Abortion clinic escort's blog

Darren sez, "Often the best blogs give you access into a world you otherwise would never see, or even think about. This blog is written by somebody who escorts women into an abortion clinic, through a gauntlet of tens or hundreds of protesters. This photo shows how they surround the women to protect them."

I used to do this at the Morgentaler Clinic in Toronto some weekends -- my mother Roz was an early and prominent pro-Choice activist, and we were involved in the movement as a family from my early childhood. The hateful, violent protests at the clinic (which culminated with its bombing in 1992) were some of the most intimidating scenes I've ever been in.

We do this because clients of the clinic are often met at their cars by protesters. Between 2 and 5 protesters will follow/chase a client from their car parked in the public lot across the street to the private property line; talking at them, handing out literature, attempting to steer clients into the fake clinic down the block, shouting misinformation, slowing their pace, blocking the door and impeding clients any way they can.
Everysaturdaymorning's Blog (Thanks, Darren!)


  1. I remember doing escorts as well. What people would say to these women, and what they would tell their little kids (As young as 4 or 5) to say would shame most parents.

    The stupidest thing is that our escorts were women getting birth control or annual check ups. The morons would harass these women, throw things and physically abuse them and us. Actual legal abortions were picked up at a randomly picked location and driven in non-descript vehicles to alternate sites to preserve the women’s safety. They never believe us when we present them with this fact, and they never believe that any health conscious woman would choose the women friendly environment. No one could possibly be there for any other reason than to have an abortion. They think the fact that they have an escort is proof of their guilt, but if they tried to enter on their own they would just tackle the poor girl and hurt her. I am a fairly moderate voice when it comes to choices people make, but in this case people who attack these girls, and use their children as human psycho shields are sick, and need help.


  2. IF you truly believe abortion is murder, then you must also believe abortion clinics are like Auschwitz.

    If you believe a fetus is not a living human with the ability to be murdered, then this looks like rabid violent extremism.

    Abortion protesters are pretty extreme, but they aren’t exactly Westboro Baptist, and they aren’t all crazy mouth-foaming monsters. They truly believe they’re trying to save an innocent, helpless human life here, and in service of that, they’re being remarkable mild.

    I apologize for godwining this so quickly, but it’s very closeminded to call these people psycho sickos, when any of us would agree that any tactic used to discourage murder, short of murder itself, is not only ethical but obligatory.

    I’m just sayin’, look at it from the other side’s point of view.

  3. They truly believe they’re trying to save an innocent, helpless human life here

    Then they should head over to Iraq, where there’s a lot more violence than at a family planning clinic.

  4. “IF you truly believe abortion is murder, then you must also believe abortion clinics are like Auschwitz.”

    I don’t know that you “must” believe this, since parents didn’t take children willingly to Auschwitz. Auschwitz was the naked power of the State over the individual. The fact that patients come of their own volition (often having to deal with harassment documented in the blog mentioned here) suggests that: a) THEY don’t believe abortion is murder, and b) their choice is already tested by not only the normal standards of informed consent for medical procedures, but also a cruel gaunlet to gain access to a safe, legal medical procedure.

    If you believe abortion is murder, don’t get one yourself and support things which will prevent the need for abortion: medically accurate sexuality education, access to contraception, and support for babies AFTER they’re born.

  5. Xenu, by sheer numbers, abortions in the US are over a million a year, while estimates of civilian deaths in Iraq range from under 100,000 to around one million over the past six and a half years. Provided one views fetuses as people (and Iraqis too, I suppose), family planning clinics are approximately between six and sixty times more violent than the Iraq war up to this point. The situations are obviously massively more complex than that, but even on its most basic level your statement is silly.

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  7. ROACH then why don’t they teach about contreception to reduce the rate of abortions it would surely be more effective than Intimidation insults and threats.

    also you are around 200k over the number of abortions in 2005 the last year with details.

  8. Question: why do you need specific ‘abortion clinics’ ? Why can’t it be done in any hospital like in other parts of the world ? Technically it’s just another medical procedure. And in a big hospital you wouldn’t have those freaks harassing staff and patients without ending in jail pronto.

  9. There is really very little I can say to adequately express my disgust at the protesters. Regardless of their position on the matter, their actions are totally reprehensible – I certainly wouldn’t want to live in a country where this kind of behaviour was considered acceptable.

  10. They truly believe they’re trying to save an innocent, helpless human life here

    I get this, but how can I help it if people are so misguided, gullible and naive? If the side of the protesters don’t want to see the side of the person getting the abortion? They don’t know why she’s getting one. Was it rape? Is the child better off aborted than living with this parent? These are tough choices, very tough. I don’t imagine that these women are very happy about the situation either. I would even imagine that they don’t like getting an abortion at all, but see no other way out.

    Also, do these people not have a job? No wonder the economy is in the state it’s in.

  11. @2: Funny you should mention Auschwitz. Dr Henry Morgentaler, the ground-breaking Canadian abortion doctor, is an Auschwitz survivor. He sought and obtained an injunction against an anti-abortion group called Campaign Life, who had been blockading his clinics.

    Campaign Life appealed the injunction and put Morgentaler on the stand during the appeal, and their lawyer asked Morgentaler what the ratio of Jewish to gentile foetuses were aborted in his clinics.

    When he said that they didn’t keep those statistics, the lawyer acted surprised, and then accused Morgentaler of aborting Christian babies to get revenge for Auschwitz.

  12. Darguard @ #7 – I’m Australian, and abortions here are mostly done in hospitals. I asked an American health care professional the same question, and she told me that hospitals are too vulnerable to lawsuits and violence and thus almost never provide abortions in order to protect their assets and their staff. Personally, I think it should be a requirement for any hospital providing gynaecological care, as abortion is part of appropriate care, but “sense” is hardly part of the US healthcare system.

  13. Aaah … I hate abortion. I really do. But prior to 10 weeks, I can’t really say the foetus is a living creature. After that, numerous studies present sufficient evidence for response to stimuli that I’m willing to consider it a living being, and its death rends my heart. The methods used are also abominable.

    By 24 weeks, the foetus is capable of survival with assistance, external to the womb. I have a friend who gave birth at 24 weeks + 1 day, and her daughter is thriving.

    What I don’t get is how some people consider the foetus a living baby only once it exits the womb. Duh.

    But we’ve decided as a society that this is legal. I press my case variously for the reduction in the abortion age to 10 weeks. But I also know most women seeking abortions are only too traumatically aware of what they’re doing.

    We live in an age of easy solutions (abortion, the pill, etc), and that’s not going to leave us. So I go with education.

    But these awful people harassing women – and children! – they’re disgusting. If they really want to change things, they should work together through proper mechanisms. Their unco-ordinated, annoying tactics evidence only that they’re reactionary and limited in scope and sight.

    A world where everyone didn’t shag everyone else all the time would likely be lovely and utopian. But we all contributed to this society by buying tickets to movies with naughty scenes, so we’re jointly responsible.

    To round off, let me tell you that whenever I see a condom packet, and that magic ingredient “nonoxynol-9”, I can’t help but recall Monty Python. And feel guilt. I feel guilt about every sperm. Imagine how I feel about babies!

  14. @#2 I was very happy to sit and listen to them talk to me for several hours. I recited back to them everything they said, just so they understood I was listening. I always support the right of other people to have their opinions, and their right to voice them. I do NOT support their “right” to hit me and throw things at me or someone next to me. These particular “people” are misguided morons who don’t understand that they are protesting a women’s health clinic that doesn’t provide abortions! They HARASS women by physically, emotionally abusing them. Their crime? Getting HEALTHCARE! Providing support so their children will have mothers alive, healthy and well, so their husbands and significant others will not lose them to PREVENTABLE health problems. Their unwillingness to understand this reasonable and verifiable truth directly correlates to their instability and wavering mental health.

