The Two Competing Goals Of Anti Abortion Politics.

Last night I attended a gala that raises money to help poor women who have abortions.  The program included stories about the women who come to the Red River Women’s Clinic. One woman with three children drove 300 miles and slept in her car so she could afford an abortion.

There was a review of legislation passed last year in North Dakota, the most onerous in the United States.

Yet, this legislation has not prevented one single abortion.  They were quickly brought before judges and those which would have affected the clinic were suspended until the legal process plays out.

Reviewing the activities of anti abortion activists reminded me of their competing goals.  One goal is to see fetus’ carried to birth.

The other goal, is to force women to suffer for having sex.  In promoting this second goal they jepardize the first one.  That the second one, to force women to suffer by giving birth and raising more children, is more important can be seen in the legislation.

If their goal was only to have fetus’ born, we would see legislation that helped women carry, birth and care for babies.  There would be programs to help with expenses and doctor visits.

Conservatives oppose helping woman in pregnancy and child rearing.   Thus, improving the odds for a healthy baby and successful child must be set aside.  Helping the child would reduce punishment on the mother.

The fund raiser last night was to help low income women pay for abortions and birth control was very successful.  My wife and I made a big donation.

33 Responses

    1. Michael 1:00 re: abortions for teenage women, State of New York

      There are lots of circumstances I have heard about where teenagers need the option of making there own decision on abortion. There are parents who do not agree, parents in divorce cases where one has no interest in a daughter at all until there is a pregnancy then wants to put him/herself into a power position about the abortion decision. Cudos to the State of New York.

    2. Jinx

      The number 1 reason minor girls are kicked out of their homes is pregnancy, prevention solves a number of problems…including the need for abortion. A number of teen pregnancies are also due to incest. Girls and women need more power and contol over their environments as well as there bodies.

  1. Good for you, John I’m sure your generosity will be appreciated. I am as puzzled as you are about this contradiction. A person would assume that birth control would top the list of important programs for right to life folks, but it doesn’t, never mind programs to help new mothers. An element of retribution definitely exists. If you have sex, then there should be consequences for it. How dare a woman have the right to say when she will bear a child. I suppose a religious person thinks of it as the “wages of sin” which puts us right back there with the puritans. Naively I thought we were done with this bs 40 years ago, but I think anti-abortion activists have become so detached from their arguments that there is no logic there at all.

    1. Michael Ross

      You and Jon think of young people not as human beings that are moral agents that make decisions on moral principle but as rabbits that act on instinct to have sex and procreate. Then expect the taxpayers to pick up the tab for their sex life. Go ahead and have sex, just use a condom and birth control. If that fails have an abortion. Legislation and programs will pay for it all. All the privately funded agencies that support unplanned pregnancies that I know of are supported by churches and individual Christians, not liberal atheists.

      One good thing about this winter is that it has forced liberals to keep their hands in their own pockets.

      1. entech

        Michael I saw an interesting program about English mammals that live underground, one of the animals featured were rabbits. Fascinating that you spoke of instinct and procreation, apparently a survival strategy for rabbits is to have as many offspring as possible expectation that there will a pretty small percentage that reach maturity. So small and week and so many predators.

        This is one of so many different strategies that have evolved in the animal world, have one every few years and defend it at all costs or like the rabbits huge numbers and put up with the attrition rate. There is even a variety of wasp that lays its eggs inside a caterpillar, paralysing it so that it does not die and its little grubs have nice fresh meat. The variety is what you would expect if natural selection was a dominant factor in the development of different species and varieties within species, I believe they talk about evolution, it is not that the selection implies any kind of teleology, but not exactly random either simply that changes that occur and have a greater survival value in the prevailing conditions will be more successful reproducers and the useful aspects carry forward. Over time this process is thought account for all the change and development of all kinds of flora and fauna. No one has any really idea where the first living things came from, perhaps even from some creator, can’t be ruled out.

        But the development or evolution does not look too good for a creator that is supposed to have all kinds of benevolent intent, the wasp and caterpillar symbioses doesn’t seem benevolent from the caterpillars position, some parts of the creation don’t seem too good for the creations at the highest levels (that you and me brother) so much drought and famine and millions of the little children dying a terrible death of starvation and disease. The only possibility is that the creator is only a game player, created all this for amusement, I wouldn’t find watching a fellow creature being eaten alive by wasp larvae amusing but who knows what a god might find fun (the Greeks had some amusing amusements for their gods).
        And what a good game to start of an intelligent species and set it up to fail in its home garden and punish its offspring forever, dropping little stories on them now and then to see what they make of it, not a lot it seems because they should have worked their way back into the good books after a few thousand years. The game must have been getting boring because another way out is contrived with forgiveness being given away vicariously, even then the poor creatures couldn’t get it straight and for a long time after the act of redemption there were too many stories and beliefs, so when the last of the witnesses died there were no more miracles to inspire, no more appearances – just disappear and leave it to its own devises, I think some actually worked this out and called themselves Deists, but too many couldn’t bear not to be the centre of everything so they soon stomped on that idea.

