About Dr. George Tiller

DougJ provides us this testimonial from a commenter about Dr. George Tiller:

In 1994 my wife and I found out that she was pregnant. The pregnancy was difficult and unusually uncomfortable but her doctor repeatedly told her things were fine. Sometime early in the 8th month my wife, an RN who at the time was working in an infertility clinic asked the Dr. she was working for what he thought of her discomfort. He examined her and said that he couldn’t be certain but thought that she might be having twins. We were thrilled and couldn’t wait to get a new sonogram that hopefully would confirm his thoughts.

[MORE . . .]

Two days later our joy was turned to unspeakable sadness when the new sonogram showed conjoined twins. Conjoined twins alone is not what was so difficult but the way they were joined meant that at best only one child would survive the surgery to separate them and the survivor would more than likely live a brief and painful life filled with surgery and organ transplants. We were advised that our options were to deliver into the world a child who’s life would be filled with horrible pain and suffering or fly out to Wichita Kansas and to terminate the pregnancy under the direction of Dr. George Tiller.

We made an informed decision to go to Kansas. One can only imagine the pain borne by a woman who happily carries a child for 8 months only to find out near the end of term that the children were not to be and that she had to make the decision to terminate the pregnancy and go against everything she had been taught to believe was right. This was what my wife had to do. Dr. Tiller is a true American hero. The nightmare of our decision and the aftermath was only made bearable by the warmth and compassion of Dr. Tiller and his remarkable staff. Dr. Tiller understood that this decision was the most difficult thing that a woman could ever decide and he took the time to educate us and guide us along with the other two couples who at the time were being forced to make the same decision after discovering that they too were carrying children impacted by horrible fetal anomalies. I could describe in great detail the procedures and the pain and suffering that everyone is subjected to in these situations. However, that is not the point of the post. We can all imagine that this is not something that we would wish on anyone. The point is that the pain and suffering were only mitigated by the compassion and competence of Dr. George Tiller and his staff. We are all diminished today for a host of reasons but most of all because a man of great compassion and courage has been lost to the world.

A murdering terrorist, intent on terrifying doctors and women alike, has ended the life of Dr. Tiller.

A hero was murdered today. May Dr. Tiller rest in peace.

Speaking for me only

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    BTW, it's obvious that this wasn't simply (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by andgarden on Sun May 31, 2009 at 07:36:46 PM EST
    an act to terrorize. It was literally an act to deprive women of choices: there are apparently almost no other doctors who performed the procedures Tiller did..

    Actually, (none / 0) (#6)
    by kidneystones on Sun May 31, 2009 at 08:12:37 PM EST
    I googled family-planning, abortion, Kansas and came up with a list of clinics offering safe health-care to women in Kansas, including pregnancy termination.

    There is no doubt that the victim is the most-well known practitioner and was selected by his murderer for the 'celebrity' of the physician. I'd also go so far as to agree that a handful of cranks are somewhere cheering.

    My guess, however, is that 98-99.99% of the folks who vote pro-choice will condemn this murder.

    Arguing the murderer is in any way representative of the pro-choice community is exactly like arguing everyone paroled from prison is like Willie Horton.


    I don't understand your comment (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by andgarden on Sun May 31, 2009 at 08:15:30 PM EST
    I assume you mean *anti-choice where you write pro-choice.

    In any case, the fact remains that it is hard to find doctors who will terminate pregnancies in the late term. Today it is even harder.


    pro-life, quite right (none / 0) (#9)
    by kidneystones on Sun May 31, 2009 at 08:22:59 PM EST
    and thanks for the correction.

    They aren't Pro Life (5.00 / 8) (#14)
    by womanwarrior on Sun May 31, 2009 at 09:16:25 PM EST
    They are anti-abortion, they are generally pro- death penalty, and they are against women being able to make their own reproduction decisions.  They are agsinst women's lives and the brave doctors who support them.  I am tired of genuflecting to them as "pro life."  

    The most accurately descriptive term (5.00 / 4) (#76)
    by Dr Molly on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 07:02:34 AM EST
    would be 'pro-fetus'. That is what they've chosen to focus on, to the exclusion of those killed by the state, by war, or by anything else. For whatever reason, they are obsessed with the lives of fetuses. Their concern for the already born is apparently nil.

    Yes, I hate that spin, and that's all it is (4.50 / 6) (#15)
    by Cream City on Sun May 31, 2009 at 09:21:11 PM EST
    as I read a fascinating article, years ago after  Roe v. Wade, about the marketing expertise paid for by the anti-choicers to have them find another term.  The flacks surveyed and found that we don't like "antis" and that positioning them as "pro" something would work better.  Then the survey went on to determine optimal terms to be "pro" about.

    All this is packaged to manipulate people, and it works -- as today's assassination proves.


    You're right. Republicans have developed (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by DeborahNC on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 01:29:21 AM EST
    considerable expertise in framing a political message. They have used that tactic to garner majorities within certain factions in America, e.g., those filled with hatred and bigotry come to mind right away.

    They stir up hysteria in one form or another because they have no solid or beneficial policy proposals.


    Time to address them as so-called pro-lifers... (4.40 / 5) (#20)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sun May 31, 2009 at 10:24:39 PM EST
    It defies logic, and decency, to ascribe the term "pro-life" to fringe lunatics who advocate first-degree murder of family-planning providers and women who seek their services.

    Henceforth, I will never use the term "pro-life" in the absence of the prefix "so-called".


    I can't agree that Dr. Tiller's (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sun May 31, 2009 at 11:19:10 PM EST
    so-called "pro-life" murderer should be renamed as a person who is merely "anti-choice". Murder goes FAR beyond being "anti-choice".

    Since you self-identified as a "so-called pro-life" individual, I'm wondering, do you make any exemption if it is certain that the life of the mother is at risk? If you do, than you are "pro-choice" under some circumstances, no?


    thank you (none / 0) (#94)
    by ruffian on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 10:13:02 AM EST
    Social causes (5.00 / 8) (#8)
    by lilburro on Sun May 31, 2009 at 08:22:39 PM EST
    Colorado Independent:

    Hern laid blame for Tiller's death at the feet of the anti-abortion movement's encouragement of violence against abortion providers and the Republican Party's "exploitation" of the extremist rhetoric.

    "Dr. Tiller is dead by an anti-abortion assassin, and this is the absolutely inevitable consequence of 35 years of anti-abortion fanatic rhetoric and intimidation and assassination violence and exploitation by the Republican Party of this movement," Hern told the Independent.

    Dr. Tiller's clinic was one of (5.00 / 7) (#12)
    by Anne on Sun May 31, 2009 at 08:37:27 PM EST
    only three in the entire nation providing abortions after 21 weeks.  

    By the time he was killed, his clinic, Women's Health Care Services, was among just three in the nation to perform abortions after 21 weeks of pregnancy, when the fetus is considered viable.

    The murder of Dr. Tiller was all about someone taking matters into his own hands to limit the choices available to women across the nation.

    Make no mistake: the pro-life organizations may be condemning the act, but you can be sure they are not at all distressed that women who need this procedure will find it even more difficult to obtain.  These organizations, in their rhetoric and their protests, calling Dr. Tiller a mass murderer, a killer, and not being able to resist taking one more jab at him on the day of his murder by saying they mourned that Dr. Tiller "did not have time to properly prepare his soul to face God" - this is the kind of talk that set the wheels in motion for what happened today.

    I would really, really have liked to have heard something more than boilerplate from the president about it, that suggests that we haven't resolved the abortion issue yet.


    I knew this help was getting sparse (none / 0) (#82)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 07:40:50 AM EST
    Now there will be two after this probably.  And no newbies interested in being assassinated will want to know how to help families needing this assisstance.  If Obama wants to keep fueling the pro-life fires he should have to provide doctors providing termination services with Secret Service protection!

    I have just read that (5.00 / 0) (#83)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 08:08:25 AM EST
    U.S. Marshalls are dispatched to protect Dr. Hern and other providers in danger.  Thanks be to God!

    I don't care (5.00 / 10) (#13)
    by Dr Molly on Sun May 31, 2009 at 08:44:27 PM EST
    if the pro-lifers condemn it.

    Years and years of incitement to fanatical, simple-minded, anti-abortion hatefulness from the pro-life movement is what caused this to happen.


    It's time to confront them (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by lobary on Sun May 31, 2009 at 09:29:10 PM EST
    And by "them" and don't just mean the Operation Rescue protesters.

    Video link of O'Reilly's inciteful hate speech

    I am outraged. I commit to channel my outrage by making a donation to Planned Parenthood.


    It's not so much that I don't care (4.78 / 14) (#17)
    by Anne on Sun May 31, 2009 at 09:34:26 PM EST
    that these organizations are condemning it, it's that I hate that anyone might actually believe that they are sorry Dr. Tiller was murdered.

    I respect the right of all women to make the choices that are best for them; I have no respect for these organizations that call themselves "pro-life."  They say it's about religion, but it's about control.  They say it's about protecting innocent life, but they care nothing about the lives of the women whose choices they want to limit, and they lose interest in these lives once they come into the world.  They are against contraception, sex education, aid to single mothers, S-CHIP and every other program that has been created to help women care for themselves and their children.

    It's time someone called them on this BS once and for all, and it would have been nice had our president stood up for the law and stood up for choice in unequivocal terms.


    Grotesque bigotry (none / 0) (#36)
    by kidneystones on Sun May 31, 2009 at 11:23:09 PM EST
    Do you similarly 'hate' the notion that Dems might actually mourn the murder of a Republican politician?

    You hate the notion that anyone on the other side of your issue takes anything but joy from assassination?



    What? (4.40 / 5) (#78)
    by Anne on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 07:15:01 AM EST
    I hate the idea that those who are hearing/reading these statements of condemnation might believe that those who are issuing those statements are actually sorry that Dr. Tiller is dead, because I do not think they are.  Sorry, that is.

    These organizations care nothing about the lives of the women whose choices they seek to eliminate, so I have a hard time believing they "mourn" Dr. Tiller's death.

    So, WTF? right back at you.


    I think the difference here is while (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by hairspray on Sun May 31, 2009 at 11:24:31 PM EST
    there are lots of family planning clinics where early term abortion is available, Dr. Tiller performed late term abortions and there are only a few doctors who do those procedures.

    I doubt the demand is that high (none / 0) (#85)
    by samtaylor2 on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 08:26:40 AM EST
    That is not to say that there should not be more options available and that terrorism did not stop others from opening clinics, but my guess is that given very limited funds, abortion providers and family planning organizations would put there money into clinics that offer early term abortions.

    My guess is that late term abortions are very expensive. Vs. most early term abortions are done via pill now (I think).


    Fess up (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 10:12:09 AM EST
    You know almost nothing about abortion.

