Tuesday, May 06, 2008

the other shoe drops: anti-choicers don't want you to have contraception!

Feministing has a story here about the campaign from the American Life League to stop folks (uh, women) from using the Pill. It's called The Pill Kills!

Yeah, well. It DOESN'T. Basic science, people. Basic. But who cares about basic science when you can write frakked up stuff like this:

The birth control pill does not reduce the number of abortions. The only difference is that you are killing the baby earlier.
[T]he pill and other contraceptives can stop a tiny child’s implantation in his/her mother’s womb because the pill irritates the lining of the uterus so that the tiny baby boy or baby girl cannot attach to the lining of the uterus and the newly formed human person is aborted and dies. This is called a chemical abortion.

Never mind the fact the Pill prevents ovulation so there's no egg to be fertilized. Never mind the fact the Pill cripples the sperm to prevent it getting to the egg. Never mind the fact ... oh, hell. These people are ass and facts mean nothing to them.

Personally, I cannot extoll the wonderfulness of the Pill enough. It regulated my periods, it cleared up acne and, taken in a super concentrated dose, it also backed me up after a condom malfunction. (Yay, Plan B!)

So frak off, sex-hating old Bible thumping ign'ant prudes. Leave our contraception alone.

(And did I not call this 4 years ago?? I totally called it! Not satisfied with messing about with abortion, the 'I hate women' crowd goes for contraception. Arrgh.)

But what am I thinking? They don't even think married people should use contraception.

Ok, you know what my issue is? It's this: If these people really believe that the Pill kills tiny, cute, little homonculi, then fine. Be stupid. That is their right to be so ignorant, they think a fertilized egg is a person. Fill your quiver, baby. (And then home school the quiver and form a militia and get on the ATF watch list. Whatever.)

But they need to stop telling the rest of us to get on board with their freaking weirdo religious ideas!

Because that's what this is: it's a religious idea about when life begins. Religious freedom means they can do whatever they like; but it's a frikking imposition on MY religious and personal freedom when their actions can negatively impact my ability to control my Supreme Court-supported ability to control my own frakking fertility - according to my own religious ideas.

So. Whose religious ideas win? Mine? Or theirs?

Jeebus. I got so worked up I need a cocktail.


Molly Malone said...

"Fill your quiver, baby. (And then home school the quiver and form a militia and get on the ATF watch list. Whatever.)"

... and yeah: this is totally where hardcore anti-choicers head.

ding said...

I know!

These are not the people I want making rules for me.

Laura said...

No doubt. I was on the patch (even knowing the risks) but my doctor put me on the pill. What's funny is that people are for limited government yet they are the same ones who want to regulate my vagina. Or something like that. Pisses me off.

ding said...

that kind of slip in logic is typical.

they'd also likely be against universal healthcare but don't see anything wrong with gov't taking care of roads, public education, fire safety or national parks.

whatever. they will pry my birth control from my cold dead fingers.

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Kevin Giedd said...

You're the first person I've heard bring religion into this at all. I am a Christian. On the day that our government protects human life from the moment of fertilization, I will celebrate. If our government decides to legalize lynching, grand theft auto, rape, drive-by shootings, burglary, or breaking and entering, you and I both will be in an outrage. My being a Christian has about as much to do with my opposition to abortion and the pill as it does with my opposition to any other kind of homicide. Sure, the Ten Commandments are the foundation of
our law, but Christians are hardly alone in agreeing with basic criminal law. Only a hard-core anarchist wouldn't agree with laws against theft & murder.

You are correct in stating that the pill functions to prevent fertilization, but thanks for bringing up the fact that a fertilized egg can be thought of as he or she is...as a person. The pill doesn't only function to prevent fertilization, but also to prevent implantation when the pill fails to prevent fertilization.

You are correct in recognizing the connection between abortion and contraception. The abortion industry was the first to recognize this, and that's why the pill is available to you.

By the way, before you rant, you should know that the definitions of contraception, conception, and therefore, abortion, have all changed. Basic science never changed. Fertilization still means fertilization, and that's still when life begins, just as it always has.

