the Abortion issue

imgresRoe v. Wade went to the Supreme Court in 1973 and a woman’s right to have an abortion become law.  That was over 40 years ago.  Conservatives, religious factions and others have been trying to slowly chip away at that right through the court with laws that essentially create little access for women in mostly underserved communities.  I could be wrong but it appears that the majority of people who are championing for the change in Roe v. Wade are men who will never fully understand what it is like to be pregnant, carry a child and make that hard decision to have an abortion.  I have yet to meet any woman who has had an abortion say that it was an easy frivolous decision.

The Republicans have continued to push through law suits that involve a women’s access to birth control particularly under the Affordable Care Act (another hated referendum).  The latest is the Zubik case where religious objectors want to disobey laws that do not conform to their religious beliefs.  If we allow religious zealots to ignore law because of their supposed beliefs then what happens?  It will be like opening pandora’s box.

The anger, the fighting, the anti-abortionists and everything else that goes under the haters of this 40 year old law can or can’t be understood because after all everyone is allowed to have their opinion.  You don’t have to agree with their opinion but they are allowed to have one.  What I do not understand is then why do these groups not support family planning?  Why do not they not put their negativity into helping women get pre-natal care?  Why are they not interested in helping women who have decided not to have a child figure out their child care so that they can continue to work?  Do they realize that the women that they are battling against are the women who do not have the financial means to not go to a clinic.  They just want to say no abortion and leave everyone hanging after that.

Women who have the means will always be able to get an abortion.  The religious right is battling against the women who need support so that those children they may choose to have are given the same opportunities from the start of their lives.  Just note that Planned Parenthood does provide family planning and pre-natal care vs the myth that they are simply abortion clinics.

There is a huge disconnect between the religious undertones of anti-abortion and the reality of what could be done to help women who find themselves with unplanned pregnancies.  As someone said to us many years ago, “never trust too pious a person”.

Comments (Archived):

  1. Kirsten Lambertsen

    I know the “War on Women” is a strong term, but it’s hard not to believe it’s a war when we look at the anti-choice narrative.Planned Parenthood has saved so many lives. How is a war on PP not a war on women?

    1. Susan Rubinsky

      It IS a War on Women. We ought to just start calling it that.

        1. Matt Kruza

          I am not sure i understand? It seems to be saying / implying new zealand is better? Best i understand abortion is mostly illlegal in new zealand…much more LIBERAL abortion laws in the US? What am I missing? Few understand the US is one of the furthest to the left / pro abortion country in the world (whether you think that is good or bad, its a fact for the most part).

          1. Kirsten Lambertsen

            So, fair point. I’ve never been to New Zealand 🙂 I think what women understand is that the War on Women encompasses many things, not the least of which is constantly fighting to preserve our right to choice. So, when I saw that tweet I took it to be addressing an overall cultural thing, and I put it here in that spirit.

        2. Matt Kruza

          I get there are more parts of sexism than abortion, but seems a bad argument to me on this thread, because on abortion the US is probably near the best in world if you want an abortion. If we end up agreeing on that, then the war on women narrative falls apart. Are there issues re: sexism in the US yes, but this systematic war talk seems wrong, and the abortion issue seems to highlight how screwed up the narrative is in regards to facst. most of europe either doesn’t allow elective abortions or only first trimester.. us is pretty much first two trimesters due to Roe vs wade

          1. Kirsten Lambertsen

            I don’t buy into not fighting for our rights just because it’s still “better in the U.S. than everywhere else.” I don’t think we got to be a great country with that approach.If you’re truly interested in understanding why the War on Women has become a narrative, spend some time reading and watching videos produced by feminist voices. There’s an amazing amount of information available out there than can inform you far better than I can here.