    This was easily verified by anyone of the women throwing blood and beating defenseless women could and have made their own appointments. I know they have done this, and they were sure that somehow the Doctors knew their agenda and saw right through them. (This was their own tin foil hat hypothesis, not my opinion.) It quickly becomes obvious that it is pointless to try to reason with people who physically harm others who only seek health care that most developed countries also provide. What they do to their own children is exploitation, obscene and in my opinion should be criminal. These same people do a lot for the unborn and then never raise their fingers to help those already here.

    This is my opinion from the front lines of these morally bankrupted and ideologically confused misbegotten toadstools. I have run into many people with strong opinion on both sides, but unless you have been at the scene of this insanity then it is an uncomprehending opinion. Even the pictures do not convey the terror and enmity that these people project to innocent women seeking a high level of competent care by seeking someone who specializes in their needs.

    4 Cory @ #2 (snicker)


  15. Everyone is entitled to their views even if you don’t like them.

    These people are free to demonstrate their views which is a good thing.

    Unfortunately they seem to have mistaken their right to demontrate with the right to prohibit others from their free choice.

  16. @1

    I assume it’s pretty intense training you have to go through for this, because while I would happily do something like this (though I live in the UK so it’s thankfully not necessary) I really doubt I could prevent myself lashing out judging at the kind of venom and aggression these people spew at what are quite often young women / girls.

    Kudos sir/madam. Kudos.

  17. Klink, they are just waiting for roe vs. wade to be overturned and they think by protesting and annoying everyone and oops occasionally killing a doctor – it will happen sooner…kind of like the apocalypse.

  18. I have also helped/escorted out at the Morgentaler Clinic in Fredericton NB. I think #15 nails it, with Takuan in a close second.

    What some of these people say, can hardly be callded moral(let alone human), yet they are present to argue for what they consider to be morally right.

    I suggest everyone volunteers at clinics like these at some time in their lives. Just for a couple of days. You wont soon forget it.

  19. You know what? Unless you’ve adopted children, financed pregnancies that are not your own to term and are currently helping to support adopted children, please STFU and give me a break. I remember quite clearly confronting some abortion protesters in my town with these questions and you would be amazed at the dumbass deer in the headlights looks I received in reponse to these questions. If you don’t want an abortion.. don’t have one. What could be simpler?

  20. IMHO, the “right to life” is besides the point. The struggle here is about culture. That is why many pro-life proponents are anti-contraception and are so big about purity and chastity until marriage. They want to drag our society back into the pre-60s past and keep it there.

    If advocating abortion would help this cause they would be the first at the clinic door.

  21. @12 “A world where everyone didn’t shag everyone else all the time would likely be lovely and utopian.”

    No it would be horrible and repressive. A world where everyone could shag everyone without consequence would be utopian.

  22. Phelion, that is a completely unqualified claim. There are plenty of anti-abortion activists who are not racists. Most who oppose abortion do so because of moral reasons, not racial ones.

  23. I see an opportunity for tourism here – like a theme park. I could fly to a clinic, with demonstrators, then engage with them. Ask questions about their history, their reasons for being there, how valid that is and so on.

    I think I shall. I’ll take Louis Theroux.

    Do lots of them wear purple? I bet they do.

  24. @ phelion

    I was about to say something similar, but then saw yours.

    I personally abhor abortion and not going to help anyone get one, but I’m also not going to judge the person doing it. I don’t know their personal background, their reason, or the viability of the child. I find the procedure abhorrent in almost all regards, but I cannot make statements about someone elses body nor condone unilateral laws that don’t take everything into account.

    Back to your point, I have a feeling that that if this were a white problem in the anti-abortion extremists minds, I think they’d be barking up a different tree. It is almost always a white group that is protesting and they seem to think it is only minorities that have this procedure. I believe statistically, minorities are FAR overrepresented in this, but whites are still the majority of those that get this. Its funny how racist these groups are (I belonged to a church that was against this for this while dating a girl I cared a lot about…unfortunately, the more I got to know her, her family and her church’s beliefs…I had to go back to my peacenik church).

    I think you are right, make these people adopt a crack baby (or any baby that would have been aborted)…lets loosen up the adoption laws in this country and stop making them so hard for normal people to adopt (things aren’t going to be perfect, but they will be better than what it is now). Personally, I believe abortion should only be there for the protection of the physical health of the mother…these clinics should have the protesters go in there and adopt a mother. Give her food, shelter and a good life for the next several months and take the baby when she has it and go their separate ways. Heck, I put out money to take care of a family a few years ago whose mother was a welfare crack addict with the ultimate goal of adopting the preteens (she had an abortion a decade late and removed herself and the kids from the equation before my attorney could finalize this…I got to see them pulling the bodies from the home and the remaining child ended up running off…last I heard, he is still in a gang but I get the occasional message).

    Honest to gawrd, if every motherfucking anti-abortion extremist offered to stop judging (yeah, I know…I’m doing it now) and started loving we would need far less abortions in this country. Pity the idiots…they don’t realize they are more of the problem as they offer no solution.

  25. All I can say is Thank God I am not in the middle of this war. Honestly this debate has been going on for as long as I can remember and there is still no waning on either side. I take no sides and make no judgments since I was raised to believe that only God can make those. I leave it in his hands since he is much wiser than all people on this earth.

  26. I am no longer surprised by the ignorance and absolute backwardness religious people can show.
    Seriously, women need an escort into what is essentially a well woman clinic?

    What makes me laugh is the stupidity and ignorance these people are so happy to display. If it isn’t enough that they believe the world was created 6,000 years ago, and that dinosaurs are ‘gods little joke’, and that despite the fact that it was written 400 years after the supposed events, the bible is a true record of the life of Jesus. They also believe that *their* kids aren’t out having unprotected sex! You bring your kids up to view contraception as evil, you’re gonna end up with a teen-mum on your hands. Yay! A new generation of uneducated religious morons teaching their kids that the way to be a good christian is to crap over everyone else!

    And please religious people (I’m guessing there are some, even here) don’t flame me with the whole “I’m religious, but I don’t agree with this crap” thing. The moderate majority are the ones who give the fanatic morons their crediblity.

  27. One of the best things about this community is the consistent ethics of the posters. Though I am very pro-choice (I have the Morgentaler TV movie on DVD!) I can understand a moral argument against abortion-on-demand, but only from someone who doesn’t turn around to advocate murder.

    I have a much easier time understanding the argument that life begins at birth (which avoids the difficult who do you save? question) than life ceases needing my protection at birth.

    Now if only someone would let me adopt or help me get pregnant, since I’m sterile.

  28. @25: Your prejudice is seething. Yes I’ll bite.

    Not all ‘religious people’ believe that the earth was created 6k years ago, nor do they believe that causing violence on people with different views is a good thing. Nor do all religions prohibit the use of condoms. So do some research on this topic, before spreading more misinformation.

    In addition, have you considered that some atheists also may be against abortion? Nope? Well yea, there are some of those people too. So really I don’t think this is just about religion.

    This is about having respect for people with both viewpoints, and allowing people to make the best choices for themselves.

    I think the Simpson’s said it best, “Abortions for some, miniature American flags for others!”

  29. Chris, you can’t deny that the position of religious movements on the matter is the major engine for these protests. If all Christian/Muslim denominations stopped aiding and abetting the protesters, or actively condemned them or fought them, they would disappear in a heartbeat.