So. Is this some sort of silly competition of ideas? Or is this honestly about weighing evidence and arriving at a truthful verdict, irregardless of how the implications affect my own personal life?

ding said...

i know i shouldn't respond to this right now. i just got back from italy (like, literally just got off the plane an hour ago) and i'm too relaxed to get into it.

but i will.

you say science hasn't changed and you're correct. the simple fact is, a woman isn't pregnant until the fertilized egg implants. as far as i'm concerned anything i do to prevent that from happening is totally not problematic.

i don't want my government - or anyone else, frankly - telling me what to believe about something that's happening in my own body.

so what we have here is exactly a war of ideas. whose ideas will be validated? by giving women the ability to make these decisions on their own (based on what kind of families they want, if they want any kind of family), instead of imposing someone else's ideas, is the better part of a secular society.

you are certainly free to weigh your evidence and you can think whatever you want about when life begins. as a dude, you have that convenience.

since i'm a woman, the argument is a little bit more than an intellectual argument about social contracts and has serious implications about personal autonomy, independence and my own reproductive access and health. if i want to prevent implantation, and the means is available to me, i think that's a wise and rational decision for me to make, in order to avoid pregnancy without sacrificing sex.

ah, sex. here is the real issue and where these arguments about contraception reveal that they are based in religion and not some vague 'for the greater good' argument that you seem to be implying (by comparing the use of contraception with lynching. interesting.)

for me, and other women having sex and using contraception, the religious community's focus on eliminating our access to the Pill by using these really inaccurate arguments about 'killing babies' is more about controlling women's sexuality than saving anything. those who are against contraception ground their arguments in ideas of women's proper gender roles as defined by the Bible. sex shouldn't be before marriage; marriage is for the reproduction of the race; wives are to submit to the desires of their husbands; women who engage in premarital sex are sluts and deserve to be punished.

sounds like religion to me.

but not everyone reads the same Bible, you know? so why should someone else's religious definitions have anything to do with mine?

they shouldn't.

but thanks for stopping by. hope that wasn't a rant.

Kevin Giedd said...

I appreciate your reply.

The definitions of conception and pregnancy were changed to reflect the event of implantation, not on the basis of any new biological discovery, but rather on the opportunity to sell substances which kill people. Of course, the solution to that problem is always to redefine what it means to be a person. Americans of European descent wanted land occupied by Native Americans, and made claims that they were sub-human in order to ease their conscience as the West was won, and the treaties of the United States became as worthless as the litter along the Trail of Tears. In our pursuit of economic stability, Americans viewed Africans as sub-human, and this eased the conscience of a culture that thrived on the free labor it obtained from those slaves that survived the voyage across the Atlantic. With the altered definitions of conception, contraception, pregnancy, and abortion came the ability to promote abortifacients as contraceptives that wouldn't cause an abortion if the client was already pregnant. Nevermind that the "contraceptive" killed a living person; saying that it wouldn't cause an "abortion" or the termination of a "pregnancy" was sufficient enough to bring people to the false assumption that life did not begin at fertilization. The idea that life doesn't begin at fertilization certainly does ease the conscience of a culture that wishes certain people didn't exist.

As for gender, health, and the government's role in making laws that have implications about personal autonomy concerning sex and reproductive independence, yes I am a dude, yes I am making an intellectual argument, but if you want to bring "my body" into the discussion, that's ok with me.

I don't just want--I demand that my government impose its law upon my body, and the body of every other dude out there. If a man decides in favor of his sexual independence to the detriment of another human being, I am glad to pay the taxes that keep that rapist in prison for the crime that he committed against a woman.

In mentioning that this is a war of ideas, you ask whose ideas will be validated. Let's be a little more specific. The validation that you speak of takes place in the U.S. Supreme Courthouse--this war of ideas is not to be confused with a war of opinions.

Rape primarily restrict men from making certain sexual choices. Why? Because any "choice" that intentionally victimizes another human being should be against the law. Is it unreasonable for the law to restrict women from making sexual choices that victimize other living human beings? If the law ever ceases to restrict men's sexuality, you and I both will be furious.

