Husband confronts abortion protesters

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177 Responses to “Husband confronts abortion protesters”

  1. DeWynken says:

    This NEEDS to happen EVERY time these asshats psychologically assault people when entering clinics. EVERY TIME.

  2. Anonymous says:

    What kills me is that these 2 “Christian” ladies don’t even put their signs down to give this grieving man comfort and compassion. They were cold and snarky to a man on the worst day of his life. Jesus must be beaming.

  3. AnnieGetYourFun says:

    This guy shows considerable restraint. I’m sure my fists would have been pummeling some self-righteous faces about 30 seconds in.

  4. Lucifer says:

    It’s ironic that the protester uses “do you know how many women commit suicide after having an abortion?” as some sort of defense for the protesting. In fact, I would posit that hateful protesters like these are contributors to the suicide rates.

  5. Chris Tucker says:

    FYI, if that’s the Planned Parenthood clinic in Brookline, that’s the same clinic that was shot up by an anti-abortion whackjob, who killed 2 people.

    http://www.nytimes.com/1994/12/31/us/anti-abortion-killings-overview-gunman-kills-2-abortion-clinics-boston-suburb.html

    From the above article:

    Richard Seron, the security guard who chased the gunman until he was wounded, remembered his saying something religious, said a Brookline police officer, Robert Allen. ” ‘In Jesus’ name,’ or ‘Mother of God,’ something to that effect,” Officer Allen said, quoting Mr. Seron.

    Religion: Fucking Up Humanity since forever!

  6. Mike The Bard says:

    Having been there, I’m actually not sure that I want to write this, but kind of feel like I need to. My wife and I lost our son on Friday, and I understand this man’s pain better than anything in the world right now.

    Four years ago, we finally got pregnant after more than a year of trying the natural way. Towards the end of the first trimester, we started getting bad test results, and around 20 weeks were told that our child had an unbalanced translocation of the eighth and ninth chromosome. This condition was “incompatible with life”- apparently we need terminology that is more adamant than simply saying “fatal”. At 22 weeks, we had to terminate the pregnancy.

    It was not what you imagine. There was no storefront clinic and none of the gory dismemberment these assholes are so fond of displaying to other people’s children. We checked into the maternity ward of our local hospital, and my wife was given a drug to induce labor. The nurses put a small photo on the door showing a leaf and drop of water, so the rest of the staff would know it was a tragic situation and not accidentally say “congratulations” or ask how happy we were. It took several doses over about 40 hours before what essentially felt like a natural stillbirth. We held our daughter for as long as we wanted before she was taken away for autopsy, after which she was brought to a nearby funeral home and cremated. The funeral home also donated a room for a brief memorial service a few days later. We had our family around and supporting us throughout the entire week.

    We ended up spending a couple months in a support group for pregnancy and infant loss, where I learned just how many “one in a million” things could go wrong. A particular condition may be very rare, but when you add up all of those conditions, it leaves a sizeable chance of something tragic. At least one other couple had a story just like ours, but with a different genetic defect. A year or so later, we spent nearly a year and far more than we could afford undergoing fertility treatments, and trying to get pregnant again. We were unsuccessful. My sisters average 4 kids each. We got a dog.

    This summer, we became pregnant again. It was a surprise pregnancy after having given up hope. At 12 weeks, we went for a CVS test- similar to an amniocentesis, but taking a tissue sample for genetic testing. The results came back with the same defect. This time, the doctors had more information: Severe heart and lung problems, and a 98% chance of “profound” mental retardation, of the unable-to-feed-themselves degree. Something like Down’s syndrome we could have dealt with, but what our child had to look forward to was no life that a parent could inflict on them with a clear conscience. So this week, four years later, we had to go through the same thing all over again. We’ll be scattering the ashes in the same place, near a nice lake a couple hours north of us.

    I came away from this with a certain respect for the pro-life protesters. I understand them, I really do. What I don’t support, what drives me to a frothing rage and makes me want to strangle these people, is the implication that this decision was made lightly, or callously. Our children were *people*. They have names. They were loved and wanted, and we would have done anything in our power to give them a good life. We go up to the lake every year on our daughter’s birthday and leave flowers. I completely understand their desire to protect the helpless and recognize them as people.

    What they don’t understand is that the job of a parent is to *protect* their children and give them the best possible life. It is a tragic fact that as wrong as abortion is, there are cases where it is still preferable to the alternative. Risking my wife’s life or a third trimester miscarriage just so that we can watch our child suffer and die over several days, putting us into debt for life, is not something that any sane person could force someone to undergo.

    Honestly, I don’t think I could have shown the same restraint as the man who shot this video. My heart goes out to him, it really does. I hope he finds some sort of support- The wound never fully heals, but it does get easier to make it through the day. I wouldn’t even wish it on the protesters.

    • Anonymous says:

      Please adopt, Mike.

      There are tens of thousands of children out there that are hurting, too. They need parents, and someone with your experience of sorrow makes you a better candidate than most for taking on a hurt child. You can grow strong together, for each other.

      Please, if you can’t do it for the children growing up in care, who need you, do it for your family. It will be a journey full of joy and heartache and you will never know what blessings or horrors the next day will bring, but it’s worth it.

      I’ve done it both ways, biological and adoptive, and it’s the same. You might not believe it, but I’ve been there, and it’s true. A child needs love, and adults need to share love, and if those needs are thwarted it hurts you. Who the birth parents are doesn’t really matter, it’s the love that matters.

    • SJ0508 says:

      We just a lost a baby this summer too. My heart goes out to you and your family. I know how difficult this is for you.

      In regards to the post: I have to applaud this man. Just two months ago I had to have a D&C after my baby died in utero. Most devastating event of my life (and believe me, I’ve seen a lot). I can’t imagine how much these women added to the family’s pain.

      These women and people like them have no idea who they are hurting or how much. Very few–if any–people this decision lightly and no one deserves to be put through pain because of someone else’s beliefs. Regardless of your opinion on abortion, making other people miserable to prove your point (any point) is wrong.

      • Anonymous says:

        I’m sorry to hear about your loss; I haven’t lost a child so I can’t really imagine your pain.

        But please consider adoption, as I have urged Mike the Bard above. There are so many children who need parents, who will grow up in the State’s care unless thousands more of us step forward.

        I’m not going to pretend one child can replace another. Your adoptive child will be his very own self, as well as being your kid. And I won’t pretend it will be easy, either, it will be just as hard as raising a kid always is… but it will be worth it. You can do it.

    • sapph says:

      While we have had the misfortune of dealing with a miscarriage, it was nowhere near what you had to deal with.

      Thank you for sharing.

    • ZippySpincycle says:

      Thank you so much for your story, Mike–my heart goes out to you, and I admire that you could write so clearly and thoughtfully about such a painful experience.

      American politics could really benefit from a lot more calm voices like yours, and less shouting, especially on this issue. I’m not especially hopeful most of the time, but thanks for making a start.

    • maoinhibitor says:

      Well said, sir. Well said.

      I think the problem with absolutists, such as your average clinic-side abortion protester, is that they process everything in linguistic terms. They seem more likely to get caught by the inaccuracy of language and hung up on binary oppositions.

      I think this has a whole lot to do with how absolutists approach belief systems literally, and consequently fight pitched battles over the precise interpretation of key texts.

      How can people who see no shades of gray ever hope to understand and interact correctly with the real world? They end up foolishly shouting on streetcorners in the hope that their speech can reshape reality.

      It’s too bad. If they had a truer understanding, they would be more compassionate to all of those caught between categories, to all of those forced to make impossible choices. We wouldn’t be talking about them right now.

      • Mister44 says:

        re: “How can people who see no shades of gray ever hope to understand and interact correctly with the real world?”

        In my personal experience, the world over is gray, and it is the loudest and most annoying that want you to believe it is black white. Any time I see a polarizing issue, instead of picking sides I dive into the middle area, as that is usually where the truth lies. People who insist on black and white are simply blind to what ever is not in their paradigm.

        One other comment (unrelated to your post), making abortion illegal won’t end abortion. All the effort protesting should be spent on education and aiding the social ills that lead to elective abortions. Abortions done for medical reasons are between the parents, their doctor, and God.

  7. obclhorn says:

    This reminds me of Cory’s angry mob confronted by Al Franken.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. This man is my new hero.

  9. MrAverage says:

    “you are just yelling at random people and you have no idea what you are doing to them. it’s despicable. you make people who are already upset on the worst day of their life feel even worse.”

    He’s being a little harsh on those abortion protesters, don’t you think? They are only doing what their imaginary god tells them to do. They are like Bin Ladin’s followers, Jim Jones’s koolaid mixers, the catholic soldiers during the crusades, the enslavement of the new world and the inquisition. – but just petty.

    Let’s be grateful that their crappy little god didn’t tell them to get an ak and start shooting sinners.

  10. Beefalicious says:

    I love that she uses the suicide argument considering the spike in suicides after Christmas. Which I’m guessing she is in favor of.

  11. Anonymous says:

    He is AWESOME. He did what I wanted to do some many times when I volunteered at planned parenthood. Why do the people doing the offense think they have the best defense?
    I am so sorry for what his wife and he had to go through, and the complete lack of empathy from these tools on the street illustrates perfectly they aren’t about protecting life, they are about self-aggrandizement. Screw them.
    That guy was brave and while his anger was palpable, he really kept it in check. Good work, and again, my prayers go out to him and his family.

  12. Christhegirl says:

    So many eloquent comments here already, but I was interested that, at around 2:15, one of the women seems to say she’s going to call the cops. These people assert their 1st Amendment right to harass and inflict pain on people in a public space, but when they themselves are confronted and made uncomfortable, where does free speech go? Free speech is dandy if you never have to deal with your victims speaking back to you, I guess.

    My heart goes out to Aaron and also Mike the Bard here in comments. Bravo to Aaron for talking back.

  13. funchy says:

    Thank you for having the courage to share this with the world. Right now there is so much pressure to be “pro life” that anything less makes you a “baby killer”. Thanks for talking about the darker side of banning all therapeutic abortions.

    Did you know a fetus can die inside a woman and she won’t necessarily go into labor? If the extremists have their way ALL abortion will be legal, including removing the fetus before the 9th month. Imagine being forced to carry a dead body for months, then go through labor pains knowing it’s already dead?! Or, as in the video, the fetus with terminal birth defects. What’s the point of forcing the fetus to breathe air for a few hours so it can slowly die?