    To educate yourself, start by searching "how does plan B work".  That's the pill you think all early abortions are used for.


    FYI (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by CST on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 10:44:34 AM EST
    There is another pill for earlier abortions that isn't plan B.

    It can be used within 60 days, a lot longer than plan B.  Although it comes with it's own problems.

    Also I believe Sam is a med student or something.  There was no reason for that rebuke.


    I don't know if you're male or female (none / 0) (#151)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 07:11:05 PM EST
    However, RU-486 is risky enough I didn't even know it was still on the market.

    Regardless, if a woman takes RU-486, she darned well better have a DNC to ensure that she isn't still carrying because she could very well end up with the kind of pregnancy that would require a late-term abortion...and we only have 2 late-term abortion doctors now.


    Um, (none / 0) (#95)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 10:15:46 AM EST
    meant to say, "that's the pill that you think a woman takes for all early abortions"

    I think that makes more sense.

    Swilling coffee.


    Okay (none / 0) (#107)
    by samtaylor2 on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 11:48:33 AM EST
    Plan B does not cause an abortion.  Yes I know that, I was referring to the other pill that goes cause a lot of pain.  I don't think I was saying anthing controversial.   It is just cheaper and more woman need early abortions than late term abortions.  

    Unfortunately, the anti-choice crowd has used the late term abortion thing to drum up support and create and image of a fully formed baby being chopped up.  They have succesuflly created a link between these few procedures and abortion in general.  Consequently pro choice folk must spend all this time and money defending this procedure.  Give an inch and the WILL take a mile.


    What do you mean by (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by Anne on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 10:42:56 AM EST
    more options?  Do you mean that there should be more than three clinics in the country where a late-term abortion can be performed?  I agree, as I have to think there are some women who are not able to get the care they need because they cannot afford to travel from their home to wherever the nearest clinic is.

    As for cost, a surgical abortion, even in the first trimester, is not cheap; places like Planned Parenthood will adjust the cost on a sliding scale, and insurance will cover most of the cost, but the poor and those without insurance may find cost eliminates the choice component for them.  There is a medical option - an abortifacient in pill form, and that is less expensive, but it's not magic and there are risks associated with it.  Whether to have the surgical or medical abortion is, assuming one qualifies for both, entirely the patient's choice.

    Plan B is not an abortion pill; it's a contraceptive.  Plan B prevents implantation of a fertilized egg, but it does not terminate a pregnancy where implantation has already occurred.  This is why it is only recommended in the first 72 hours after unprotected intercourse.


    Perhaps I'm wrong but... (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by Lacey on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 11:03:49 AM EST
    It would seem late term abortions are somewhat more rare and chiefly used because of a problem with the pregnancy or the baby? If a woman was going to have an abortion, she would likely do so earlier on in the pregnancy. To have one in the last trimester would seem, to a non-medical professional like myself, because of a health concern. Am I wrong? Because if that is the case, then the lack of clinics performing the procedure is putting lives at risk.

    Correct. I read that (5.00 / 1) (#120)
    by Cream City on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 01:04:43 PM EST
    of 800,000 abortions in a recent year, only 2,000 were late-term abortions.  That's 1 in 400 -- or one-fourth of one percent of all abortions.

    Even with more facilities for them, they still would be rare, because of the very restricted requirements for them (the causes, the procedures of approvals, etc.).  

    Yet this is, excuse the term, the "bloody flag" waves by the antis -- and this assassination is the result.


    Of course there used to be doctors (5.00 / 2) (#109)
    by masslib on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 12:12:38 PM EST
    that performed the procedure in hospitals, not clinics.  But after the US Congress passed that ridiculous, unnecessary ban, it scared nearly all of them off for fear of some sort of prosecution.

    There are very few doctors (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 07:21:14 AM EST
    anymore with the dedication, skill, knowledge, and possessing the emotional strength it requires to administer the type of healthcare and healing to women and their families dealing with late term procedures.  My understanding is that the few doctors who are available to help women deal with carrying late term pregnancies displaying terrible birth defects are Titans in the field of Obstetrics and that is what allows them to be able to administer this sort of healthcare and aid.  Late term procedures are obviously not first trimester procedures.

    Amen. (5.00 / 5) (#5)
    by lilburro on Sun May 31, 2009 at 07:45:40 PM EST
    I recommend also this article from the perspective of a doctor who provides abortions and has also been terrorized (shot once, stabbed once).  It helped me understand the extraordinary courage of someone like Dr. Tiller.

    Operation Rescue Fanaticism (5.00 / 6) (#10)
    by Dr Molly on Sun May 31, 2009 at 08:33:12 PM EST
    The early rumblings are that the suspect was an Operation Rescue devotee.

    I hope the Obama administration will man up and investigate that group of crazies as a hate group and a domestic terrorist organization. They have targeted Dr Tiller on their website for years as a 'doctor of death' and we all know they've incited this kind of violence and fanaticism for years. It's time to reign them in before more crazies murder more doctors and providers.

    Op Rescue has morphed (5.00 / 4) (#33)
    by Cream City on Sun May 31, 2009 at 11:09:48 PM EST
    but it's the same people, still d*mn proud of taking life as well as tormenting doctors and patients with the group's protests.  I saw them in action in my city, one of the worst hit in the early '90s, when I was a clinic protector -- before Bill Clinton took strong action to stop them.  

    I have been awaiting a president again who will stand up and enforce the law.

    From the AP:

    The Rev. Flip Benham, director of Operation Save America, which calls itself the national successor to Operation Rescue, said he had been confronting Tiller over abortion since meeting him in 1991 during their "Summer of Mercy" protests outside Tiller's clinic.

    "He has shed the blood of countless thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands. . ," Benham, a Concord, N.C., preacher, said. "Now this thing has come home to him."

    Obama needs to man up and legislate... (3.00 / 2) (#19)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sun May 31, 2009 at 10:07:00 PM EST
    Like President Clinton did in 1994 with The Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act , which was enacted because haters like the Operation Rescue fanatics were shooting doctors and nurses, bombing family planning clinics, accosting women, and physically blocking entrance to the facilities.

    At the federal level, the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE), makes it an offense to use intimidation or physical force - such as forming a blockade - in order to prevent a person from entering a facility which provides reproductive healthcare or a place of worship. The law also creates specific penalties for destroying, or causing damage to, either of these types of building.

    Obama has a moral and legal obligation to do a LOT MORE than verbally condemn the murder of health care providers like the extraordinarily brave Dr. Teller - who had previously been shot in both arms (by another so-called pro-lifer) outside of a Wichita clinic in 1993.

    President Clinton managed to act boldly and decisively without the luxury of Obama's Democratic majorities in the House and Senate. So President Obama - if not now, when?


    "man up"? (5.00 / 0) (#23)
    by Thanin on Sun May 31, 2009 at 10:39:43 PM EST
    Kind of a sexist term, wouldnt you say?

    Just curious, FA, (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by Peter G on Sun May 31, 2009 at 11:08:44 PM EST
    what federal law you think should be passed that doesn't presently exist, that would have had any effect in this case?  Ironically, a provision that was added as a "compromise" to "balance" the FACES Act's focus on crimes against the exercise of civil rights at reproductive health facilities makes the murder of Dr. Tiller a federal crime, subject to life imprisonment (without parole, as with all federal sentences):
    § 248. Freedom of access to clinic entrances
    (a) Prohibited Activities.-- Whoever--
    * * * *
    (2) by force or threat of force or by physical obstruction, intentionally injures, intimidates or interferes with or attempts to injure, intimidate or interfere with any person lawfully exercising or seeking to exercise the First Amendment right of religious freedom at a place of religious worship;
    * * * *
    shall be subject to the penalties provided in subsection (b) ....
    (b)  Penalties.-- Whoever violates this section shall--
    (1) in the case of a first offense, be fined in accordance with this title, or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; * * * *
    ... except that if bodily injury results, the length of imprisonment shall be not more than 10 years, and if death results, it shall be for any term of years or for life.

    18 U.S.C. sec. 248  

    It's the job of the Democratic Congress (1.50 / 2) (#40)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sun May 31, 2009 at 11:34:03 PM EST
    to write any such additional legislation. It's certainly above my pay grade.

    Ok, FA, but you're the one (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by Peter G on Sun May 31, 2009 at 11:48:20 PM EST
    who said Obama should do "a lot more" and suggested that if he was a "man" (sic) he would "legislate" something.  I was not asking you to draft the legislation, just asking what the hole (or weakness) was that you perceived in current law, particularly the FACES Act. I for one think it's right on point (as I showed by quoting it), and AG Holder should tell the US Atty in Kansas to invoke that law against Dr. Tiller's murderer, regardless of what the state of Kansas decides to do.

    Peter G - Will you please stop trying...... (5.00 / 2) (#77)
    by AscotMan on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 07:03:17 AM EST
    ...to make sense?

    All we want to do here blame Obama for everything!


    If he upholds the law (5.00 / 2) (#87)
    by Cream City on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 08:28:58 AM EST
    and ensures that this assassination is prosecuted to the fullest as a federal crime (see law above), then he will not be blamed for not doing his job.

    Nobody is blaming Obama for murder, that I have seen, here or elsewhere.  Which crazy blogs are you reading that say so?


    Again, still above my pay grade... (1.00 / 1) (#49)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 12:04:00 AM EST
    Enough said. Peace.

    Remove the political process (none / 0) (#66)
    by Rojas on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 01:48:38 AM EST
    from our opponets and you give them few alternatives.

    What do you mean by removing political process? (none / 0) (#106)
    by jawbone on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 11:33:25 AM EST

    man up and legislate.... (none / 0) (#160)
    by Rojas on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 12:17:23 AM EST
    Of course FA was unable to articulate exactly what additional bold and decisive legislation they thought appropriate. It appeared to me FA was asking for a crackdown of some kind on anti abortion activists because of tha actions of this nut case.

    I expected nothing less in the (none / 0) (#80)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 07:22:08 AM EST
    murderers resume.

    Careful what you wish for.... (none / 0) (#90)
    by kdog on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 09:01:23 AM EST
    the last thing we need is undercover FBI agents coercing pro-life whack-jobs into getting violent like they are doing with anti-US whack-jobs.

    This is our version of "investigating", otherwise known as an entrapment dog and pony show.


    Smears (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by kidneystones on Sun May 31, 2009 at 09:52:41 PM EST
    I expect nothing more from political axe-grinders seeking to profit from tragedy. Pro-life/anti-abortion groups do seek to demonize physicians like Dr. Tiller and women seeking safe health care providers.

    Abortion is a form of tragedy. I don't know a single woman whose had an abortion who isn't racked with misery and pain over the decision; or one who looked back upon the procedure as anything but traumatic.