    What happens instead is that they are (mostly unofficially) used as “muscle” by some religious organizations. That’s just shameful.

  30. Sorry, but this isn’t a debate for men to fully participate in. Yep, it might be you who contributed to that pregnancy, but in the end, you aren’t the one carrying it, delivering it, and being relied on for primary care.

    Ugh. Nothing worse than a bunch of middle- and upper-class white dudes arguing about what women should and shouldn’t do with their bodies.

    If you really want to contribute, don’t speculate on BB– sit down, read some books and learn about the history of abortion practices. (For instance, black women in America DO have a different relationship to abortion than white women since abortion and forced sterilization of black women was seen as a “good idea” to manage racial disparities just 40 years ago.)

  31. I just don’t understand abortion. Aborting a pregnancy that is killing the mother is one thing, and that’s a circumstance beyond anyone’s control, and a decision that no one wants to make. But lets be serious here, no one is forcing anyone to have sex, and contraceptives are a billion dollar industry, are highly effective, and can be used by two responsible parties (ie, on the pill and wearing meat poncho).

    And even if someone was forced to have sex, or they were responsible but the condom broke, there’s still a perfectly acceptable plan B called, well, Plan B.

    I just see abortion as entirely irresponsible given 99% of circumstances. Have the kid and give it up for adoption if you don’t want it, just don’t kill it because you’re bad at life.

  32. @18

    Simpler is making use of the free condoms they hand out at clinics. Simpler is taking a $40 pill the morning after if you’ve made a mistake. Making an appointment for something that needs to be performed by a doctor is not simple.

  33. There are more than twice as many animal shelters in the US than there are women’s shelters. Kind of gives an idea of where our priorities are.

  34. cognitive dissonance:

    You have NO UNDERSTANDING of why women seek abortions. You also sound like you have no life experience yourself. What a pity. I hope that you never find yourself in a situation where others need to rely on you, because you might consider them “bad at life” (and I assume that you figure you are good at it?).

    Married couples get abortions. Women with health concerns get abortions. Women who just don’t want and are not ready for kids get abortions. Women who are abused get abortions. Women who have children they love get abortions. Women who are poor get abortions. Women who are rich get abortions. Women of every single race, creed, age, size, income get abortions.

    The point is this: women have always gotten abortions. ALWAYS. The clinics are there to ensure that the women are able to get a safely performed procedure, instead of undergoing the horrors of the “back alley with a coat hanger” route.

    If it’s not YOUR body, then STFU!


    Apples and oranges. One type of shelter that caters to the entire animal kingdom, versus a shelter that caters to a small percent of a single sex.

    What makes you say we’re putting twice the priority on animals when it could very well be they exist to cope with the demand, and that when compared to violence against animals, violence against women occurs only half as often.

    I’m not sure why it seems that you consider it to be some deep reflection of society.

  36. The “debate” over abortion has been misconstrued and misunderstood for years. The real issue is whether or not the state has the right to determine whether or not a woman’s body is used for certain purposes–child-bearing being the key issue in abortion.

    Even those who are morally opposed to abortion should recognize that the state has no right to require a woman to carry a fetus. Just as the state has no right to require any person to use her (or his) body against her will.

    The hypocrisy of the pro-life position can be demonstrated by asking any pro-lifer whether or not they believe the state should be able to require the use of private property for the good of another person (e.g., sheltering a homeless person in someone’s garage). Clearly the requirement that a person’s garage be used as a homeless shelter is far less demanding than the requirement that a woman use her body as a life-support system for an unwanted fetus. Bot more than likely no pro-lifer would support such a policy. Or, if you want a medical analogy, ask whether or not the state should be allowed to require people to use their bodies to harvest organs. Pro-lifers believe women should be required to do exactly this.

    There are countless ways that pro-lifers could productively organize and act to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies and abortions. The typical tactics and demonstrations they employ are evidence that they don’t take the issue of reducing abortions seriously and that they are simply using the issue as a opportunity to direct social anger towards women.

  37. if the pro-slavery types were sincere they would have put millions into furthering male pregnancy research.

  38. @28: Dude, we’re forced to have sex by our biology. I think if there’s one thing we can learn from the catholic church, it’s that even people who are very driven to be celibate are unable to keep it zipped up.

  39. @cognitive dissonance: Your argument presupposes that one is, in fact, killing a kid by getting an abortion. This is the crux of the entire debate, and is not at all decided. For example, I tend to think one is not.

    Maybe ending up needing an abortion is often the result of irresponsibility, but that’s kind of beside the point. It’s irresponsible to get in a car accident, but we don’t prohibit those people from repairing their cars. It’s irresponsible to get addicted to drugs, but we don’t prohibit those people from going to rehab. In all these cases, the solution is a drastic one that’s needed to make up for a probable mistake on the person’s part. But we generally permit and even support these solutions, because they benefit the person and society at large.

    Why should abortion be an exception to this norm? The only solid answer hinges on that question of whether there’s anything unethical about abortion itself, and there’s far from consensus on that one.

  40. @28: Considering how broken the adoption system can be and how biased it is against several groups of applicants, and how many children languish in foster homes because they’re too old or too “damaged” to be popular with most prospective adoptive parents, I’m not sure how this cures the parents of being “bad at life.”

    I’m also interested in how forcing a woman to carry a pregnancy to term against her will is an ethical choice.

  41. I think that abortion is one of those things it is only possible to decide about for yourself… no one can have the definitive answer about whether it is right/wrong moral/immoral.

    I support the right of other people to make their own choices, and trust they will have to stand up for theirs, as I stand up for mine.

    I do find the idea of late abortion very problematic, for once a child becomes viable, I think that it becomes very difficult for medical staff to do what is required… and babies are becoming viable at earlier gestational dates all the time.

  42. @28: It’s also worth nothing that the morning pill is a great option (for those can get a hold of it and who can afford it) but it does have a limited time window. Many women do not realize that their contraceptive method has failed (for whatever reason) and that they’re pregnant until their next period is missed, which can be weeks away.

  43. this is insane…

    I say man should NOT have a right to decide on woman’s choice unless, he can give birth himself. It’s a woman’s choice and yes she has a choice to include or exclude a man from that decision.

    I want to also add, seeing 70 year old man standing and protesting is completely irrelevant. Nuns fall under the same category.

    These people make those women seem like monsters and frankly, there is a lot more wrong done by others in this world. I wish we would concentrate on killers, rapists (which usually are the ones that lead to abortion) and other sexual predators.

    Also… protesters have way too much time on their hands… maybe they should start raising money for single mothers that did not have an abortion and are struggling? Just an idea.

  44. first of all abstinence is not realistic for the majority of people out there. sex is a basic part of the human condition. anyone who is against abortion should be handing out condoms all day and night if they really want to prevent them. any other practice would be hypocritical. it would be nice if there were some even better contraception, ie. not unhealthy for the woman, not limiting the sensitivity of the experience, not embarrassing or requiring parental permission to get. hopefully these things are being worked on–and again, if they are not being worked on by the pro-life movement, then they are hypocrites. it may shock people to hear, but they should have free condoms on every street corner–this would reduce the number of abortions. period. it would be great if there were some pill that could terminate the pregnancy up to 7 weeks which would allow a woman who missed her period to immediately (and privately) prevent a lot of the need for the debate. and oh yeah, adopt and propose more of your income be taxed to support orphanages and adoption agencies and child-relief agencies. a lot of these people seem to care much less about children once they are born. plus it’s interesting to note how many “pro-life” people support the death penalty. not all, to their credit, but many.