  14. Anonymous says:

    I think we can agree that we will never all agree on the abortion issue. What we can all agree on is that regardless of whether a child’s life begins with conception, it doesn’t end at birth.

    So instead of fighting about something we will never, ever completely agree on, why don’t we join forces and put our energy and passion into something we do agree on.

    After all, children that haven’t been aborted deserve a chance at life. They deserve full bellies, a decent education, a home to belong to, someone to look out for them.

    How many children within a five-mile radius of your house go to bed hungry? How many kids are waiting for a family in your city? How underfunded and understaffed is your branch of Child Protective Services?

    So, do you really care about kids, or do you care about punishing people you don’t agree with? Because I think if you really really care about kids, you put down your sign and actually do something to help a child. Period.

    Links: One in 50 kids in USA are homeless:
    http://articles.cnn.com/2009-03-10/us/homeless.children_1_homeless-children-family-homelessness-child-homelessness?_s=PM:US

  15. Anonymous says:

    Good job. So sorry for him and his wife.

  16. ransom notes says:

    I applaud this man for standing up to passive-aggressive bullies who felt justified spewing their ideas, but didn’t have the decency to listen to anyone else’s. “love they brother,” she said? hmmmm.
    – thanks for sharing this, Mark

  17. bobrk says:

    The Planned Parenthood protesters in my neighborhood are overwhelmingly old middle aged men.

  18. Anonymous says:

    This guy had more restraint than I would have. Good for him. I hope he and his wife recover and try again.

  19. chgoliz says:

    You can’t make a man undergo a simple blood test to see if he’s a potential donor for his own child suffering from a fatal disease.

    You can’t even subject him to a cheek swab to determine whether or not he is the father of that child.

    American citizens who are male have the right of bodily integrity.

    Anti-choicers believe that half of this country’s citizens should not have the same legal and human rights as the other half. That half of this country’s citizens should be forced to undergo a life threatening medical condition against their will for the better part of a year, possibly dying and certainly having at least some permanent physical changes as a result.

    And the reason behind this blatant disregard for half of our citizens? Because they want to codify their religious beliefs into law, forcing everyone to live according their religious dictates, in direct violation of the 1st Amendment.

  20. grimc says:

    They hate all abortion except for their special case. One even said they should all be killed. Only fourteen, she came with her mother. What brings you here? he asked. I have to have an abortion. Why? I’m not old enough to have a baby. But you told the counselor we should all be killed? Yes, you should all be killed. Why? Because you do abortions. Me too? Yes, you should be killed too. Do you want me killed before or after I do your abortion? Before.

    The Last Abortion Doctor

  21. batu b says:

    I’ve always wondered if an effective counter protest to the “gross sign” method that many anti-abortionists use would be to be parked across the street with pictures of liver transplants and other life-saving surgeries along with signs like “Heart Transplants are Wrong Because They Look Gross!”

  22. Anonymous says:

    I notice that none of these protesters seem to have jobs nor do they ever adopt the babys they seem to be obsessed with. They also don’t seem to care much for human life once these sacred babys hit the age of 13 or so when they are corrupted by those demon hormones. I never see these hypocrits protesting the war or against capital punishment.

  23. Anonymous says:

    “But what about the people who get abortions simply because the fetus is inconvenient?”

    Why would you want anyone who found a baby inconvenient to have one? As far as I’m concerned that’s a perfecrly valid and acceptable reason to abort. How would this inconvenience be treated? Would the infant be neglected or maybe abused?

    Birth control sometimes fails. Or the drunk, impaired, immature or just plain stupid don’t use it. Why give a drunk, an immature or impaired or stupid person a child to raise? Having kids is a life-changing and enormous responsibility. No one who does not want that responsibility should be forced into taking it.

  24. Mister44 says:

    In my short time on earth, I have gone from “meh – who cares, do what you want” to “abortion is an abomination if used as birth control”. (Rape and medical reasons are viable reasons IMHO.)

    That said, I don’t think it should be illegal. This article expresses my view very nicely. I approach it the same way Lincoln approached slavery. http://www.theatlantic.com/past/docs/issues/95sep/abortion/abortion.htm

    I also very much encourage adoption. I have several friends who adopted. 3/4th of them went out of the US because of the cost and unavailability of children. Some even have taken special needs kids and are thankful everyday for the chance to love them.

    The one point the guy made in a video, which is one I have been trying to make for a long time, that abortion protesting does little good. It won’t stop anything. Going after the social ills that lead to it is what is going to reduce it.

    I also want to comment that one doesn’t need to be a religious zealot to be anti-abortion. Cold rational thought is against abortion (assuming you agree with the original premise).

    Is life sacred/something worth protecting? Yes.
    When does life begin? We don’t know. Thus abortion should be avoided.

    • chgoliz says:

      3/4th of them went out of the US because of the cost and unavailability of children.

      Not true. Lots of adoptable children in the US…just not a lot of white babies. Also, at least some states now regulate some aspects of the adoption industry, meaning the prospective adoptive parents don’t always control the outcome completely anymore. Easier to adopt from countries where money buys you a guaranteed child with no strings attached (such as their former family).

      • Mister44 says:

        “3/4th of them went out of the US because of the cost and unavailability of children.”

        Not true. Lots of adoptable children in the US…just not a lot of white babies. Also, at least some states now regulate some aspects of the adoption industry, meaning the prospective adoptive parents don’t always control the outcome completely anymore. Easier to adopt from countries where money buys you a guaranteed child with no strings attached (such as their former family).
        ————————

        Race has nothing to do with it. 3 of them adopted minorities. The cost and the process is what is all messed up here. But still even with all the BS, there aren’t orphanages full of black crack babies because no one wants them – so I don’t see why one would bring race into it.

        • Anonymous says:

          The cost and the process is what is all messed up here.

          The process varies by state, so it’s impossible to make a blanket statement for the entire United States, much less the world. However, in every part of the USA it is significantly more costly to adopt internationally than domestically. In most states, adopting a child actually costs less than giving birth to one, due to state and federal subsidies. I have four adopted children in my immediate family, 3 of them international, with the adoptions taking place in 3 different states, so I know what I’m talking about.

          But still even with all the BS, there aren’t orphanages full of black crack babies because no one wants them – so I don’t see why one would bring race into it.

          You are fundamentally incorrect, at least in the mid-atlantic area where my experience lies. The majority of children in care are African American. A large proportion of them are what you’d probably call “crack babies” – their parents used drugs during the pregnancy and the children were impacted by this in the womb. These are the hardest children to find parents for; many adoptive parents simply refuse to consider them at all.

          So you can’t talk about this stuff without “bringing race in it” unless you’re going to ignore reality. Some parts of the country have large numbers of Native American children in care, some have other minorities, but the adoption centers do not have healthy white babies sitting on shelves waiting for you. You have to go to Eastern Europe for that. And that’s a real-life reason that many potential adoptive parents go there – they say it to my face – “I want a child that looks like me”. It’s a mild form of racism; they don’t want to harm other races, they just want to be able to pretend their adopted child came out of their own bodies.

          However, the most common reason for international adoption is fear of birth parents. The media thrives on reporting the unusual, the absurd; they don’t talk about all the cases where adoptees have normal happy lives, they talk about the one-in-a-million case where the crack-addled birth father breaks into the house and steals the baby at gunpoint. We hear these fears over and over from potential adoptive parents, it’s an extremely commonplace but extremely unrealistic fear. In reality, it’s more likely that your plane will crash on the way back from your foreign adoption. But people, particularly mothers, don’t want to hear this – they are petrified with fright that their baby will be taken away from them by the birth parents, and they (correctly) believe that this can’t happen if the birth parents are poverty-stricken foreigners.

          Now, on the “crack baby” subject. My daughter’s birth parents abused drugs while she was in the womb. She had low birth weight, a small head at birth, and did not sleep through the night until after she was four. She fit the pattern that supposedly leads to congenital criminality and retardation… but it turns out that so-called “science” was bullshit. Sure, her early life was rough on us (just like a colicky baby, which anyone can have, adopted or not) but at 11 she is now a straight-A student, a talented musician, and a clever, beautiful and caring girl. This is not an anomaly; studies have shown that most so-called “crack babies”, when given a loving home, will turn out just fine. It’s when you don’t take them out of the crack ghetto that they end up with a statistically higher incidence of certain problems.

          I understand how you got these incorrect ideas and I’m not interested in fighting with you. But I wanted to put the corrections out here for other who might trudge through this thread.

          • Mister44 says:

            Anon – you are correct that is is impossible to make a blanket statement across the whole US, but I still haven’t heard anyone say how quick, painless, and/or affordable the process was.

            I want to back track/correct myself on the cost thing. I guess some abroad adoptions are more expensive than locally – and other times they are cheaper. One of my friends said they saved nearly $18k by adopting from East Asia.

            As for the race issue, the original statement was that parents are adopting abroad to get white babies. This isn’t the only reason to adopt abroad, though I am sure it is one of them for some people.

            From my anecdotal data, I’m in the Midwest and of the 6 people I know who adopted, only one of them adopted a white baby (in their case one white and one who was 25% black).

            I have read that black, especially boy, babies have a harder time being placed, as do special needs babies, etc. I still contend there are not orphanages full of un-adoptable black babies who grow into un-adoptable kids. If I am wrong about that please forward me some info, as I’d love to learn more.

            The parents thing is another reason to adopt abroad, as you said. I have never heard anyone have concerns about babies being taken by gun point (though I am sure some have that fear). There are more ways now for birth parents to change their minds after the fact – a gut wrenching act I just can’t imagine.

            PS – sharing info and ideas doesn’t always lead to fighting.

          • Anonymous says:

            Neither adoption nor biological birth are quick and painless. I’ve been through both processes, personally, though, and I can tell you that adoption through a legally constituted US agency of a baby born in the USA was cheaper than my wife’s emergency C-section. Even after insurance.

            I want to back track/correct myself on the cost thing. I guess some abroad adoptions are more expensive than locally – and other times they are cheaper. One of my friends said they saved nearly $18k by adopting from East Asia.

            To my knowledge, there is no state in the USA where it costs $18K to adopt a child from states’ care. Your friend can not possibly be correct, unless the comparison is to a private “baby mill” or a surrogate mother service.