          2. Matt Kruza

            Fair point as well. 🙂 not wanting to make you write a dissertation on war on women, but if you have the chance can you link to any sites / or material you think is most relevant? I try to read many points of view (frequent reader of jezebel, model view cullture and a few other female driven / outright feminist websites). I guess what I struggle with more broadly is the narratives are often not that fact driven (sort of my point on abortion here). That statement alone gets many to respond hostile in theory, but the thing is very few people / founders / ambitious men would or do read as much on this issue as me (at least i think that is fair to say), and many will be turned off once it stops to be a fact driven discussion. But regardless definitely aprpeciate your response and if you have favorite website / book /video that you think is educational / informative would enjoy hearing, but no obligation obviously!

          3. Kirsten Lambertsen

            I can tell you’ve been doing your reading just by your reply :-)…The second one is a good list.

          4. Matt Kruza

            Awesome. Appreciate the links! Makes me feel good that there is hope for better solutions to these problems when we can have productive conversations on very difficult subjects 🙂 so thanks for the boost for the day. Have a great weekend!

          5. Kirsten Lambertsen

            Truly one of the most difficult subjects. Such an important thing to keep reminding ourselves.Back atcha! Have a great weekend, yourself 🙂

        3. Matt Kruza

          Last clarification, very curious of your opinion kirsten as through some of our limited interactions (which i think which have been respectful and pleasant and informative!) I respect your opinion and obviously you have a much more direct perspective of what a woman lives so curious how you view this situation / facts and either where there are different facts than I have layed out or how you view them differently!

      1. Gotham Gal

        It is a WAR on women.

  2. Susan Rubinsky

    That is a great quote, “Never trust too pious a person.”

  3. Ella Dyer

    Another very important issue in the hands of American voters. My aunt – a mother of 7 by the time she was 26 – managed a chapter of Planned Parenthood in California for 29 years. She knows both personally and professionally, the need for women’s healthcare and childcare. Not only are the too pious not to be trusted; they should also be feared!

  4. pointsnfigures

    We are going to disagree on this one. I see just as much virulent opposition and lack of tolerance among pro-abortion advocates. Personally, I think late term abortions are pretty disgusting. I also think that while Planned Parenthood does some women’s health-it’s main goal is abortion.What about a compromise instead of a false dichotomy of choice? I don’t think we put the abortion genie back in the bottle the way the most virulent Pro-Life advocates want. As a fiscal conservative, I also think that any abortion consultants or providers ought to be private and not government funded.if we toss out the abortion issue entirely, I think the real problem is hope and opportunity. If the economic incentives were different, many of the women that wind up getting pregnant might make a far different choice before even getting pregnant. I know that in Africa, as soon as the economic choices were different and there was hope and future, the incidence of AIDS went down. I bet the same would happen in abortion.

    1. Kirsten Lambertsen

      About 3% of what PP does is abortion.…Planned Parenthood is not allowed to use its government provided funds for abortions. So what opponents are effectively working to eliminate is health care including pre-cancer screening, STD screening and treatment, AIDS/HIV treatment, and *preventing pregnancy*. That’s the part the government funds.This is why we call it a war on women. The people working to defund PP would seem to feel that poor women don’t deserve to catch their cervical cancer early or to prevent pregnancy, which seems like a great way to make sure low-income women don’t escape their circumstances and die younger.When’s the last time a pro-choice advocate planted a bomb in a church or walked in and gunned people down? I’ve missed the news on this ‘virulent’ branch of the pro-choice community.

      1. pointsnfigures

        As I said in my first sentence. We aren’t going to agree. There are other government programs for women’s health. Medicaid for example and Obamacare. This is truly an issue where the rubber meets the road on “socially liberal and fiscal conservative”.Planned Parenthood’s primary purpose is abortion. It would be like me saying the NRA’s primary purpose is to teach people gun safety. That certainly is part of their mission, but not the primary one. And, the NRA doesn’t get government money…..

