution requires something more."

    The strategy seems to be working so well primarily because pro-life groups in the United States tend to focus their efforts on the national political and legal scene, with an emphasis on overturning, or at least limiting, Roe v. Wade.

    Meanwhile, pro-choice groups have been quietly going about their business at the state level with striking success, having already won 15 of the 21 suits they have brought in state courts around the country.
  2. Jedi Writer

    Jedi Writer Guest

    In a related but little talked about story that is virtually a fact, Roe v Wade is just one conservative Supreme Court appointee away from being reversed. (An 80 percent probability. And if two are appointed it is a 95 percent probability.)
  3. Sunriser13

    Sunriser13 Knee Deep in Paradise

    I think the operative words here are "medically necessary" abortions. This, to me at least, makes is less of a "pro-choice" issue, and more along the lines of narrowing the gap of who can afford fuller medical care in these instances. This does not compare in any shape, form, or fashion to abortions performed as "birth control".
  4. RRedline

    RRedline Veteran MMember

    I have to agree with this. While some pro-life people will not, I certainly do make exceptions for medically necessary abortions. So many pro-choice arguments center around these cases along with rape and incest. I find it odd then, that more than 99% of abortions are performed as a means of birth control. I feel that feminists hijacked this issue with the obvious cases that people would agree with(rape, incest, complications, etc.) even though that wasn't their true concern. They got what they wanted, and now thousands of human fetuses are ripped into pieces each day simply because some irresponsible men and women are too lazy to practice safe sex and are not prepared for the responsibility of raising a child.

    That said, I don't see this trend as any ground gained for pro-choicers. I consider myself pro-life, but I will support a woman's right to an abortion permitted it meets one of the above mentioned criteria and is performed early in the pregnancy. I'm sorry, but third trimester abortions are completely unjustified in all cases except for medical complications. Yet 80% of partial birth abortions are not medically necessary. We will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to save the life of a prematurely born child(i.e.: not viable), but we allow a "doctor" to jam a metal instrument into the skull of a nine month old "fetus" and suck the "fluid" out of it while it is still in its mother's vaginal cavity and the rest of its body is dangling from the woman's vagina. To those who support this procedure even where "medically necessary," I must ask a question. Once all but the head is out of the mother, where is the medical complication? Four more inches, and the doctor would be locked away in prison forever.

    I apologize for diverting this topic a little bit. I get emotional over this issue.
  5. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    The point where I get emotional is what are the pro lifers doing to take care of the problem? Is anybody stepping to the fore and making sure that these young men and women are properly educated, given cheap and sure methods of birth control?

    So now the mistake has been made. The young woman is pregnant, whether or not birth control was used. The young man is overwhelmed or just an SOB and has split. They are lucky, there are no STD's transmitted, there may or may not be a drug problem. But the pregnancy has occurred. Who is stepping forward and saying we will take care of this woman during and after her pregnancy. We will take care of the child born because we refused free condoms, because we cut educational spending, because we refused an abortion. And now, there is more chance of birth defects, of retardation because of higher odds of drug use, yet we will still refuse abortion on all grounds.

    What super metro church has said, hey, lets not build the 100,000,000 dollar chapel to seat 10,000, to show how pious we are, let's take that money and help the people avoid the unwanted pregnancy and, yes, even help with the result? Let's practice religion, instead of building monuments to our self righteousness.

    When have the evangelical TV ministers said I can preach from a studio, I don't need the glass palace to preach the word of Christ, who after all lived in poverty and preached the difficultly of a rich man entering the church?

    I get emotional when self righteous, pious do gooders preach from one side of their mouth about what people should do and then ignore the consequences of all their "you shall not's".

    Disclaimer: This is not directed at Redline or anybody else in this forum. I know not what church you attend but until the people who preach against abortion do more to help with the results I will be pro choice with no limits except third trimester abortions unless for proven malformed fetus.
  6. RRedline

    RRedline Veteran MMember


    I agree with you that many pro-life advocates should focus more on prevention and less on preaching. I feel very out of place with my views on this topic because I am not at all religious. Unfortunately, it is religious groups who are at the forefront of the pro-life agenda.