  45. Pro-choice people just don’t understand. To you it’s a women’s rights issue – to them it’s a dead child. The stakes on their side are significantly higher. And despite how it would seem watching these protests, there are plenty of reasonable non-religious folk who have looked at the evidence and decided to consider a developed fetus a human life. Imagine it being legal to dispose of a 2 month old (in a rather unpleasant fashion) for whatever reason – that’s what this is like for them. It’s actually amazing that the pro-life movement is as restrained as it is.

    No matter what your views on the subject, this is a horrible horrible situation.

  46. @cognitivedissonance: You need to read a little more. Forced pregnancy followed by relinquishing a child for adoption is the kind of excruciating ordeal that really can destroy a life. Abortion, not so much.



    Since we’re all writing wishlists, mine is for genetically engineered volitional conception. Women should be able to decide when and with whom to have a baby, and should conceive immediately every time they so decide. Presto, no abortion, no infertility.

    Since we don’t live in cloud-cuckoo land, however, could we please give everyone the freedom to make up their own mind about this most painful and personal of issues?

  47. Cog Dissonance wrote (in part):

    And even if someone was forced to have sex, or they were responsible but the condom broke, there’s still a perfectly acceptable plan B called, well, Plan B.

    Two big things here:

    Putting rape and consensual sex in the same sentence shows the main problem with the forced birth movement: They completely deny the personhood of the WOMAN in the story. “Aaah, rape, condom broke, what’s the diff?? As long as no precious widdle blastula is made, who cares?”

    Secondly, the same cretins who picket clinics are doing their damndest to make sure that PlanB is kept as unavailable as possible.

    Forced birthers don’t give a fuck about the woman being forced to bear a child against her will OR the blastula; they just want control over her body.

    Oh yeah and to refer to another thread upstream, I would love to see some real numbers as to what percentage of hardcore forced-birthers really ARE atheists. I imagine next to none.

  48. The anti-abortion movement is driven soley by racists and con artist-pedophiles

    You’re painting with an awfully broad brush there. Frankly, that comment makes you look more like a provocateur than a supporter of abortion rights.

    Question: why do you need specific ‘abortion clinics’ ? Why can’t it be done in any hospital like in other parts of the world ?

    It would probably triple the cost. Hospitals, by nature and law, have a much higher, and more expensive, standard of care.

    one word…Pepperspray

    The protesters or your boyfriend?

  49. well, i guess i’m ‘next to’ no one…

    i’m about as anti-religious as i am anti-abortion, so don’t assume i’m some jesus freak who think’s you’re all sinners. i just see no reason that anyone not in a life threatening situation would ever seek out an abortion.

    and yes, i did lump rape and broken condoms into the same sentence, because that’s when the woman KNOWs that there was unsafe/unprotected sex, and is entirely capable of getting a morning after pill.

    and it’s extremely ironic that people used the term “ruining life” when describing people who are forced to have the kid and give it up for adoption, as if you wouldn’t be ruining anyones life through abortion.

    and for it to be a womans choice is equally trivial. it takes two, baby, it takes two. it might be inside the woman, but it has different DNA, it’s a different thing thats alive. if the mother wants it, but the father doesn’t, the father is a dead beat and is required by law to pay for it. if the father wants it but the mother doesn’t and kills it, she’s courageous. poor explination, but the main idea should be evident.

    it’s like getting a computer virus. there’s a million/billions of dollars of software out there, of many different varieties (a great deal that are free, and work just as well). using protection and being responsible (not downloading things from people that you don’t know), the chances of you getting a child, errr, a virus are astronomically small.

    again, i just don’t see the vast majority of them as being wrecklessly irresponsible, and regardless what YOU think, the fact that any number of people view it as MURDER should make you want to avoid coming to that point.

  50. CogDiss,

    Yeah, because everyone knows that 14-year-olds who get raped by relatives can just pop down to the corner store and get their PlanB.

    Intestinal bacteria lives in you and has its own DNA also, should we outlaw antibiotics also?

    The rising hysterics in your argument–especially the item about deadbeat dads–is where the mask falls off. Hey, sorry if men don’t get to have the same say as women in the results if they leave sperm in her reproductive system, but them’s the breaks. Trying to turn back the clock to the stone age won’t happen.

    Sorry if you or one of your pals got stuck writing child support checks, but don’t try to punish all women because of it.

  51. Yet another instance were I am so pleased to live in Canada and be far, far away from ingrate Americans. One of my proudest moments in the Canadian healthcare system was the speed, humanity, convenience, compassion, care, civility, and reasonableness in which, within two weeks of realizing we were pregnant we obtained a FREE, unobstructed abortion by doctors in a hospital.

    For those of you that ‘hate’ abortion – it’s actually NOT a big deal. We were fortunate of having it done very early, but still, I have had several dental surgeries which were far more painful, complicated and expensive than that simple abortion procedure.

    Go abortion! Go health Canada, Go Women’s reproductive clinics! Go dr. Morgenthaler!

    Keep up the good fight USA, don’t let Dr. Tiler’s death be in vain. Universal healthcare for all, universal access to compassionate abortion for all!

  52. Is it better to be born to completely moronic parents/guardians who allow rats to chew off your toes or not at all?

    I honestly do not know.

    Is my body committing murder when I have my period every month?

  53. There seems to be a little bit of a divide in regards to men and their “PLACE” in this context, as well as religion. First let me say that my place as a man is the partner of my wife. We have three great children, and for some people who haven’t elected to enter this century yet let me inform you. Many men do take care of their children. I am the primary care provider for my children.

    Secondly I am a very religious person, just not a Christian. I freely admit that my escorting and becoming involved in Women’s HEALTHCARE all started as a stunt to impress a girl. Like most lucky coincidences I learned how important health care is for women. I don’t want a return to the “Good old days” where many women die young of preventable diseases. I care too much for my wife and daughters for that. For those most important of reasons (My wife, my Daughters, my Sister, Mother, Grandmother and friends) I say men should support their women in their health care choices. Men should be involved and not sitting on the fence snicking about “Womanly issues”. There is nothing less “cool” and sorry than a man who isn’t involved with his family and children.

    @#18 :belgium as I said, it was to impress a girl. Not striking out and beating people senseless was for the best, but admittedly to impress. Training sucked, we had a two hour video and some mock escorts. You kind of learn on your feet. Also it is the secondary job of the other escorts to assist with escorts who lose their focus. Meditating and remembering that my size and strength could cause irrevocable harm to another being did play in the back of my head, but seeing people hit girls did kind of spark the neanderthal protective instinct.. or social conditioning to protect (which ever you subscribe). Ultimately it was about getting women solid health care and to the resources of those most capable.

    P.S. Plus I did run into a few of them alone without their “buddies” around town. We had a nice chat about hitting girls.

  54. @55: “..as if you wouldn’t be ruining anyones life through abortion.”

    If you’re talking about the fetus, the point is that those who support abortion as a choice don’t consider the fetus as having a “life.” You can’t ruin what you don’t have.

    If you’re talking about the woman, well, of course. It’s a physically and, for many women, emotionally traumatic experience. Nobody said abortion should be easy, and it isn’t for most women.

    “if the mother wants it, but the father doesn’t, the father is a dead beat and is required by law to pay for it. if the father wants it but the mother doesn’t and kills it, she’s courageous. poor explination, but the main idea should be evident.”

    You are bringing unnecessary and irrelevant baggage into this conversation. The legal framework concerning child support is managed by an entirely separate authority. I’m not even sure how I should be addressing your second point.

