Roe v. Wade was never about the “rightness” or “wrongness” of abortion…. It was always a case about privacy. A woman named Norma McCorvey (Jane Roe, for privacy) went to a doctor in Texas (a state where abortions were illegal, but allowed for in the case of rape or incest) and asked for an abortion claiming she had been raped. And you know what they said? “Prove it.” Well, the Supreme Court didn’t think she should have to prove it. They decided, in a 7-2 decision, that the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects the right to privacy, including a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy. And that same Due Process Clause makes laws criminalizing abortions (in all cases other than life-saving procedures) without taking into consideration the stage of pregnancy and other interests (like rape or incest) unconstitutional as well.
This decision came in 1973, and it forced many states that had strict laws governing when and if a woman could have an abortion to change their laws. Tennessee was one of those states. After Roe v. Wade, many anti-abortion activists attempted to pass regulations that would make getting abortions as difficult as possible (this is what is being attempted in Texas and other states right now, by regulating that clinics must be partnered with a hospital–knowing full well that for a hospital in Texas to “partner” with an abortion clinic would mean financial death for that hospital). In 1992, the Tennessee Supreme Court also found that these regulations to be unconstitutional, because “they decided the Tennessee constitution contains a fundamental right to privacy, which includes a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy.” The dissenting Justice said that the only way to change this would be an amendment to the State Constitution…. And that is what brings us to the Amendment 1 vote on the ballots this November. This NPR story explains the history behind this better than I ever could.
I realize there are all kinds of valid, moral arguments for why a person could be against abortions. A little while ago I wrote about the very difficult process of finding middle ground on this very divisive issue right HERE. The moral question of abortion is not simple…. Not on either side. If you think it is, you’re probably not paying close enough attention. But this Amendment is not the answer. Here is what the amendment says:
“Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion. The people retain the right through their elected state representatives and state senators to enact, amend, or repeal statutes regarding abortion, including, but not limited to, circumstances of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest or when necessary to save the life of the mother.”
So basically, this amendment takes the fundamental right to privacy that the Tennessee State Constitution guarantees (and always has guaranteed) its citizens, and then changes it to say “except for things that have to do with a woman’s right to privacy about abortion.” If this Constitutional Amendment passes, it will give legislators broad power to regulate abortions to make them very, very difficult for women to obtain. Now, to some, this might sound like terrific news… and I get that, but regulating mandatory waiting periods, regulating hospital partnerships (ones that don’t have a chance of happening), and taking away the privacy rights of the women of Tennessee is NOT the way to fight this fight. It puts a woman who has been raped in the position of being forced to PROVE she’s been raped, and that is just not right. If you think that ALL abortions should be illegal, even in the case of rape or incest, you should vote yes on 1. But most people don’t believe that…. And ironically, the people who are usually the most pro-privacy and anti-regulation seem to have changed their tune on this particular issue.
Imagine a young woman goes to a clinic for an abortion, and then the doctor looks at her and says, “How did you get pregnant?” A perfectly legitimate response to that question would be, “That’s none of your damn business,” but let’s just say that her answer is, “I was raped.” And then she is told, “Show me the police report.” Well, maybe this young woman doesn’t want to press charges. Maybe she doesn’t want to relive the whole horrible ordeal in a courtroom. Maybe she can’t press charges because she doesn’t know who the man was. Maybe her uncle raped her, and she doesn’t want her family to know. Maybe she just wants to forget about it and try to move on with her life. How dare we force a woman in this situation to attempt to “prove she wasn’t asking for it.” People can be morally outraged by a throwaway culture that frivolously uses abortion as birth control without setting up a system that looks at a girl who has been raped and says, “Prove it.”
If, God forbid someday in the future, one of my daughters got pregnant as a result of rape, and then came to me and said, “Daddy, I’m going to keep this baby and love it with everything I have,” I would say, “Sweetie, I love you. I am proud of you. That is your decision.” If she came to me and said, “Daddy, I’m going to carry this baby, but I’m going to give it up for adoption,” I would say, “Sweetie, I love you. I am proud of you. That is your decision.” And if she came to me and said, “Daddy, I can’t do this. Every day part of the monster that did this to me grows inside me, and I keep reliving the most horrible thing that ever happened to me. I need to end this pregnancy,” here is what I can only hope I would say: “Sweetie, I love you. I am proud of you. That is your decision.” And you know what else? She might not come to me at all…. She might think it is none of my damn business. And that’s her decision too.
So I’m against this amendment…. Not because I am “for” abortion, but because I am for the right to privacy. If a woman decides not to have an abortion after she is raped and impregnated, I think that’s lovely…. But I’m sure not going to try to force a woman to prove to anyone that she has been raped. Even forcing her to SAY that she’s been raped is a violation of her fundamental right to privacy. And that is a right that is guaranteed to us–men AND women–not only as Americans, and also as Tennesseans. I’m a Christian, I’m a father to two beautiful daughters and a beautiful son, and I’m voting NO on Tennessee’s Amendment 1. And I think you should too.
Great article! Thank you for writing this. Vote NO on Amendment One!
Virtually everything this author states is either very misleading, factually incorrect or just an outright LIE. I ask you then why does someone have to mislead and lie to make their point?