            Adoptions available here through governmental agencies cost less than the plane ticket to anywhere in East Asia. In addition, you will receive at least a $5K tax credit (that’s $5K cash back, straight up) from the US federal government, at minimum. If you adopt a special needs child or a sibling group you will receive significantly more, possibly including a life-long stipend if you adopt a child with severe issues. The various states also have similar subsidies.

            http://tax-credit.adoption.com/

            The nation, the state, and your local community benefit when children grow up in families. It costs the taxpayers less to support a child in a family than in an institution. Children benefit in many objectively measurable ways when they grow up in families (such as level of education reached, level of income/taxpaying reached, rate of crime and incarceration, for example).

            It makes financial, moral, and practical sense for our taxes to support adoption. That’s why it’s cheaper to adopt inside the US than abroad, as long as you’re dealing with a tax-funded or non-profit agency.

            Some states allow for-profit baby mills that cater to prospective parents’ fears and religious or social prejudices. They cost a lot more, obviously.

        • chgoliz says:

          “The cost and the process is what is all messed up here.”

          You get a regular stipend and other financial supports for foster-to-adopt. International adoption costs average around $50,000 and include no ongoing support from social workers, etc.

          • Mister44 says:

            The foster system is different than adoption from birth. While I don’t know how much a foster care stipend is, the guy I know with 6 foster kids isn’t driving around with spinning rims and designer clothes. While a social worker may be needed for older kids (most of them have been abused), most adoptions don’t need one – especially for infant adoptions.

            At any rate, you will save ~$15,000 to $20,000 by going abroad, and you don’t have to worry at night about someone changing their mind and ripping him/her from you.

            Everyone who has actually gone through the adoption process will tell you how screwed up it is; and often times people prey on these desperate couples.

          • chgoliz says:

            You have no idea how offense your post was to adoptees and foster children, but I’ll cut you some slack because it’s obvious you’ve never done real research into the issue.

            Let’s leave it at this: everything you wrote – every single detail – is a lie told by people who make a good living through selling children to desperate people. (No, not the original families: the adoption industry workers.) In many cases, they’re just repeating what they’ve been told as well.

            It’s one of the few subjects in which even normally skeptical and evidence-based individuals will simply accept the standard claims without ever digging deeper.

          • Mister44 says:

            Please do enlighten me as to what was offensive/incorrect.

            That stipends for foster kids isn’t a good reason to take in foster kids?

            That infants don’t need social workers? Maybe there are special cases.

            That you will save a ton of money abroad? I have backtracked on that and said you *CAN* – but it isn’t always the case. It depends where you are and where you adopt from. As I said, I had a friend tell me she saved ~$18K.

            That the the process is the most difficult and expensive thing any of them have ever done?

            Feel free to link to any myth-busting information you have.
            That people prey on these couples? We seem to agree there.

      • Brainspore says:

        Not true. Lots of adoptable children in the US…just not a lot of white babies.

        I hope you’re not implying that there is not some kind of bargain-bin of black babies which could be adopted tomorrow if white couples weren’t so picky. When my aunt and uncle adopted my black cousin they had to jump through just as many hoops as when they adopted my white cousin. (More, actually, since many adoption agencies give preference to adoptive families of the same race as the child in question.)

        • Anonymous says:

          It’s currently illegal in the United States to obstruct transracial adoptions. This is a contentious subject and there are still probably many social workers actively disobeying the law.

          Read this: http://pages.uoregon.edu/adoption/topics/transracialadoption.htm

          The fact that there are many more black babies than white babies in care does not mean that there are any short-cuts to proving your fitness to adopt. Your bargain-bin metaphor is ugly and I hope you never use it in front of your black cousin.

  25. LapisPezuli says:

    Back in highschool I decided I was adamantly against abortion, thus pro-life, and went vegetarian because of it.

    Twelve years later, I firmly believe in abortion as a right but am a step away from being vegan.

    Every child deserves to be wanted and to be raised by a family that has the time to care for it.

  26. Brainspore says:

    Although I strongly disagree with them, I can understand why people of conscience who truly believe that abortion is a form of murder would feel compelled to protest against the practice.

    The problem is that so many people form their opinions on the subject from a place of ignorance, and attack people on the other side with neither a sense of human compassion nor a desire to understand their situation.

    • Daedalus says:

      why people of conscience who truly believe that abortion is a form of murder would feel compelled to protest against the practice.

      Do they believe murder is a form of murder?

      Why are they wasting their time with abortion when there are hundreds of thousands of actual murders taking place on a daily basis in places all over the world that would be more than happy to stop?

      This is what I don’t really get. There’s actual murder going on. Murder of actual living, breathing people, that individuals of all faiths agree is a bad thing. Places that really do need to hear a message of love and peace.

      Why aren’t abortion protesters SUPER-ANGRY about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars? Why aren’t they protesting to get Darfur recognized as genocide just as fiercely? Why aren’t they busy in inner-city communities where gang violence can still break the silence of a night? Why aren’t they fiercely protesting outside of prisons with pictures of electrocuted corpses?

      This is not even a battle that should be fought. There are more important things to worry about, if you want to worry about saving lives, more effective ways to spend your time. If you want to help people, this is not the way to do it.

      So I end up wondering what their true motives are, or what political forces are corrupting the message of a loving god that has done quite a bit of good over the centuries.

      • Brainspore says:

        Why are they wasting their time with abortion when there are hundreds of thousands of actual murders taking place on a daily basis in places all over the world that would be more than happy to stop?

        Again, I am pro-choice, but that’s not a very good argument against those who oppose abortion because murder is illegal and relatively few pro-lifers would want to change that.

        For the record, many pro-life people I’ve known do extend that philosophy toward all living human beings- opposing not only abortion but also murder, war, euthanasia and capital punishment.

      • grimc says:

        Why aren’t abortion protesters SUPER-ANGRY about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars?

        The anti-abortion movement isn’t about “life” as much as it is about a) subjugation of women and b) prohibiting sex for any other reason than reproducing.

        • petertrepan says:

          I want to agree, but there’s a snag I can’t reconcile with that: I’ve found that in practice, the machinery of religion – even fundamentalist religion – is kept running by women. They’re the ones who insist on going to church Sunday morning, bringing something to the covered dish supper, putting money in the offering plate, having Bible study at their house, sending uplifting emails with religious language, and so on. For any given church, I bet you’ll see far fewer single men there on Sunday than single women.

          • grimc says:

            But doesn’t that just prove the viability of the strategy? I think you have a good point about women’s participation in religion generally, but that doesn’t preclude people from voluntarily working against their own interests. It’s the gas that makes modern US conservatism go.

          • petertrepan says:

            I suppose people will work voluntarily against their own interests. Perhaps the whole structure would come tumbling down if someone worked out how to have a potluck without a church.

  27. thebelgianpanda says:

    Mike the Bard, your post almost made me cry. I can’t even comprehend.

  28. LeFunk says:

    Abortiowned.

  29. Church says:

    If you honestly can’t understand why abortion protestors go to the lengths they do, just replace “fetuses” with “infants,” “Jews,” “Muslims,” “the retarded,” etc.

    • Anonymous says:

      “If you honestly can’t understand why abortion protestors go to the lengths they do, just replace “fetuses” with “infants,” “Jews,” “Muslims,” “the retarded,” etc”

      I can understand it perfectly, I can also understand why people think they can convince other people of the rightness of their ideas by blowing buildings (and people) up. These are all perfectly understandable things they’re also acts of pure irrational evil.

      The people in that video are doing evil, they are callously and deliberately inflicting pain and suffering on other thinking and reasoning beings in the service of their ideology.

      Any kind of a higher power demanding those kinds of actions from his/her/its followers is also doing evil.

  30. Wardish says:

    There is one very effective way to deal with these idiots.

    Get a group of people equal to or more than the protesters.

    Don’t block them or touch them without permission.

    Everyone go up and tell them you forgive them and ask for a hug.
    Repeat…

  31. Silverer says:

    It’s like I’ve always said: If you don’t believe in abortion, for goodness sakes, DON’T HAVE ONE!

  32. sillygolem says:

    Why do we have riot police hosing down protesters of anything economic with tear gas, but never abortion protesters?

  33. Gilbert Wham says:

    Well done that man. My heart goes out to his wife & him. Shame there’s not higher-res pictures of the interfering witches. Or that more people would give a shit.

    If 4chan & the Tabloids could spur up international opprobrium for cat-in-a-bin lady, shame we can’t have the same for these assholes. Compounding the misery of deeply unhappy and scared women? Screaming at them in the street? Fuck them. Party-Van those creeps.

    Unfond as I am of the Public Order Act, I’d cheerfully applaud its use if these wack-jobs were outside a similar institution in the UK (and I’m pretty sure it’d get used, too).

  34. Church says:

    “OK, why aren’t the Afghani and Iraqi wars really angry about abortions?”

    Um? For the same reason abortions aren’t really angry about the wars?

  35. Joseph Hertzlinger says:

    “Ironically, the existence of anti-abortion protesters are an argument in favor of abortion.”

    You have just explained why we won’t give up. There’s a possibility it might be our lives on the line next.

  36. Church says:

    “Why aren’t abortion protesters SUPER-ANGRY about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars? ”

    Flip it around, is what I’m guessing they’d say.

    • AnnieGetYourFun says:

      OK, why aren’t the Afghani and Iraqi wars really angry about abortions?

    • Daedalus says:

      I gave a pretty good case as to why nobody, even the religious, should be that concerned with abortion. “Flip it around” doesn’t work, since there’s LOTS of good reasons not to get angry about abortions, and there are a lot fewer reasons not to get angry about the murders that happen to fully born people every day.

      • Wash says:

        Your argument “Why aren’t pro-lifers protesting the war?” isn’t an argument against abortion protests. It’s an argument for capital punishment & war protests.

        The answer, by the way is “Because when they’re at the White House, they’re labeled ‘Anti-war’ and when they’re at the clinic, they’re labeled ‘Anti-abortion’.”

        These people do equate abortion with murder, and they are, very rightly, concerned. Your assertion that they don’t protest wars and capital punishment is unfounded.

        • teapot says:

          Your assertion that they don’t protest wars and capital punishment is unfounded.

          As is yours that they do. When did people forget that it’s called hypocrisy when you accuse someone of doing something that you are doing yourself? Geez. Rational thought has gone out the window for Wash.

