Dear GOP: You do know how pregnancy works, right?

I have been pregnant four times.

These pregnancies led to the following four results, in this order: abortion, baby, miscarriage, baby.

These pregnancies occurred over a span of many years, across two continents, and in three different homes. There were at least seven different health care professionals involved, my hair styles varied widely, as did my levels of nausea. The only constant, in all four cases, other than me, was the presence of a penis.

It happened to be the penis I eventually married, but regardless, that is how pregnancy works. No matter who you are, no matter your sexuality, ability to reproduce, or family make-up, if there are children in your life, at some point along the way, there was a penis involved.

I mention this only because it seems the GOP may have forgotten.

Because as we trundle along, shaming women for having any kind of sex, ever, that is not entirely focused on producing babies — even if we are married, even if it wasn’t so much “sex” as “rape,” even if having a baby would threaten our health and thus the well-being of the children we already have — we are completely and utterly ignoring the fact that the single, solitary way for humans to reproduce is for sperm to meet egg. And sperm, you may recall, come from penises.

Which are attached to men.

If women are having too much sex, so are men. If women are producing babies, so are men. If women are making irresponsible reproductive choices with which they want to burden “the American people” — so.are.men.

Birth control, abortions, prenatal care, postpartum care, child care — whatever we may think, whatever we may have been told — are not women’s issues. THEY ARE HUMAN ISSUES.

There is a purely incandescent rage that comes over me now on a nearly daily basis over the blatant dehumanization of women that is currently sweeping the nation. It is exhausting. It is heart breaking. It is spirit crushing. And there’s nothing to be done but to continue to feel it, because I refuse to stop fighting for my right, my daughter’s right, my mother’s right, my sister’s right — the inalienable right of all women everywhere — to human dignity.

But every once and a while, a particularly galling aspect of the GOP’s War on Women floats to the top of the filth, and I am gobsmacked anew. And today it is as simple as this: Women do not reproduce on their own.

If the Republican Party is so anxious to control women’s sexuality (and it clearly is), it had better start shaming men, too.

That is, unless its representatives are willing to argue that men are constitutionally incapable of not sticking their junk into the nearest available lady bits, and we gals have all the power.

I, for one, have too much respect for men to buy that.

********************************************************************

UPDATE – NOTE ON COMMENTING.

I’m so glad you’re here and if you’d like to comment, that’s lovely! I have an About Commenting page, but the rules boil down to: Treat people as you would like to be treated.

What that means for me is that even when we disagree (perhaps especially when we disagree), it’s very important that we treat each other with respect and basic good manners. What that further means is that I do not allow trolling (yelling for the sake of yelling) or rude pronouncements of someone else’s stupidity/mendacity/general fail (my own, or any commenters). People can, and on this blog often do, disagree politely. I ask that you do so here.

ALSO: Every first comment goes into moderation. A) I’ll get you out as soon as I can! unless B) I decide you’ve been rude and/or troll-y, in which case, you’ll go to spam. Them’s the breaks.

AND FINALLY: I don’t work on Shabbat (sundown Friday to just after sundown Saturday, CST) so you may get stuck for even longer…! But I’ll get to you, I promise.

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437 Comments

  1. Well said, indeed!

  2. sarah

     /  March 15, 2012

    Bravo! You’re now on my FB feed with this! I want everyone to read it!

    • Thank you very much – I’m so angry, I wish I had a world-sized megaphone about now!

      • MB

         /  March 16, 2012

        i wish your megaphone was shaped like a penis – it might stress your point. i do believe that a lot of power has been taken from men, in the decision making process when it comes to abortion. how much are dad’s consulted, asked for permission. there are a lot of women running around with the ‘my body, my choice’ theory which to an extent is true only because of a lot of men that run around with the ‘its your problem’ mentality. but there are some good guys out there that would like a say. and it is a joint issue. it is a human issue. thank you for having the courage to say what is obvious and true. step up women and men!

        • Abortion is the bit that happens with just the woman — unlike the responsibility of contraception and disease prevention (“you wear a condom, I use the Pill, we pool and split the cost”), or of childrearing, the only part of abortion a man can do anything about is the cost. (And no man should feel obligated to pay for an abortion if he’s ready instead to be a single dad.) But the idea of asking man’s permission for what happens with a woman’s body is just what we DON’T want. As the Supreme Court has said (I think in Casey), if the government can’t make an adult woman ask for a judge’s permission to get an abortion, how can it make a woman ask her husband’s permission?