        1. Kirsten Lambertsen

          Sure, we can disagree. I’m not addressing your opinions. I’m addressing your presentation of abortion being PP’s purpose. It is not. Plain and simple. You’re not entitled to an alternate version of the facts.I’ve been on Medicare (Medicaid is for retired people, btw). Guess where is the ONLY place Medicare pays for gyno/OB care? **Planned Parenthood**. I found myself there when we were broke after putting all our money into a startup. And it wasn’t to get an abortion. It was to get **birth control.** It was the only place Medicare would pay.So here we are. I’m a woman who has two children, has had an abortion, and who has been on Medicaid and to Planned Parenthood for birth control. We have the numbers that clearly demonstrate that abortion is a tiny fraction of what PP does.Yet, you call it a difference of opinion based upon assumptions you’ve made. I think it’s safe to assume you’ve never had an abortion, that you’ve never been to Planned Parenthood for services or been on Medicare.I know there’s no point in getting into this with you. I know you aren’t the type to change his mind. But I really can’t politely stand by while you state falsehoods as facts when it’s something this important.

          1. pointsnfigures

            Oh no. We 100% disagree about Planned Parenthood’s purpose. I am not stating falsehoods. PP sold body parts and made money off of their activities.But really, our only point of disagreement is should the government be funding it?I didn’t say put them out of business. If PP wants to be a 501(c)3 and raise money from donors, let it. Just like the NRA.On the abortion issue we aren’t going to agree either. But, as I said previously, the genie is out of the bottle there. My preference would be to end late term abortions of healthy babies which I find abominable.If people want to take extreme positions, then there is only a black/white choice. No compromise.

          2. Kirsten Lambertsen

            So the compromise you’re suggesting is no federal funding for PP?I really find comparing PP to the NRA off-putting. They have nothing in common. Planned Parenthood is part of the Medicare system. They provide healthcare services. NRA is an advocacy operation. Every time you compare PP to the NRA it feels like you’re bitter that the NRA doesn’t get gov’t funding, so you want to take gov’t funding of healthcare away from poor women too. It’s not a strong framework.Also, when you use the term “selling body parts” it sends a signal. I understand that fetal tissue has been sold for medical research. They weren’t standing on the street with fetus toes selling them to Satanic worshipers. “Selling body parts” is right-wing Christian code. If that’s not you, don’t use it.

      2. Gotham Gal

        This is great Kirsten.

  5. jason wright

    i think an unborn child should have human rights in law, and be protected. create an infrastructure that can accommodate a woman’s pre and post conception needs. do not put the rights of one above or below the rights of the other. there is a third way.

    1. Donna Brewington White

      What is the third way, Jason?