          By the time we scroll down to your reply to oohShiny, you are really clutching at straws.

          I mean “individual” in a factual sense. Its DNA is unique.
          I bet it breaks your heart to think of all that unique DNA that has been tragically lost over the millennia we have been evolving on earth… I mean, what with your passionate desire to preserve all that is unique. Are you sure you didn’t just try the ol’ argument switcheroo on us?

          Are you 14 years old, Wash?

  37. Boba Fett Diop says:

    and if we legislated protection of them, the logical conclusion would be that every woman should be pregnant whenever physically possible, and every man should be jailed for nocturnal emissions.

    Aw man! Stop giving them ideas!

  38. petertrepan says:

    Is viability the test for a right to live? Then that is also an argument for vegetarianism, since adult cows, chickens, and pigs are viable outside the womb. How come I rarely see a single person campaign both against abortion and for vegetarianism? And what about adults – like Stephen Hawking – that aren’t viable outside the womb without help? Can I abort them?

    Is human intelligence the test for a right to live? If so, would it be moral to kill a sufficiently retarded adult? If not, is it wrong to kill and eat a fish?

    Is the ability to feel pain the test for a right to live? Does a person temporarily robbed of that ability by morphine and Valium have a right to live? What if the condition somehow becomes permanent?

    Does a fetus one day from being born have a right to live? How about a “fetus” one day out from conception? How about a baby born five weeks premature – an open-air fetus? How about an open-air fetus who is forty-five years old and on death row for murder?

    Discuss. Defend your position without using ad-hominem, or your custom brand of religion. Thanks. I’m glad I could bring some clarity.

    • littleboz204 says:

      Is viability the test for a right to live? Then that is also an argument for vegetarianism, since adult cows, chickens, and pigs are viable outside the womb. How come I rarely see a single person campaign both against abortion and for vegetarianism? And what about adults – like Stephen Hawking – that aren’t viable outside the womb without help? Can I abort them?

      Is human intelligence the test for a right to live? If so, would it be moral to kill a sufficiently retarded adult? If not, is it wrong to kill and eat a fish?

      Is the ability to feel pain the test for a right to live? Does a person temporarily robbed of that ability by morphine and Valium have a right to live? What if the condition somehow becomes permanent?

      Does a fetus one day from being born have a right to live? How about a “fetus” one day out from conception? How about a baby born five weeks premature – an open-air fetus? How about an open-air fetus who is forty-five years old and on death row for murder?

      Discuss. Defend your position without using ad-hominem, or your custom brand of religion. Thanks. I’m glad I could bring some clarity.

      “Then that is also an argument for vegetarianism, since adult cows, chickens, and pigs are viable outside the womb.”

      Well, for starters, we don’t eat people, viable or not.

      “Is human intelligence the test for a right to live? If so, would it be moral to kill a sufficiently retarded adult? If not, is it wrong to kill and eat a fish?”

      Again, we don’t eat people regardless of intelligence level.

      “Is the ability to feel pain the test for a right to live? Does a person temporarily robbed of that ability by morphine and Valium have a right to live? What if the condition somehow becomes permanent?”

      There are people with nervous system disorders where they are unable to physically feel anything, pleasure or pain. Nobody is advocating that we go and kill them.

      “Does a fetus one day from being born have a right to live? How about a “fetus” one day out from conception? How about a baby born five weeks premature – an open-air fetus? How about an open-air fetus who is forty-five years old and on death row for murder?”

      The standard set forth for viability in Roe v. Wade is up until the second trimester. You’ll be happy to know that the extreme majority of abortions happen within the first 12 weeks (upwards of 90%). Following, a baby born 5 weeks premature cleary would not be killed because it needs a few more days in NICU. At one day after conception you have a grouping of cells. I find it very difficult to make an argument that a grouping of cells is an independent living being. An open-air fetus who is 45 years old sounds like an adult to me, not a fetus in any sense of the word. Perhaps he is mentally retarded, in which case the death penalty has been deemed immoral, but I’m not entirely sure where that example is going.

    • littleboz204 says:

      “Is viability the test for a right to live? Then that is also an argument for vegetarianism, since adult cows, chickens, and pigs are viable outside the womb.”

      Well, for starters, we don’t eat babies, children, teenagers or adults.

      “And what about adults – like Stephen Hawking – that aren’t viable outside the womb without help? Can I abort them?”

      We’re not talking about qualities that can apply to people who have been born, whether it be self-sufficiency or any other qualifier. We are talking about fetuses that are in the uterus of the mother.

      “Is human intelligence the test for a right to live? If so, would it be moral to kill a sufficiently retarded adult? If not, is it wrong to kill and eat a fish?”

      Again, we’re not talking about those who have been born but are unable to take care of themselves or have an IQ of 50. And again, I don’t eat babies because they can’t think, in fact, I don’t eat babies at all.

      “Is the ability to feel pain the test for a right to live? Does a person temporarily robbed of that ability by morphine and Valium have a right to live? What if the condition somehow becomes permanent?”

      See above about how the discussion is about fetuses, not adults.

      “Does a fetus one day from being born have a right to live? How about a “fetus” one day out from conception? How about a baby born five weeks premature – an open-air fetus? How about an open-air fetus who is forty-five years old and on death row for murder?”

      The standard for viability as established in Roe v. Wade is 2 trimesters. Thus, 5 weeks premature clearly would not be killed the second it was born because it needs a few more days in NICU.

      In regards to the 45-year-old fetus, that sounds like an adult to me. If he/she just so happened to have the IQ of 10, then no, it would be (as the courts have ruled) in violation of the 8th Amendments prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment.

    • AnotherDave says:

      Regarding eating living things: everyone draws their line in the sand somewhere even vegetarians (after all plants are living things too).

      On topic: many things are difficult to argue on purely objective grounds when related to morality given much of our morality has been decided by society over the time it has evolved.

      That said I don’t think you should be conflating things that aren’t necessarily similar in order to try and get your point across. Why compare an unborn fetus to a fish because neither has human intelligence? They’re also different in a multitude of other ways and I think there’s little point in comparing such things on a single attribute.

  39. luislopezgarcia says:

    Abortion, and everything related to it is sad. The husband and his wife were clearly going through a horrible ordeal. Because it is such an emotional topic people let their emotions take over and thoughtful conversation and discussion cease to exist.

    I am a pretty liberal person, but abortion is taken so lightly it actually makes me nauseous.

    I think it is hypocritical that while we seek out life beyond our tiny planet, a random strand of RNA is considered to be life; while a fertilized zygote, with it’s complete DNA blueprint of an individual human person, is nothing of consequence.

    Depending on your sources, only about 1% to 13% of abortions are for reasons such as rape, incest, or health of the fetus or mother. The overwhelming majority of abortions are conducted PURELY FOR CONVENIENCE.

    I formally apologize for the fact that like any group, the pro-life group includes many ignorant people who cannot make an argument without shouting and threatening people outside the group.

    -Luis (Democrat)

    • Thalia says:

      And by “convenience” you mean “reasons that I don’t understand, and that I didn’t bother to actually talk to the women about.” Do you think women deliberately choose to have a medical procedure (painful and expensive)? I recommend you go talk to some actual women who have had abortions, and find out their reasons.

    • teapot says:

      …abortions are conducted PURELY FOR CONVENIENCE.

      You have it all wrong… it’s to AVOID INCONVENIENCE. A slight, but important distinction. < --- This trolling was brought to you by the People for the citation of random stats on the internet coalition.

      petertrepan: tight.
      I especially like the phrase ‘sufficiently retarded’. If we decide to impliment your suggestion, I recon the pro-lifers in this video might be excellent first candidates.

  40. Rob O. says:

    Really disturbs me when I see crusty old white politicians making policy regarding abortions. If you don’t even have a vagina, you have no business mandating what women can or cannot do with their bodies.

    Those are the same hypocrits who’ve probably knocked up half a dozen chickies on the side and are quite thankful that those women had abortion as an option.

  41. Anonymous says:

    Every fall, when I lived in Boston, my girlfriends and I would start our monthly “payback” visits to the clinic protesters. We had all been harassed by them at some point. They don’t seem to understand that these clinics offer a wide range of women’s health services.

    We would each bring a 5 gallon bucket with us, stop at a nearby building to fill up from their fire connection or landscaping spigot and then proceed to douse the entire lot. then we’d chuck the buckets if we needed to and hop on the T.

    On a good day we would hit three clinics in a row as most of the womens clinics are in the same area of Brookline. On an excellent day it would be between 15 and 40 degrees.

    You should try it, it’s super fun.

  42. Anonymous says:

    Mark, you are my hero! To speak with such clear intelligence and level-headedness on what had to be one of the worst days of your life is heroic. I wish you and your wife peace in your grief and a future filled with beautiful healthy children.

  43. bardfinn says:

    The values of civilised society make it possible for these people to have their medical procedure, and make it possible for those protestors to perform their protest.

    The values of a civilised society would assert that abortions be left to the discretion of the medical practitioner and the woman involved, as people have a right to privacy.

    The values of a civilised society would assert that civilised human beings would know better than to harass other people who are likely going through one of the worst days of their lives, over an event the third party knows nothing about.

    In short, both have the right to do what they’re doing. One of them fails to have the common decency to do something else.

  44. Anonymous says:

    This is amazing.

  45. Anonymous says:

    I applaud the husband for maintaining a logical, intelligent argument while under such enormous pressure. That type of protester, the one who spams others with only propaganda and no facts, is the worst kind, and he managed to shut them down with a camera and his brain.
    I’m from Sydney Australia and can not actually believe that this happens anywhere in the world in this day and age. Shame on those 2 women, the senior figures within their church, and the local government in that area for not removing them.
    I wish the parents all the best in life, and many healthy children in the future.

  46. redesigned says:

    this is an even better video on the subject:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uk6t_tdOkwo

    when these people are asked if they think abortion should be illegal, they say yes it is murder. when asked what should happen to mothers that get illegal abortions they are speechless…they have never even though through the issue that they are parroting opinions they have been fed about. nor have they thought through the consequences of their stance. most of them don’t think the women should have life in prison or be executed and obviously don’t actually think it is the same as murder.

    ignorant jerks!

  47. Anonymous says:

    We have a group that stands in front of the Planned Parenthood building in town, everyday, rain or shine, holding signs and yelling at traffic. But no women. The group seems to be made up entirely of older white men.