          • Maria

             /  March 17, 2012

            I am slightly confused by all this. In one instance you are saying that man needs to take full responsibility for themselves, but then the next breath say the man should have no say in the baby he equally created (as was expressed repeatedly in the article above). Especially when a woman is married, why would she ever think not to have complete equal consideration for the father’s view on the life of their baby.

            • Angela

               /  March 17, 2012

              So, when a man ejaculates, that is the last step he is attached to the making of a baby; if he is a decent man, he’ll talk with the woman and let her know whether he plans to help raise a baby, and what part financially and emotionally he’s willing to pay, but he has no right to decide whether or not there is an abortion- he is a consultant.

              Why?

              Men do not have to bear the burden of child birth, or the burden of carrying a child to term. There is a huge tax on a woman’s body for those two things; a woman’s physical and mental health are at extreme risk all throughout the process. Even if the pregancy is carried to term and the child removed from the equation (though letting a child go to adoption is made especially hard by pregnancy hormones, and so it is extremely emotionally exhausting), a woman who has been pregnant is irriversably changed. Having given birth changes the body significantly. You body is more likely to reject your own TEETH after birth! Not to mention that the US has the highest post-partem mother mortality rates.

              But after the birth of a child, the man who created the child is in no way changed, if he decides to be absent from the process.

              No person should be able to burden another with unwanted emotional and physical stress.

              • “But after the birth of a child, the man who created the child is in no way changed, if he decides to be absent from the process.”

                Arguably (in the case of consenting intercourse, natch) this is inaccurate- While there’s no physical impact, the biological father of a child is legally obligated to provide financial support for the next 18 years, whether he wanted the child or not. Setting aside for a moment the logistics and perils of enforcement, (and any ‘but some guys… but some women…’ specific arguments) in this area, a man is forced to accept a long-term burden based on a decision he is not allowed to participate in. A man would not even be allowed to step up and say that he will take the sole burden of raising the child from birth to 18- that is seen as forcing a woman to be a walking incubator.

                During the 40-42 weeks from conception to birth, the owner of the other half of the DNA is viewed in many circles as completely irrelevant, despite the fact that it does matter to them, even just on a financial level, what the outcome is- never mind if they actually had an emotional investment. I’ve even seen it expressed that men are not allowed to outwardly express regret, loss or sadness when a partner has an abortion, because they’re a third wheel once they ejaculate.

                Which rolls us back around to the subject of the article- it takes two to make a baby. And while *absolutely* the physical and emotional burden of pregnancy and birth is on the woman’s shoulders, we should not, over all culturally, be writing men who were part of consenting intercourse utterly out of the equation.

              • Eldarion

                 /  March 20, 2012

                I’m going to have to disagree with Angela on this. This can become a terrible situation, and unfair to everyone involved. Yes, the woman has the physical burden, the hormone-induced emotional burden, and the parental emotional burden. While many men in casual relationships may not get emotionally involved, it’s not always true. It’s his child, too.

                A case in point is a couple of people I knew whose relationship would be classified as “friends with benefits” and no inclination to make a “real” relationship out of it. Then she got pregnant. She wanted to get an abortion. He wanted to adopt the child after it was born, and become a single father (and he probably would have made a good single father).

                She went ahead and got the abortion, long before the “legal deadline” and while the two were still arguing about it.

                He was devestated; he fell apart at the seams. His first child had been aborted against his will. His emotional trauma was (almost) the same as the two women I know who were happy about being pregnant, but whose children were stillborn.

                • kzs

                   /  March 22, 2012

                  I don’t see where your story contradicts anything Angela said.

                  I would only point out that a full understanding of the potential consequences (which might require some discussion with a partner) of an ‘accident’ prior to engaging in behavior that could lead to sperm meeting egg.

                  What do they say, “failing to plan, is planning to fail”?

                  Not to be glib, but I think if your friend was so opposed to the concept of abortion he ought to have not been having casual sex in the first place or at least been having it with someone who shared his political and biological views on the matter.

                  Oh, and the suggestion that the woman ought to have waited until the “legal deadline” is a bit distressing. The choice to abort a pregnancy is just that, a choice. And the ability to choose when (or if) to terminate is what must ultimately be respected.

              • Will Brock

                 /  March 20, 2012

                Word!

            • Sara

               /  March 17, 2012

              In a good, respectful, loving, and equal marriage yes, the husband’s opinion should be highly considered, and the couple should come to a decision together. In an abusive, controlling relationship or marriage a woman may need to keep this to herself and do what is right for her.