    Dr. Tiller understood, clearly, these dynamics and did not back away from terminating pregnancies. For that, for his long career as a member of his community and for the many families he helped, his life should be celebrated.

    Most folks on both sides of the issue will mourn the death of Dr. Tiller. A minority will use the death to demonize opponents and perpetuate bigotry and hate.

    Here's a list of statements courtesy of the Wichita Star.

    No kidneystones, abortion is not a tragedy. (5.00 / 1) (#136)
    by MyLeftMind on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 02:52:02 PM EST
    Miscarriage is a tragedy. Medical problems that lead to abortion are a tragedy. Being pregnant when you are not in a position to raise a child is a tragedy.

    Abortion itself is simply a medical solution to a problem.


    Sorry, Abortion is not "tragic" (4.78 / 14) (#34)
    by MsExPat on Sun May 31, 2009 at 11:14:30 PM EST
    I really resent this narrative that has oozed its way into the discourse over the last fifteen years--that abortion must by definition be a "traumatic" choice wracked by pain and guilt and suffering (hey, how about some self-flagellation?) for the woman who dares to DECIDE that a particular pregnancy is not something she wants to continue.

    It's an insulting and patronizing--and yes, passive aggressive--narrative. "Oh yes, little lady, I fully support your right to choose, but of course I know you will experience horrible PAIN AND GUILT because you've been such a bad slut and now you are KILLING A BABY....."

    Everytime some politician mouths the catchphrase "Safe, frequent and rare" (or the line about "freedom to choose in consultation with her family, doctor and clergy") I hear an echo of this narrative, which is really just another means of controlling an manipulating women, and denying them the real freedom to choose.

    You say that "I don't know a single woman whose had an abortion who isn't racked with misery and pain over the decision; or one who looked back upon the procedure as anything but traumatic."

    Well, say hello to one!  


    Re, abortion, I'm not "racked" either... (5.00 / 5) (#38)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sun May 31, 2009 at 11:29:14 PM EST
    OMG, MsExPat, you said all of that so well. I was in the middle of writing a reply to the foregoing comment, but you got there first (thankfully). BTW, I wholeheartedly agree with each and every one of your points.

    Hey, while we're at it, let's go back to the future, a la Gloria Steinem: GIVE US FREE ABORTION ON DEMAND.


    Nice to meet you (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by kidneystones on Sun May 31, 2009 at 11:33:04 PM EST
    I'll take you completely at your word.

    The majority of women who have abortions where I live are married mothers who, for any number of reasons, decide to terminate an un-planned pregnancy.

    We have one daughter. We watched her from her first ultra-sound. Her brother had to be removed from the womb well before term in an emergency caesarean. He spent the following two months in an infant ICU.

    My wife and I are pro-choice and live in community that is unambiguously pro-choice. We believe, however, that life does begin in the womb and that the decision to terminate a pregnancy is a grave one.


    KS, I'll also take you at your word... (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sun May 31, 2009 at 11:54:09 PM EST
    You said you are pro-choice although you also said you believe "life does begin in the womb". By which I presume you mean that life begins at conception. Can you expand on what you mean by "life" at that stage?

    Excellent question. (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by kidneystones on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 12:11:32 AM EST
    And a big one, I can't answer in any conclusive way other than to say 'it's alive!'.

    Our son is now ten and there isn't a day that goes by, really, when we don't think about just how lucky we are to live at a time when we know so much about reproductive science and in a city with good hospitals, doctors, and nurses.

    I've a good friend who desperately wanted a second child and mis-carried five times, losing the last 'it' at five months. The only way she could cope with the grief was to bury the 'it', with a sermon and funeral service. I have friends, gay and otherwise, with no kids and who are perfectly happy.

    The death of Dr. Tiller is a tragedy. The suggestion that many/most of the pro-life/anti-abortion community are celebrating is really, deeply offensive to me.

    I don't imagine the worst of folks who hold different beliefs. I suspect few people do.


    KS, forgive me but... (4.00 / 3) (#59)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 01:09:10 AM EST
    You keep talking of your love for babies and kids as if that were something new to TL folks. You also seem to be all up in other people's business when it comes to abortions, premature births, miscarriages, funeral services, etc.

    I've a good friend who desperately wanted a second child and mis-carried five times, losing the last 'it' at five months. The only way she could cope with the grief was to bury the 'it', with a sermon and funeral service.

    You keep stressing the "it" pronoun in a seemingly manipulative way. Question, if your friend miscarried five times, wouldn't she have had some prenatal care, like an ultrasound, to monitor the health of the fetus and, perhaps, she would thereby also know the sex. In which case, I'm imagining she (and you) would refer to the fetus as "he" or "she" rather than "it".

    BTW, you keep shifting the focus of this post. I think today, at least, should be more about acknowledging the life and death of Dr. Teller - and figuring out how to deal with the culture of hate which incites this kind of violence.


    I've gendered the fetus (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by kidneystones on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 01:33:16 AM EST
    in question.

    Accusing everyone who donates or volunteers for anti-abortion organizations of celebrating the murder of Dr. Tiller strikes me as extremely poor way of eliminating any culture of hate.

    Perhaps, however, you disagree.

    I stand by my comment:

    Arguing that all opponents of abortion support the murder of Dr. Tiller is a bigoted, hateful, and obscene generalization.

    Nor will I apologize for 'humanizing' those things/individuals/creatures on the receiving end of the procedure.

    Terminating pregnancies is a big deal in my pro-choice part of the world.


    This line is the dead giveaway: (5.00 / 1) (#133)
    by shoephone on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 02:37:49 PM EST
    "Terminating pregnancies is a big deal in my pro-choice part of the world."

    You're a fake. You're not pro-choice and you, obvioulsy, don't know crap about abortion.


    KS, now you're just lashing out blindly... (3.00 / 2) (#68)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 01:57:02 AM EST
    You are starting to sound paranoid. It seems to me that you are guilty of the kind of over-generalization you subscribe to others. I've read most of the comments and I haven't seen anybody who is doing what you've claimed:  

    "Accusing everyone who donates or volunteers for anti-abortion organizations of celebrating the murder of Dr. Tiller...Arguing that all opponents of abortion support the murder of Dr. Tiller..."

    And puhleeze, nobody has yet asked you to:

    "apologize for 'humanizing' those things/individuals/creatures on the receiving end of the procedure..."

    For my part, I'm exhausted by your tactics. So, peace out.


    KS, I can't help but wonder, but don't (5.00 / 4) (#71)
    by Inspector Gadget on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 03:07:18 AM EST
    expect an answer, what line of business you are in. It seems exceedingly odd that you as a male would be privy to such private information from so many women.

    I haven't heard anyone speak of having had an abortion in several decades, because it isn't something women typically go around talking about.


    Your comments are all over the place (4.00 / 4) (#61)
    by shoephone on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 01:22:04 AM EST
    and many of your statements are contradictory.  Frankly, I'm beginning to think you are a total put-on.

    Regardless of where you think life begins (5.00 / 6) (#53)
    by MsExPat on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 12:16:49 AM EST
    If you really are unambiguously pro-choice, then you believe it is a woman's right to decide to carry a pregnancy to term or not. End of story. No hand-wringing, no sturm-und-drang, no "family, husbands, clergy, consultants", no beating of breasts about how woeful and shameful and unfortunate it is, no insisting that women who choose not to continue a pregnancy must, of course "suffer", no heartwarming and fuzzy ultrasound stories to let us know what your real judgement .

    Your anecdote about how all the women you know who've had abortions are "married mothers" gives you away. "Pro-choice" is a label you adopt but it is not your believe. It comes with conditions, a judgement and a price tag.

    Come to think of it, your position sounds a lot like that of a certain president who responds to a cold blooded assasination with a statement that all but bends over backwards to accomodate the feelings of the people who support the murderer.


    My friend named the fetus 'Hope'. (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by kidneystones on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 12:42:15 AM EST
    The story happens to be true. I'm sorry she (also pro-choice), her husband, I, my wife, our friends, those in our community don't inhabit the same world you call reality.

    Why mourn miscarriage if nothing of value has been lost? Why do you insist that only your exceedingly narrow view of abortion and life is the one we must all accept?

    The women I know are not in the slightest conflicted over their right to safe health care. Yet, not one has ever suggested or implied that abortion is as simple or you claim it to be.

    As for your personal attack, I'd be grateful if would lump me in with all anti-abortionists who must be celebrating the assassination of Dr. Tiller.

    We're all the same to you.



    Cue the violins... (4.50 / 8) (#69)
    by otherlisa on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 02:13:49 AM EST
    I am sorry for your friends' loss, but this is in contention for one of the most manipulative, intellectually dishonest posts I've seen on the subject.

    A man was murdered for helping women at an incredibly difficult, painful place in their lives. A tragic miscarriage relates to this how? There is no equivalence between that and a late stage abortion, except perhaps that in both cases, the fetuses suffered severe defects that made them not viable.

    I am sick to death of the equivocation, the lack of commitment, the "in consultation with her family and her pastor," all of it. Free choice means free choice. By the woman who has to choose.


    True (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by kidneystones on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 03:37:15 AM EST
    It is a tragic story and I agree wholeheartedly that the decision to terminate is extraordinarily difficult. I've praised Dr.Tiller for his courage and for his compassion elsewhere.

    I object only to the notion that those the majority who oppose abortion are in any way pleased that Dr. Tiller was murdered.

    To smear all those who oppose abortion in this manner is bigotry pure and simple.

    I'm not frankly sure which is more tragic: miscarriage or abortion.

    As for Inspectorgadget's remarks about abortion and discussions of abortion, I'm a parent in a relationship that may produce another child. My wife and I might very well find ourselves making our own choice and we discuss freely the experiences of people we know.

    Abortion is a troubling, contentious topic. I've escorted people to clinics and greeted them as they left. The people I know found the experience extremely traumatic. That might run counter to the experiences of others, but that's not my problem.

    There has been next to no change in American political discourse that I can detect. If there's any generosity of spirit towards those who hold different beliefs, its well-hidden.



    "Enjoy!"??? (4.40 / 5) (#75)
    by Cream City on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 05:21:08 AM EST
    That's truly a sad comment from one who claims to also mourn the loss of a courageous man.

    I now have to say that I have to join those here who wonder as to your intent as well as your anecdotes -- and your repeated claim that anyone here is claiming that all anti-abortionists join in celebrating this murder, which no one here is claiming.


    I love the English language :) (none / 0) (#153)
    by Inspector Gadget on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 08:40:48 PM EST
    My wife and I might very well find ourselves making our own choice and we discuss freely the experiences of people we know.

    My emphasis.

    KS, you told us you and your wife are neighborhood gossips. Oft times the information gathering through assumption and rumor is useless, unkind, and inaccurate.