    Everyone is used to them, and they are generally ignored.

  48. BadIdeaSociety says:

    This reminds me of this guy out in Libertyville, Illinois who confronted several Anti-Abortion Protesters and asked them what they thought the punishment should be for women who got abortions (if abortion were made illegal). The people interviewed just froze up when the question was asked of them.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uk6t_tdOkwo

    The argument is really complicated. But these people seem to still think of women as being the victim of sexual intercourse and not a participant.

  49. dudemanguy says:

    You can’t fix stupid.

  50. Joergen Geerds says:

    it would be great if more people would confront them… maybe there is a 1 in 100 chance that any of them would start using their brains and start thinking what kind of non-sense arguments the pro-lifers are spewing.

  51. teapot says:

    This guy is my hero. Not only did he explain how any why these simpleton ‘pro-life’ fucktards hurt people who aren’t even disobeying their strangle little moral world-rulebook, he did it without resorting to (unjustified) name calling, swearing or acts which could be considered assault.

    I take my hat off to you, sir. Had I been in your shoes that day I certainly would’ve lost my cool, and at the very least I would have;
    1) taken and destroyed their signs
    2) burned bibles in front of them
    3) made them fear for their lives (probably by driving my car towards them and braking at the very last moment)
    and none of these (apart from #1) are good ideas….and even #1 could land you in jail if you didnt run fast enough.

    The point the narrow-minded bitch made about the rate of suicide amongst mothers who abort is the usual pro-life dumbass schtick. Hey assholes: its a bunch of cells til you pop it out and cut the cord. Maybe if you weren’t so busy giving twisted guilt trips to people because of nothing but your particular flavour of delusion then the suicide rate amongst mothers who aborted wouldn’t be different to the normal population.

    It all boils down to religion’s desire to increase the flock. All religions understand that a born believer is easier to gain than a converted believer, so they all conveniently define abortion as immoral. The originaotrs of marketing have the gall to tell us we’re immoral? Well chew on this: FUCK YOU. I’m going to live my life, and you’re going to leave me alone.

  52. Bart says:

    Good for him. Probably one of the worst days in his life and he has to deal with those assholes. Fortunately for him, they live in Massachusetts where its still legal and reasonable to have such an operation.

  53. Anonymous says:

    awkward.

  54. pato pal ur says:

    Poor guy, it must be awful to be told you have to abort your baby. I really feel for him.

  55. Anonymous says:

    This is one of the most satisfying things I’ve seen in years. Go Aaron! And I hope he and his wife are able to have a happy, healthy baby in the future, without any interaction from these horrible people.

  56. Anonymous says:

    I prefer the Jewish position on abortion: the fetus isn’t viable until it graduates from medical school.

  57. Milo says:

    ok, maybe I don’t understand where you’re coming from because in the UK these kinds of protests would be illegal, there isn’t much of a pro life arguement and I would say a very very small minority would want to make abortion illegal.
    I think abortion should be legal, the concequences of abortion being illegal are too awful. And I think I would do the same in this couples situation.
    But it is not a merely private issue because we are talking about how we treat the most vunerable people in our society, the only people it is legal to kill (UK capital punishment also illegal) and our society should be judged on how we treat those people.
    One of the main arguements for abortion for social reasons on this page seems to be “well what would we do with all those babies if they were born” or they might be treated badly

    Surely that’s not a appropiate justification for the termination of a human.
    It’s so easy to become hypocritical and judgemental, If I became pregnant then it would be difficult for me to chose a life of hardship so my child could have a life, and I sympathise with those in this really difficult situation.

    I guess my point is that I don’t think abortion should be taken lightly,
    and you need to be carefull because when you have a bad experience it tends to push you further and further in the other direction, into saying things like that a human kept alive by a life support machine isn’t as much of a human being merely because they’re being kept alive by a life support machine. In my opinion that’s a terrible thing to say.
    when deciding if someone is “a life” and therefore granted the rights that we grant human beings, maybe we should be leaning towards the life side.

    I guess if you start with the premise that an unborn baby isn’t a human then it would be easy to come to a different conclusion.
    But that has it’s own problems in that what is the difference between a baby that’s just been born and a baby going to be born in two days time, when do you decide, how do you decide when that structure of stuctures of cells becomes a life rather than merely being alive.

  58. Anonymous says:

    This is all we need to know:

    “The Only Moral Abortion is My Abortion”

    http://mypage.direct.ca/w/writer/anti-tales.html

  59. Padraig says:

    Jesus ;)

    Another reason not to live where there are religious loons.

    I once lived two doors from a clinic (in Sydney, Australia).

    As I walked home one day I found two elderly women picketing outside (this had NEVER happened before).

    I went inside the clinic (while they heckled me) and told the staff I was calling the police as I was concerned about the possibility of violence (they were scary looking old ladies!!).

    I then went outside and told these protesters that they were living evidence that terminations should have been made available when they were born. This incited them into being more unpleasant (though they were taken aback that someone was speaking to them) and I then informed them that as they were blocking the footpath, harassing people who were living in the area and being aggressive, I was calling the police.

    The police arrived and came to my home. I walked outside and pointed out that these persons had harassed me. I asked that the police take their details and make it clear they were not to harass anyone and not to block the footpath. It took a few minutes of explaining to the police that as they were now at the house they were responsible for NOT taking the aforementioned action, which I would then report to the Local Area Commander. I explained that age did not prevent people being violent and listed some recent examples in the press where people in the approximate age range had been charged for stabbing and shooting others. I added in that in the US this has happened and could happen here in Australia and did they really want to be the ones in the Coroner’s Court explaining why they didn’t take even the minimum action necessary to identify these persons in the event of violence.

    This started a whole new level of frustration for the protesters as they had not experienced being questioned by the police before. After the police left, the protesters departed too and never came back.

    At the time, I had work which allowed me a lot of flexibility and was quite prepared to picket their picket for as long as I could.

    Though I have mixed feelings about terminations, I certainly support laws which provide this as an option for those women who believe they need it. I’m not in their shoes and I don’t propose to make decisions for them in these instances.

    It is far too hard for those involved.

  60. Rajio says:

    I hope this made him feel at least a little better :(

  61. rexdude says:

    Considering what he was facing, and the way those women were behaving, I’d say he handled himself with a lot more restraint than most other people in his position.

  62. Daedalus says:

    It sort of shocks me the minor philosophical religious points that become big national issues. A book of the bible that praises slavery and tells you not to eat shellfish becomes a reason for denying people their rights. An obscure hypothetical point about what exactly life is causes unending suffering for families and women.

    Things like “turn the other cheek,” and “love thy neighbor as thyself,” and “render unto Ceasar what is Ceasar’s,” and “let he who is without sin cast the first stone,” and “we are all sinners,” meanwhile, become minor doctrinal points rather than the rallying cries that they should be.

    Why is it this that people choose to spend their time on? What do they have to gain? If you want to save lives and bring people to Jesus, why do they focus on such hateful, painful things?

    It doesn’t benefit the religion, it doesn’t benefit the souls of anyone. I guess at most it slakes their rage at their own impotence. It makes them feel powerful to make people angry.

    They are basically like spoiled two-year olds crapping themselves for the amusement of making Daddy angry.

    Well, Daddy, I hope they listened to you, at least a little bit.

    • Anonymous says:

      “Why is it this that people choose to spend their time on? What do they have to gain? If you want to save lives and bring people to Jesus, why do they focus on such hateful, painful things?”

      Because people love to feel superior in some way. It’s a lazy person’s way of saying ‘I did some good today.’ They just have to stand there with a sign, instead of actually doing something.

      If you were really against abortions, you would take action in the form of looking into WHY people have abortions, and how to prevent it, etc. Standing there half-assed with a sign doesn’t do anybody any good.

      Yet they do it because it’s easy to achieve. It makes them feel like they’ve done some good, and deep down, they feel above the women who walk into these places. It makes them feel good about themselves.

      People will always twist things because they are assholes. Look at the way she casually says ‘Love thy brother’, while obviously ignoring it at the same time.

      Religion has nothing wrong with it when followed right… But unfortunately people will twist it. It is the easiest route to convince yourself you are doing good, while either doing nothing at all, or causing more harm than good.

      It makes me mad that in the modern world, religion is still a valid thing to inflicit something on people who don’t follow it.

      If there was one thing I’d want the world to understand is that you can’t give a man freedom, you can only take freedom away. Don’t force your will upon another’s life. The idea of abortions being done just because the baby is ‘not wanted’ is not the reality at all.

    • Mark Frauenfelder says:

      “Passionate hatred can give meaning and purpose to an empty life.” — Eric Hoffer

  63. Razzabeth says:

    The other day at my college there were two old ugly men with 20 ft tall pictures of dead babies. A crowd of students surrounded them, and were patiently explaining to them that they were being rude and ignorant. The men were looking very nervous and harassed. They looked like they didn’t like being in the shoes of their victims.

  64. boonefrog says:

    This made me so happy to see. I went through a similar situation and it really is the worst day of your life. We had to deal with similar protesters but with larger, more graphic signs and they were yelling at us. I get chills just thinking about that day.

    I’m trying to think of a metaphor for that feeling (salt in the wound, etc.) but there’s really just nothing that compares to that sort of unnecessary judgment. Good for him… just wish I’d had the guts to do the same.

  65. rianeiru says:

    This is pretty much the perfect way to handle situations like this. He’s passionate without being over-emotional, he knows what he’s talking about, and he presents his views clearly and intelligently. We need more people like this guy around.

    Too bad sometimes the only way to find out about a person’s great qualities is by seeing how they react to terrible situations. I feel so bad for him and his wife, being harassed by those airheads.

  66. CANTFIGHTTHEDITE says:

    Good on this guy for standing up for himself and his wife. Those idiots have no business harassing private citizens in order to air their irrational beliefs, and I’m proud that he took the difficult and uncomfortable step of confronting them. Best of luck to you, sir!

  67. Phil says:

    I certainly wish I had the guts and verbal clarity my new pal Aaron has. Kudos

  68. happytweak says:

    This made my day.
    And thus we see how, even after the dark ages, religious zealots are still hindering social, ethical and scientific growth.

