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PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:06 pm 
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Dave_LF wrote:
The reason I don't like the terms, established and well-understood or not, is that when one states one's position as "pro-life", he's snidely nudge-nudge-wink-wink implying that people who disagree with him like murder. "Pro-choice" similarly implies that the other side wants to treat women as slaves who have to do what they're told (which is not entirely off the mark in a minority of cases, but still, if you want to have a discussion instead of a fight, it's better to give the other guy the benefit of the doubt until he proves he doesn't deserve it).

It's really, really hard to talk about an issue when you can't even state the name of your position without insulting someone.


Gosh, Dave, I am so glad you said all this. :shock: I believe you are spot on. As is LordM, of course... these terms come from demonizing the other side, and trying to make your side look holy. It's a political ploy, really.

It's like the "Affordable Health Care Act", vs. "Obamacare". Who would possibly be against affordable health care? And jeez, if it's all about one guy and his ego, do we want to go there?

Jewel, I have read your words on this before, and there is something to it. When Mr. Rush Limbaugh commented that the only pill that young college women needed to prevent pregnancy was one she could hold between her knees, the attitude that only "bad" women have sex could NOT have been more wrenchingly obvious. It saddens me that we are still dealing with this sort of attitude. Anyone curtailing the obviously "bad" men having sex out there, btw? Anyone?

Lali, thank you for weighing in on this subject. :hug: I know how hard it is to be such a clearly minority voice. You rock.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:09 pm 
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anthriel wrote:
When Mr. Rush Limbaugh commented that the only pill that young college women needed to prevent pregnancy was one she could hold between her knees...


:puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke:


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:16 pm 
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Lalaith wrote:
I agree. To me, the most logically consistent place to set that line is the point at which two separate sets of DNA recombine to become a totally unique, new set of DNA. New DNA=new being. That, to me, doesn't seem arbitrary at all.


It's not arbitrary, and it follows logically from your axiom, but doesn't that axiom imply a chemical definition of personhood?


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:18 pm 
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yovargas wrote:

I think that's a very fair point.

It occurred to me that while I agreed with LM's statement above, I would like to revise that...almost all of us but the most hardcore pacifist vegans think that it's okay to kill a life under certain specific circumstances. While some of this debate is about that "arbitrary line", I think it is even more fundamentally about one's views on under which circumstances it is and is not okay to take a life. That is really the issue that we each need to examine if we're looking to take a stance on abortion.


Excellent point, yovi, and this is really what has happened to my views as I've gotten older and thought about this issue more. It's broader than just abortion to me. It's about all of life and the points at which it's okay to take a life (if it is).

To be as consistent as possible, I've come around to the belief that taking a life is only justified in cases of self-defense or the defense of another's life. (War is a trickier off-shoot of this.) I can't quite get to the point where I would say it's never okay to take another person's life. (If someone were trying to harm my children, I'd do whatever I had to do to protect them. I don't know if I could "overcome" that instinct with cold logic and theories.)

I say that with difficulty because there's still a part of me that can see how a serial killer or child rapist should be put to death. But it feels inconsistent to me with my views on the sanctity of life in general. As long as we live in a society where those people can truly be locked away for life so as to not be a danger to society at large, then that seems like the more consistent view.


And thanks, anthy. :)

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:38 pm 
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Interestingly the issue being discussed in Ireland at the moment is around abortion where the mother's life is at risk. There's basically some inconsistency because there's no law to support the constitution (I think). Basically, there was a case some years back that went to a referendum and the Irish people voted that although they/we don't believe in abortion on demand, it should be available in exceptional circumstances, i.e. when the mother's life is at risk. Unfortunately this left Doctors in a very difficult position of making a judgement call. The recent case where a young Indian woman died of complications after requesting an abortion brought this all to a head.