    I’m guessing you’re saying something about how advocates of abortion often ignore the father’s rights, a fact on which I agree. It is, however, a biological fact that the woman must always carry the pregnancy to term, not the man. Unfortunately that does mean that the final word lies with the woman.

    I do acknowledge that men tend to be pressured to not say a thing to influence their partner. However, implying that because a woman has the final say that she inevitably doesn’t at all consider the father’s feelings is quite uncalled for. Many couples make the decision together.


    “Yeah, because everyone knows that 14-year-olds who get raped by relatives can just pop down to the corner store and get their PlanB.”

    Yes, because that’s way less likely than an incestually raped 14 year old walking into an abortion clinic. Yeah, going through more trauma instead of swallowing a pill is going to make her life all better, horray for abortions, her life would be efffed without them.

    And as if being against uneccesary abortions is my means of ‘punishing’ women. No, go on the pill, make the guy use a condom, take advantage of the billion dollar contraceptive industry. What do you think changes to set off a pregnancy test? Do you think you’re pregnant but it’s not really a seperate human being until it’s out of you? As if when it sees the light of day it miraculously changes DNA to that of a completely different human.


    not in soo many words, but i’m also hypothesizing that even if abortion ‘clients’ DID think it’s murder, for them it’s a convenient alternative to actually having a kid. It’s a safety net I’d like to see be taken down. I’m not against it in cases of health risk etc. etc. but if you’ve just been less than vigilant and irresponsible in your sexual escapades, there should, in fact, be consequences. Have the kid, give it up for adoption, if you don’t want kids, use prevention, have your tubes tied or your scrod singed. It’s simple.

    And no, having your period isn’t murder either, because that’s you. And no, killing bacteria isn’t murder because that’s not going to grow into a person, who would love to object to the idea of getting sucked out of their mother with a vacuum.

    1. cognitive dissonance,

      – Are you a woman?
      – How many children have you adopted?
      – Have you ever donated any time or money to making contraception available?
      – Have you done one thing in your life that would make life more bearable for a woman with an unwanted pregnancy or for an unwanted child?

  56. @#60 Gloria,

    Well thought out. I agree. Perhaps it is time to start a campaign similar to the one where women are encouraged to not engage in sex with men who do not support their rights over their body. There could be a similar one to only couple with women who share your views. Of course since both women and men tend to say Just about anything to impress the other when they first get together… I am not sure how effective this was in the past, or how it would be in the future.

    I have been on the other end of this choice as a man. It sucks and haunts me, but ultimately it isn’t my body. I offered to allow her to release her parental rights and I would take full responsibility of the child (once born). I am sure that the decision was not a light one (I hope). Ultimately she needed to do what was best for herself, her mind and body. Hindsight can be the worst enemy of anyone.

    My most sincere hope is that people can see beyond the abortion side of this debate. These people are putting their bodies on the line to ensure that women get viable health care. These people who assault the women and escorts are harassing women who are more often than not trying to get their annual checkups. They are hounding, and hitting people whose crime is standard health care, from specialists. Women who are getting checked for cancer, pregnancy, blood work and other NON abortion related health issues. These “people” are almost always traumatizing women who are married, in solid relationships, monogamous or just trying to get professional level care. The escorts (men and women alike) are heroes for the cause of equal health care and often times are forgotten in the struggles for health care rights. It is sites like this who show just how much one human can care for another person and their health. These many times abused unsung heroes deserve their 15 minutes and more for helping secure a standard of care that is necessary and right.

    Damn, how come I always seem to write way more than I intend or is readable. Uhg.


  57. So I was looking into whether there were escorts here in Vancouver. It seems over here there are bubble zones to protect patients and staff, so I guess escorts aren’t necessary.

    Based on the stuff going on in the U.S., I can understand why they are necessary. The absolute last thing a woman going through the psychological trauma of an abortion needs is hordes of people hurling abuse at her.

  58. @61: “It’s a safety net I’d like to see be taken down. I’m not against it in cases of health risk etc. etc. but if you’ve just been less than vigilant and irresponsible in your sexual escapades, there should, in fact, be consequences.”

    I think one of my problems with how you’ve stated your views is the vocabulary. “Escapades.” Many women who have abortions are monogamous women, who were impregnated by their own long-term partners. I hardly consider regular intercourse between a committed couple can be fairly characterized as an “escapade.” A woman who missed a pill is not indulging on escapades; nor is a couple who forgot to use a condom just once. They made a mistake. Characterizing those kind of errors — stupid, but human, committed by people who know and *do* better much of the time — as some kind of wilful, abandoned hedonism is really unfair.

    Terminating a pregnancy avoids the consequence of *parenthood* but it does not avoid consequence. An unwanted pregnancy is a consequence. An abortion is a consequence. Anyone who doesn’t view it that way — and thinks they got off “scot-free” in such a situation — is the problem. Not abortions.

    I would not wish a baby on anyone who views it as a “consequence.”

    @62: I should hope that people already strive to couple with those who share their views. It helps cut down on unnecessary strife and awkwardness.

  59. Cory: respect for your moms courage!

    If at least, the anti-choice people had any intellectual integrity and consistency, we’d be able to tackle the issue in a logic-driven debate.
    But no, most (I say most, not all) anti-abortionists who pretend to be motivated by the will of preserving life, also happen to be pro-war, pro-guns, against the preservation of our natural environment, and eat huge quantities of dead animals.
    And on top of it all, most of them ban the use of condoms! I mean… what the fuck?!

  60. I have several cousins who have been part of clinic sabotage squads, and I have other family who have participated in clinic defense and held the hands and comforted women who have had to make difficult choices.

    This is what I have seen- on the clinic sabotage side, people painting other people with very broad brush strokes about character and motive, solely based on personal interpretation of when life begins. Nothing is ever done by these family members to alleviate the issues that give rise to the problems they see in front of them. Only punishment, excoriation, and pushing people toward not violating their personal view of how the world should work is all that ever counts. Their salute is flipping their little pinky finger, because a baby isn’t big enough to warrant using the middle finger (no, truly, its commonly used). They attack clinics because its easier than attacking hospitals, and because they will be charged with lesser crimes, even though hospitals abort far more babies. They mostly ignore arguments that clinics provide anything other than abortions, because while they would NEVER publicly admit it, they also oppose birth control much less any other reproductive care other than popping out babies. As far as they are concerned, using a condom is just as bad as committing abortion- again, this is something they will NEVER admit to in a public argument. Their agenda is that sex is ONLY for making babies in God’s will, regardless of whether it is forced or not, and if the mother dies during pregnancy, that’s the way it should be because God wants it that way. I’m not misrepresenting this, I’m just telling it the way they told me when they tried recruiting me over several years. Also, for the record, none of them could ever relate to me a story of any one they had ever known trying to scale the walls of a prison to break people out of death row if they knew they were innocent (at least one execution has gone down this way, I believe in GA). Bottom line is that they find it easy to pick on emotionally vulnerable women, but they balk at taking on trained armed guards to prove their faith. Some heroes.