  69. BookGuy says:

    To anyone who would defend the “protesters,” here’s what I’d say: You can take the issue of pro-life vs. pro-choice out of it. Bottom line, these people stood in the street and yelled down their judgment on people without knowing ANYTHING about who they were, why they were there, or what they were doing. That’s what makes them assholes. It’s certainly possible to have a belief and not be a complete jerk about it. For example, I can think of two world religions that believe that eating pork is wrong. Never have I had a BBQ and had any of one of them run into my backyard screaming, “EVIL! EVIL!”

  70. Anonymous says:

    My ex-partner had an abortion. She did not tell me. I should have had suspicions at the time because of her hastily planned trip to see a friend she hadn’t visited in a long time. Retrospectively, there were other signals, too. But I was too wrapped up in myself to notice. She was of the “pro-choice for everyone but pro-life for me” variety. I found out some time later.

    She would have been a great mother, and is now a great mother to a child from her marriage. We were very much in love. She loved me a great deal, and I loved her a great deal. I might have been a great father. But I might not have been. She made that choice for me, without consulting with me.

    I didn’t have anything to do with the decision. I was completely disenfranchised about the life of my unborn child.

    Now, how is it that I am infinitely more disgusted by abortion clinic protesters than I am with my ex-partner? She had a difficult decision, and I should have been a part of the decision. Together, we may have made a different decision or we may not have. Either way, it’s none of your fucking business.

  71. Datura Greenleaf says:

    This is a great article about how many of these clinic protesters actually end up inside the clinic getting an abortion themselves:
    http://www.prochoiceactionnetwork-canada.org/articles/anti-tales.shtml

    I call bullshit on the notion of abortions for “convenience” – its a term that deliberately downplays the very compelling reasons why many women have abortions that aren’t part of the socially acceptable triad (rape, incest, life of the mother). For many young women, an unwanted baby means that their life is over, that their future is ruined, and that they will never get a chance to make their way in the world. Many women simply cannot afford to have a child. Many women are in abusive relationships and do not want to bring a child into the equation. And yes, some women just really don’t ever want to have children. But birth control is fallible. And there are almost no doctors out there that will sterilise a childless woman under the age of 40.

    • Squib says:

      Not to mention that a third of women who have abortions are already mothers. These are women faced with the very real effect that continuing another pregnancy would have on their existing children. I’ve long since discovered that anyone who uses the word “convenience” in regards to an abortion, 1) has no appreciation for what having an abortion is really like, 2) views children as punishments and women who have sex as deserving of punishment, and 3) is lucky enough to have never had their resources of time, money, and physical/mental health drained into the red for long periods of time.

  72. Maggie Koerth-Baker says:

    Over the last couple of years, I’ve come to the conclusion that, if you have issues with abortion but are willing to make some concessions about it, it’s really, ironically, the later-term stuff you ought to be arguing in favor of.

    So much of the discussion about abortion after the first trimester is framed as though tons of women just get to 6 months along and go, “Oh, I don’t want this, anymore!”

    In reality, from what I’ve read, most 2nd and nearly all 3rd trimester abortions happen for medical reasons. You’ve just found out your unborn baby is already dead inside you. You’ve just found out it has some horrible genetic problem that’s going to make it’s life short and painful. Things like that.

    It’s incredibly ironic to me that these are the abortions that get talked about like they’re the worst of the worst, or something.

    • MollyNYC says:

      Yeah–one thing that scares the living Hell out of me as an American is the number, and political power, of the kind of people who think that their passionate belief in something (usually an obsessive hatred of one sort or another, as Mark Frauenfelder @ 16 points out) trumps all facts. (1)

      Along these lines, apparently nobody in the anti-liberty camp can absorb the information that things go wrong in pregnancy. Not always (obviously), but both newborns and their mothers used to die like flies before we had modern obstetrics (that’s why we have modern obstetrics). (2)

      These idiots insist on believing that pregnancy is all unicorns and rainbows, with little putti angel babies waiting in heaven for their shot at an earthly existence, because gosh, isn’t that nicer than dealing with the fact that some fetuses don’t get a urinary system? And golly, aren’t they nicer people for refusing to deal with it?
      ________
      (1) And what do such people call those of us who prefer facts? Say it with me, folks: Elitists.

      (2) Just as a matter of scope, consider the number of women you know whose kids were born by caesarian, or forceps, or induced labor. A century ago, those women or their kids or both would have been either dead, or seriously and permanently messed up.

      • Datura Greenleaf says:

        Modern obstetrics has indeed made a positive difference in the lives of millions of women and children. Unfortunately, it has also been the cause of a lot of unnecessary suffering in recent years.

        These days, a woman is much more likely to have a caesarean due to well meaning but ultimately flawed medical practices, than due to a legitimate medical emergency. Many women are coerced or mislead into having caesareans that they don’t want or need. http://www.theunnecesarean.com/the-unnecesarean/

        • MollyNYC says:

          I think the authors of the article to which you linked are overlooking a critical fact of obstetrics, which is that, more than any other medical specialty, OBs have to deal with being sued. When MDs talk about tort reform, the way fear of legal action has sucked the pride and pleasure out of delivering babies is Exhibit A. And, as you point out, it forces practitioners to do all this stuff to cover their asses.

          Bear in mind, OB-GYN residents here in the States average about two lawsuits filed against them before they finish training. That’s not incompetent or unethical OBs–that’s the entire specialty. When they get board-certified and start a practice, lawsuits are basically a part of their professional lives, no matter how good they are.

          One major reason for the suits is that it’s another aspect of that disinclination to accept that stuff goes wrong during pregnancy. Like every other natural process, making a baby is a bit of a crapshoot. But the kind of people who think they’re entitled to it all being the aforementioned unicorns and rainbows and little putti angels singing can’t accept that. Ergo, it must be someone’s fault, presumably the doc’s. (1) So it’s off to the malpractice attorney.

          _______
          (1) Another: Caring for a newborn with serious health problems can easily bankrupt parents without insurance, and you know how insurance companies wheedle out of paying for stuff like this–so lawsuits are one of the few paths a family might have to deal with this financially. This is an insane system.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not to mention the endless cycle of trying to make more money to pay for the procedure while the procedure goes up in price.

      Most people who desperately need access to abortion simply don’t have it because of the financial barrier in place; and with the price of an abortion going up as time goes on, it’s almost impossible for someone working minimum wage to raise the money to have one (Then there’s the fact that they’d have to be working while they were pregnant.)

      In the war against abortion, late term procedures are capricious, hateful, and vindictive–a punishment to a child delivered by an abusive witch. In reality, late term procedures are heartbreaking, agonizing, and terrifying experiences.

  73. arikol says:

    Seeing the lack of thought and understanding (not to mention lack of compassion) displayed by these women is just breathtaking.

    They say they are working for the good of life and the lord, but don’t seem to understand that very few women have abortions because of any coolness or fun factor.

    Driven by hatred and disrespect, it seems. Maybe they get some feeling of power from venting their rage in public? I dunno.. Just seems nasty.

    But if you really oppose abortion then work to improve the social system of your country (whatever country you live in), work to educate young people about the real things around pregnancy, don’t oppose sexual education in schools, teach condom use, and so forth.
    Many, many things can be done so that fewer abortions are required. Shouting obscenities at people, or “pro-lifers” killing doctors or firebombing clinics does NOT help towards the goal of fewer abortions. Even banning abortions just means that women go back to dangerous coat-hanger methods.

  74. Anonymous says:

    God that must have felt good after listening to those cretins heckle his wife. This form of “protest” does nothing but feed the narcissistic holier than though predilections of the protesters themselves. Seriously, if you want to make a difference for at risk youth, mentor them, volunteer with the boy’s and girls club, volunteer to tutor kids or give to charities that provide parenting classes and counselling for at risk mothers. If you are a christian, rather than WWJD, ask yourself what would Mother Teresa do, because jesus would have performed a miracle or some such, which is out of your scope of practice.

  75. patchwerkgirl says:

    This is oh so timely since I just had a similar (though more reasonable) discussion with some anti-abortion activists at a clinic near my school. They were very kind and soft-spoken, holding signs that read “Pray to End Abortion.” Their reasoning was that abortion is murder and leaves the woman emotionally wounded, some women are forced into abortion, and, of course, that it is against their religion. They offered help and shelter to those who would take it and did not rain down their judgement upon others.

    I never raised my voice and nor did they as I told them that I had had an abortion and, rather than being emotionally damaged, I still considered it to have been a good decision.

    Women have abortions for many reasons: rape, incest, ectopic pregnancy, congenital defect, other medical issues, abusive relationships, and because they have taken stock of their lives and come to the conclusion that they could not care for a child. By the way, that last one can hardly be called convenience. Convenience does not take into account the hours/days/weeks of soul-searching and (hopefully) discussing with one’s partner the best course of action.

    Funny enough, I found out that both of the women I was talking with had suffered miscarriages. Was this a how-could-you-give-up-what-I-would-give-anything-to-have scenario? Maybe.

    But you could have given the child up for adoption, they said. But no “pro-lifer” ever talks about the repercussions of that decision:

    http://shakespearessister.blogspot.com/2009/03/breaking-silence-on-living-pro-lifers.html

    But what about the former Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson, who quit after watching an ultrasound guided abortion? Well, that was the right choice for her. As a medical professional, I know exactly what happens at each stage of pregnancy, and that at 6 weeks (which is generally the earliest you can do a D&C abortion) there is a heartbeat and features beginning to take shape. I also know that the fetus is not viable outside of the womb until 20 weeks. Elective abortion ends this; it ends the POTENTIAL of a human being. That said, it is still the right decision for some and that is not for anyone else to judge.

    A friend of mine, who is also anti-abortion, once told me that she realized that all of the pro-choice arguements made sense, but that it didn’t matter because it was an emotional issue. To this I replied, of course it is; it is for everyone.

    Oddly enough, the protesters and I came to agreement on one thing, that this whole thing is preventable. We MUST teach our children about sex, contraception, STDs and pregnancies; not just “it’s wrong, don’t do it until you’re married.” Especially that last because 3 of the 5 women who were in the clinic with me when I had my procedure were married. Two were in abusive relationships and one already had 5 children and could not afford another. No one was there because it was “convenient.”

    So here are my 2 bits on abortion, which I’m sure you’ve heard before, but they really do make the most sense:

    1. “Keep abortion safe, legal, and rare.” Education and prevention save lives, people, it’s that simple.

    and

    2. “If you don’t believe in abortion, don’t have one.”