        Of course, this is only idle speculation, orthodoxy could be correct but it just seems so unlikely and so different from the supposed attributes of the creator. Maybe he did go away early in the current era, leaving hints that he would be back for a second go. Who would know, not me, but there are a lot that do know for certain, all I would like to know is how they can have such certain knowledge.

      2. Michael 4:32 “Then expect the taxpayers to pick up the tab for their sex life.”

        Absolutely beautiful. My blog explained that right to lifers are actually more interested in punishing women for their sex life than they are in saving fetus’. And, bingo, you confirmed exactly what I said.

        I know you are not interested in my advice, but it’s free so consider it anyway. I believe you should think through whether you are REALLY motivated by saving fetus’ or actually more motivated to punish women for having sex. If you are REALLY interested in the fetus, you should ignore why or how it came to be and focus only on it well being.

        On the other hand, if you are REALLY interested in punishing women, you should focus on doing that and recognize some fetus’ will not be healthy, maybe die, because in punishing women by not providing them with the best in health care the fetus can be harmed.

        Being a person of faith, you might even want to pray for guidance on which of these two should be your mission in life.

      3. Michael, I see you are reiterating the conservative view that women can’t control their libidos. Medical care related to sex is a fact of life for women. Decisions regarding that care are totally up to a woman, not up to either a self-described religious moralist or mandated by the state. Don’t want birth control? Don’t use it, but don’t ban it for those who want it. Ditto for abortion. Keep in mind that contraceptive do a lot more than prevent pregnancy for women. They are used for many medical reasons. It is expected that if the worst happens for a man and he can’t get it up, insurance and government programs will pay for his Viagra. Is that really necessary? Maybe it’s just god’s will. 🙂

        1. Jinx

          I guess Michael doesn’t want to acknowledge the libido of young men and their conquests….not all young men are like this, but there are enough of them to make a difference.

  2. Retto

    I don’t know that it’s fair to paint all conservatives as puritanical who want women to “suffer for having sex”. There are a number of conservative organizations that assist mothers of unwanted pregnancies. Locally, we have St. Gianna’s Maternity House A search for “catholic maternity homes” comes up with organizations across the country helping mothers, not chiding them for having sex.

    I can’t speak on legislation or legislators. I imagine you have particular bills in mind that have been brought up in the House or Senate to support unplanned / unwed mothers that have been voted no? Under such circumstances, I would agree with you, that would be truly unfortunate. All people, born and unborn deserve our compassion and respect.

    1. Retto 2:01 Thanks for coming on this page to comment. You are welcome anytime.

      Other folks, here, especially Catholics, have pointed to the accomodations provided pregnant women. That is a good thing.

      As you mentioned, I was referring to elected officials at both the state and national level who try to pass state and national legislation to prohibit abortions but refuse to provide public money to support pregnant women.

  3. H.P.Drifter

    The religiosity of the Christian hypocrite. One one hand no abortion and the other hand no birth control education which may or may not help the situation out. If you did not want young women as parents to start having babies right in the middle of when you yourself are having children you need to educate your young women how you think like you do, and why, if you can.

    Otherwise you need to see that they have birth control available to them and explain the consequences for not using birth control, not only can your get pregnant, more likely you get STD’s which is even worse for your health and future health and your ability to have children later. Many STD’s linger for years without any symptoms and are harder to get rid of as time goes by, drug resistant strains are everywhere. The last article I read on the subject claimed 75% of all girls between the ages of 18 and 25 have had some type of STD infection. (look it up on the internet)

    Denying women basic human needs, like birth control, abortion, and help raising children is a tragedy in the making. Punishing girls for having sex is a bad idea period, for what ever reason. Educating young women to be responsible is everybody’s job. Parents, teachers, clergy, friends, community leaders.
    My theory which worked for me is keep your kids so busy with school after school sports, dance lessons, music lessons, no free time to screw up, if that is possible for you do.