This amendment deals only with the Tennessee state Constitution and it only attempts to undue the unconstitutional conduct of the Tennessee Supreme Court. It can’t undue the unconstitutional behavior of the US Supreme Court. The author claim that this amendment takes away the “fundamental right to privacy” granted in the State Constitution. Where is no such right granted in the State Constitution and challenge anyone to find it. The illegal acts of Supreme Court justices does not make it so. But since we still live in a civil society the first option is to amendment the constitution to put it in the condition that the people desired. (Justices do not have the legal authority to write or rewrite the laws or constitution). As I stated earlier, the “right to privacy” that was created out of whole cloth (in Griswold v. Conn. 1963, not in Roe v. Wade) is still there intact. With this amendment passed Tennessee could not do anything that violated the US Constitution. The author claim that it would make it very very hard to get an abortion is an OUTRIGHT LIE. The author claim about the 14th Amendment and what it protects is an OUTRIGHT LIE. If the Tennessee constitution granted a fundamental “right to privacy” it should be really easy to find, except that it doesn’t. So the amendment can not take away something that fundamentally doesn’t exist and can’t exist, it is an OUTRIGHT LIE. A “right” can not by definition require other people to do things in order for you to exercise that right. A ‘right’ to abortion that the author claims, again incorrectly, is contained in the 14th amendment (which deals solely with issues of post Civil War era) requires all doctors, nurse, builders, manufacturer or equipment etc, in order to perform this right, which again by definition makes it not a right.
So ask yourself, Why does the author have to lie, for either the author is lying or is ignorant. It is one or the other, both are sorry excuses for allowing the current situation and the damage being done to allow to continue.
You are so far off it’s almost comical. It would be funny if it weren’t so sad.
Even if the people of Tennessee are suckered into voting for this thing, it will get overturned by the federal government. Sorry.
I’ve been reading BaaSkull only for the past year and have been uniformly impressed by the wit, depth, and Christian spirit underlying all the writings. This article on “Abortion” is in the same mold. Thank you for a very insightful and compassionate article. North Carolina is my home, and I’ve seen many such legislative excesses over the past several years. Be glad you can still vote !!
It’s my pleasure, Bob. Thanks so much for reading!
It seems to me that Christians and other folks who are okay with survivors who become pregnant as a result of rape obtaining an abortion are primarily okay with it because of our cultural views about women and pregnancy. That is to say, if women are viewed as property, then rape is seen as a violation of property; a woman who is raped is thus allowed to get an abortion on the grounds that others (namely, her male guardians– her father, her husband, etc.) have been offended. If a woman is viewed as a human being with the right of bodily autonomy, then the reason for why she requires an abortion is largely irrelevant, as all human beings with the right to bodily autonomy have control over what happens to their bodies.Either women are fully human and have the right to bodily autonomy, or they are less than human– and only as valuable as the implicit sacredness of their reproductive function. Seems to me.
(Thanks for voting No, in any case!) ^_^
There’s probably a lot more truth to what you wrote than we would care to admit….
There is much more incorrect and misleading information in this article than I have time here to address. I did write a reply but it is currently at 3 pages. Just in the first paragraph, Roe v. Wade was exactly a statement about the personal beliefs of the Justices and there desire to make abortion legal. Justice Douglas who wrote the majority opinion admitted that the Constitution does not enumerate a right to privacy, but he found one anyway in the “penumbras” (shadows and fringes) and “emanations” (in the abstract). He found it here even though the Constitution itself is clear on what rights are contained in it, only those at are “enumerated” (specifically stated). Any other rights are reserved to the people, not to the Supreme Court, but to the PEOPLE.
The 14th amendment deals directly and solely with the issues of the Post Civil War, the newly freed slaves, the debts of the confederacy, stating who may be a representative or senator prohibiting anyone who severed in the Confederate government. The author states incorrectly that the Due Process Clause of the 14th amendment is where this right to privacy exist. I challenge you or anyone to find such a right. The right to Due Process is first given in the 5th amendment. It is restated in the 14th to make certain that it is clear that the newly freed slaves, who were made citizens by the 14th, were also covered by Due Process. It’s appearance here does not change add or subtract in anyway to the due process right enumerated in the 5th. Only 2 Justices, writing concurrent opinions use the 14th Due Process clause in support of their argument for which both were highly criticized. All the claims made regarding the 14th amendment are false. And that’s just the first paragraph.
What a ridiculous statement. You really think you have bodily autonomy? When did you gain it? So you can do anything you want with or to your body? Cut off limbs, require a doctor to remove perfectly healthy tissue and organs just because? Take any drugs any time and place you want? The constitutional right to be secure in your person is limited to “unreasonable search and seizure.” It is not a right to “bodily autonomy”.
And it appears that you really don’t believe at “all human being” have this right to body autonomy, for if you did you would be against abortion, all abortion, as there is no greater violation of the right you claim than giving someone else the right to tear that body apart.
There is no Christian doctrine that makes a woman the property of another. The old testament recognizes that people would sell themselves into what is incorrectly called slavery. But this bondage was for a limited time (7 years) and God laid out clearly the rules of how of how masters were to treat these individuals. There is no condition in either the old or new testament where God or Jesus approve of the killing of innocence humans.
Um. Yes, it is a ridiculous statement, since women are not viewed as fully human and thus do not have bodily autonomy. And yes, within an unlimited view of the right of bodily autonomy you could choose to harm yourself, even kill yourself. The United States has a much more limited perspective on human rights than many other countries, particularly when it comes to women, as evinced by our failure to ratify CEDAW.
I am of the opinion that the well-being and rights of a woman take precedence over those of a fetus. This is less to do with whether or not a fetus is human and more to do with agency and personhood.
A good deal of what Christians value, culturally, can’t be cited in the bible. Whether or not the bible supports or condemns certain behaviors has not stopped Christians from having certain attitudes and behaviors.
Please don’t take my having replied to your comment as me seriously considering your point of view. See it, rather, as an opportunity for me to further elaborate on the idea of women-as-not-human.
I enjoy having you around, Skyride.
Same can be said of the unborn! They are human and have right of bodily autonomy. And seeing that they can not control over what uses their body will undergo, there must be guardians.
Thank you for helping me understand the law as it stands and what it being put up for a vote. This does not affect me directly, but as a woman, I am so thankful that there are other people, who understand that the world is seldom a truly black and white backdrop. I’d say your daughters are very lucky to have such a decent father and guide.