    If you wanted accurate information on your neighbors, you would discuss their experiences with them.


    intellectual honesty (none / 0) (#70)
    by Rojas on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 02:56:55 AM EST
    You're either for us or against us.
    Heard that before.

    And that's your opinion! (none / 0) (#84)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 08:13:56 AM EST
    And the last time I checked in this country we were all supposed to be able to have our own damned opinions!  You can have yours and I'll have mine and I don't expect you to have my opinion and I certainly don't expect myself to cling to yours just cuz you think I should.  And if men could get pregnant abortion wouldn't even be an issue!

    Outrages like this one (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Radiowalla on Sun May 31, 2009 at 10:27:25 PM EST
    are what prevent me from voting for any Republicans.  I simply cannot vote for any member of a party whose very platform advocates the criminalization of reproductive rights.  Instead of marginalizing the crackpots and zealots, the Republican party gives them safe harbor.   This is simply unacceptable to me.

    Please go back and check (5.00 / 4) (#22)
    by Cream City on Sun May 31, 2009 at 10:34:48 PM EST
    who gave the inaugural invocation for this Dem president.  Both parties have not done their part to stand up to this terrorism against women.  One party even claims in its platform that it will stand for reproductive rights, but then -- please go back and check who gave the inaugural invocation for this Dem president, etc. . . .

    I await the party that will live up to its own promises.


    Also... (2.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Thanin on Sun May 31, 2009 at 10:55:48 PM EST
    go check Obamas voting record with pro choice groups while youre at it, then you can decide if having some idiot give an inaugural invocation is more important than pro choice senate votes.

    I have done so, And his statements (5.00 / 4) (#27)
    by Cream City on Sun May 31, 2009 at 11:01:47 PM EST
    and it is not a stalwart record good enough for me.

    If it's good enough for you, I wish you good health.


    Whats your problem? (1.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Thanin on Sun May 31, 2009 at 11:06:47 PM EST
    Youre being so condescending... and claiming that Im a sexist when you obviously misunderstood my post the other day, then not even bothering to respond, well, I dont think Ive been disrespectful to you since our truce so I dont think I really deserve that.

    No idea what you're talking about (5.00 / 2) (#55)
    by Cream City on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 12:27:31 AM EST
    as I don't have a problem, I'm not being condescending, and you apparently are reading 'way too much into my words owing to some resentment about some comment that I do not recall at all.

    So even more than before, do go in good health.


    Ok... (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by Thanin on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 12:51:01 AM EST
    I'll take you at your word that you werent trying to be condescending.  An uncle of mine died last weekend and another one died at 4 o'clock today, so maybe Im a little touchy at the moment.  Sorry.

    But this comment did bother me...

    I'm sorry, but if you can make this comment and not be very, very disturbed by the sheer ignorance of it, then I guess . . . you're a disgrace to your gender?  Nah.  It's just disgraceful in attempting to justify appalling attacks on someone's gender -- indeed, her entire life -- because of one (edited, btw) interview.

    I have never defended sexist comments, so that wasnt my intent.  Just thought Id earned the benefit of the doubt around here on something like that.  It was in the "Sexist, Plain And Simple" comments from thursday.


    I'll go back and look up that thread (none / 0) (#121)
    by Cream City on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 01:05:51 PM EST
    for the context, thanks.

    Ok, but just to let you know... (5.00 / 0) (#126)
    by Thanin on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 01:21:20 PM EST
    when it was obvious you'd seen my response but didnt respond, I assumed you werent going to at all so I just now kind of went to town on you in another thread... and I like sher.

    Now, how in the world (none / 0) (#134)
    by Cream City on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 02:50:08 PM EST
    can you know what I see and don't see -- and in recent weeks when I often have been away from a computer, this blog, with little time to catch up or remember to go to comments. . . .

    Well, then, it goes both ways.  I know now exactly what is your intent, and you can go find another playmate.


    Fine... (1.00 / 1) (#138)
    by Thanin on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 02:54:44 PM EST
    but given that you upranked posts that were not but 3 inches away from my post, its a little hard to believe.

    Anyway, you need to get over yourself... and at least Im honest with my responses.


    Please, do not let a blog (none / 0) (#139)
    by Cream City on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 02:59:33 PM EST
    do this to you.  I don't know you, you don't know me (and you apparently don't know to check time tags?), but you are 'way too invested in this.

    You rated oculus (none / 0) (#144)
    by Thanin on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 03:11:45 PM EST
    a 5 with her present comment at 06/01/2009 02:56:58 PM EST and my comment was at 06/01/2009 12:51:01 AM EST.

    ... but youre probably right.  I'll take that criticism.  Im surrounded by a lot of death at the moment and am probably just letting it get to me.  Cancer deaths, especially two within a week, isnt the easiest thing to deal with, but thats not a good enough reason to take it out on others.  Sorry.


    I would prefer he didn't pander to the mindset (5.00 / 7) (#28)
    by nycstray on Sun May 31, 2009 at 11:04:41 PM EST
    that results murder and hate crimes.

    I agree with you on that 100%... (5.00 / 0) (#31)
    by Thanin on Sun May 31, 2009 at 11:08:22 PM EST
    I was just pointing out that he actually does have a strong pro choice record when it comes down to actual votes.

    Honestly, that's one of my biggest gripes with him (5.00 / 7) (#41)
    by nycstray on Sun May 31, 2009 at 11:34:45 PM EST
    He votes (and some times speaks one way) and then turns around and adds fuel for the conservative fire. It would be nice if we could all get along, but some things are just non-negotiable, in my book. And this is seriously one of them.

    Yeah... (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Thanin on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 12:09:07 AM EST
    I too would rather have a truly liberal president thats consistent in both words and deeds.  But as lame as his double talk is, I am glad for all those pro choice votes.

    Unfortunately many people do not (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by hairspray on Sun May 31, 2009 at 11:40:49 PM EST
    study voting records, but do see the symbolism in choosing an anti-gay or anti-choice as supporting some of their own beliefs.  After Clinton stepped up to the plate on this issue, the whole crazziness began to tame down, but once GWB got in the nodding and winking began again.  The same thing happened with Ronald Reagan with his hospital police corps. I recall signs in the hospitals alerting staff to report to a 800 number any signs that life was not being respected!!! If a staff member believed the doctor was not being aggressive enough in resuscitating a fetus/newborn, she/he was to be reported and the government would investigate.  Talk about mind control!!

    Well... (none / 0) (#52)
    by Thanin on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 12:14:04 AM EST
    I think you hit on one of the source problems when you say not many people study voting records.

    Although (5.00 / 9) (#58)
    by lilburro on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 01:05:29 AM EST
    I don't yet have a strong opinion on Obama's response to this - I am hopeful tomorrow will bring more from him and Holder has sent US Marshals to the clinics - I do think what you are saying here is the reverse of the case.  You ask people to look at your voting record.  You draw attention to it.  Obama does not do that sufficiently enough for me.

    I don't get the sense that Obama's desire to form consensus on abortion comes from a belief that it is the best way to preserve the right to privacy, but rather that he wants to score political points.  I don't want a politician who believes he has a mass of people who vote for him because of his ambiguity, and he serves those people.  I don't want a politician whose ascendancy is based on that.  I think Obama should stand up on his votes.  He should come out as a supporter of pro-choice.  As someone who is pro-choice, he needs to put for the pro-choice argument, not argue about the arguing.  

    IMO, the pro-choice position is vastly superior, and it's one you can convert people to.  That's what I think Obama should be doing - building a larger pro-choice consensus by promoting his position.  

    But these are his words:

    Now, the Freedom of Choice Act is not highest legislative priority. I believe that women should have the right to choose. But I think that the most important thing we can do to tamp down some of the anger surrounding this issue is to focus on those areas that we can agree on. And that's -- that's where I'm going to focus.

    What areas do we agree on?  That life can be unpredictable and people have to make choices more complicated than what type of peanut butter to buy in the grocery store?  

    I think if you want to tamp down the anger, you need to articulate the pro-choice position as a matter of privacy and build support for it.  Once Roe v. Wade is seen as an established decision, once it is ho-hum, once time has passed and Republicans no longer think they can do anything about it, then the anger and violence will drain away, I think.  But to get there you need to support Roe v. Wade and make it seem like the most perfect common sense.  Again, Obama's willful ambiguity does not do that.


    We absolutely do have (5.00 / 0) (#140)
    by MyLeftMind on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 03:00:43 PM EST
    areas of agreement, the most important one being that both sides want fewer abortions to occur. If we can work with moderates who have reasonable concerns about abortion (and I don't include those who try to take away women's rights as reasonable), we can appease some anti-abortionists while creating solutions that fit our needs as well. By reaching out to moderates, we stop alienating all anti-abortionists and instead, start to sever the link between the crazies and the ones who support the law even though they have religious or moral concerns. By opening up communication, we help them recognize that their beliefs do not extend beyond their own personal choice on whether or not to remain pregnant.

    I know some on our side will not want to appease any anti-abortionists, but we're getting nowhere in this argument because anti-abortionist groups keep creating more extremists. I think it's to our benefit to undermine them by exposing their hypocrisy, and by lumping the moderates and the crazies together, we spend all our time talking to our side and miss the opportunity to connect with the moderates in areas where we actually do agree. We all want fewer abortions.


    This is utter bs. I, for one, am not particularly (5.00 / 1) (#158)
    by masslib on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 12:09:00 AM EST
    concerned with reducing abortions, and certainly not by legal means.  I would like to see better sex education, which in countries that begin early with sex ed and have a generally healthier attitude toward sex, there is statistically less abortion, and of course less sexually transmitted disease.  But my main priority is not fewer abortions.  It's maybe better health care, better sex education, lower infant mortality rates(since we rate near the bottom for developed countries), more support for poor mothers, easier adoptions, and laws to protect a woman's right to choose.  These all may work to reduce the number of abortions, but why should that be the emphasis when we have all those other concerns?  We've had a national dialogue on abortion for decades.  And, as a result, abortion is one of the most highly regulated medical procedures in the country.  I'm tired of the discussion, and see no more room in the middle.  

    Indeed, I'll go further... (none / 0) (#161)
    by masslib on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 12:18:27 AM EST
    saying "we all want to reduce the number of abortions" is a bit like saying "we all want world peace", "we all want to completely eliminate poverty", "we all want ponies".  I mean, yeah, so?  Almost no one in this country, pro-choice or anti-abortion, gets up everyday and thinks what can I do to reduce abortions today?  Or, gee, we really need to get to work reducing abortions.  It makes people feel morally correct to say such things, but it's a facade.  It simply isn't a priority for most people.  I don't think we need another dialogue on something for which there are diametrically opposing views on how to get there.  We'd be better off if our leaders argued for these other things, better health care, better sex ed, better protections for women, than to rehash the same arguments and hope for different outcomes.