    Denying young mothers help raising their children is dumb just makes for more problems later, give them the help they need married or not. Smart healthy children is what society needs doesn’t matter where they came from, especially the ones born here.

    Denying women rights over their bodies is to make them second class citizens (which as voters, will jump right up and bite you in the ass anytime, they want, don’t screw with women’s rights, bad for women, bad for the stability of this country)


  4. June

    Neither one fits my beliefs at all. I just want people to TAKE RESPONSIBILITY, and that means paying your own way [and NO, I do not mean “pay” by forcing somebody to have a child out of spite — but to pay for their own birth control]. If you are having sex but do not wish for a child or are able to accept responsibility for a child, then you are having recreational sex. One should pay their own way [pay for birth control or condoms] just like they HAVE to pay their own way to a sporting event, movie, concert or anything else that wish to do to have fun. Next you will be advocating that people are entitled to all forms of entertainment — without charge or obligation.

    1. Contraception is medical care not an outlay for recreational purposes. Therefore it is covered by health insurance in all civilized countries. It is the ultimate in responsibility when a woman buys health insurance that includes contraception. Your contention that every woman who has sex but doesn’t wish to get pregnant is having “recreational sex” is naïve. Marital accord and longevity of marriage is heavily dependent the maintenance of intimacy between two people. This means regular sex, most of which occurs without plans for pregnancy. This can’t be news to you if you have even a passing acquaintance with heterosexual relationships. Sex isn’t like deciding to go to the movies. It is part of the foundation that supports sound families. Bet you are for that, am I right?

      1. realist 3:42 “It is part of the foundation that supports sound families.”

        So correct. Sex within marriage is the source of the majority of unwanted pregnancies. It is not from what June calls, “recreational sex”. I assume what she is referring to is what is also called “causual sex”. Without married customers, most, if not all, abortion clinics would go broke.

        The biggest variable in abortions is economic. Abortions cost $500. Children cost $275,000. Women become become pregnant even when making sincere efforts not to, forgetting to take birth control medicine, failure of the selected birth control method, etc., we all know about this.

    2. Michael Ross

      “Next you will be advocating that people are entitled to all forms of entertainment — without charge or obligation. ”

      You and I are already paying for other peoples entertainment:

      1. I laughed all the way through this screed making the case that men are being emasculated and if everything were the way it used to be with men calling the shots, this country would be “great again. Please. This country is not the falling empire you seem to see everywhere. What I see is people of all types being empowered; women, minorities, immigrants. Your lament is anachronistic chauvinism whose day has come and gone. Sorry, Michael. This is 2014 and nobody is going backward, except you.

        1. Michael Ross

          Might I suggest that you use your actual name on your posts or change your pen name to “surrealist”.

        1. Michael Ross

          I don’t care much for the Super Bowl but I confess I am a lifelong Bison fan. Say, weren’t you mayor when the Fargo dome was built at taxpayer expense? Oh well, I’m season ticket holder so if I got after you on that count I’d be a hypocrite so you’re off the hook.

          1. Michael 5:34 “Say, weren’t you Mayor when te Fargodome was built at taxpayer expense?”

            Yes, you got me. I was in public supporting it, on the ads and the Forum used my endorsement as a reason people should vote for it. In my defence, I tried never to say things about it I thought were untrue. Much to the exasperation of the business people who headed up the campaign for it, I refused to say it was an economic development project, that is was simply another tax on people for something we hopefully would enjoy. It was, I said, like our public parks. I’m glad you are enjoying it–that’s what it is there for.

            Just a few years after the dome was in operation, another group got it in their heads we should have another tax to pay for a hockey arena added to the Fargodome. I was not Mayor then and was very vocal in opposition. That addition would have dragged down the finances of the Fargodome and I’m still glad I opposed that and it was defeated by a large margin. The hockey place they eventually built (I’ve never been in it) has had financial problems.

    1. entech

      Good picture, don’t you think if it were true there would have been a little more Dorian Gray. I know there would be if it were me, not often admitted but I think vanity is shared equally.

    2. Michael 8:58 “Hillary is the Antichrist.”

      I’m looking forward to the headline, ANTICHRIST ELECTED PRESIDENT.

      Maybe that would be the end of “The U. S. is a Chriatian nation” myth.

    3. The GOP had billed Obama as the Antichrist, but apparently they are anointing a new one in anticipation of the 2016 election. I guess Obama didn’t really fulfill his obligations to ruin the country to conform with their expectations. And you wonder why the GOP is wandering in the wilderness.

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