This article was very helpful. I agree
Those who are voting yes on Amendment One are primarily right wing conservatives and Christian conservatives. What bothers me about that is they are the ones who champion individual privacy rights and less government interference. What could be more private than the decision to end a pregnancy? I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but as a Tennessee native and current Nashville resident, I don’t understand how anyone can vote yes on this. The wording of the amendment is intentionally confusing (as are the other three amendments we’re voting on this November) and difficult to understand. Boeskool, do you live in TN?
If it makes you feel better about yourself to label people you don’t know so that you can justify your own beliefs so be it. The Federal Government has a role, but it is/should be limited to the powers enumerated in the Constitution. The Constitution did not and does not give any judge the power to add or subtract from it. There is no right to privacy in the US constitution nor was there one granted in the Tennessee constitution. What was granted was the right to be secure in our person, house and papers from “unreasonable” search seizures. No right right absolute.
If you support voting NO on amendment one you must support allowing abortion clinics to operate outside basic health codes, support partial and full birth abortions, support allowing underage girls to be carried off to abortion clinics without their parents acknowledge, support Planned Parenthood who very existence is based in racism (controlling the black, jewish, mentally handicapped population). Margaret Sanger the founder of Planned Parenthood made no secret of these being her objective, under her they even performed forced abortion and sterilizations, but I guess you are fine with that too. Planned Parenthood could careless about the health of women. They define everything by the dollar. When the Susan B Komen Cure Breast cancer withheld donations to Planned Parenthood because PP was under investigation for fraud and financial abuses and the Susan B Komen foundation has a policy not donate to organizations convicted of or being investigated for financial misconduct, Planned Parenthood launched a full scale assault against this charity.
There is nothing this amendment does, not one thing that people like the author above claims. For starter, this amendment can only address the State Constitution and correct the unconstitutional behavior of the State Supreme court. With this amendment in place Tennessee would will have to operate under the US Constitution. The author incorrectly claims that the right to privacy was found in the 14th amendment, it was not, although it was created. This amendment has no impact on that right which this author claims will vanish if this amendment passes. That’s a LIE.
I personally would never get an abortion. Unless i was raped. its not my place to tell another she shouldn’t either . Its nobody s right. Her body her decision. Christians need to stop pushing their religions on everyone. If you don’t believe in abortion…… don’t have one that simple. You force a woman to carry a child that she never wanted leads to infants getting neglected abused abandoned in trash cans.
I live in TN today and I voted no.
Learn something new everyday.
I don’t live in TN, but I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU!!!!!!
Women should have the right to control their own bodies, and it’s empowering to see that so many people, including Christians and men, understand and agree with this. Thank you so much for writing this.
It’s your thinking that’s a stinking. First of all you are not a Christian, you were grafted into the Nation of Israel when you believed in their God. Remember, “grafted in” and what that means?
Secondly you need to act like you belong to that family by knowing how to conduct yourself among a world building itself a Godless society. Remember, ” come out of her, my people.
Thirdly, you need to seek YHWH about who you truly are, because according to that book you read, it’s Hebraic, not English.
And lastly may I share with you my Messiah Y’SHUA who died on the execution stake for the souls in which He created. He obeyed all of His Fathers INSTRUCTIONS (what you call law) in which to be our greatest example to follow. How can you follow in the footsteps of Y’shua if you take away His Father’s INSTRUCTIONS?
That’s what’s wrong with Christianity. They have forsaken His Instructions and have nothing but a code of ethics they invented called Family Christian values. As conscience dictates I reckon.
All in all, you better get a grip on what really matters, hearing His Call To Come a Of Her!
Hope you Shama, oh Israel, hear oh Israel!
Shalom in Y’shua and our Father YHWH.
From a facetious perspective, you want pagans .a.ka. opposing worldviews to have abortions.
Example: If Conservatives continued to have 4 kids on average per family, while Liberals stick with the “lets kill our kids” idea, in 30 years demographics is going to be a nasty wake up call in the polls.
(Provided you don’t send your kids to a public school where they can be brainwashed.)
Conclusion? Encourage and demand liberals to have abortions.
Consistency is also the other thing at stake here. If the government has rights over your body in cases of reproductive issues, then the door is wide open. Look at drugs. You can’t do heroin! Well, I thought it was my body, my rights! Wrong, apparently you don’t have rights over you own body.
“Pro choice” does not mean “pro killing children”. In any way. Pro choice people don’t hate children, or wish to kill them. I really wish you weren’t being serious.
I’m dead serious.
I’m “technically” pro-choice, but that is only because I don’t like the idea of the government having authority over our bodies. I expand that to the drug issue as well. (Hey, its my body.)
However, don’t be fooled. Hate kids or not, if large group of people continually don’t have kids while the other do, simple demographics will manifest in social culture and law.
For instance, I suggest encouraging people with a very opposing worldview to your own to have an abortion. I.E. I always encourage feminists to have abortions.
But it’s not that they’re not having kids. They are. They’re simply supporting a person’s right to – if they choose to, for whatever reason – assert autonomy over their own body and not carry through with the pregnancy. Maybe they’re not emotionally ready, maybe they were raped and don’t wish to carry through with a pregnancy they had no choice over, maybe they want to keep getting ahead in their career. It doesn’t matter. The choice should belong to the person who is pregnant.
And it’s not as if people who are pro choice are actively not having children. Or are getting pregnant and having abortions just for fun. Real, meaningful freedom means the freedom to choose. You have to disassociate “pro-choice” from a ideological worldview that precludes having children. It’s simply not the case. Pro-choice advocates support a person’s choice to decide if and when to have children. They’re not demonising motherhood and saying “don’t have kids”.
Who is more likely to have an abortion? Usually liberals.
Who is more likely to have kids and not have an abortion? Conservatives and Religious types.
Conservatives, the religious, and religious immigrants are definitely having more kids than self-described liberals are. That will have demographic implications on laws in the next 30-50 years.
That’s all I’m getting at, hence why I say conservatives should encourage liberals to have abortions and really maintain a pro-choice position.
Usually someone who is pro-choice will consider and/or have an abortion while someone who is pro-life will not.