Right now, there's a motion before the government to legislate for these cases, however, there's a lot of controversy over the clause related to suicide. Pro-life advocates are claiming that this will be used as a back door or first step to abortion on demand, as young women would merely have to claim to be suicidal to avail of an abortion.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:45 pm 
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anthriel wrote:
When Mr. Rush Limbaugh commented that the only pill that young college women needed to prevent pregnancy was one she could hold between her knees, the attitude that only "bad" women have sex could NOT have been more wrenchingly obvious.


Yes. When people come out with judgmental crap like this, I remember my birth mother, unmarried and pregnant with me at the age of 18 and ostracised because of it. My reaction to such smug platitudes is: "Dude, shut the **** up." :x

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:49 pm 
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anthriel wrote:
Anyone curtailing the obviously "bad" men having sex out there, btw? Anyone?


Sure. If a man complains that women have two legal ways out unwanted pregnancies while he has none, the standard response is something like "should have thought of that before you took it out of your pants".


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 3:20 pm 
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Lali wrote:
I don't think the real change in society will occur without prayer, education, and addressing related issues such as poverty.


Lali, I totally agree with you. Although I am in favor of abortion being legal, I am not a fan of abortion. I would very much like to see the number of abortions reduced. And it seems to me that the way to reduce them would be to address the REASONS women have abortions in the first place. Preventing unwanted/unplanned pregnancies would seem to be a LOGICAL first step.

However, the best we seem to be able to do is to preach "abstinence only" to our young people and give them almost no information about having sex responsibly. We even give them misinformation (ie: lies) about condom use and sex before marriage presumably in order to scare them out of having sex.

I recently read about a high school which held a lecture about sex ed and told the students (among other things) that condoms INCREASED the risk of AIDS and that if you had sex before marriage, you ran the risk of NEVER being able to really bond to anyone.

Again - the countries with the LOWEST incidence of abortion per capita are the countries which have comprehensive sex and health ed programs, starting from kindergarten. Interestingly, young people in these countries also wait longer before having sex. Why can we not learn from this?

I do believe it is due to our woefully Puritanical attitudes about sex and sexual behavior. And the ridiculous notion that if we give kids information about sex, it will make them "want to have sex even more!"

Srsly?

(and Lali, you DO rock.)

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 4:04 pm 
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JewelSong wrote:
I recently read about a high school which held a lecture about sex ed and told the students (among other things) that condoms INCREASED the risk of AIDS and that if you had sex before marriage, you ran the risk of NEVER being able to really bond to anyone.

This reminded me of something.

In my school district, we had a weird mix of both comprehensive and abstinence only sex ed. The teachers gave us the comprehensive version in health classes we took in the seventh, eighth, and ninth grades. The ninth grade version was especially thorough. Not only did we go over every STD, we also watched a video of a birth and discussed every known method of contraception, including the sponge which was not, at the time, legal. We did not cover the female condom or NuvaRing because those, at the time, did not exist. In any event, we were left with a pretty damn good idea of how to have sex without getting sick or pregnant. And while I don't know what the teen pregnancy rate was in our district, I do know I didn't actually see anyone obviously pregnant at the school and the only two pregnancies I heard about ended in abortion and might never have even happened. Slut-shaming is vile. High school rumor mills are toxic. Put them together and all manner of nastiness will be created out of pure vapor.

We also got yearly refreshers from student AIDS educators on what HIV and AIDS are and how not to get the virus. We weren't given any misinformation (I cross-checked, and, anyway, we also talked about AIDS in the microbiology portion of biology class); there's really no need to make the HIV virus into a bigger monster than it already is. These refreshers included the old condom-over-a-banana routine. Someone I know commented once about how everyone my age and younger seems to know how to use "raincoats" and just be more sexually conservative than his generation. I reminded him that, in this day and age, screwing around without a certain degree of caution can quite literally kill you.