  6. JLM

    .It is incredible how little even the most ardent advocates of abortion actually know about the 1973 Roe v Wade case. The case, decided 7-2, was based on the Due Process Cause of the 14th Amendment which suggested there was a Constitutional basis for a woman’s right to abort a fetus.It further ruled that States had a legitimate right to regulate abortion when the woman’s health was an issue and where it stood to protect the sanctity and viability of life.This was a SCOTUS sitting in judgment of contrary rulings at the State level. It is not a Federal law, it is a SCOTUS ruling which mandates conformance by the States.The SCOTUS also opined, in the same decision, that States had a particular right to regulate late term abortions defining them as being in the “third trimester of pregnancy.”This was followed by Planned Parenthood of Penn v Casey, a 1992 case, which changed the third trimester of pregnancy standard to one of “fetal viability.”The SCOTUS indicated that such a threshold would be reached in the 23-24 week time frame and based their decision on the then current medical practices.This is an important consideration for several reasons — the law of the land today is based on “fetal viability” and the bright line was 23-24 weeks but it was based on the notion of the then current medical practices.Current medical practices move that bright line quite a bit based on success rates with premature baby survival rates in neo-natal clinics country wide.Much of the current legal furor is NOT about the issue of abortion itself but about the applicable time period — the period prior to fetal viability.This is still quite unsettled at the State level but the concept is in perfect conformance with the SCOTUS decisions.To state the current status clearly and cogently, “A woman may elect to abort her child until the threshold of fetal viability is reached.”Virtually all of the lawsuits on this matter today (State cases) are on the subject of where this bright line of fetal viability should be drawn given current medical capabilities.It is worth noting that 90% of abortions are undertaken during the first trimester and that the average cost of an abortion in the US is $450 which can be paid out over time.Pro-abortion forces consistently misstate the legal issues at hand suggesting that these cases are attempts to ban abortion when they are about the bright line issue.There is a conflation of the implications of insurance policies (Obamacare required policies) and whether such policies must provide abortion and contraception coverage. This is about insurance and religious beliefs — whether an insurance provider must provide a policy which contains provisions which are repugnant to an organization’s religious beliefs.These are simply not the same issue and it is intellectually dishonest to try to suggest they are somehow linked. The Hobby Lobby and Sisters of the Poor cases are not about the legality of abortion, they are about whether an employer can be forced by its government to provide services that offend and violate their religious beliefs.This is tantamount to forcing a “national” religion upon a citizen in which the religion is a violation of one’s beliefs.It is disheartening when the only words that a pro-abortion advocate can use to characterize their intellectual opponents is “haters” or “zealots.”The moral basis for opposing abortion — we are approaching 60,000,000 abortions in the US since Roe v Wade — is simple, well-reasoned, and sincere.Even the SCOTUS has opined that there is a time when the viability of the fetus supersedes the due process rights of the mother.I do not consider myself a particularly religious person though I was raised in a religious household and attended Catholic schools. I do consider myself a person who is scared to exercise the power to kill a fetus.I seek the safe harbor of life in all things including being opposed to the death penalty.I am pained beyond comprehension at the loss of such enormous amounts of life — US population is 330MM while abortions are almost 60MM since Roe v Wade — and am certain that there was at least one person worthy of life amongst those 60MM.I am also pained that there is no advocate for the life of the unborn and that there is a wholesale desire to advocate for abortion until the moment of natural birth. That is a barbaric standard.The legal challenges to the bright line standard are demands to adjudicate the standard in light of the current medical capabilities. To characterize these as “Republican” is not true. The plaintiffs are identifiable and the RNC is not one of them.The notion that Planned Parenthood is not an abortion mill is sheer nonsense. Their record, from their inception, contained in their founding documents, displayed by their actions, has been clear and unambiguous.The opposition to PP on the basis of its receiving half a billion dollars in Federal funding is fair based on the current law that Federal funds cannot be used for the providing of abortion. This, like Roe v Wade, is the law.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    1. Kirsten Lambertsen

      “…there is a wholesale desire to advocate for abortion until the moment of natural birth.” On what do you base this statement?I STILL am amazed that a service that represents 3% of what an organization *actually does* continues to get framed as its primary purpose. It defies logic.

    2. Donna Brewington White

      I, too, am deeply pained by the idea of 60,000,000 abortions. That’s millions of women who were faced with a difficult choice. I’ve personally known women who moved on without any trauma, and others who were deeply affected. Even if just a fraction are represented by the latter, that’s still a huge number. I also believe that an unborn child is just as human as a two-year-old so you can imagine what that number means to me.I can’t help but think about this from the perspective of a woman who has been pregnant five times. One of these pregnancies ended in miscarriage and I grieved deeply. The pregnancy ended earlier than many abortions, so, I do not take lightly what a woman experiences when she chooses to abort. .There are two types of women who seem to be left out of these debates: (1) The women who truly believe abortion is their only real option and would not have an abortion if there was someone who came alongside. (2) The women who live with the heartache of an abortion.One way that I have addressed this issue is to support an organization that provides substantive assistance to mothers during and post-pregnancy — including medical care and moral support.

  7. Donna Brewington White

    There is a wonderful organization called Claris Health in Los Angeles that does a lot of what you describe in addressing the needs of women during and after pregnancy: The CEO is an impressive young woman who used to babysit for us when she was in college and I’ve watched her career and this organization evolve and thrive.