Demographically consider movements like “Quiverfull.” If even half those kids retain conservative values and pass them on to their kids and so on, cultural values will change simply through demographics.
Disclaimer: I’m very cynical and pessimistic.
Yes armenia4ever , pro choice folks are “shooting themselves in the foot” so to speak. Your right. I had my “quiver full”. Six kids, (two sets of twins) and they are all republicans. Passing on all that demography! More importantly,, all that faith in God!
Seriously? You should probably stop huffing glue. It’s killing your brain cells.
Internet insults. Nice. Got anything better?
Make sure you or your significant other had an abortion though. Don’t want you raising/ spreading your internet nasty talk to the next generation.
“Make sure you or your significant other had an abortion though. Don’t want you raising/ spreading your internet nasty talk to the next generation.”
So, encouraging people with opposing points of view to you (feminists, liberals, etc.) to have abortions isn’t “internet nasty talk”?
No, that’s called responsible advocation for population control to combat global warming as well as supporting body rights…
In seriousness, I do see your point though. It could certainly be construed in that matter. I suppose I don’t care.
That’s as far as I go though. Telling people they huff glue, are ignorant, ect just seems to be pointless.
I was being nice. Huffing glue was the only rational explanation I could come up with for you telling people you don’t like that they should have abortions to rid the world of their kind.
Wasn’t that Hitler’s idea? To rid the world of people he didn’t like?
If you’re not huffing glue then you know and understand what you’re suggesting, in which case you’re a jackass.
Yes it’s deliberately facetious and a definite way to diminish the amount of people who will hold opposing views. I’m not forcing it, just encouraging it.
Very well explained. And I love your choices for illustrations.
This was a well-thought AND thoughtful article. You and I probably hold different views on just about anything you can name, which is why I was hesitant even to read this. However, you have succeeded in laying out an argument that appeals to the middle ground. You are right–there are those that believe abortion should be illegal in every, single instance, including if it is to save the life of the mother. But I honestly believe they are in the minority. In this piece you have struck at the heart of the far Christian right: hypocrisy. The very same people who clamor for privacy and demand the government to stay out of their business want the government to intervene in the business of someone that don’t know AT ALL. The very same people who will argue over arcane wording of the 2nd amendment of the US constitution, who pick and chose their way around the 1st, are the ones demanding a state constitutional amendment be altered.This fight was in 1973. It is far past time to move on. Thank you for your thoughtful and well articulated outlook. One last thing, as a daughter myself, I can tell you that one day your own daughters will realize how fortunate they have been to have a father who is compassionate.
It is women to decide. How come men decide for women in this 21st century in so called developed countries. Women act stupid all the time falling pray to mean men,
Thanks for your insights. I would also like to add that not all Americans are Christians, so using religious convictions to formulate laws forces a large portion of the population to adhere to Christian morality when the constitution gives us the religious freedom not to. Pushing laws such as these based on “moral” grounds makes America not unlike the fundamentalist religious groups it wages wars against.
Can I just ask, respectfully, how can it be loving to not be concerned with how your daughter became pregnant, in the scenario posed?
Would it not be more loving to want to provide justice for her, knowing who hurt her? If I were in the girls shoes, I would want some kind of protection. I would want to know that my father- or doctor, etc- cared enough about me to find out whether someone had hurt me, and took steps to keep that from happening again.
A young girl does not usually have the tools to protect herself.
Abortion doesn’t help either… It puts the girl through additional trauma. The child is not only the attackers child, it is her child too, and emotionally and spiritually she will feel that connection and lose a part of herself when she has an abortion.
Also, statistics show that over 60 percent of rape victims very much want their babies… The ones who abort are usually influenced by others (many times, authority figures) who suggest abortion is the best way, telling them how difficult it would be to raise a child, instead of supporting her and telling her she can do it, and they’ll be there to help her through the challenges and struggles. They’re not seeking the best interest of the girl, by forgetting that her child is also a life worth protecting. They’re trying to protect themselves from the inconvenience of helping long term. Give them an abortion, and send them on their merry way… So much easier that way… (At least, for everyone except the girl.)
No… I know far too many scarred and despondent women who would tell you it only furthered their misery, being ignored and left to the consequences of being “raped” a second time through abortion and left to deal with it themselves.
Please don’t write things like “statistics show…” on my blog without actually showing those statistics.
Actually, please don’t do it anywhere else either.
I apologize. Being a mother of 6, it is sometimes difficult to find the time to look up the research. I more than happy to provide statistics for you. Here are plenty of them for you to browse through, showing the negative impact of abortion on women: http://www.theunchoice.com/pdf/FactSheets/ResearchBooklet.pdf
Abortion hurts women, it doesn’t help them.
Thanks for the link, but the “Fact Sheet” you posted has nothing in regards to your claim “that over 60 percent of rape victims very much want their babies” and that they actually get talked into abortions and “raped a second time.” The link you posted had only one reference to rape, and its claim that “In a survey of women who became pregnant through rape or incest, victims say it only intensifies the trauma many only aborted because they felt pressured to do so” was unsurprisingly uncited. It then went on to make a claim that “78% of those who aborted had regrets and said that abortion was the wrong solution” and cited an article from 1989 from the LA Times that made NO SUCH CLAIM, but did do an unscientific phone poll that showed A “sense of guilt about having had an abortion” was felt by 56% of the women. And 26% said they now “mostly regret the abortion.” You can read the 25 year old article here: http://articles.latimes.com/1989-03-19/news/mn-476_1_abortion-cite-guilt-feelings
Proving the well-known fact that 98% of people who post statistics online don’t know what the crap they’re talking about.