But, as I mentioned, we also had some abstinence-only education. There were enough vocally religious fundamentalists in the area that they needed some appeasement and for that, the schools brought in guest speakers. These people either got the floor for a day in health class or we had a mini-assembly in the gym in which we received the lectures in batches of 60 or so. One of them told us to stop at granny-kissing because we might end up too aroused to stop if we went further and then we'd go all the away and that would be bad because only bad people went all the way so young. Another told us that if we had pre-marital sex we'd never bond with anyone. The others I've pretty much forgotten.

The general consensus in my class, BTW, was that these speakers were just silly.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 5:36 pm 
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I think those of us here who support legal abortions are clear that every woman has the right to choose what form of fertility control she is comfortable with, based on her own values. If that means avoiding hormonal pills, that's her choice. If it means no birth control at all, it's her choice, although I would hope that she has the means of raising any resulting children.

Lali, I really hope that you don't feel attacked based on the choices you made for yourself. :hug:

It's people trying to pass legislation based on their religious beliefs that I vehemently oppose.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 7:07 pm 
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Frelga wrote:
It's people trying to pass legislation based on their religious beliefs that I vehemently oppose.


The thing is...often times, the most vocal people do not follow their own stated beliefs or practices.

For instance, GOP Presidential candidate Rick Santorum was a big voice against abortion and even birth control. But his own wife had had a late term abortion - using a procedure that he was actively trying to make illegal.

And there are other examples. The thing is, it's "different" when it's YOUR abortion. It's fine to be against abortion in principle....until you find yourself or someone you love in a circumstance where an abortion is an option. Then, it becomes personal. Many, many people who are vocally against abortion find themselves making an exception for...whatever circumstance. It's different.

I know women who have always been opposed to abortion who ended up getting one. And I know women who swore that if they found themselves pregnant would get themselves to the nearest abortion clinic immediately - who then ended up having the baby.

It's different when it's YOU.

But this is not something ever spoken out loud by any of the more militant anti-abortion groups.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 8:17 pm 
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JewelSong wrote:
It's different when it's YOU.

But this is not something ever spoken out loud by any of the more militant anti-abortion groups.


It is for that reason that politically I am, to use the label, "pro-choice".

My personal beliefs around abortion are mine alone, and I adhere to them for my own personal reasons. Stating them in political debate is actually irrelevant, in my view.

Since exercising my personal beliefs as it pertains to my own body is a right I want to have, and a right I want to grant to everybody else as well, I do not wish this issue to be legislated broadly, and I definitely do not want it legislated along anybody's religious beliefs - regardless of what those beliefs are. There are edge conditions that should be legislated*, but for the broad topic, people should be able to make their own decisions.

The thought of some of the decisions that people will make, or already make daily, fills me with the kind of softish sadness that I feel whenever I think about the ills of the world, but that is my issue to deal with. It is not my place to want to legislate away the decisions of others just because it makes me feel painful emotions when they exercise those decisions. I respect the sovereignty of others and their right to make personal decisions for themselves as it pertains to their own bodies. I am not a parent, guardian, or moral guide to the citizens of this country. Their personal, moral decisions as it pertains to their own bodies is simply not my business.

It is different when it is YOU, and that is a fact that should be respected.

* I'd Google some, for instance in reference to that doctor that was in the news recently-ish because of his abhorrent practice, but I am at work and my Google search strings are recorded.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:01 am 
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Nothing to add here, except that I agree with everybody.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 4:33 pm 
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Dave_LF wrote:
anthriel wrote:
Anyone curtailing the obviously "bad" men having sex out there, btw? Anyone?


Sure. If a man complains that women have two legal ways out unwanted pregnancies while he has none, the standard response is something like "should have thought of that before you took it out of your pants".



I took a couple of days to think about this, Dave. I know I have something I want to say, but I can't quite say it correctly.

Firstly, I have a LOT of sympathy for men who find that they are unexpectedly embroiled in these situations. You say "unwanted" pregnancies here, and that really is a bit of a pickle, isn't it? A woman would not be forced to pay for a child's maintenance based on the choice of a man to complete an unwanted pregnancy, while a man certainly can. A man has no real choice in whether that baby is born or not.