  76. Anonymous says:

    I’m glad he brought up working with at-risk kids and hell, disadvantaged adults. I guess it’s easier to stand with a sign and verbally abuse people than actually act out Jesus’ mission in this world.

  77. abulafia says:

    Er, I don’t actually think abortion is a difficult premise to get around. There are a few things people need to learn:

    1, Excepting South Carolina (IIRC) a woman owns her own body, anything else is slavery to the state (maybe there are others, I’d be happy to hear about them)

    2, The definition of ‘life’ is used by both sides, but the scientific side uses protocols and evidence. The pro-lifers use the non-definitive ‘soul’. Citations on ‘souls’ needed.

    3, Having read some of the comments here, from parents who have had to undergo this procedure, I think we can all take something from this discussion; these decisions aren’t taken lightly, the affect of the procedure is long-lasting to the parents, the last thing they need is a bunch of religious wing-nuts calling them ‘murderers’.

    We don’t have these problems in the UK, mostly because those who display their religious beliefs in public are treated with a high degree of suspicion. Hence, Tony blair becoming catholic after he retired from public life.

    Individual choice is the bedrock of democracy, no?

    Also, on the one hand, I am scared to see the WBC spreading it’s hatred around, but that’s balanced by the ridicule they incur here (BB) and within mainstream America. Keep up the good fight!

  78. mdh says:

    I think he was rather restrained. And right on.

  79. Baldhead says:

    One problem as I see it is the pro- choice side allows the other side to exist, whereas the so- called pro- life side (who by their actions seem to see nothing wrong with murder) doesn’t have room for pro- choice. As for my own opinion there are a total of three people who should have any say in the matter of abortion- the potential mother, potential father and her doctor. NOBODY ELSE. There are, as has been said, bigger problems to spend all day worrying about.

    • Anonymous says:

      Just playing devil’s advocate here, but wouldn’t the pro-lifers also say that the reason they can’t reason with pro-choicers is because they have no problem with murder?

      I’m not arguing about who is right, just pointing out how these absolute view points only further the idiotic culture wars.

      And it’s not clear to me that it’s completely black and white. I know several people who are pro-life in the sense that they are anti-abortion, but pro-choice in that don’t believe in making it illegal.

  80. MrJM says:

    I admire this man’s heart and courage, but have to remind anyone considering confronting abortion protesters that these nuts blow up buildings and shoot people to death in church.

    Crazy + Violent ≈ Avoid.

    • Sagodjur says:

      “these nuts blow up buildings and shoot people to death in church”

      I’m as against the stupidity and cruelty that is abortion clinic protesters, but you’re pushing it by generalizing that all abortion protesters blow up buildings and shoot people in church. Yes, a few of them have, but just as the majority of Muslims aren’t trying to blow up planes, the majority of abortion protesters are not blowing up clinics or shooting doctors.

      Yes, they’re stupid and often hypocritical, but they’re not all homicidal. Claiming that lowers you to their level since they’re claiming anyone who supports choice supports murder.

  81. Anonymous says:

    I wish I had been walking so I could offer my support to this man!
    Cudo’s for defending his wife and their decision.

    Abortion is never an easy choice. Those that protest I want to ask ” How many foster chldren do you have”
    Most women who do decide to have an abortion, believe it is a better alternative.
    Beware of those who judge! They are usually the biggest hypocrites.

  82. Daemon says:

    I have a sudden urge to make a sign that protests “pro-life” protesters (sneer quotes because they are really “pro-shoving-our-values-down-your-throat” protesters), and hanging around just off to the side of them, and explicitly not interact with them, but having a friend around with a camera in case they decide to interact with me, as I expect they would.

  83. petertrepan says:

    My theory: They feel obligated to do charity, but they’re so judgmental, the only kind of person they can think of who doesn’t deserve his misery is a fetus.

  84. MrJM says:

    That said, dude is heroic.

  85. ill lich says:

    How many pro-lifers know that a great many fertilized eggs are aborted naturally; the egg and sperm create the viable zygote, but it does not attach to the uterine wall, and gets flushed out with the regular menstrual flow. God causes abortions every day, shouldn’t you be protesting that?

  86. Anonymous says:

    To the woman and her husband that just went through this, I am deeply sorry for your loss. To the man who holds the camera… I can’t imagine how angry I would be if someone just yelled at my wife on the worst day of our lives. I admire your restraint and the way to spoke. To the ladies who torment others and hold signs… I urge you to read Matthew 7:12 (So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets).

  87. Advocate says:

    Yes, these people are morons, and they’re going about achieving their agenda in the wrong way. But he said it himself: 1-in-1000 chance of his baby having that birth defect.
    I empathize with him and his wife, since that’s a horrible thing to go through and these people didn’t help the situation. But what about the people who get abortions simply because the fetus is inconvenient? That seems like a horrible reason.
    I am pro-life christian. I’d never do anything with picket signs or whatever, trying to make people feel like crap, but I believe that abortion is wrong. It’s a valid point of view, in a nation that was built on religious freedom.
    I also enjoy coming to boingboing. But I’m getting a little tired of the bashing that seems to happen quite a bit here. It seems a little hypocritical from a website that seems to hate intolerance.

    • Gina R. says:

      Advocate, I disagree with you on this issue, but I want to thank you for your respectful and reasonable tone. I think that if more people on your side of the issue behaved like you, we might be able to have a rational, productive discussion about lessening the need for abortion. I know from my own experience that it is an agonizing decision, and if we can approach it with the compassion that your faith (at its best) promotes, we may actually find some common ground.

    • EH says:

      But what about the people who get abortions simply because the fetus is inconvenient? That seems like a horrible reason.

      Who told you that that ever happens, or that it’s even an appreciable number of the total abortions every year? If Christianity can be used to fleece people stupid enough to follow an evangelical preacher, can’t your argument against abortion be extended to prohibit Christianity? I mean, the fleecing seems to happen a lot, so, like abortion, the only solution is to eliminate the entire thing. Sorry.

    • Lucifer says:

      I don’t think the bashing is so biased as you think. Don’t mistake the consensus toward seeing these protesters being in the wrong for a broader statement about all Christians and all things Christians being wrong. The public siding with the dad in this case is well founded on values of human dignity, respect, and privacy. How would you like it if someone of some random faith yelled at a loved one on possibly the most difficult day in their lives? It’s not a Christian issue as you can see because you can strip the situation down to its core and ultimately, it has nothing to do with the Bible or Christ’s teachings, but rather, one set of individuals who are ignorant belittling another set of individuals who deserve a private respectful moment on their own. The only real Christian edict that is being violated here is the protesters going against Christ’s word about “do not judge lest ye be judged” Matthew 7:1

    • Daedalus says:

      But what about the people who get abortions simply because the fetus is inconvenient? That seems like a horrible reason.

      …what to pick out first…

      Okay, how’s this. Anyone who thinks about getting an abortion because it is inconvenient to be preggers is clearly not of the belief that the fetus is a full human being.

      So you’ve already failed to get to this person. Making abortions illegal isn’t going to convince them that abortions are wrong. It’s not going to bring them to Jesus any faster.

      If you want to stop this person from getting an abortion, the way that would require the least suffering is to advance sex education from K-12, make condoms readily available, and encourage things like birth control and the morning after pill.

      Because if there is an easier way to not get pregnant than an expensive, invasive operation, someone is going to take it.

      Yes, maybe all those things are immoral as well, but this person is going to be immoral regardless. If your concern is to save babies, make sure that people only have the babies they want.

      If you want them to not be immoral, you have private schools and you have churches and you have pastors and priests and you have parents and you have the Good Book itself.

      But, ultimately, it is up to them what to believe.

      And if you’re going to love your neighbor as yourself, that means that you do not force them to believe what you want them to believe (and you don’t make them follow rules that they don’t believe in).

      No one is making you get abortions. You have no godly leg to stand on if you want to force others not to get them.

      Yes, Abortion is a sin according to most flavors of Christianity.

      But so is making your neighbor suffer.

      And the latter is actually a much bigger sin, given the Golden Rule and Jesus’s big statement that all of Christianity boils down to that main point.

      • Wash says:

        “No one is making you get abortions. You have no godly leg to stand on if you want to force others not to get them.”

        No one is making you torture innocent people. You have no godly leg to stand on if you want to limit others’ torturing rights.

        This is why relativism failed.

        • Daedalus says:

          Actually, with respect to torture, you do have a godly leg to stand on.

          But more importantly, you have a legal leg to stand on, which isn’t the same thing, but is just as important.

          I’m not arguing relativism, I’m arguing religion.

        • teapot says:

          No one is making you torture innocent people. You have no godly leg to stand on if you want to limit others’ torturing rights.

          Just because you think a bunch of cells is a person, don’t push your beliefs of biology on me. Furthermore, if one doesn’t believe in god, then why would one want a godly leg? What kind of use is an imaginary leg?

          I thought Daedalus’s point was well made. Down the rabbit hole we go.

    • CANTFIGHTTHEDITE says:

      It’s too bad that your beliefs regarding abortion are based entirely on your other belief in a supernatural being that doesn’t exist, instead of being based in science and reason.

      • komradefox says:

        I would be a little wary of giving science and reason the title of ultimate truths…

        I know many things that are not based on science or reason at all. love is one of them. also, practically every existentialist author or believer has MAJOR gripes with “reason” as you see it.

        • CANTFIGHTTHEDITE says:

          I would say that science holds the title of all verifiable truths. Many philosophers, at least from my experience, fail to verify their hypotheses in the physical world and then have their results duplicated by other independently. I should think that our beliefs should be based on the real world as it is (i.e. verifiable evidence), and not on our irrational interpretation of reality.

          Love can likely be explained in terms of a neurochemical response to various stimuli from the external environment and from an individual’s genetic code, but I’m not a neurologist. Just because you’re unwilling to acknowledge the sources of your irrationalities doesn’t make them any less irrational and any more valid as points towards determining the existence of God and the validity all the beliefs that are hinged on the existence of God.

          Please cite which philosophers you are referencing, and we can discuss exactly what you’re getting at.

    • HMS Pint of Four says:

      I’m going to quote Katha Pollitt: Forgetting your umbrella is an inconvenience. Having a baby is a major event in a woman’s life. You should learn to tell the difference.

    • Rochberg says:

      But he said it himself: 1-in-1000 chance of his baby having that birth defect.