        • scottmgs

           /  March 17, 2012

          I think that if a man is partly responsible for starting a pregnancy then, if he is connected, responsive and responsible he can have a say in the decision-making about what happens with that pregnancy. But – and this is a *BIG* “but” – he does not get a vote and he sure as heck does not get a veto.

          • BRealz

             /  March 18, 2012

            To keep to the spirit of the article (of which I fully agree), the man’s opinion should have equal weight on the aspect of an abortion or on the lack of one. We say that we want men to “step up” and “be a man” and show responsibility. Yet we take away the very opportunity for doing so by saying that he has no say in the matter of pregnancy and of abortion. If we want to encourage responsibility we need to empower responsibility. To take this further, let’s recall that the physical ramifications of pregnancy is a known one. Known to both man and woman. By entering into sex, one thereby agrees to those KNOWN ramifications. So for that, man and woman should appropriately have equal say. In the event of a “tie” in opposition, than it becomes arguable that the developing baby (at some period post-conception) trumps the decisions of the arguing parents-to-be. As for rape, the raper has not entered into a mutual agreement and is, therefore, excluded from any decision making. Simple! Bottom line is this. The miracles and risks of pregnancy is not a surprise that happens after sex is concluded. We are not flying blind here. These are KNOWN consequences of penis entering vagina and sperm penetrating egg. So if one cannot accept the consequences that follow, one should not engage in such activities. Why blame the man that he has it easy when it is not his design? It is not the man’s fault that he has it easy just as it isn’t the woman’s fault that she has it difficult. So push for responsibility by both man and woman. Furthermore, remember that any man or woman who does not gain consent prior to engaging in sex is, by definition, a rapist.

            • This absolutely magnificent. Thank you for your articulate expression of a well reasoned message.

            • Tori Story

               /  March 18, 2012

              I’d love to add in here that discussions about what will hypothetically be done if an unplanned pregnancy happens (as they do) can be part of healthy discussion early on / before starting sexual relationships. I have refused to have a sexual relationship with men I’ve dated who fundamentally disagree with abortions, because I knew as a younger woman I would want it on the table. I’ve instead dated men who agreed to defer to what I believe is my right to have the final say in an unplanned pregnancy because it’s my body that would be incubating. Just as the “you knew what you were getting into” argument is outlined here, I’ve been explicit with my partners about what terms a sexual relationship with me happens on. I’m totally not saying these terms are the right ones for anyone else, just that we don’t need to assume there is a default that has to go unspoken (like equal say versus women’s only say); I believe it is always better to communicate more about sex.

              People can always change their minds and are fundamentally more complex than we can solve simply by pretending any of this is like a contract – but I do believe more communication before sex is healthier than trying to pass judgements on each other about gender and sex roles.

              • Carmelle

                 /  April 14, 2012

                Inspirational. I am at the beginning of my journey trying to have these kinds of conversations and I appreciate the way you laid it out here. Thank you for sharing.

            • Alisha

               /  March 28, 2012

              I could not agree more. Well said.

            • Carmelle

               /  April 14, 2012

              Beautifully stated BRealz

            • Consent to sex is not consent to pregnancy (or birth control wouldn’t exist), and it most certainly is not consent to share the outcome of a pregnancy. It is not logically possible for a man and woman to have “equal say” about something that happens INSIDE a woman. Either she is free to decide, or she isn’t. What you propose is not equality – it would only be equality if the pregnancy were taking place somehow outside the woman. It isn’t.

              If a trans man and a cis woman are in a relationship, and HE gets pregnant, abortion is his right because the pregnancy is physically taking place inside him. This isn’t about misandry. It’s about protecting individuals’ bodily autonomy – if you aren’t free to decide who lives in your body, how can you be free at all?

          • Overall, I agree that the man in the situation should be a consultant, but the “No vote, no veto” stance is something I don’t necessarily agree with – at least for me.
            Ideally, the relationship between the man and the woman should also be considered in any and all purely reproductive decisions. Preventative measures are more of an individual choice (BC, condoms, etc), but are still often considered and discussed.

            I can see – after sex – why it is the woman’s ultimate decision what to do with a pregnancy, but as there are two people involved in its creation I think it is only fair to open a dialogue between both man and woman to come to a decision.

            My husband and I have discussed pregnancy at great lengths, and I highly doubt either of us would have come to the same decisions we have come to on our own.

  3. dmf

     /  March 15, 2012

    it’s the apples that do us in, we have no power to resist them:

  4. mindfulconsideration

     /  March 15, 2012

    Reblogged this on Mindful Consideration.