    On the clinic defense side, I’ve met people with very different and varied ideas on where life begins, but also respectful of other peoples’ concepts of the same. They refuse to be bullied by what they view as extremists, or to watch others be bullied. Not only do they support the women coming into the clinics (often for birth control and health check-ups, not abortions), but they also take care of the clinic saboteurs when they fall out from the heat and their own “friends” do nothing to aid them. Their salute is a hug and a cup of coffee. They try to use reasoned arguments even if they aren’t listened to. They believe the best way to prevent an abortion is to make all the resources available to make sure the right choices can be made, but not everybody is in control of their own fate. Invariably, I don’t see these folks offering violence to anyone (from their perspective, not the saboteurs’), even though their clinics are burned to the ground, their doctors and staff are shot, and chemical weapons are even used against them. Many of them are religious (though they are considered apostates and non-believers by the saboteurs), but have very different interpretations on where life begins, or feel that it is not their place to judge when a mother terminates a pregnancy, or why. But the most important thing I can note is that they don’t go hunting down people who don’t hold their views and burn down their facilities, or shoot them, or attack them with acid.

    Let me put it this way- if EVERY clinic and clinic defense operated on the same principles as the saboteurs, there would be A LOT of dead zealots out there. So, as I see it, there is a yawning huge behavioral chasm I see between one camp and the other.

    And I’ll be really blunt- its NOT my choice. It really is solely up to the woman dealing with the issue at hand. Women always have and always will control when they have a baby. I’ve had friends who were abandoned by their friends and families, who came to me when they needed a hand to hold at the clinic. I talked to them about their decisions, and I learned that it never would or could be my choice, and if these saboteurs would get off their high horses and actually talk to people instead of screaming at them, they might begin to realize that. And, yes, I did go into the clinic holding their hands.

  61. Wow, the anti-abortion crazies are here. I haven’t missed them. I hope they go away again. I kind of liked the anti-copyright crazies, but that’s just too many crazies to deal with.

    For those who say negative things about abortion, and suggest adoption, I highly recommend spending some quality time with a pregnant woman. And by that I mean holding her head while she’s puking her guts out for three months, or having difficulty walking, breathing, eating towards the end of pregnancy. Pregnancy is not easy, and it’s not safe, and it can be quite harmful to the woman’s health. Not to mention the medical bills. It’s not like the woman can just take out a fetus, pop it into a jar and then hand it over to someone. If you really want to prevent abortions, invent the artificial womb.

    For those who think that women are always harmed by abortion, simply untrue. http://www.imnotsorry.net/

    For those that think abortion is always a choice, simply untrue. http://www.aheartbreakingchoice.com/index.html

  62. This is the result of letting the Supreme Court decide issues. The same thing happened with the Dred Scott decision (although lots more people died in the civil war). Don’t flame me, I’m pro-choice. But get the dang courts out of the process.

  63. I am an adoptive parent – by choice, not due to infertility. I went to the nearest big city and asked for an unwanted child, and eventually (after about two years of persistence) the state consented. My life has been enriched.

    If a person wants to do something about abortion, they should help a child escape the environment that makes it more likely s/he’ll someday want one. Get the hell away from the clinic and get yourself down to the adoption agency; there are thousands of children you can help, children already born who need parents.

    You can choose a path of love instead of indulging your anger and hatred. There was some guy named Jesus who recommended that, wasn’t there?

  64. @#70 Get the courts out of the process? There are three branches for a reason. It is called checks and balances. It is a necessary, but not always 100% correct way for the government to work. It assists in creating a way for popular vote in congress and pressure on the president that have to be voted and swayed by politics to be altered.

    One of the greatest things that the court did was a judge made rule in the 1970s. The constitutional amendments state that illegally obtained (AKA Tainted) evidence cannot be gathered. Until the seventies they would do it anyway and then say, “Yeah we did it.. it says we cannot but so what. There was nothing there that said what to do about it”. So a judge put his foot down on police corruption and said THIS is what I will do about it. It is inadmissible in court, and anything you gathered as a result is also inadmissible. While this isn’t a perfect solution it does have the benefit of keeping police from violating your civil rights. Has a judge not stepped up and done this, perhaps today people would still be stepped on, coerced and violated.

    Sorry, I have the stupid ruling in one of my old “Criminal Justice” college books. I just cannot find the damn book. So please remember that the court isn’t a law unto itself and neither should congress or a president be one. They are a three pronged set of checks and balances that although imperfect and needing to get back into line. None the less are there to try to stabilize over powering one from gaining too much power. Besides the courts didn’t make Oregon allow abortions. They did it before the “court” ruled only that the government cannot dictate that abortion is for the government’s to regulate. It wasn’t alone (for long). Besides this has nothing to do with these psychos intimidation and psychotic physical abuse for essential health care.

  65. *sigh* I’ve pretty much given up an arguing over abortion. The fact of the matter is that the two sides are arguing from completely different premises. If one doesn’t believe that the fetus is a living human, then of course, sure, the pro-choice side is the only logical conclusion. If one believes that the fetus is a living human, then it’s very difficult to justify legal abortion.

  66. If one believes that the fetus is a living human, then it’s very difficult to justify legal abortion.

    I don’t think that’s entirely true. I, for instance, don’t care if the fetus is a living human or not. No one gets to use my organs without my explicit permission.

  67. Cog Diss,

    I’m done with you. You’re falling back on the old canard that a blastula is the same as a full-term infant.

    Next up: Cog Diss recommends mandatory pregnancy tests of all women every 28 days to make sure that they’re not “miscarrying” a precious glob of cells with their period.

    You clearly see children as a consequence of sex, and obviously have no idea as to how hard emergency contraception is to get.

    Hint: 14-year-olds can’t GET Plan B in most states. Nor do all pharmacies sell them. If you’re stuck out in Bubmblefuck Idaho somewhere, miles from anything, your options are ugly and few if you have sex forced on you.

    But of course, you’ll take out the dictionary and haul out every 5-syllable word you can find before acknowledging that.

    But hey, gotta make women pay, pay, PAY for their sexuality, yeah? After all, babies are a wonderful gift from Nature that help remind irresponsible little sluts everywhere to keep their legs closed at all costs, even death, for the rest of their natural lives.

  68. Heh…And Gloria, thank you for pointing out what I forgot to–that Cog Diss thinks that everyone who wants or needs an abortion is some swinging-from-the-chandeliers hedonist.

    I take it that he’s (and it’s obvious that it’s a he) has never had a diagnostic D&C (as opposed to a D&C for an abortion); it’s not exactly something that anyone WANTS to do or rolls in as a package with a manicure and a pedicure.

    Or that in most states, you need spousal permission for sterilization, which if there’s an abusive spousal situation, isn’t happening.

    But back to my first point: At the core of every anti-choicer is the basic premise of “baby as punishment.” Which of course only impacts half the population. One that means that a woman has to donate her body for at least 9 months, or loose her life over. It’s a brutal kind of misogyny that is perfectly in line with the Taliban and similar religious movements, whether you’re claiming you’re an atheist or not.

  69. Speaking as a science-fiction fan, I’m fascinated by all the telepaths posting here. At least, I assume anybody who can be that sure of what the Other Side is thinking must be a telepath…

  70. My wife and I aborted our first child and kept our second.

    And we don’t regret either decision.

    I will support the right to choose until the day I die.

    At the end of the day, let us hope that the entire controversy and struggle will lead to developments sorely in need by the world at large: more reliable contraception methods, more effective contraceptive methods, and contraceptive methods that put the control of pregnancy firmly in the hands they should be in: BOTH parents.

  71. Cory –

    Thank you for being an escort at the Morgentaler Clinic. Given the time frame, you might have escorted me when I was a broke teenage runaway in a bad relationship with an alcoholic. Shortly after, I went on to finish high school, then college. Then I became a teacher. I couldn’t have done any of that if the clinic hadn’t been there. Everyone at the clinic, including the volunteer escorts, made a pretty bad day tolerable. So, thanks.