And, of course, it really does have to be the woman's choice; nature being what it is, the burden of such a thing will fall mainly on her, even if her partner helps to financially support the baby. Pregnancy itself is no picnic, and those who have to deal with the physical repercussions of that should have more say in the matter.

And for those men who WANT that baby, their baby, and have no choice over its life or death (if you believe it's life, and a baby, which I accept some people don't, but many people do)... that is just tragic, really. I can't imagine feeling the way some of those men feel.

I can see where monitoring random zippage may not be a bad idea, overall.

HOWEVER... that is not what I was talking about, in the post you quoted. :)




I'm just talking about SEX, here. Just the act thereof. Just doin' it. Women can be seen/judged/ostracized/ridiculed/demeaned for just doin' the deed, if not married, specifically. Mr. Limbaugh is not speaking into a void with such shockingly Puritanical drivel; there were many heads nodding when he said it. Women should keep their knees together, or be seen as slutty. Period.

Men? Do men get such feedback? Nah. Dudes are cool. Can a dude be slutty? Wink, wink, nudge nudge, maybe. But no. It takes two to tango, but only one will be made to feel bad for the dance.

And that just burns me, really.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 4:47 pm 
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Really well-said, Anthy.

Women should stay virgins until they are married. But men should be experienced. Which leaves the question about where the men are supposed to GET this experience.

From the slutty, bad girls, of course. Then they leave them to go marry a good, prim and proper girl.

This has been the mind-set in the US, although I thought it was changing.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 6:58 pm 
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It is changing. That's why those who keep those old attitudes are so vocal.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 9:53 pm 
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And why those with new attitudes are so vocal. Because they can now be heard.

<this is hopping down the bunny trail, off of the abortion thing. Thread split?>


Look, I'm not sure the "old" attitudes were all about Keeping Down teh Woman back in the day. I think it may have been more about logistics, really.

Women really needed to be the gatekeepers (she says, euphemistically. :)) Birth control was spotty at best, and abortions certainly occurred, but they were hardly safe. So having sex without marriage meant risking everything; if a single woman had a baby back in the day there wasn't nearly as much social support as there is now. Welfare? Technically it started in 1939, but its usage really started to peak in the mid- 1960's. Medicaid? July 30, 1965. That was just a heartbeat ago.

So did a mother with a "bastard" child starve, back in the day? Some did, yes. Some had families with enough resources to support them. Not everyone had someone to fall back on, though.

Could mom work, to support her child? Yes, but it was terribly difficult. Not only did women typically end up in jobs with very low pay, but the negative societal attitude towards mothers who worked was worse than it is today.



Oh, so there is a negative social attitude toward mothers who work today, you say? Yes, definitely. I was shocked.. still am, really... about the negative pushback Sarah Palin got when she decided to run for vice president of the USA while she... gasp! had a young child at home.

Many people, including many liberals who would normally champion a woman's right to choose on many levels, criticized this well-organized woman with every kind of good support system on board because she was choosing to be ambitious when she should have been strictly maternal. As if the two can't coexist. As if that baby, who went with her wherever she was, didn't have far more care and resources than are available to many babies in this country.

People were writing things like "all that travel will interfere with the baby's nap schedule." Really? She shouldn't reach for an important and responsible office, because a child's naps "schedule" (in fact a fairly tenuous thing) might be compromised? Really.

JFK started his run for the oval office in January, 1960. His son John Jr. was born in November, 1960. I wasn't around then, but does anyone here remember him being chastised for running for such an ambitious office while his wife was pregnant with their second child, or while his son was a newborn? Anyone?

Palin's sin, other than just being disliked in general by so many? Not that she wanted to work while she had a young child, but that she was ambitious. She wasn't compromising her 100% time with baby for just a job... surely there are many, many women in this country who are working rather than staying home with their children 24/7... but that her job wasn't subsistence level. She wasn't barely making it, grinding it out in a sweatshop to feed her kids. That would be okay.