When groups with clear agendas post “Fact Sheets” like the one you linked to, they pick and choose the things they quote, and many times they pick them from discredited studies that have no control groups and no scientific backing. Here is a link directly responding to some of the claims that are cited in the “fact sheet:” http://www.plannedparenthood.org/files/8413/9611/5708/Abortion_Emotional_Effects.pdf
You say that “Abortion hurts women, it doesn’t help them,” but there could very well be many, many women and girls who look at their decision to end a pregnancy that was the result of rape with nothing even CLOSE to regret (or feeling “raped again” by people trying to talk them into it). Indeed, there are many women who look at their decision to end a pregnancy that was forced on her as a decision that saved her life. Not to mention the abortions that actually HAVE literally saved the mother’s life….
It is telling that you sidestepped my actual points in my original comment, in order to find something that you could argue with (the statistics, which really had little to do with my overall point).
I also find it interesting that you claim you’re not “for” abortion, yet you fight for it so strongly. Why not just admit you are an abortion proponent?
Thank you Bethany for your thoughtful and wise response to this liberal bs. I’m afraid “Christians” like Chris are quite deceived and are in for a real awakening. God made it clear where we should stand with abortion when he gave his commandment not to kill. You can’t walk closely with the Father and not be heartbroken over abortion- both for the mother and precious child.
For the author to say that a girl would have to prove that she wasn’t “asking for it” in order to obtain an abortion is a complete lie. Abortion mills don’t care about young women who are victimized by their rapist. They are operating for profit and rape = more abortions to be paid for. Amendment one will hopefully put some common sense measures in place to help protect these victims.
I can really feel the love behind your words, Ruth. I’m sure you’ve had many conversations with the people who work for all of these “for-profit abortion mills.” And I’m sure you found them all to be diabolically pro-rape in order to make even more money off of their abortion Mills.
Or, maybe you’ve never actually talked to a person who works for Planned Parenthood in an attempt to try to find out why they chose to do what they do. Maybe you’re just very happy chalking it all up to pure evil, and putting quotation marks around the word Christian when you encounter someone who doesn’t live in your starkly black and white world.
Either way, thank you for providing a perfect example of how NOT to engage another human being about an issue with whom you vehemently disagree.
Thank you for this thoughtful post! I hope that everyone will be as reasoned as you when making this important voting decision. I’d just like to point out that there is no evidence to support that existence of a “throwaway culture that frivolously uses abortion as birth control.” Most women who have abortions are in fact from low-income families that already have at least one child: http://www.guttmacher.org/in-the-know/characteristics.html. No contraceptive method is 100% effective, and having an abortion does not equate attempting to use it as birth control. I’m pointing this out because, while an abortion is a private decision, I believe that it’s unfair to characterize what a difficult and well-reasoned decision as an impulsive or carefree choice. You probably already know that, but I wanted to provide the statistics as well.
One horrible crime against a woman is not justification for another crime to be commited, plain and simple. And this is coming from me, a woman. There are other options besides abortion. I have to agree with the above poster “Bethany.” Abortions hurt women. I have not and would NEVER have one, though I know of women who have had a one, and they are deeply hurting and regretful. Abortion should not be an option ESPECIALLY for women who have just been through the hell of rape. As politically incorrect as it is to say, women need to be protected.
I think women, and men, need to be protected from being treated like they aren’t capable of making their own choices about what will hurt them. If people were less hysterical on both sides of the abortion argument, it would a lot easier for people to make decisions about their own lives without feeling like they’re becoming part of a moral war by doing so.
Why not leave that decision up to the woman who is faced with that dilemma instead of dictating our will on her?
Because (as I explained in my comment) commiting murder should not be an option for anyone, let alone a woman who has just been severly traumatized.I know a woman who was raped at 16 yrs old (the man is in prison) this woman did not murder her child. When I knew her the boy (conceived in rape) was 3 yrs old and beautiful, she loved him dearly. She worked at Kmart and had her own little apartment. Since then she has met her Husband, and they are happily married, and having more children. My point is, she did the right thing, when faced with adversity she was a woman of noble character and selflessness. She is now rewarded with a good life, being loved and treasured by her Husband, and she does not have to live with the knowledge that she killed her baby.
You said, “Abortion should not be an option ESPECIALLY for women who have just been through the hell of rape.”
So, essentially, what you are saying is that rape victims should be forced to carry the child of their attacker. You want to force them to remember their violation EVERY SINGLE DAY FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES!
It’s beyond cruel.
I have a friend who was raped when she was 15 years old. The boy was never charged because he was “only 16” and a high school football star. (It was 1988)
Isn’t it odd that we all know someone who was raped? What that tells me is that we need to stop the culture of rape and start teaching boys that it’s NOT okay to have sex with anyone unless they consent.
We need to stop punishing women who have been raped!
The only right decision is the one made by the person who is most affected. In your case, the woman that was raped chose to have the child. I will never challenge that decision. As long as it was HER CHOICE.
That’s what being Pro-Choice is all about. In your example, she chose to keep the reminder of her rape. In my example, the child was so traumatized be the rape that she was allowed to make her own decision to terminate her pregnancy which, by the way, was not murder.
I’ve had conversations with my pal about her abortion. She says that beyond the periodical wondering about a child that might have been she does not regret it. She was able to begin the healing process from the rape much sooner. She’s since married. She’s got two grown children and a couple of adorable grand children who keep her fairly busy. I’m very happy for her.
Until we deal with rape culture, we should probably leave women’s reproductive choices alone.
BTW – It’s very odd to me that conservatives, who routinely espouse the benefits of limited government and personal liberty, are so anti choice.
Wow, as soon as you wrote “culture of rape” I knew you had NO IDEA what you were are talking about. Actually rape doesn’t happen anywhere near as much as the feminists would have us believe. Not in this country anyhow. If I were to believe feminists, then I’d be afraid of every white male I encounter because apparently they are just longing to rape any and all women (especially feminist women it seems) maybe because they make themselves so attractive? Anyhow, my point still stands regardless of your insulting me by calling me cruel. Listen, cruel is to dissolve an INNOCENT babies flesh with chemicals, or stab scissors into its head and pull it out still alive bit by bit. Don’t you dare give me your stupid, regurgitated feminist crap on how victimized American women are, and therefore they deserve the right to murder at will. It is NOT their flesh they are dissolving, or their skull that is being spliced open, it is that of a truly and completely innocent babies, who does feel the pain! Should an unborn baby be forced to pay for the crimes of its father?? NO. A woman can give the baby up for adoption if she’d like, and you know what, having to carry the baby for nine months is going to be a lot less “cruel” to a woman then letting her murder her child. Now, please go back to kissing the feminists bottoms and don’t try your bologna on me.