    Are you suggesting that somehow pro-life people are responsible for these unwanted pregnancies? That's how I took it, and I very strongly disagree with it. Just because I don't agree with allowing a woman to go get an abortion as a means of birth control doesn't mean I should have done more to help educate her(and him) so that this would have been less likely to happen. I believe that individuals need to be held accountable for their actions, and I believe that a human fetus, especially one in the third trimester, is a human being deserving of rights. Given those two beliefs, I can come to no other conclusion other than to have a disdain for abortion(in general - not all cases) and to hold the mothers and fathers accountable. I understand that more could always be done, but at some point, these young people must take responsibility for their own decisions.

    It is not the fault of pro-lifers that these girls keep getting knocked up. It is not our responsibility to educate on this matter, provide condoms, etc. If some decide to go that route, more power to them. I am no more responsible for a pregnant teenager than I am for a person who robs liquor stores. I don't condone either of them, and I am not out there trying to educate people so that they won't get pregnant and won't rob liquor stores.

    There are plenty of messages out there to educate people about avoiding negative activities. Society has a strong ani-drug message, a strong "stay in school" message, a strong ant-tobacco message, etc. Anyone who starts smoking cigarettes is a damned fool, and anyone(even a teen) who has unprotected sex is a fool as well. Are they uneducated or are they just stupid? I am leaning more towards stupid, and I refuse to take responsibility for other people's lack intelligence.

    I'd also like to point out that it is not just teenagers who are having abortions. They may have the highest abortion to birth ratio, but the majority of abortions are not performed on teens.

    And I took no offense to your post at all, just so you know. If I misunderstood the meaning of your post, I apologize. Either way, I stand by my statements in this post.

  7. jamming

    jamming Banned

    Actually many churches run care facilities for young women who are pregnant that want to give up their child instead of aborting, only now are the levels of the facilities have gotten up back to pre-Roe Vs Wade levels. Try adopting a white baby boy or girl with no health limitations then prepare to wait 5 to 10 years on a waiting list. The problems are with children of minorities and elsewhere and 15 year old girls that want to keep their living dollies. It is about all sorts of people from the schools, peers, counselors, all sticking their heads into a private decision.

    I seen an interesting statistic from a few years ago that gave me pause. Of the people who used Abortion to end an unwanted birth many are repeat customers. Most first time pregnancies are carried to term or have natural complications to end them. There seems to be an issue of connectivity to the psychological health of those who have abortions and later incidents of the need for psychological health care. I was looking for the citations that supported this, but It may have been from one of my graduate course books.
  8. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    What I see going on with the abortion issue is that the people who are educated, maybe even smarter, and certainly luckier in their circumstance are quick to say pay the price of your action. And when I say luckier, I am talking about those of us who had sex premaritally or even extra maritally, and failed to use birth control. Because a pregnancy did not result does not allow us to claim high moral ground.

    I am saying society must recognize that sex is going to occur. Does anybody here think it will stop? AIDS and unwanted pregnancies have not stopped it. So we must fund sex education, we must provide effective birth control methods free of charge and we must fund effective programs. Many of the same groups, mostly pious religious, who speak against abortion also object to free birth control and tell everybody to just stop having sex. Has not, will not happen. What is the percentage of couples who are virgin when married? So a large number of people preaching against sex or giving out free condoms are two faced and just too uncaring of the consequences of their preaching.

    Is abortion as a method of birth control wrong? I will not judge that. I will agree it is stupid. Should the penalty be as high as it is to the mother and the child? A resounding no. So I am saying if you want to preach against the practice, make the penalty less life shattering.

    Preaching about the value of an unborn life while ignoring the value of the young mother and the child is blind and all too often the attitude of the haves over the have nots. Should lives be thrown away because a couple had unprotected sex or their birth control failed? I think not.
  9. RRedline

    RRedline Veteran MMember

    Shiny, I agree with most of what you are saying. I just don't think it's fair to attack the church's position on abortion and premarital sex. Sure, they may not try to educate people about using birth control, but that's because so many religious people do not believe in it. They would rather that Bobby and Suzie just keep their pants on rather than tell them to please use birth control. Teaching about birth control to minors is only going to encourage them to have sex, in my opinion.