About the phrase, "killing babies", it depends on your definition of "baby". I think "baby" is a colloquial term, and not a scientific term, so it's kind of subjective. The most accurate thing to say would be that your definition of "baby" probably begins around 21-22 weeks gestational age, the age of viability outside the womb. There is nothing inaccurate about the statement that the Pill can function to kill. I prefer to use nouns like "person," and "human being", with the adjective, "living", and the events of fertilization and implantation. The zygote becomes a morula that becomes a fetus that becomes an infant that becomes a teenager that becomes a senior citizen, but they're all living people, living human beings that should be protected by law.

Sex is the real issue, I couldn't agree with you more.

I could easily argue a Biblical, Christian perspective for sex within the bounds of monogamous, LIFELONG heterosexual marriage (that's the only type of marriage worth recognizing as such), but you seem to think that in order to make the case, I have to. The fact is that the case against contraceptives and abortion doesn't need to be made from a Biblical or Christian perspective any more than the case against theft and homicide does. You don't seem to oppose laws against theft or homicide on the grounds that a Christian argument against these sinful crimes exists. Why should contraception and abortion be any different?

Does it bother you that the Bible's Ten Commandments was the foundational framework upon which U.S. law was founded? There's no need to worry about the State imposing religion, as the first Americans experienced with the Anglican Church in England. We did such a good job of preventing the imposition of religion by the State, that the State is now imposing itself upon the Church.

Back to sex.

From a community health perspective, what better way to erradicate sexually transmitted diseases/infections than to promote a culture that supports abstinence until lifelong, monogamous, heterosexual marriage?

As it is, we live in a culture that promotes promiscuous, premarital, extramarital sex, compounded by extraordinary rates of divorce and remarriage.

Would you like to promote sexual freedom, with anyone, anyhow, irrespective of anyone's marital status, and still claim that you care about anyone's sexual health?

That's like severely undercooking a chicken, serving it up with unwashed vegetables that still have poo all over them and a tall glass of unpasteurized milk and raw eggs, while claiming that you want to prevent salmonellosis.


Or maybe we have different definitions of "sexual health" and "women's health". Mine starts with the absence of disease, infection, and physical assault.

Assuming that you will not accuse me of defining these phrases "religiously", I would very much like to know how you define these terms. I don't think that our definitions are the same, but at the same time, I'd like to think that they were. Nobody openly advocates either salmonella or sexually transmitted infections. Then again, there are those who inadvertently do so by chugging a bunch of raw eggs. I suppose that if they looked into it a little, they'd stop drinking raw eggs, or come out and make the ridiculous claim that undercooking chicken and drinking raw eggs is worth the risk of getting salmonellosis.

ding said...

let's give your argument the benefit of the doubt.

what are the implications for women (because this is the class of people primarily affected by such a decision) of declaring fertilized eggs legal entities, to be protected by the state?

it would mean the will of the woman is erased in favor for a clump of cells that has no ability to think, reason or act - only the potential to, if allowed to implant (and even then it's not guaranteed since women self-abort all the time naturally.)

if a fertilized egg is defined as a legal entity would this mean that a pregnant woman smoking or drinking would be subject to criminal charges and punishment? what other activities would pregnant women be forbidden from participating in legally? would women finding themselves pregnant be required to report their status to the state? how much control would the state have in making sure that a woman brings her fetus to term? would she be allowed to work if the state also decides that working women endanger the health and development of this separate legal entity?

making such a decision has far reaching affects beyond mere semantics or jesuit school ruminations about life and morality - what would my doctor be required to report to the state if she discovers i'm pregnant? what if i don't want to be pregnant? working backward from your argument, would premarital sex then be illegal because it has the potential to lead to a legal subject without married parents?

almost certainly the legal right to abortion would be in danger. the legal right to contraception would also be in danger.

basically, the legal rights of women to control their fertility would be rolled back to the dark ages.

do you see what i'm saying here?

let's end the smarty-pants intellectual dickering over what using contraception is like and focus instead on your argument, that preventing a woman from using contraception is a good thing.

who is it good for?

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