Lady, I don’t need to insult you. You’re doing a pretty good job of it yourself regurgitating the antichoice playbook.
A zygote isn’t a baby. A zygote is not viable outside a woman’s body. If it was, abortion would not be legal.
So, you you think reports of sexual assault in the military and on university campuses are all lies? You think date rape is a myth?
You think there’s no such thing as rape culture?
Rape culture is blaming women for rape.
Rape culture is censoring a girl’s clothing because boys can’t control their sexual desire.
Rape culture is putting all the responsibility on a woman’s shoulders instead of teaching men not to rape.
If your partner doesn’t give consent, it’s rape. It’s that simple.
Wow you are a piece of work and why many rapes go unreported. I am pro-life myself, but in case of rape, the choice is out of our hands. Did you know in some states the rapist can sue of visitation rights? While things worked out for your friend, it doesnt mean they work that way for everyone. And feminism is what gives you the right to have 6 kids and homeschool them. You got to make this choice so you are a feminist of sorts.
First of all, I don’t have “6 kids” so stop assuming because you stink at it. Feminism did NOT give me the right to have children and homeschool. Actually having a Husband to impregnate me and provide for me financally while I stay home is what has enabled me the life I have. But he is just as lucky to have me as I am to have him (and he knows it), make no mistake. Not every woman could be a superior Homemaker, Teacher and Mother. It actually calls for a certain calibur of woman. I love my fellow women, and would personally like to see men SEVERELY punished for ever hurting one of us. But my fellow women you have been duped into taking this “feminism” thing to far. It is no longer about ensuring us equal rights, it is now about baby killing, man hating and lesbianism. Nothing I want to be a part of.
Abortion is one of the tricky subjects because we are constantly arguing rights of the fetus and the rights of the woman. I note the male has the littlest right. He is not a major part and yet he is. Prior to the 1900’s women had abortions and no one said anything. In fact there are few records kept but they were numerous endings to pregnancies.
“random guy” please stop commenting on my writings and get a life. I have more than made my point, you have not. A baby is no less a baby because a moron like you decides to “drink the koolaide” and label it a “zygote”. Yes, burning off a babies skin and dissolving its flesh is CRUEL. You and all the other cowards who claim it is not, will have to answer to God one day. I wouldn’t want to be you. And I have to say, a feminist who goes on and on and on about how she can’t dress like a stipper, get drunk, then meet a random guy she has never met before except online, and not have to even give a thought about possibly being raped or murdered, is an IDIOT. It has nothing to do with your imaginary “rape culture” it has to do with entitled, narcassistic, promiscous women who can’t seem to understand a little something called “common sense.” Now like I said, go back to your butt kissing, this conversation with me is over, by by Simpson Character, run along now.
Somehow you got me and I am not this person;.
I’m sorry, it is meant for the guy who doesn’t even dare show his face above you. The Simpson Character guy. Sorry about that.
I appreciate the apology. I am sorry for his crudeness. Everyone has the right to believe.
Wow. Blame the victim. A woman can walk down the street NAKED and she’s still NOT asking for it!
Two years late but I just had to comment on your great post. The PC nonsense and culture of death has had serious consequences for society. These are not acknowledged or even recognized as coming from a natural order that will not disappear just because people can’t make the connection.
It’s kind of like having HEP C for twenty years without being aware you’re infected. You’re “certain” you are in good health, but die from liver disease regardless!
Ignoring our nature has built in consequences, most of which are attributed to chance or “bad luck” by people who just want the freedom to do whatever they like.
This is how far we’ve fallen… “Conservatives” deriding the concept of consent. These comments are so gross. So very, very gross. Ugh…
Your article not just well articulated, constructed and executed, it’s not just witty and thoughtful or beautifully written, it’s brave.
This is a wonderful piece! First, I absolutely agree with your rational about privacy – I absolutely agree. And more importantly, as some who never thought I could have an abortion, but found myself in a situation where I had to terminate a pregnancy (i.e. have an abortion) to potentially save my own life, I have a new understanding of the abortion process and those deciding to have one. I now, more then ever, firmly believe that everyone is entitled to make there own decisions.
I couldn’t agree more to each word I just read. I know this is a political and social issue but let me just say your writing is amazing!
Maybe if they don’t want abortion they should guarantee that safety precautions work flawlessly, which don’t , fortunately or unfortunately. Just like there are glitches in manufacturing of condoms where there can never be a 100% guarantee that they will work, there are glitches in life where a woman gets pregnant when she doesn’t want to. I don’t understand who these people think they are to stop a woman from having control over what happens in HER body.
“Why do you think a woman wants an abortion?”
” I don’t know, I’m not a woman. ”
Well then SHUT UP because you don’t know anything other than to be ridiculously irrational.
y do i get the feeling that there’d be a strong correlation b/w ppl who are anti abortion & ppl who support the death penalty? i wonder if there are stats on it? anyone? (excuse lack of grammar; broke a hand.(
Well done. It all comes down to “none of my damn business”, doesn’t it? It’s the woman’s body, so it’s her business. I really believe that if us men got preggers, abortion would not only be legal, it would be paid for, there would be institutions where pregnant men could go to be pampered throughout their whole term, there would be a 2-year mandatory paid maternity leave, etc. It’s the pregnant woman’s business alone.
Suppose she want’s the kid, but the guy doesn’t. How is that sorted out? (In terms of future child support, custody, ect.)