  72. geekygirluk, #28 “They also believe that *their* kids aren’t out having unprotected sex!”
    …then they get mad when you tell them to “act surprised” when their son gets crabs or their daughter gets knocked up.

    cognitive dissonance, #33 “…and contraceptives are a billion dollar industry, are highly effective, and can be used by two responsible parties (ie, on the pill and wearing meat poncho).”
    A recent Guttmacher study showed that the effectiveness of birth control varies directly with the person’s economic status (ie: they get less effective as you tumble down the economic ladder). The most realistic solution, therefore, involves comprehensive sex-ed, birth control and helping poor people not be so poor. I know, I know…that’s socialism (apparently we’re only supposed to care about people during the first nine months and that bit before the end).

    “And even if someone was forced to have sex, or they were responsible but the condom broke, there’s still a perfectly acceptable plan B called, well, Plan B.”
    Didn’t you hear? Plan B is abortion (more like an abortifacient, but not really since it isn’t, but if it was it would be, and it then would be just as bad as other abortifacients, like caffeine, exercise, breast-feeding and stress. Whew. I’m light-headed now).

    “Have the kid and give it up for adoption if you don’t want it, just don’t kill it because you’re bad at life.”
    That’s tough to pull off when you’re two steps down from broke and homeless because your parents kicked you out for “whorin'”.

    Gloria, #65 “I would not wish a baby on anyone who views it as a ‘consequence.'”
    That’s my sister’s name! Mine is Wups. I’ve said too much.

    Anonymous, #70 “This is the result of letting the Supreme Court decide issues. The same thing happened with the Dred Scott decision (although lots more people died in the civil war)…But get the dang courts out of the process.”
    And “majority rules” would work better, how, exactly? The majority is only good at protecting what’s popular. Popular stuff doesn’t need protection.

    Ito Kagehisa, #71 “There was some guy named Jesus who recommended that, wasn’t there?”
    They only listen to Paul and Moses.

    Euryale, #74 “No one gets to use my organs without my explicit permission.”
    I don’t care. I’m not giving you back your kidney.

  73. @2,

    “IF you truly believe abortion is murder, then you must also believe abortion clinics are like Auschwitz. …

    I’m just sayin’, look at it from the other side’s point of view.”

    It doesn’t matter if you think abortion is murder or not, and I find comparisons with Auschwitz completely incorrect, and odious.

    No one *asked* the victims of Auschwitz if they wanted to go; they were rounded-up, forced into railroad cattle cars, and lured into gas chambers under the pretext of them being disinfecting showers.

    Auschwitz was as “voluntary” as the cop who arrests you and “asks” you if you want to go to jail…while he’s driving you there.

    And the people who were sent there were designated en-masse: Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, “undesirables,” intellectuals, priests.

    If a government *chose* a group of people, rounded them up, confiscated their property and fired the from their jobs, and *then* forced them to go to a death camp, *then* the comparison would be appropriate.

    Do you see that happening when a woman decides she needs an abortion? No, you do not.

    And I particularly resent (those particular) Christians who piggy-back their “argument” on the suffering of the Jews, a group they have largely despised.

    So, the “other side’s” P.O.V. is just plain wrong, just as if they insisted 2 + 2 = 5. It doesn’t matter how *strongly* they believe 2 + 2 = 5; it isn’t. Period.

    Finally, harassing a person who is seeking medical care is wrong. Supposed I decided that skin cells are alive (which they are)…and that people should be physically prevented from seeing a dermatologist? Would that make me right, or justified in my actions? Nope.

    So, what one “truly believes” is immaterial. There is What Is Legal, and What Is Not. Abortion is legal, whether you like it or not.

  74. Wow, really folks, this crap on Boing Boing?
    As a man, a partner of a woman who had an abortion (broken condom,) and a former clinic escort at the EMW in Louisville (W00t, Every Saturday Morning!)I must express my disgust with the whole privileged male abortion “argument.”
    Unless you pull off some Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movie Junior, motherfucking seahorse style pregnancy, as a human male we can only be supportive of the choice of the person PHYSICALLY CARRYING the fetus inside of their body. Whether you choose to view a fetus as a “lump of cells” or a “future human” is immaterial if said creature doesn’t feed off of YOUR BODY.
    It also amazes me how little the anti-choice movement knows about the history of abortion. The Catholic church didn’t oppose abortion until a little over a hundred years ago and doctors of the Islamic world were writing excellent medical information on the subject as early as the ninth century! It is interesting to note how the religious anti-abortion backlash really got started when it came to be linked with woman’s rights!
    After looking at the facts of the issue it’s pretty hard to ignore the reality of the situation that the anti-choice movement is simply anti-woman and pro-domination of womanhood and motherhood.

  75. “The Catholic church didn’t oppose abortion until a little over a hundred years ago.”

    This is untrue. Though there were changes over time as to what constituted an abortion or a homicidal abortion, depending on the beliefs of science/natural philosophy at the given time, the Catholic church was always opposed to abortion. You can find a quick overview here (it’s a run by people of multiple belief systems, including atheists, for those who like to nitpick sources):


    What would be more true is that the current abortion debate did not begin until about a hundred years ago, when it was linked with the women’s movement by the movement itself – but I would never say that the women’s movement is therefore anti-life or pro-abortion, especially because those terms, like anti-choice, are biased and unfair. You have extreme ideological blinders on with regard to this issue, if this is your version of “the reality of the situation.” At the very least, yours is only one possible opinion; at most, it’s a falsehood.

  76. if they succeed in closing abortion clinics by threats, murder, bribery and bombing, then it is only logical to expect churches and cathedrals to be bombed likewise. Not with anyone in them of course, that would be murder. Property damage is the only way to get the attention of venal priests and their thugs. Hit them where they live: in their wallet.

  77. @Roach,

    I’m not sure you can say the Catholic Church was always opposed to abortion, given the largish number of documents we have from the medieval period citing nuns pregnant, cemeteries for the bodies of children killed before/after birth, etc.

    They Church has always condemned it in name, but overlooked it when it was their own. Not the most defensible approach, ethically.

    But really, why quibble? If the Catholic Church is against abortion, then I say let’s ban abortion, and sell off the various treasures held in Vatican City to fund their upbringing.

    I’ve been to the Vatican, and can only say that the Pope and his cronies must laugh at the ignorance of companies like AIG who ONLY steal a few billion, and don’t even get to rip-off the public tax free.

    Until every last multi-million dollar treasure, every last golden gewgaw they’ve received, every last billion-dollar piece of real estate is sold off to fund the cost of their ideological stands, the Catholic Church ought to keep quiet and let the people do what they will.


  78. 83 / tak: *sigh*
    There is some logic, there, yeah.

    And my two cents: It is 2009, people. I am so disheartened that this is still a debate to be had, especially in the way people are “taking it to the streets”.

    To the commenter, early on who said ‘these aren’t WestBoro lunatics’… maybe not from WestBoro, but lunatics to think they have a SINGLE DAMNED RIGHT to tell anyone else what to do with their body and their lives.

    It has nothing to do with morals – people would sooner see a child born into abject poverty and abuse – than to see a woman make an empowered decision for herself, her community, her world. (And it doesn’t have to be about the latter two, it can just be about HER, damnit.)

    It makes me SO angry.
    Reading this thread makes me angry.

  79. all the fights must be fought again and again. There is no victory except in continuing and no defeat except in losing heart.

  80. Clif marsiglio sez: “I think you are right, make these people adopt a crack baby (or any baby that would have been aborted)…”

    And you say you are anti-abortion, hey? That’s not at all obvious in your stellar examples of “babies I would abort” there. Jeesus.