    Agreed... (none / 0) (#60)
    by Thanin on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 01:16:51 AM EST
    I wasnt defending Obamas ambiguity but more pointing out that he has a pro choice voting record, which was going completely ignored.

    The problem is (5.00 / 5) (#63)
    by otherlisa on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 01:25:52 AM EST
    he undercuts his own voting record by his squishy rhetoric on the issue and by sanctioning the beliefs of people like Rick Warren by giving them high-profile inaugural speeches. I think Obama wants to have it both ways. He votes the right way but constantly moves the frame around the issue to a place we don't want it to be.

    I agree... (5.00 / 0) (#67)
    by Thanin on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 01:53:03 AM EST
    but any honest critique of him on this issue would involve at least a cursory acknowledgement of his voting record, which wasnt happening before.

    Or specigically take on the (none / 0) (#128)
    by hairspray on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 01:36:22 PM EST
    need for late term abortion and blow up the argument from the right that it is a matter of convenience.  See my post upthread about educating the public on the need for this procedure.

    Specifically!! (none / 0) (#129)
    by hairspray on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 01:42:45 PM EST
    Is it one of the problems? (5.00 / 6) (#73)
    by masslib on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 05:18:09 AM EST
    I would argue it is precisely what Obama is banking on.  I do not find his record so substantial, but let's assume, as you say, it is, and that it is more important than the "idiot" he asked to do his invocation.  I would argue Obama counts on a minority of people like you from the Democratic base looking up his voting record, which of course is influenced by the Democratic constituencies that support his campaign efforts, while he knows that the majority of Americans will listen to his rhetoric and see whom he surrounds himself with to form the basis of their opinion on his stances, and here he can placate those who either do not support choice or feel sort of icky about it by portraying himself as only mildly pro-choice.  So you see what you deem a problem I would argue is what Obama deems perfect political positioning.

    "Present." (5.00 / 7) (#96)
    by oculus on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 10:20:01 AM EST
    This is an example... (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by Thanin on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 12:14:59 PM EST
    of how his critics also play 11 dimensional chess.  

    See, you cant have it both ways.  Either Obama really is this politically savvy and actually does play these weird, multi-layered game of gambits and faints, or its just his foolish supporters/critics projecting what they want when its convenient to an argument.


    Heh, faints/feints (5.00 / 0) (#112)
    by Thanin on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 12:29:20 PM EST
    I would have liked for Obama to say (5.00 / 3) (#127)
    by hairspray on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 01:32:50 PM EST
    that late term abortion is ALWAYS used for severe malformations of the fetus or serious health risks to the life of the mother (and those are really rare) and that murdering medical providers of that procedure places real families in medical jeopardy.  This would have educated people to the BS the right wing spews about a woman "choosing " to terminate a pregnancy that had become unpleasant as time went on. Instead he chose to couch this as just another issue we have a disagreement on.  

    I think my list of "Things I would (5.00 / 3) (#132)
    by Anne on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 01:54:14 PM EST
    have liked Obama to Say" might be nearing Volume II stage...

    That being said, as soon as you enumerate reasons why a late-term - or any abortion - procedure can be done, it opens the door to the slippery slope argument, the who-are-we-to-play-God argument, any and every other argument that takes one farther and farther away from what the law itself says.

    I totally agree with you that women are not having late term abortions because they were just so busy and forgot to do it sooner, or woke up one morning and decided maybe having a baby isn't really as much fun as they thought, but those who are against abortion do not care why they are being done, only that they are being done.

    I am sad to acknowledge that all the education in the world will not move some people - and it's okay for them to believe what they believe, and I don't want to deny them that right, or to make choices based on their beliefs.

    What I would like is for Obama to say that Dr. Tiller was assassinated for his beliefs, in an act of domestic terrorism that was designed to send a message to women and health care providers all over this country that even if they are acting in accordance with the law, their lives are in jeopardy.  I would like him to say that the assassination of Dr. Tiller was an attempt to deny women the choices afforded them under the law.  I would like Obama to say that he will bring the full force of the goverment to bear on this act of domestic terror, and will take measures to ensure that those making reproductive choices can continue to do so as spelled out in the law, and as is their right.

    But, see, that's too much like an actual stand for Obama, so we will never hear anything like that from him, unless we are asleep and dreaming it.


    While I agree that a slippery slope (none / 0) (#154)
    by hairspray on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 08:44:32 PM EST
    argument can be made, I have found that most people who are pro-choice are very ambivalent about late term abortions until I suggest they google anencepahly or hydrocephaly.  Many  people don't have a clue about the reasons for third trimester abortions and are revolted when the procedure is described by the wingnuts.  When enlightened I find that these people are angry with the anti-abortionists for deluding them about the need for the procedure. With a clearer understanding of the whole picture, comes a more sympathetic response to the families facing this crisis.  It is unfortunate that many people do not understand medical issues well and can be deluded by emotions.

    Maybe there's something wrong (5.00 / 1) (#157)
    by Anne on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 10:30:21 PM EST
    with me, but in my mind, I have always believed that to be pro-choice means that one of the choices is...life.

    For me, being pro-choice means that I accept that women may choose procedures that are difficult to contemplate; not being able to accept late-term procedures for one's self I understand, but if one can't accept it as a choice for others, one isn't really pro-choice.  I think Obama is one of those who is pro-choice, up to a point - and for me, that's not really being pro-choice.

    It's not my place to have slippery-slope arguments with someone who finds herself in a position to have to make a decision, late in a pregnancy, whether to terminate that pregnancy or not.  I don't have to be comfortable with someone else's decision, because I'm not living her life, I don't live in her head, I don't walk in her shoes.

    Trust me when I tell you that there are people who, regardless of how horrific the anomalies are, would insist that no one has the right to end that life.  And what I say to them is, when you are in that situation, you can rest assured that no one will deny you the right to bring that life into the world, and do as much or as little as you decide is appropriate.  It seems only right that I be assured that I will have the ability and the right to decide, in that situation, what is best for me and for my baby.


    "in my mind, I have always believed..." (5.00 / 1) (#159)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 12:09:34 AM EST
    in my mind, I have always believed that to be pro-choice means that one of the choices is...life.
    Well said.

    There's always that one person... (1.00 / 0) (#130)
    by masslib on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 01:43:06 PM EST
    here it is "sher" who gives you a "1" for no clear reason.  

    You are quite right (none / 0) (#30)
    by Radiowalla on Sun May 31, 2009 at 11:07:42 PM EST
    and sadly so.

    Radio, I hear where you're coming from but... (3.00 / 2) (#44)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sun May 31, 2009 at 11:43:59 PM EST
    Cream City makes the point that Obama and the Dems, have also become big-time enablers who lend support and succor to anti-choice zealots. It's all contributing to an incremental loss of the right to choose - particularly at the state level.

    Yes, you are both right (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by Radiowalla on Sun May 31, 2009 at 11:59:40 PM EST
    Quite right and it's a damn shame.

    I'm really disgusted with the whole sorry lot of them.  Thanks to you and Cream for the needed perspective.


    The thanks are to those (none / 0) (#122)
    by Cream City on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 01:07:13 PM EST
    who do the research to keep me informed -- such as the report card on the states at the NARAL site; I recommend it (if not always the organization) -- and that includes many commenters here.

    The conversation needs to change (5.00 / 3) (#26)
    by nycstray on Sun May 31, 2009 at 11:00:15 PM EST
    I just spent some time reading a support site for parents who have found themselves facing what DougJ's commenter sadly had to face. I seem to hear more about the health of the mother and women's choices (not that that's wrong!), and I don't hear nearly enough about the fate of the child or the consequences if they are forced to carry these children to term. In reading some of the stories, I came across one that mentioned the Kansas Women's Health Clinic. She was actually from NY.  She had to go there because by the time she was told the truth about what was going on with her baby, it was to late for treatment in NYS. The parents are telling their stories and it's about making the most loving decision for their child to save him/her from suffering and in many cases a painful death after a very short life. These babies all have names (as far as I could read, I had to stop).

    The absolute reality of the situation needs a much broader conversation. Yes, it's about privacy and a woman's right to make her own reproductive decisions, but I think we need to expand the conversation to include more about the children who are loved, but really were not able to make it into the world. I just don't hear enough about about them, or the various medical diagnoses, many which I think folks wouldn't be familiar with. They can't know some of these problems until the baby reaches a certain stage of development and as we saw from a commenter earlier, "well up to 3 months is ok" is the mindset of some who claim to be "pro-choice". The extremists have been co-opting the reality of the situation and twisting it for so long, the true reality isn't getting the consideration it should. These babies need to be protected just as much as the mother (and father) do. With all of our advancements in medicine, some dreams are {heartbreaking} just not to be.

    Thank you Dr George Tiller.

    Excekllent points (2.00 / 1) (#81)
    by Bemused on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 07:29:07 AM EST
      One of the things that is most troubling is the denegration of fundamental, and extremely difficult and complex,  moral questions to sometimes virulent but almost always simple-minded political posturing.

      The reality is that the "solutions" to the abortion questions must be reached politically. Unfortunately, in part because of that, we see far too many people who can only view the issues politically.

      You make the excellent point that abortion, and in particular late term abortion, decisions should be informed by concern for those unborn found to have catastrophic health problems. At least implicitly, you are recognizing the humanity of the unborn and advocating the availability what you believe to be humane options for preventing suffering and misery.

       Others, though, neither necessarily evil nor insincere, are opposed to one person or a group of people deciding to end  even a profoundly  damaged life. Whether you agree or not, all should accept that this view is just as valid and as deserving of being accorded respect. Some people truly believe that it is not the place of humans  to make life and death decisions about the existence of other humans (obviously they believe the unborn is a human-- also a valid belief deserving respect)

      Still others fear the broader ramifications of third parties consigning certain classes to the category of lives not worth living  and thus not merely not entitled to protection but subject to affirmative acts to kill them. Not only is one person's mercy killing is another's selfish act which ends a life without a voice. The same logic which justifies  killing an unborn with severe health problems can justify killing the born with severe problems.

      These are just a couple of the multitude of very real and very difficult questions which a debate dominated by extremes of "ban abortion now" and "abortion on demand" stifle.

      I truly believe this is because the activists on both sides care far more about the political gamemanship than they do about confronting moral dilemmas with no easy answers.


    Here's the thing about choice: (4.70 / 10) (#91)
    by Anne on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 09:14:59 AM EST
    it's personal.  It's my choice to make.  Neither you, nor any group of people have the right to weigh in on what I choose.  By all means, have an opinion about what you would do.  By all means, make your own choice, the one that is right for you, for your circumstances, for your health.  I can promise you that I will not interfere, or judge, or stand outside your house to harass you on the way to see your doctor.  I won't scream in your face or send you threatening letters.  I won't even pray that you see the error of your ways.  Why?  Because it isn't up to me to help you make your choice.  It isn't my judgment that counts.