Brilliant post. As a Tennessean and a Christian, I am also voting no. This is one slippery slope I want to stay off of.
Im proud of you for having an abortion, we don’t need any more people from Tennessee.
There shouldn’t be abortion. God forbids it. There are always other solutions like giving it up for adoption. I have been in these women’s shoes so I can understand how they’re feeling, but they’re going to feel a trillion times worse if they kill their unborn child. This is a proven fact. Studies show that women who go through abortions have lasting negative impacts and it affects them immensely. Everybody thinks this is a solution but they don’t think about the negative impact it will have after it’s over. Plus I don’t see how people can think murder is wrong but run out to get an abortion like it’s no big deal. I’m a Christian and I’m going by what God says and how I feel. Abortion is wrong in every way.
First of all, not everyone is Christian. Not everyone believes in God. So who are you to try to force your religious beliefs on others?
Second, you say that “women who go through abortions have lasting negative impacts and it affects them immensely.” Then you say that people “get an abortion like it’s no big deal.” Those statements contradict each other and I can tell you that both those statements are incorrect.
Many years ago when I was too young and too irresponsible to become a parent, and there was no chance of the father being in the picture or helping out in any way, I decided to get an abortion. But it was not an easy decision. I did not take it lightly. I took as much time as I could to really contemplate what I my choices were. I was terrified of being pregnant and even more terrified of giving birth, and even more terrified of how I was going to have to struggle to take care of a child when I had no experience, no education, no job prospects, and no family support. I agonized over my decision, but I know it was the right one. Today I have a beautiful daughter and a loving supportive husband. I am able to provide for my family and I am no longer afraid to be a mother. This would not have been possible if I had been forced into motherhood way too early in my life. I am grateful that I was given the choice to make my life better and to wait to have a family when I can be the responsible loving parent that every child deserves.
I was not pressing my religion on anyone. I was stating how I believe and what God says. If you’re really a Christian you should not be offended by my talking about God. If you’re going to be a writer you’re going to have to get used to people having different opinions and guess what criticism. You take what you want to listen to and leave the rest. I don’t push my religion on anyone and have plenty of friends who are not of my religion. I know women who have had abortions and yes studies do show that it affects women. Everyone is different and not everyone is going to feel the same. If you don’t have an issue with it then that is how you feel. Yes it affects other women differently. I have stated my belief you have stated yours. Please don’t attack me for not believing as you do. Please do not comment back. Thank you and have a good day!
I am not a Christian or a writer. I don’t know why you assumed that.
Also I did not attack you. I questioned what right do you have to say that no one should ever get an abortion based on your beliefs.
And I will comment if I want to.
Studies also show women who place their child for adoption suffer lasting negative impacts and it affects them immensely…life-long grief…
And please, don’t bother with the I’m sure the child is grateful to have been saved and adopted out…
God bless you. Have a nice day!
This comes from the anti-adoption crowd. Just because a few adoptions go bad doesn’t make all of them bad or mean we should just ban it.
With all due respect, this is a terrible argument. Question: do you believe people have a right to live? Do you believe what is growing inside of a woman’s body is a person? If you answered, “yes” (and it is, btw, a scientific fact that what is growing in a woman’s body is human) to both of these questions, then your privacy argument is null and void. It’d be like saying, “I want to kill my husband/16 yr old daughter/3 hour old son and don’t you dare ask me why b/c it is none of your business!”
I, too, hope my daughter never comes to me to tell me that she has been raped and is pregnant. My answer to the first two scenarios would be pretty similar to yours. To the third? Heck no. I would tell her, “honey, I ache for you almost as much as you ache now. I wish I could take your place, take the pain away. That ‘part of that monster’ growing inside of you? He/she has nothing to do with the evil of the act done by that man. I’m afraid that killing this human growing inside of you will not take away any of the pain and torment you are feeling and will feel. It will only make it worse, even if not immediately, but somewhere down the line. Because you know what? That baby has a heartbeat, a soul. That baby deserves your protection. Please, let God make something good come (the birth of this baby) out of something horrendous (rape). I love you with all my heart. Please, let this baby have a chance to feel the same: let him/her live.” I’d also do anything in my power to help her raise/place for adoption, etc.
Thank you so much for this post. I’m a Baptist from South Carolina and this is exactly what I wholeheartedly believe. It’s not easy to have this perspective here and I’m sure it’s just as difficult in Tennessee.
It takes a strong man, a GOOD man, to set aside his upbringing for the sake of his daughters. From the sound of it, you’re him.
I sincerely hope that none of your daughters are faced with such a horrible dilemma. I wish no woman was ever faced with that decision. I’ve seen first hand the emotional torment a woman goes through without all the pushing and pulling from the rest of us.
Wonderful words of truth. Protecting the hearts of women. Protecting the choice of women. Thank you for writing with raw honesty and love.
I’m a Catholic who is morally opposed to abortion, but I don’t think it’s an issue that can be resolved in the courts. The Right wants to ban abortion while eliminating universal healthcare, equal pay for women, and all social safety nets. So the Right tells women not to have abortions, but they’re on their own raising that child after it’s born, making the term “Pro-life” stick in my craw. On the other hand, imagine a society where whatever choice a woman makes, including carrying a child to term and adopting or keeping the child, no matter what her age, socioeconomic status or race. That array of choices doesn’t actually exist for all women, so for me, “Pro-choice” is a misnomer.
So true, these same Christians will damn any woman for having an abortion, while at the same time damning the woman for having yet another child and having to go on welfare. Total hypocrisy. These “Christians” close clinics where free birth control is distributed, and then fight to stop welfare payments to women that haven’t worked in 18 months, etc. Bizarre. Do these far Right Christians have a clue what child care cost? Food? Milk? Formula? I really just don’t get it. I, too am like you, morally opposed to abortion, you said it eloquently – ” ‘Pro Choice’ is a misnomer.”