      Umm, no. What he actually says is, “You know what? 1-in-100,000 fetal demise, congenital deformity.” It may not be clear if you’re not used to hearing people talk about prenatal diagnoses, but he’s not saying there’s a 1-in-100,000 chance that the fetus has that deformity. If the chance really were 1-in-100,000, that counts as a negative test result (meaning the baby is fine).

      What he’s actually saying is that this fetus does have that deformity and will die in utero. The statistic he is quoting is that this particular condition occurs, on average, in 1 out of every 100,000 fetuses.

    • teapot says:

      It seems a little hypocritical from a website that seems to hate intolerance.

      Sorry, your team’s intolerance overflowed and has started poisoning us. Give hate, recieve hate.

      Is there some group of loud-mouthed, sign carrying, pro-abortion activists that I haven’t seen? You said it yourself, bud, this is about religious freedom. Religious freedom means you can do what you want and I can do what I want. It doesn’t mean you can go around telling people how to live. When your team does that, don’t be surprised if we slap you and tell you where to stick it.

    • ScottTFrazer says:

      Advocate, it’s great that you think abortion is a bad thing. So do most of the people who end up having them. What those of us in the pro-choice camp are intolerant of is the idea that your moral viewpoint (backed by very little science) should make it difficult for women who need this procedure to get it in a safe and healthy environment.

      If you truly would like to see the number of abortions reduced, you should be arguing in favor of education that has proven to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies. And that is NOT abstinence-only education.

      Basically, if you don’t like abortion, don’t have one. And don’t cause someone else to get pregnant if you don’t want to raise the kid. Beyond that? stop attacking the symptom and start attacking the cause.

      • Wash says:

        It’s a common myth that science supports the pro-choice view.

        In reality, a fetus is a distinct, living human individual. The idea that some humans are “persons” and some are not has no scientific backing. Viability relates to science, but the conflation between viability and personhood is also wholly independent of science.

        Maybe that’s why we’re still arguing about it.

        • grimc says:

          In reality, a fetus is a distinct, living human individual.

          Citation needed.

        • sixohsix says:

          Science doesn’t support pro-choice or pro-life because science is based on facts not the calculus of morals involved in this decision. It can only suggest an outcome based on the decision to abort or not, which could be the death of the mother or the birth of a healthy human baby.

          Also, a fetus is a living being with a brain and sensory organs at some semi-developed stage, yes, but up until near birth it is entirely dependent on the mother’s body to survive. It’s not biologically independent. Pregnancy is a form of parasitism.

        • oohShiny says:

          “In reality, a fetus is a distinct, living human individual.”

          That is incorrect. Until it is capable of surviving on its own outside the womb, a fetus is a non-individual – a dependent biological entity with only the potential of becoming a distinct, living human individual. That’s the problem. You can’t legislate about potential humans, especially at the expense of the contemporaneous distinct human individuals in whom those potential humans reside. Eggs and sperm are potential humans, too, and if we legislated protection of them, the logical conclusion would be that every woman should be pregnant whenever physically possible, and every man should be jailed for nocturnal emissions.

          This is why I don’t understand the “life begins at conception” crowd: because until it can survive on its own, it’s only a potential life. And life began before conception for the mother.

          • CuttingOgres says:

            “”In reality, a fetus is a distinct, living human individual.”

            That is incorrect. Until it is capable of surviving on its own outside the womb, a fetus is a non-individual – a dependent biological entity with only the potential of becoming a distinct, living human individual.”

            ===

            Well, seeings how young a premie can go when the doctor does a premature delivery via cesarean, I’d say that’s a hard line to draw. If we have to cut the cord first before the fetus is a separate individual, then I suppose Siamese twins, however they’re connected, have to be regarded as a whole individual. Though I expect you might have a hard time getting them to agree to that simplicity for your convenience.

          • Wash says:

            I mean “individual” in a factual sense. Its DNA is unique.

            I do not claim that it is independent. Yes, this could be seen as a parasitic organism, but since pregnancy is necessary for the survival of the species, and confers benefits to the mother, I’d argue that it’s temporarily symbiotic.

          • Anonymous says:

            DNA barely makes one unique : 99.9% of our dna is the same (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_genome#Variation).
            And DNA *expression* is the key factor in embryogenesis anyways.
            Prolifers shouldn’t try to use science : it’s against them.

          • oohShiny says:

            Yeah, see you don’t get to claim that as “factual”. I don’t think unique DNA makes a thing an “individual”. It’s a unique potential individual, I’ll grant you that, but I think in the sense where we talk about each other as individuals, that is dependent upon a thing being its own separate entity. But I suppose my rationale is about as defensible as anyone else’s. I don’t know when life begins, because there are too many ways to define life. I personally think the line should be drawn at when there is a possibility for individual survival, and my arguments reflect that. Those against legalized abortion draw the line at conception, a thing which I have a philosophical disagreement with, but there you are.

          • ethancoop says:

            “That is incorrect. Until it is capable of surviving on its own outside the womb, a fetus is a non-individual – a dependent biological entity with only the potential of becoming a distinct, living human individual.”

            According to that logic, my buddy’s very premature 1 pound 13 ounces daughter that was born today & is only able to breathe with the help of a machine isn’t a distinct living human individual? This baby is not able to survive on it’s own outside the womb without LOTS of outside help, but you try telling her parents she’s not a distinct living human individual.

          • oohShiny says:

            With due respect, ethancoop, I should have been more articulate in my response — I did mean able to survive at all. This is a problematic space (I’m avoiding the word line) which evolves with technological advances, and perhaps there won’t be any fetus unable to survive without the mother at some point. In which case, I might suggest that the removal or even transfer of unwanted pregnancies at that point would likely replace their termination.

            And to CuttingOgres at 102, I agree that the case of conjoined twins does seem to punch a hole in my definition — yet could they be considered a single biological individual while being at the same time two distinct psychological individuals? It bears further debate, I think.

          • teapot says:

            I’d say your friend’s premature baby would most certainly fall under the definition of “a dependent biological entity with only the potential of becoming a distinct, living human individual”.

            The word you forgot to process as you angrily transposed Shiny’s definition onto your life was the word living. If the breathing machines were switched off, would your friend’s baby continue to be a “distinct, living human individual”? There would be a problem with the whole living criteria, I’d say. That’s why Shiny’s definition is actually pretty accurate.

      • Anonymous says:

        BRAVO! BRAVO! BRAVO!!

  88. Anonymous says:

    What an absolute hero.

    Those two “pro-life” zombies are proof that we need MORE abortions.

  89. Wash says:

    The lady with the Jesus picture who apologized to this gentleman is a far cry from the “venom-spewing” activist with “images of dismembered fetuses” Salon portrayed.

  90. Anonymous says:

    Advocate – vote with your feet (leave).

  91. steev says:

    These people view things narrow mindedly and can’t see exceptions to any rules except when it’s the rules that they break.

    I personally believe abortion is wrong as an option to end a viable fetus. I beilieve the person made the wrong choice by getting pregnant in the first place and the child is one of the results that can’t simply be erased. That said, rape, incest, congenital defects resulting in a fetus that will not survive birth and others I’m sure I missed are reasons why I would never stand with signs of aborted fetuses and point a judging finger when I am not sure how I would act if faced with those situtations. I’m far more interested in protesting all the bad parents of the world, which seem to be growing in numbers.

  92. Anonymous says:

    Having been a resident of Kansas all of my life and not far from Wichita, I’ve had to witness the horrible actions of these anti-abortion activists and Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church. I’ve seen these protesters so many times and every time they make my skin crawl. My first real experience was them protesting a production of “The Laramie Project” at a local community college. It’s people like this that have made me a socially progressive liberal.

    As having been to Dr. George Tiller’s facility supporting a friend as she too had to endure one of the worst days of her life, these people would harass and yell such vicious and hateful speech that was easily audible until you walked in the front door. I also want to commend that facility as being very caring and patients were consulted by a psychologist and a minister before the procedure. The way these protesters portray how these facilities are run is completely inaccurate.

  93. Church says:

    Meh. Children aren’t viable until about the 40th trimester.

    • Anonymous says:

      AMEN to that! I am raising an Aspergers child and I may never have that viability. He is loving and wonderful for me but the outside world just doesn’t care to see he needs a different way of learning. This poor man. This poor family. What a terrible day to face. I hope that they conceive a healthy happy baby soon. I hope they never have to have bad news again. Those women are evil. Anyone protesting something they don’t understand like late term abortions needs to hear the damage they cause. Those women who have abortions and commit suicide is because of women like them that made them feel worthless. Thank you Aaron for saying what many of us have wanted to say but never had the guts.

  94. henrypbelanger says:

    The original story from which this video is taken is on the Good Men Project Magazine website: http://goodmenproject.com/2010/10/23/confronting-life/

  95. Anonymous says:

    I am revolted by these religious hypocrites, who should be making sure their OWN lives are in order before interfering with the lives of anybody else. Know what I pray for? – that each and every one of these self-righteous freaks get struck by lightning. Now THAT would be a statement from God that I could get behind.

  96. ryanrafferty says:

    Didn’t Jesus build his whole platform on accepting the outcasts, those that were suffering? It seems that nowadays Christians have turned their backs towards the man they see as the son of God, and have instead embraced the maligned philosophies of Saint Augustine… and most of them don’t even know it.

    Pro-Lifers should really take a step back and think hard about who they are actually worshipping.

  97. Xenu says:

    Ironically, the existence of anti-abortion protesters are an argument in favor of abortion.

  98. civvie says:

    The problem humans have is that they think life is sacred. It is not. It is ephemeral and inevitable.
    Just go about your lifes and try and cause the least harm. The greater good and all that.

    Kill a full grown adult, if they are causing more than their share of harm (say firing rounds in to a crowded shopping centre).
    Kill a baby if it is severely deformed and suffering.
    Kill a cow and eat it if you have to, which you most likely don’t.

    If you have trouble justifying doing a particular thing, try and justify NOT doing it. It may help clarify your position.

    You have a brain, you need to use it, there is no right or wrong.

    Oh, and GO DUDE in the video

  99. Anonymous says:

    My heart just goes out to this guy and his wife. If I was told I needed to abort my baby, I think i’d be devastated and then to be confronted by these idiots… I can’t even imagine how that must feel. Good for him for looking out for her like that. I wish there was more people like this out there.

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