    Whatever your choice is, it is valid for you, just as mine is for me.  And I respect your right to make the choice.  Where is the respect for me in making my choice?  Well, if the "2's" you've been handing out are any indication, you don't have any respect for my views, regardless of your talk about respecting the validity of the opionions of those who are opposed to abortion.

    I'm tired of the slippery slope arguments that get trotted out whenever this issue comes up, that if we choose to end a pregnancy because our fetus has anomalies inconsistent with life outside the womb, pretty soon we will be killing people right and left because they have the sniffles.  We'll be sending our old folks off on the ice floe when they become too burdensome.

    Baloney.  Bunk.  Nonsense.

    For now, and I hope for the foreseeable future, women have the choice, and as long as they do, it is my position and my feeling that what other people think about those choices is irrelevant.

    Don't believe in abortion?  Don't have one.  I don't see how it could be any simpler than that.  


    I agree with eveything you write (5.00 / 1) (#97)
    by Lacey on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 10:24:09 AM EST
    But I do think that abortion is more complicated for the anti-choice crowd. For them abortion is murder and on a massive scale. They believe they cannot simply sit back and let women choose to have abortions because they are then just as guilty of murder. I disagree with them. Profoundly.
    Personally, I believe life begins at conception. BUT, that is an opinion I have formed after careful reflection and contemplation on what is life, is there a God, do we have a soul and, if we do, when do we actually 'get' a soul. I believe strongly that each of us must make such a decision for ourselves because, as of yet, there is no scientific way to determine when exactly life begins and whether we do have souls. I cannot impose my own spirtual beliefs upon others and I don't expect others to impose their beliefs upon me.
    But I do think it is unhelpful and unwise to ignore the reasons behind the anti-choice crowd. I do see that there is the potential for common ground. I don't think most of us who are pro-choice really 'like' abortion and want more abortions. I believe most of us feel abortion must be an option for all women, but we would likely be better served to do all we can to prevent unwanted pregnancies. After all, from a strictly financial standpoint, preventing a pregnancy is far more cheaper on society. Plus, whether right or not, some women do have a difficult time emotionally when they end a pregnancy. That is likely more a result of society's treatment of abortion than anything else, but it is an unfortunate reality. I see the preventation of unwanted pregnancies as one way to build consensus between the two sides. of course, someone or some organization would have to sidestep the anti-choice orgs that would battle that move out of fear of losing their fundraising clout.

    Murder is a legal definition (none / 0) (#100)
    by ruffian on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 11:01:21 AM EST
    So when they say they think abortion is murder, they are, in fact, wrong in most cases in most states.

    Their speculations on what will happen after death to women that have abortions are best kept between them and their friends that share the same belief system. I don't need to hear about it, or have my politicians influenced by it.  

    Birth control available to all that want it is the best way to control unwanted pregnancies. But even that fails, or wanted pregnancies go horribly wrong. Women still have the legal right to handle these situations as they see fit.


    There is the legal and then the moral (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by Lacey on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 11:09:56 AM EST
    I don't disagree with you. I am just pointing out that those on the anti-choice see it as murder and feel they must end it. That doesn't mean that it is legally murder, but for them morally it is.
    To ignore those concerns does not further the debate and leaves the situation unresolved. I don't think that is the right approach nor do I think it helps anyone in the long term.    
    I agree that women must have the choice to make whatever decision they deem is in their best interest and they must not be restricted from doing so. Like I said, I am pro-choice.

    I understand (none / 0) (#119)
    by ruffian on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 01:03:24 PM EST
    But the situation is already legally resolved in most places. They are trying to 'unresolve' it in favor of their own morals. If they think it is morally wrong, they are free to not have an abortion.

    thanks for illustrating so profoundly (1.00 / 1) (#105)
    by Bemused on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 11:32:55 AM EST
      my point about the politicization leads to a simple-minded form of advocacy.

      Only by engaging in the narrowest and most simplistic type of thinking could you possibly think you end rational discussion by declaring it's my choice because I say so and anyone who disagrees is wrong and probably evil.

      I'm going to guess that if I someone were to kill you or a family member the fact that it was his choice would not lead you to the inexorable conclusion he was justified in doing so. If then said, "don't believe in killing somone in your family, don't do it," would probably not then end in your mind all discussion as to whether he should be allowed to do it.

      Calling it "choice" is banality. The issue is not only about choice, it is profoundly about the subjects of the choice. that you refuse to engage either your mind or your soul to confront that there is more of impoertance in human existence than your choices is depressing. That your attitudes are broadly accepted and even championed is just profoundly sad.



    Oh, no you don't...you don't get to (5.00 / 5) (#108)
    by Anne on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 12:05:03 PM EST
    wax poetic about the need to respect the "other side" and then misquote, misstate and misrepresent what I said so that you can feel superior.

    The law says it is my choice, and yours and everyone else's.  The law.  No one is suggesting that just because the law says we have the right to choose that it necessarily makes it easier to choose, or that it makes it a simple yes/no issue.  What I might wrestle with in making that kind of decision has nothing to do with you, and the law says you don't get to make the choice for me.

    Killing me or my family member would be against the law, and someone making the choice to do it would suffer the consequences of breaking the law.  If I choose to have an abortion, I would be breaking no law, so I am legally free to make that choice.  I am free to make the choice on grounds that matter to me, for reasons that are best for me, be they moral or religious or whatever.  We are all free to make that choice, and that you don't like mine, or think my reasons are not good enough, or think I will burn in hell doesn't matter to me - I don't have to justify my decisions to you.

    Please don't lecture me about my soul or my mind, or try to tell me I don't know or understand the issues - my mind and my soul are being managed quite well, and I fully understand the issues.

    I have two children.  I know what it feels like to have life growing inside me.  I know what it is like to wonder and worry about that life.  I was fortunate to be married and financially secure and planned my pregnancies, and I gave birth to two healthy children, so I was and am one of the lucky ones.  But who am I to judge or decide for anyone else?  And who the hell are you to sanctimoniously analyze and assess other people's mental and moral failings?  


    More banality (1.00 / 1) (#135)
    by Bemused on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 02:51:50 PM EST
      because the debate is about what the law should be. Some abortions are now illegal and people might advocate for legalizing those. By the sam token some people might advocate for legal prohibitions of ones currently legal.

      It's obviously ridiculous to argue what amounts to the law shouldn't be changed from what I want because that's the law. If you engage your mind for a moment you might contemplate how people wanting something different than you could make the same incredibly stupid argument to argue against changes in the law you support.


    Yes, the debate is about what the law (5.00 / 1) (#141)
    by ruffian on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 03:02:43 PM EST
    should be. But right now we have what the law is. And abortion is, by definition, not murder in most states, in most cases.  So anti-abortion folks can belief whatever they want morally, but saying abortion is murder is just factually wrong.

    I'll elaborate... (none / 0) (#145)
    by ruffian on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 03:13:11 PM EST
    I think they are engaging in circular reasoning. To them, 'abortion is murder' and so should be against the law. Their conclusion is contained in the definition of their premise. If they defined their terms factually, they would say abortion is against my morals, and so it should be against the law, ie. be termed murder. But of course stating it that way exposes the fact that they are making moral judgments for everyone. So they call people 'murderers' instead. Not tell me who is shortcutting the discussion?

    No, the "debate" is not about what the (5.00 / 1) (#146)
    by Anne on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 03:23:47 PM EST
    law should be, not for me; that's the debate YOU want to have.  You want the government to take over the decision-making process because, I guess, you cannot stand that women have been granted the right to make decisions about their lives and their health that are contrary to what you believe.  

    What other thinking do you want the government to do for us women?  Hey, I know - we can go back to the days of being chattel, and if you take away our right to vote, you can eliminate that pesky women-in-public-office thing that some find so annoying.

    Just tell me one thing: what's the punishment for women who have an illegal abortion?  Come on, you must have one in mind - what is it?  Do you send her to jail?  For how long?  Will there be an "attempted" abortion charge?  Followed by forced pregnancy in government-run pregnancy camps?  And then what?  Let's hear the plan - I'm sure everyone is on the edge of his or her seat waiting to find out how you plan to deal with all of this.

    By all means, work to change the laws you don't like, but make sure you think it through all the way to the end.  Just realize, if you can, that I don't have to entertain your notion of what the law should be.


    I'm not in favor (none / 0) (#148)
    by Bemused on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 04:54:36 PM EST
     of further restricting let alone banning abortion or making women who receive one criminals.

      I am in favor of everyone, including people with whom I agree on some issues, being willing and able to engage in meaningful and intelligent  consideration of the fundamental interests at stake and not resorting to the anti-intellectual and close minded argument that they don't have to do that because they don't want to do that because they've already determined what is the only right view.

      Aside from the abhorrent nature of such an approach, as a purely practical matter you might find you do a lot better job defending your side if you acknowledge there are also other sides. you can applaud the other no though absolutists on your purity but everyone else is just repelled.


    So is this why (5.00 / 3) (#149)
    by otherlisa on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 05:22:44 PM EST
    you give out 1s to comments with which you disagree? That's an interesting approach to dialog, Bemused.

    For me and many others, this is an issue where the two sides are not equivalent. I am not going to acknowledge the legitimacy of an argument that denies me autonomy over my own body and my own choices.


    You can talk about the moral issues and (5.00 / 1) (#150)
    by Anne on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 05:43:25 PM EST
    dilemmas and concerns until the cows come home, and the desire that everyone engage on those aspects, and I can hear them and respect your right to have them, and understand that they will guide you in whatever decision-making you find yourself in, but listening does not obligate me to change my own position.  

    You might note that in all of what I have written, I have made no attempt to change your mind - I haven't argued for or against the abortion itself, only for the right of women to have the choice to make that decision for themselves.  To me, that is an acknowledgment of and respect for each person's circumstances and opinion.

    You seem unable to understand that according each woman the right to make her decision, her way, is an explicit and implicit acceptance of whatever position, whatever decision, whatever basis for the decision she makes.

    How much more evidence of being open do you need?  I suspect what you need is acceptance represented by a change of position, something I neither expect or demand from anyone else.

    What irks me, and I suspect gets under the skin of a lot of women, is that those of us who believe unequivocally in a woman's right to choose are fighting for every woman's right to choose, not just our own, but those who oppose abortion seem to care only about their own point of view, and feel driven to take away that right.

    Ponder that one for a bit, will you?


    I'm not asking you to change your opinion (none / 0) (#162)
    by Bemused on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 07:10:11 AM EST
      I'm suggesting that if you can't defend your opinion by any means other than parroting banal platitudes that ignore the existence of fundamental concerns which a civilized society must consider then  I have no respect for your opinions because they  are based solely on a shallow political agenda.