If she were working at McDonald's, nights and weekends, to support her family, she would be looked at with pity and understanding. But to leave that child (with his father, who traveled with them, or with competent caregivers, for part of the day) so that she could reach for the stars herself? Unforgivable.

A woman can work only if she has to, while a mother to young children. A woman who wants to work because she wants to continue a personal journey of excellence and achievement (okay, I'm sort of not really talking about Sarah Palin specifically, anymore ;)) is ostracized and maligned.

It's kind of like the old saw that a woman CAN have sex (well, where are our sons to come from, if she doesn't?) but she can't ENJOY it. If it's just a duty, then society's okay with it. Sorta.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 12:21 pm 
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anthriel wrote:
I'm just talking about SEX, here. Just the act thereof. Just doin' it. Women can be seen/judged/ostracized/ridiculed/demeaned for just doin' the deed, if not married, specifically. Mr. Limbaugh is not speaking into a void with such shockingly Puritanical drivel; there were many heads nodding when he said it. Women should keep their knees together, or be seen as slutty. Period.


Well; in the Limbaugh quote he was talking specifically about women keeping their knees together in order to avoid pregnancy, which isn't much different from telling men to keep it zipped for the same reason. But sure, there is an attitude in certain quarters that illicit sex shames a woman more than a man, and I would be less than shocked to find that those quarters include Limbaugh's and the nodders' and clappers'.

For what it's worth, when I was growing up in an Evangelical enclave, I did not encounter this. The adults there were pretty equal opportunity when it came to the horrors of sex--it was made very clear that premartial activity dirtied you for life, and that went for both genders*. Of course, it may have been that they'd have treated men who got caught differently than women whatever they had to say on paper, but I never had the opportunity to find out.

*Personal anecdote! When I started high school, my parents told me they'd give me a cash reward if I made it though all four years without smoking, drinking, or having sex. They also made it very clear that if I was going to do all the things on that list except one, sex was the one to skip. You can get over the others, but sex sullies you forever. And since you're dying to know, I did "earn" that money, but it didn't require much effort. I was a shy, nerdy teenager in a conservative Baptist high school. Their money would have been safer taking the opposite bet! :blackeye:


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 2:02 pm 
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I don't think we should split the thread. I believe that our attitudes towards sex in the S are directly related to the ongoing abortion debate and the recent bro-ha-ha about birth control.

I think that inch of the political talk about sanctity of life, life beginning at conception and women's health has little or nothing to do with any of that. I sincerely believe that it is related to the idea that women (in particular) should not have casual sex for pure enjoyment. Sex before marriage is BAD and pregnancy or disease is the punishment.

The fact that this is NOT true does not seem to stop any of the pundits. There is now some GOP idiot who wants to reintroduce sodomy laws, which would (among other things) make oral sex between married people illegal.

Lots of us in trouble, there, I think....

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 2:15 pm 
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JewelSong wrote:
I think that inch of the political talk about sanctity of life, life beginning at conception and women's health has little or nothing to do with any of that. I sincerely believe that it is related to the idea that women (in particular) should not have casual sex for pure enjoyment. Sex before marriage is BAD and pregnancy or disease is the punishment.


You do seem a little focused on that concept. :) I submit that life beginning at conception has EVERYTHING to do with abortion concerns, for many people.

Not politicians, perhaps, although I do wonder why a politician would waste his/her time trying to legislate (covertly) against women having casual sex for pure enjoyment. Most politicians just want your vote, and could hardly care less what you do with all your hours spent NOT voting, as long as those hours somehow lead you to vote for them.




Dave, I was not raised in an Evangelical enclave, although we attend an Evangelical church now. As a budding Espicopalian, we were not spoken to about sex at all, good or bad. Song of Songs was forbidden reading, for us young'uns. :)


I coulda gotten a check too, methinks, if I'd had your parents... :P

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