I consider myself Pro Choice. For me, Pro Choice means the decision, the ‘choice’ if you will, is up to the woman. Pro Choice also means accepting that a woman may choose to raise her child. If so, she should not be demonized.
Please don’t think I’m picking a fight. I wish for, and will fight for, the day when all the options you mention become a reality.
And pro-choice also meaning the right to be child-free. We call ourselves progressive, but the thought of staying child-free and avoid getting pregnant never crosses the mind.. As far as ‘choice’ goes, when two consenting adults choose to have sex, it may make babies. There are dozens of birth control options.
You’re absolutely right. Pro Choice means all of those things.
But I’m not so sure your assertion that “staying child free and avoid getting pregnant never crosses the mind” is accurate. The recent Hobby Lobby fight seems to suggest otherwise.
In the US, we somehow feel it’s not our responsibility to cover birth control as part of health insurance. We have an unrealistic expectation that single people will remain abstinent in a culture saturated in sex.
Women’s birth control isn’t cheap. And men still have an issue with condoms, which are the least expensive option. So occasionally, because we don’t feel birth controll is important, mistakes are going to be made.
In a perfect world, boys would be taught, and encouraged, to wear condoms from an early age. It would help to reduce STIs as well as unwanted pregnancies.
But yes. You are absolutely right. Pro Choice also includes family planning.
Reblogged this on untoldendings and commented:
I feel the need for further investigation.
Great post and great insight.
Great blog too. I just found it and will now be a regular reader.
I don’t see the middle ground on the abortion issue. Either children have a right to life or they don’t. If you’re a product of a rape, does that take away your right to life?
As a Christian who believes in the sovereignty of God I am against abortion – even with rape. I’m also a mom of three girls. If you are a Christian you either believe nothing is too much for God and that He can take what others meant for evil and turn that into good or you don’t. I speak as a rape victim, a mother and as a child of God.
That’s wonderful for you, but what about people who dont share your beliefs, Kris? Should they be forced to live by your belief that rape was part of God’s plan? That seems very Talibanish of you….
Let’s just use common sense for a moment. Voting Yes on 1 will not eliminate abortion. Anyone who says differently is lying. I am personally against abortion, but that battle has already passed. This amendment will simply bring our state of Tennessee back to neutrality on the issue of abortion. It will allow for common sense to hopefully become a part of the abortion process. I work with youth, grades 6th-12th, and if one of the kids needs an ibuprofen or something along those lines, I have to have written and notarized consent from the parent stating that it is ok for me to provide said medicine. Here in TN girls can go into planned parenthood clinics and seek an abortion without any informed consent being presented. Many girls are not made aware of the complications that may arise during the process or down the road after the abortion has taken place. That is a common sense issue that people should be informed of what might happen to their bodies by going through this process. The second thing is that several planned parenthood clinics in the state of TN are not regulated by the health department. If you want to go get a manicure, that location is inspected by state health inspectors to make sure the location is up to code on things that may cause complications for the customers health. It’s a safety thing. These planned parenthood clinics do not have to be regulated by the state. This means that there can be several things that are not up to par with health and safety regulations. Using common sense, you should want a place that is going to perform and procedure or type of surgery to have a system of accountability to make sure they are looking out for the safety of the individual women who come through their doors. These are common sense things. No where in this amendment would it mean if you were raped, you couldn’t get an abortion. Again, that ship has already sailed. Anyone can get an abortion for any reason. To sit here and say that this will keep people from having a say in what happens with their bodies is absurd and false. This amendment ultimately allows for neutrality meaning there can then be another vote to try and bring in informed consent or health code inspections; things like that. Ultimately, use common sense. I think that is something that this country has done without for some time, but I think we still have it in us somewhere.
You are completely wrong, Brandon. It explicitly takes away a woman’s right to an abortion for reasons of rape, incest, and even when the mother’s life is in danger.
Have you read the wording of the amendment?
Man, I usually love the stuff you write here, but this is just completely incorrect. Where are you getting this from? The amendment is only a few sentences long. Show me in the wording of the amendment where it does this?
You are incorrect. If this amendment simply included EXACTLY what the legislature chose to do, vs leaving an open window that they can basically do whatever they want, it wouldn’t be so bad. BUT, what if, in 10 years we have an extremely goofy state legislature that decides they want abortion okay all the way up to the 9th month. They can do that, too. This amendment is worded wrong, period. They can go anyway they want, that is the problem. Whether you are pro life or pro choice – not a good amendment. To me it is not an issue of whether you are for or against abortion – it is simply the wording of the amendment and the control it gives the State. Seriously? They can even take away birth control if they consider it abortion….. BAD wording………Why could they not be specific and say, Clinics must be inspected, etc….. Bizarre…..
I was responding to Brandon …. oops
“The moral question of abortion is not simple…. Not on either side. If you think it is, you’re probably not paying close enough attention.
I beg to differ, the question is very simple for Christians. The Bible is very clear on the value of life in the womb. I rebuke you in the name of Jesus, you claim to be a Christian but are not following Christ. There is no middle ground on the issue of abortion.
Rebuke duly noted.
The Bible is also “very clear” on the value of sperm, as we see God killing Onan for spilling his seed upon the ground. Be careful to never pull out, Nathan.
Reblogged this on boarley.
Hate to say it but I have come to terms with the fact that abortion will NEVER be illegal again. It’s a lost cause. Let’s pick a better cause.
At the precipice of eternity, God has the final say. You speak truth in love and truth with power on a touchy topic. Well done!
100 comments, including a few that must have been dictated over the phone to someone who can’t spell.
You expected that, right?
The Reps love this. People who want the state to ban abortion are a minority, but uh, “passionate”. Politicians love people who care enough to vote, so they pander to them by making silly gestures that they know the courts will knock down.
Good grief…. I am a Christian mother of 5 and I am Pro-choice. Let me make it very simple my body – my choice. For the other Christians out there, who feel this is wrong… I will face my creator when the time comes. Thank you for the post and voting no!
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