      This form of extremism is little different than extremism of the far right. When the debate on a an important issue is dominated by the narrow minded extremists everyone loses.

      This is going to upset you, but people who behave as you do in the abortion debate also share culpability for fostering an environment in which the deranged are moved to violence. People like you who help make this a "war" between good and evil, where positing the existence of many shades of gray is being a traitor,  while less culpable than the anti-abortion extremists do contribute to encouraging the mentality that's it all about us versus them rather than about an issue where no easy answers exist and people can disagree in good faith.


    Well, I'd like to preface this comment with (5.00 / 1) (#165)
    by Anne on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 08:50:10 AM EST
    "with all due respect," but the truth is that I'm not particularly respectful of flat-out ignorance.  

    No one is ignoring the fundamental concerns of others.  No one is refusing to acknowledge what others do or do not believe.  No one is saying that people are not free to live by, and make decisions in accordance with, their beliefs.  You, on the other hand, seem to have the idea that the  only way to prove that one acknowledges what others believe is to adopt those beliefs as their own.

    There is nothing extreme in having the opinion and belief that all people should be able to make these private, personal decisions on their own, in accordance with their own beliefs and their own situations; that is the antithesis of narrow-minded.  Narrow-minded is when I take the view that if I am opposed to abortion, then no one should be able to have one.  

    People who "behave" as I do in the abortion debate have no culpability in what happened in Kansas.  None.  You seem to be suggesting that an open-minded view of this issue is so upsetting to those who would deny women the right to choose that I should abandon it for something more accommodating to the anti-choice fanatics.  This does not even make sense.

    I am not making a war out of this issue, nor have I ever suggested that there are no shades of gray in it.  There is a lot of gray - that is the problem - because no woman's situation is the same as anyone else's.  That's why I have said that what I might choose to do, or not do, should have no bearing on another woman's decision.  I have been lucky to never have been faced with the decision to abort, and I truly have no idea whether I could have.  

    You keep wanting to have a debate about abortion, and no matter how I frame my responses, you simply refuse to acknowledge that that is not the debate I want to engage in, or the one I think is the most important one to have.  I'm on the side of women having autonomy over their own bodies, for women not being treated like incubators, or someone's property.  I'm for what empowers women, not for what subjugates them.

    I know that you are poised to accuse me of being a banal and evil extremist for believing that each woman has the right to her beliefs, the right to make her own choices and decisions, and the right not to be judged for the choices she makes - no matter which "side" she chooses - but I think such a reaction from you only serves to highlight your own willful ignorance and unreasonableness.

    To each his - or her - own.


    you continue (none / 0) (#167)
    by Bemused on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 03:26:23 PM EST
     to attempt to debate the issue purely by framing it in black and white. A woman's autonomy is not and never will be the only interest at stake no matter how many times you parrot that platitude.

      It's an important interest and one deserving of great weight but it still must be balanced against interests which militate in favor of some restrictions on personal autonomy.

      when your entire position is "I have decided that the personal autonomy of a woman is absolute and anyone who disagrees with me is just talking to the hand" yo're not respecting anything but your own views.


    Oh, bite me (none / 0) (#168)
    by Anne on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 03:50:09 PM EST
    If you cannot understand the simple concept of each woman making her own choice, and being respected no matter what that choice is, I can't help you.  Maybe "do whatever you think is best for you" is not authoritarian enough for you, but it certainly isn't narrow-minded.

    Clearly, you do not believe in personal autonomy for women, which is a shame.

    I am not a "talk to the hand" kind of person, but you are to be congratulated for evoking in me a decidedly "talk to the finger" attitude.  Can you see the one I am holding up?  I'm sure you see it often enough to recognize it.



    the point is (none / 0) (#169)
    by Bemused on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 04:01:20 PM EST
    that it's NOT a simple concept of each woman making her own decision to everyone -- because other people-- less authoritarian than you-- recognize that a woman's decision  on this and men and women's decisions many other things affect interests other than and broader than their singular existence.

      Until you learn to accept that abortion and many other issues involve concerns that can't expressed on a t-shirt you will remain the mirror image of those on the right  whose way of thinking you claim to oppose. You actually think exactly the same way, just in support of the opposite view.


    Not when it comes to preserving (none / 0) (#172)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 08:10:10 AM EST
    our health and wellbeing unless we have contracted a dangerous contagion that could harm others.  My pregnancy is not contagious.  It isn't going to harm anyone else other than myself, but if I bring into this world a sadly  very deformed being my family will suffer, my ability to cope with what is left of my life that is average will suffer and as each day passes it will begin to suffer terrifically.  Unless I am independently wealthy my family will financially suffer as well.  How many families in this country are filing bankruptcy every single day due to medical bills?  I have a disabled child.  He instantly made us a one income family.  His twice a year surgeries deplete and utterly drain this family emotionally and also come with a financial cost as well though ours is small if I'm very very careful amidst all this daily stress to cross every "T" and dot every "I" in preparing for it.  If I'm supposed to accept that abortion is a moral issue for society then where is society's moral obligation in raising this child that MUST BE BORN?  I expect your check in the mail to me this month and I can't imagine where you have been in prior months....you are very delinquent in your payments and also your time contributed to this endeavor. Your contribution to the fact that he HAS TO BE HERE AT ALL COST after you have made your grandiose entrance into MY LIFE is where?  Of course you could allow me my choice and I did choose him and I won't send you the bill you would otherwise owe. Also, I think you need to pay some on his sister's college too, she made huge sacrifices as well in all of her possibilities just being his sister!  Or you can give me my choice that will affect all the aspects of the life I lead and I'll gladly deal with his sister too and all the pain and sacrifice that goes with ME MAKING MY CHOICE FOR MY LIFE!  Oh yeah....and you owe on his sister past therapy bills.  All this was really hell on her and she sometimes didn't get all the attention she needed and she got a load of stress too.  She doesn't live in the house now, she can be spared being drug through every surgery somewhat now.  We just don't tell her when one is coming along and she seems to know when one is about to happen, probably due to the tightening in our voices, and she just doesn't phone or stop by for a week.  Works amazingly well....this innate struggle to attempt to survive some realities.  I did my best though. I got her counseling.  I paid for that too but now it looks like you forgot your copay.

    It's pointless, Tracy, to (5.00 / 1) (#173)
    by Anne on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 08:52:40 AM EST
    expect anything of substance from this "Bemused" person; no matter what one says, he - and I'm sure it is a "he" - seems only to be able to respond that we are shallow and banal.  He's a classic button-pusher - I've tangled with him a time or two and I believe he was banned from BTD's threads.

    I guess he can't help projecting onto others his own shortcomings - my favorite was him accusing me of having a "talk to the hand" attitude - yes, because that's what a basic philosophy of "each woman should do what she thinks is best for her" represents.  According each woman the right to consider her own feelings and her own situation is "not considering the deeply important and fundamental issues involved" in his mind.  He still does not get that it isn't up to me - or anyone else - to harangue other women, or insert ourselves into their decision-making process, but instead I leave it to each woman to wrestle with whatever demons accompany this process and reach the decision that is right for her.  Wow - maybe that is shallow and banal - you think?

    And all of this is accompanied by his claim that he wants women to have the choice - sure he does.  I'm guessing he's a lot like Obama, whose definition of pro-choice seems to be that we have the choice as long as it's one he's comfortable with and which has been approved by the important men in a woman's life.

    "Bemused" doesn't get it, and he enjoys upsetting people - a real winning combination, don't you think?

    For me, Bemused is on the equivalent of "Ignore" - there's too much aggravation in life as it is.


    I am a he (none / 0) (#174)
    by Bemused on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 04:10:20 PM EST
      I didn't think there was confusion about thaT.

      I wasn't aware that gentials impact one's ability to think and feel, but maybe you can enlighten me on that.

      Tracy deiberately chooses to speak to a very narrow class of aboortions comprising far less than 10% of those performed, but even there as she acknowledges the potential for suffering and misery if the child is born, she chooses to ignore that even an imperfect physical specimen may experience joy, love, happiness and other positive experiences. I happen to agree that when doctors determine a fetus is very likely suffering from grave conditions that terminating its life may be viewed as an act of mercy. I can, however, understand that even in those circumstances some people believe the value of that life should be weighed so as to make it wrong for anyone including the mother to choose to end its life.

       That tracy speaks to the unborn life and its potential might indicate that she at least is capable of considering something beyond individual autonomy.  I've pretty much abandoned any delusion you can think beyongd the narroew issue of woman's power.

      I do wonder if you are as devoted to the rights of the powerful and the lack of value of the weak and dependent in other contexts or just this one.


    You have no idea (5.00 / 3) (#124)
    by ruffian on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 01:12:53 PM EST
    what process any of us has gone through to engage our minds and souls to decide the nature and priorities of human existence. You don't get to minimize the profundity of our conclusions just because we disagree with yours.

    I can certainly (none / 0) (#137)
    by Bemused on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 02:53:28 PM EST
     tell when some people have gone through a process that is shallow and superficial and rejects even considering most of the fundamental questions that need to be asked.

    Are you kidding? (5.00 / 2) (#142)
    by MyLeftMind on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 03:06:54 PM EST
    Are you even a woman? Shallow and superficial process? You sound like someone who doesn't have the ability to become pregnant, but has given this grave thought on behalf of someone else's decisions and rights.

    I had 12 years of Catholic education (5.00 / 3) (#143)
    by ruffian on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 03:06:59 PM EST
    I can assure you there is no question I have not asked, or viewpoint I have not considered. Just because I only have time and inclination to post about my conclusions in this forum does not mean I have not been thinking about this carefully for most of my 51 years.

    Peace. (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by Fabian on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 11:16:53 AM EST
    Was over at Daily Kos and retired from there because of the emotions running high and people talking past each other, when they were talking at all.  

    I came here in hopes of avoiding the soapboxes, the blanket accusations, the outrage and the talking past each other.

    Now I understand why abortion is a wedge issue.  It doesn't take much to get these banked coals whipped into a raging conflagration.  We aren't even talking about the man who died or the courageous choices he made.  We are only too ready to take our anger, frustration and disappointment out on whoever happens to be a convenient target.

    Peace be to Doctor Tiller and those who knew him.  Peace be to us as well.  

    If you read the whole thread (none / 0) (#117)
    by oldpro on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 12:47:49 PM EST
    then you know there has been much talk about Doctor Tiller and the courageous choices he made here.

    Right you are about the wedge issue, though.  The coals are only banked so long as the 'complex-issue' people are keeping their lectures to themselves and one another.  When they start lecuring women about choice or no choice, we draw the line.

    We really do not care what you think or feel about OUR choice regarding reproduction.  Hands off our bodies and mind your own damn business is our motto.