    We need to separate opinions about abortion because I am an atheist, and I am mostly pro-life. I know religious people who go to church every Sunday, and they are pro-choice. Their stance baffles me, but I guess I accept it. Religion may play a large role in determining one's opinions, but it is not the only factor.

    Maybe I am just dreaming of a perfect world where parents educate their own children about sex, drugs, morals, etc. It is so sad that we have come to rely on Hillary's village to raise our kids for us. Then, when we don't like something that they learn at school, we get all mad about it and bitch(i.e.: evolution, sexual education, tolerance towards homosexuals). Either we raise our kids or the village raises them. As long as parents are responsible for their children, I refuse to hold the village responsible.

    I guess what I am trying to say is that just because someone or some organization, the church in this example, takes a stand against a particular solution to a problem, doesn't mean that they are responsible for preventing the problem in the first place.
  10. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    I am saying I cannot accept their position as moral when it ignores the consequences of that morality. When you claim the high ground you should make sure it is not made of quick sand. And I realize not all pro life believers are religious, but I firmly believe the anit abortion movement is mostly about religion and is mostly funded by religious organizations. Could be wrong, have no proof. But to all who fight abortion I would say if you used the same money with which you fight abortion to care for the victims of that policy there would be more people agreeing with that policy. I don't really care who is responsible but I see the wasted lives because people are forced to have unwanted children as a more serious problem than having the abortions.
  11. RRedline

    RRedline Veteran MMember

    That is what separates your opinion from mine and the church's. I don't agree with that statement at all, and I'm sure most pro-lifers don't either. I feel that an abortion is worse than an woman having a child she isn't prepared for. Until someone concinves me that a human fetus, especially in the third trimester, isn't a human being, I can not justify its removal from the womb simply because it is inconvenient for the mother or father. I understand that these children are more likely to have problems in life, but that is no reason to detroy them, in my opinion.

    I still think it is unreasonable to expect any church to promote safe sex because it contradicts their stance against premarital sex. While I choose not to listen to what any church tells me to do, I have to respect their right to believe whatever they want to believe. You can't make the church redirect their efforts towards safe sex anymore than you can force the BSA to accept gay or atheist troop leaders.

    While I agree with the church's views on abortion, I do not agree with their views on premarital sex. I don't want to sound like I am defending the church, but I guess I am. You can't honestly expect them to change their mind on one issue in order to go with the flow on another? While I strongly disagree with them and feel that it would be better for them to do as you suggest, I respect them for being consistent with their views.
  12. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    I am sorry if yout took it to mean I thought only the church is at fault or should fund the programs I propose. I think all society should. And I don't knock churches not handing our free condoms, I knock them keeping others from doing it.
  13. Coriolis

    Coriolis Bob's your uncle

    I have to agree with Shiny on this one, the pro-life movement has done virtually nothing to prevent the problem of unwanted pregnancy. And due to its close ties with religous groups, concepts such as early sex education and condom use are completely lost. I also have to agree with Shiny on one other thing -- whether or not this is what he meant -- but I get way more emotional and sickened by seeing the outcomes of the miserable lives of unwanted children in poverty stricken, disenfranchised, families, than I do in having an abortion.

    I have two kids, and saw their ultrasounds when they were but mere buds no bigger than a penut, and yet saw their little hearts beating. A powerful image for pro-life if there ever was one, but I would much rather have had my little ones aborted as tiny fetuses than to have them suffer as living, behaving children. It's difficult for me to say that, but perhaps you need to have children to understand this (and I don't expect all parent to agree with me either). But the thought of my children suffering is way harder than the thought of aborting a fetus.

    But all this emotional stuff side-steps the real issue anyway, and that is a woman's right to control her body and what happens to it. Roe vs Wade is currently the only protection of a woman's right to decide, and losing it would be a tragedy on many levels.

    It should also be stated that pro-choice does not imply pro-abortion. RRed, I don't know where you got your statistic that 99% of abortions are purely for birth control -- would I be incorrect to assume that this statistic came from a pro-life source? In any event, I don't believe it for a second. Not saying it doesn't happen, by a long shot, but it's not even logical that this would be the overwheming case, considering what having an abortion entails.

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