    And for all the rage indicuing daftness above, there are actually more qualified, intelligent comments (just thought I’d point that out).

  81. Don’t believe everything you hear about “crack babies”.

    The only “crack baby” I know personally is now ten years old. She’s physically a bit small (though not remarkably so, at the low end of normal range) but she’s a straight A student who is in the 98th percentile for her state of residence on the state standardized tests. When she was tiny she was difficult (crack withdrawal is hard; she didn’t sleep through the night until she was four) but she wasn’t any harder to deal with than a colicky baby; I’d say somewhat less difficult. You just have to learn to live without sleep.

    She was adopted by a couple with a good income, so naturally she performs well in school, like most children of loving parents with a good income do. Crack baby schmack baby.

  82. “I’m not sure you can say the Catholic Church was always opposed to abortion, given the largish number of documents we have from the medieval period citing nuns pregnant, cemeteries for the bodies of children killed before/after birth, etc.”

    I’m not entirely sure what this has to do with doctrinal decisions, or with decisions on abortion as it is. Were the pregnant nuns morally allowed or encouraged to get abortions? If they did, And should innocent children not be allowed burials? Depending on the time, I do know that they sometimes couldn’t be buried in sacred ground because they were unbaptized. But not burying aborted children seems like it would be against mercy, rather than some sort of stand against abortion.

    “They Church has always condemned it in name, but overlooked it when it was their own. Not the most defensible approach, ethically.”

    Do you have any proof of this? It’s not surprising, however, that hypocrisy attaches to sin, or that an organization would unethically protect its own (the recent abuse scandals are enough proof of this; that doesn’t mean child abuse is considered morally acceptible by Catholic moral theology). No Catholic thinks that the Church and its members, priestly or lay, is and has always been perfect in practice – or even better than others. That’s true of any large organization, however – is there a church, government, school or any of the rest that has been perfect in applying its principles? That’s no reason to abandon an organization, though, because then you abandon all organizations. I was responding to an attack on doctine, however, not practice.

    “But really, why quibble? If the Catholic Church is against abortion, then I say let’s ban abortion, and sell off the various treasures held in Vatican City to fund their upbringing.

    I’ve been to the Vatican, and can only say that the Pope and his cronies must laugh at the ignorance of companies like AIG who ONLY steal a few billion, and don’t even get to rip-off the public tax free.

    Until every last multi-million dollar treasure, every last golden gewgaw they’ve received, every last billion-dollar piece of real estate is sold off to fund the cost of their ideological stands, the Catholic Church ought to keep quiet and let the people do what they will.


    Actually, it’s illegal for the Vatican to do so under international and Italian law: http://www.catholic-convert.com/Portals/0/VaticanRiches.pdf I don’t think that’s enough, though, so I’ll follow with my personal thoughts.

    I’ve been to the Vatican too, and I found the opulence of the churches disturbing at first myself. However, I think you make the mistake of thinking that those churches, treasures, museums and the rest are for the Pope or for the priests. You saw them yourself, didn’t you? I know I’m quite happy that I got to see the Laocoon (seriously amazing), the Sistine Chapel, and all the other treasures. Do you think all museums should be sold off, or only Catholic ones? People who say this also always seem to be under the impression that churches are priests’ houses like millionaires live in mansions, which is ridiculous – they’re mostly for the believers, and since one of the church’s “ideological stands” is bringing its believers closer to God, I don’t see the conflict there. The magnificence of St. Peter’s, for example, can stand for the magnificence of God – it was believers who paid for and built cathedrals, as still happens today, because they WANTED to – is that theft or greed? That there are excesses I don’t deny – but they’re not the common practice, as most priests live in communal houses and drive donated cars. Monks and nuns generally have even less. The argument’s also problematic because it assumes the Church only has one aim, of eliminating abortion, when the Church’s actual position is far more expansive and complicated.

    How does the Church rip-off the public? If you’re not Catholic, I don’t know any countries where you’re required to pay taxes to the Church (though I think there are a few that have generalized religion taxes). The Vatican itself is its own country, so I’m not sure how it can steal from any others. Tax-free status protects you as well as Catholics and other believers, you know – it’s part and parcel of the establishment clause, and churches that have tax-free status are disallowed from exercising a number of political influence options. Without it, the Church could sell all those treasures and buy itself a president.

    I think that you ignore how little, relatively speaking, the sale of such real estate would really bring, or how quickly it would all vanish. How would the church really be able to back up its ideological stands if it owned no land, no universities, no schools no hospitals and no, well, churches? But I doubt you visited any but the latter during your trip to the Vatican – I know I didn’t – which gives a lopsided picture. Not only that, but even if you sold all those treasures I doubt you’d come close to what the Catholic Church and its subordinate organizations do every year in terms of aid work to the impoverished, the sick, and the rest. For example, in the US, “Together, with the local, diocesan Catholic Charities affiliates, Catholic Charities is the second largest social service provider in the United States and it is only surpassed by the US Federal Government.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Charities) Around the world there are hundreds if not thousands of Catholic organizations who do work in every kind of philanthropy (well, except those it actually does disagree with, like abortion). There’s even an order that’s negotiated truces in African conflicts where governments failed.

    I think the “Why doesn’t the Vatican sell its treasures if it really believes” is an easy argument to make, but easy arguments are often flawed and demolished by attention to any wider perspective. I hope this makes sense, Lanval.

    As an aside, I should say that I’m completely opposed to the aggressive tactics some of the posters and the OP have mentioned. Attacking a pregnant woman out of love for her child is an oxymoron of the kind only ideologues can accomplish. My own limited experience with pro-life organizations has been the opposite, with protesting restricted to peaceful sign-waving, prayer, and sidewalk counseling limited very strictly to those women who approach of their own volition. I think the tide may finally be changing, with the founding of organizations like Project Gabriel, which helps pregnant women in difficult situations with financial training and help, babysitting, medical care, and mentoring, or ones like Care Net, already the largest network of pregnancy care centers in North America. It frustrates me how many pro-life people focus only on the political aspect of the issue, ignoring the human beings at the core, when that should be the first instinct of Christian charity. What I’ve found, though, is that the ones that do more than talk on the internet or on Fox News are the ones on the pro-life side who do the most for women in bad situations.

  83. all I have to do is look at the millions living in miserable, catholic poverty to rebutt that.

  84. I wanted to respond to the comment earlier about why we need abortion clinics, and why abortions can’t be provided in regular mainstream medical settings. I have personally been providing abortions for 10 years, attempting to create a new model of abortion services. The program is called Early Options, and we have been training family doctors to offer early abortion services (abortion pill, manual aspiration procedure) as part of their primary care practices. These methods can be used up to 10 weeks of pregnancy, where there is less moral controversy because no visible embryo has formed. We complete these methods in a regular examination room, in a regular doctor’s office. Companions are welcome for support. The Aspiration procedure takes less than five minutes and there is immediate recovery. I hope this reorganization of abortion services will be the future of medical care, so that women and doctors will no longer be targeted and women can obtain private, high quality medical care.

  85. kudos to u dr. joan! having been an “escort” for a clinic here in fla, i have seen some nasty shit being perpetrated by the right-wing christian fanatics that made me never want anything to with that religion again. any man out there espewing his desire to control a woman and what she does with her body should STFU! show me in the bible where it says ANYTHING about life beginning in the womb. all texts i’ve read talk about life beginning when one takes his/her first breath. life means breath, for craps sake! dr. joan, again , best of luck in all you do, you provide a valuable service and are very brave in your own right for doing it! a thousand more kudos!

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