    Dr. Tiller understood that.  His murderer and the enablers of his murderer...no.  They. Do. Not. Get. It.

    And never will.  After all...Gawd talks to them.


    I've seen many interesting (5.00 / 0) (#131)
    by Fabian on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 01:52:01 PM EST
    and productive discussions about abortion and women's choices.  

    Not in the wake of Doctor Tiller's murder though.  It's as if people forgot that the most extreme opponents of abortion are actually a small group that don't represent anyone except themselves.

    I suppose it's just the way people are.  Kind of post 9/11ish in a way - some traumatic event happens and people feel a need to respond to it somehow.  I liked the people who sent a donation to Planned Parenthood.  That seemed productive and logical to me.

    I'm seeing people say "I'm pro life and I don't agree with Operation Rescue or violent tactics." and they promptly become targets for people who say "You're WHAT?".  Tribalism at its finest.

    (It was really prevalent at dkos.)


    Well, I'm 'pro-life' too... (5.00 / 2) (#152)
    by oldpro on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 08:10:49 PM EST
    especially when it comes to the death penalty and most wars.  I'm also 'pro-choice' re women's reproductive health which I have taken to calling 'pro-life for women's lives and their free choice' (to protect their own lives).

    I don't know any people who are anti-life...except maybe those who want to kill pro-choice healthcare providers.


    A statement (4.60 / 10) (#48)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 12:00:00 AM EST
    made by an actual Democrat about Tiller's murder by terrorism:

    "Dr. Tiller was targeted for his belief in the right of women to make their own health decisions. He protected that right and sought to ensure that his patients were provided with the medical, emotional and spiritual counsel they needed to make the right choice for themselves and their families. He continued this work despite the threat of harmful retaliation, physical attacks and the destruction of his clinic. We will forever remember his fearlessness, compassion and commitment. -- NY Gov. David Patterson

    Contrast this with Obama's "bipartisan" statement.

    We need anti-terrorism forces to provide protection to the remaining 2 doctors who perform this necessary service.  We need an announcement about that tomorrow.  Where will Obama be hiding?

    TIS2, you nailed it... (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 12:26:43 AM EST
    These clinic bombers and murderers are domestic terrorists. Here's a kicker, they even qualify as "domestic terrorists" under the USA Patriot Act (wikipedia):

    "Under current United States law, set forth in the USA PATRIOT Act, acts of domestic terrorism are those which: "(A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State; (B) appear to be intended-- (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and (C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States."[3]

    To be clear, I'm no lawyer but I'll say yes to what you just said:

    "We need anti-terrorism forces to provide protection to the remaining 2 doctors who perform this necessary service."

    I imagine he'll be (5.00 / 0) (#104)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 11:30:52 AM EST
    "hiding" in the Middle East giving and/or preparing to give  a major policy speech to Muslim nations that's been on the agenda for months.

    Thank you for posting Paterson's comments. n/t (none / 0) (#62)
    by shoephone on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 01:25:12 AM EST
    thank you A poignant (3.00 / 2) (#11)
    by oculus on Sun May 31, 2009 at 08:34:42 PM EST

    I gather that the story is from a commenter (none / 0) (#1)
    by andgarden on Sun May 31, 2009 at 07:32:13 PM EST
    Otherwise, I agree entirely.

    It was (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun May 31, 2009 at 07:33:14 PM EST
    I'll clarify the post.

    And you corrected while I typed (none / 0) (#2)
    by andgarden on Sun May 31, 2009 at 07:32:49 PM EST
    They really hate liberal judges (none / 0) (#43)
    by lobary on Sun May 31, 2009 at 11:43:34 PM EST
    The last time a Democrat nominated a woman to the Supreme Court was in June 1993. Ginsburg's hearings concluded about two months later with her confirmation on August 4, 1993. On August 19, 1993 Dr. Tiller was shot by an anti-choice activist who drove from Portland to Wichita with the intention of killing him.

    Now, sixteen years later, another Democratic president has nominated a woman to sit on the Supreme Court, and Dr. Tiller is shot and killed by another anti-choice lunatic.

    So then I think you mean (none / 0) (#74)
    by masslib on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 05:20:09 AM EST
    liberal female judges.

    Yes, (none / 0) (#89)
    by lobary on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 08:38:43 AM EST
    Things happen for a reason (none / 0) (#86)
    by brocklee2006 on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 08:28:13 AM EST
    I do not think its right for any person to have a late term abortion and I will explain why, I have a friend who had a rough pregnancy and after the baby was born he had a lot of problems and his problems only got worse, he is autistic and has seizures and a whole lot of other problems and she said to me that he is here for a reason and she has gained a lot of patience because of him and would not trade him for anything.
    I think its people being selfish because they don't want to deal with the challenges that have been put in front of them, because people can overcome anything they want to if they choose to do so.

    As one with autism in the family (5.00 / 4) (#88)
    by Cream City on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 08:34:49 AM EST
    and seizure disorder, too, I am glad that those relatives have brains, although wired differently.

    However, I don't think you understand at all what late-term abortion is about.  You may want to go see the causes for it -- and those do not include autism, seizures, etc.  The allowable cases were for causes such as fetuses with no brains at all.


    You can choose (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 10:08:35 AM EST
    to think whatever you like.  That is what the right to choose is all about.

    No one ever seems to think about (5.00 / 1) (#155)
    by hairspray on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 08:55:44 PM EST
    what the child goes through. If the fetus has anencephaly or hydrocephalus, brain function will be reduced, and they die soon.  Other fetuses with serious problems brought into the world because of their parent's beliefs are usually subjected to a horrible life. For what purpose?

    That is all true (none / 0) (#163)
    by Bemused on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 07:20:49 AM EST
      but you still must acknowledge that some people believe it is not the place of humans to make the decision of whether another  person should live or die based on the value those humans ascribe to that life.

      Whether you  reject that idea or not, if you simplistically deny that it is an important fundamental belief sincerely held by some people for no evil reason, you are simply evading considerations that cannot be swept away by denial.


    You know what Bemused (3.50 / 2) (#164)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 08:14:04 AM EST
    if you give me a 2 ONE MORE TIME for expressing my life experiences and my opinions on abortion I will do something I have never done before and that is ask that you be BANNED.  This sort of intolerance to debate on this issue is exactly what feeds the incentive to murder people giving aid to suffering women and I'm not taking this intolerance silently anymore.  GOT THAT?

    Fine, push it (1.00 / 1) (#166)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 08:53:47 AM EST
    If you want to debate or dispute opinion then please do but you are too much of a coward to actually challenge your intellect. Your down ratings mean very little to me personally.  They do stink up the Tiller threads though....threads about a man who was the epitome of courageous.  He didn't seem to possess an once of cowardly.

    Oh I get it now! (none / 0) (#170)
    by hairspray on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 08:07:21 PM EST
    If a fetus is born without the frontal lobes of his brain or all of his organs on the outside of his body, or no face and no adequate respiratory function save external means that life should be sustained no matter what.  What a patriarchal ideology.  If the answer to my question "FOR WHAT PURPOSE?" is that some people believe then you cannot think except in black and white.

    Personally, (none / 0) (#110)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 12:12:58 PM EST
    I find the DougJ commenter's story very hard to believe. But, hey, it sure does get those emotions pumping, doesn't it?

    I spent some time last night (5.00 / 1) (#114)
    by nycstray on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 12:39:46 PM EST
    reading accounts of medical problems these babies have. It was a support site, so I will not post the link, and the women/parents were positions no one would ever want to be in. The babies were wanted, loved, named. These babies all had devastating and fatal medical problems, one condition in particular causes the baby to have multiple very severe conditions. They don't share their stories to "get those emotions pumping", they do it to support others who are or have had to face the same devastating moment in life.

    My comment was directed solely at (none / 0) (#116)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 12:44:03 PM EST
    the story DougJ's commenter offered. It borders on the incredible.

    I appreciate skepticism on anonymous (none / 0) (#125)
    by Cream City on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 01:18:13 PM EST
    comments, but I think that this account is not a scam or a sham.  I have a sib who is a physician, and in his first internship in an ER, in his first week alone, he encountered so many fetal anomalies and problematic childbirths that it was astonishing to me then.  And then we sibs began to have children, and of a dozen and a half nieces and nephews, it astonished me to see how many had lesser -- luckily -- anomalies.  A couple of sisters-in-law faced similar decisions during their pregnancies.

    And I never knew a grandmother who died in childbirth, with a child who did survive but with another common anomaly -- both conditions quite correctible now.  But the incredible rates of maternal and infant mortality in this country, which we only began to address in the 1930s -- so we still are behind most Western nations -- also meant a high rate of miscarriages.  That has declined now, owing to the expertise of doctors like Tiller, so we don't see as much of this as  our ancestors saw precisely because problematic pregnancies are terminated for women to survive and have children again.    


    Hmm, yes (none / 0) (#113)
    by lilburro on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 12:31:27 PM EST
    it would be inappropriate to feel emotional at this time.

    Hmm, yes (none / 0) (#115)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 12:41:53 PM EST
    your comment is not responsive to mine. But I'm sure you knew that...

    The purpose (none / 0) (#118)
    by lilburro on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 12:56:05 PM EST
    of his practice was late term therapeutic abortions.  The testimonial, or story even, documents a late term therapeutic abortion.  I suppose you can assume the worst about this particular commenter on grounds you have decided to keep to yourself.  That would seem to me to be missing the point.

    actions were fomented, at least in part, on emotions stirred up by "stories" he read on the internet.

    The Deadly Illusion of "Common Ground" (none / 0) (#171)
    by cheryllessin on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 09:01:01 PM EST
    In the wake of the murder of a precious abortion provider, Dr. George Tiller, who always wore a button saying "Trust Women" the Response to Obama's speech at Notre Dame on common ground and abortion by Sunsara Taylor is a must read.

    ..."When it comes to abortion, there really is only one moral question: Will women be free to determine their own lives, including whether and when they will bear children, or will women be subjugated to patriarchal male authority and forced to breed against their will?...

    "...To talk today of reducing the number of abortions is to talk about strengthening the chains on women. The goal should NOT be to reduce the number of abortions. The goal should be to break down the barriers that still exist in every sphere of society to women's full and equal participation as emancipated human beings. In this society, right now, that means there will be--and therefore should be--more abortions.

    This is because there are many, many women who want abortions who are unable to get them due to the tremendous legal, social and economic obstacles that have been put in their way. These obstacles include parental notification laws, mandatory waiting periods, anti-abortion fake clinics that disorient and delay women, the fact that 84% of counties have no abortion providers at all, and countless other cruel and humiliating restrictions.

    Right now, as you read, real women's lives are being foreclosed and degraded due to lack of accessible abortion services."

    Read more at Revcom.us