  5. corkingiron

     /  March 15, 2012

    Keep it up! (Oh – wait. Maybe not so appropriate.) Ummm. Good work? (No again. I mean you could say that about knitted socks fer chrissake!) So,….whew. This is harder than I thou….(awwww CRAP! )

    (If at first you don’t succeed…..)

    This thing that you are writing? This thing that you are doing? This war that you are waging? In the years to come, your granddaughters and grandsons will look back on it and say “Grandma Rocks!!!” And they will be right.

    • Particularly if I’m in a rocking chair.

      : )

      Thank you, sweetie!

    • Carmelle

       /  April 14, 2012

      Amen. Thanks for waging this war, I am happy to be on this path with all of you, asking the difficult questions and seeking mindfulness and nonviolence in my decisions.

  6. Michael S

     /  March 15, 2012

    I have a penis, and I approve of this message.

  7. Logan

     /  March 15, 2012

    The interesting thing to me is I am sure more than a few men on the ‘shame woman’ train have had affairs or had sex with prostitutes. Do they really want babies produced from all of these couplings?

  8. Amen! I’ve been getting really sick of the anti-woman rhetoric surrounding birth control with this year’s campaigning. As you said: Women do not reproduce on their own. Great post.

    • IamWoman

       /  March 16, 2012

      even if we did happen to be able to reproduce on our own, I’ve often wondered how it is anybody else’s business but our own what we choose to do (or not do) with our bodies. If a woman chooses to have an abortion, a baby, etc. who’s business is it to tell her yes or no, regardless of their own personal beliefs? Certainly not a man who sits in Washington!

      • Alyssa

         /  March 17, 2012

        While I 100,000% am pro-choice, pro-contraception coverage, feminist to the max, I think it’s important to take a step back an understand the argument that the other side is making. Not in a defensive way, but to actually listen and hear what they are saying. Many who are anti-choice don’t hate women or think that women don’t deserve a vote on what happens to their own bodies, but they truly believe that abortion is murder, and so by saying “If a woman chooses to have an abortion… whose business is it to tell her yes or no” is akin to saying “if this person feels it is right to take another person’s life, who is the government to stop him or her?”

        I’m by no means saying I agree with that, but I think it’s very important to take a step back and understand without hostility.

        • Alyssa

           /  March 17, 2012

          Oops…that didn’t make the best grammatical sense. But you get what I was saying. :)

        • Leigh McGuire

           /  March 17, 2012

          I will take a step back and consider their point without hostility when they start taking a step back and try to understand my point without hostilty. Like, without murdering my physician.

          • Jan

             /  March 18, 2012

            Not everyone who thinks abortion is murder is in favor of committing murder to prevent it, any more than everyone who thinks abortion should be legal wants to have lots of them (or even one).

            If we all tar everyone who disagrees with us with the same brush, paint all of them with the blackest, most evil villainy that even a single one of them approves of…that is the way to ensure that we can never reach even one tiny shred of common understanding.

            • I appreciate that you both feel very passionately about your positions here, and indeed, that makes sense given the topic. I just want to encourage you to remain (as you have thus far) polite in your passion – just because it’s my experience that it’s this point in online conversations that they sometimes go a bit off the rails!

              Thank you so much.

        • Laurie Hester

           /  March 17, 2012

          Alyssa, most men who are anti-choice are also anti-birth control. Since birth control is the best way to reduce unwanted pregnancies and therefore abortion, it just shows that they ARE anti-women and want to keep them barefoot and pregnant and dependent on men. They believe it is murder, but ANY woman knows that there is a difference between a miscarriage/abortion and losing a viable baby or child. We know the difference between a *potential* life and a life. That difference is OUR womb, inside OUR body. It is up to US to decide what is and what isn’t “murder” when it takes place inside our bodies. Why should we listen to any man who is not the father, and then only to find out if he is willing to take financial responsibility for his child to help us make our decision?

          • Jan

             /  March 18, 2012

            “…most men who are anti-choice are also anti-birth control.”

            I think that this is a huge overstatement; do you have evidence to support it? I believe that abortion should be legal and available without crippling cost or social stigma to those who need it, but I would also be sad if it became, as it has in places lie Russia, the first resort of pregnancy prevention. So I am a strong supporter of sex education and ready access to contraception. To me, it’s the only responsible social policy,

            However, I know plenty of people who agree with me on contraception but disagree about abortion. They only want to see an end to the deaths of potential human beings, not an explosion of unwanted children.

            Also, this may be news to some, but the focus on how men are the ones fighting alone against abortion is misguided and ill informed. Women are, proportionately *more* opposed to abortion rights than men. A Galllup article from 2010 shows that men consistently responded in a higher proportion to women that abortion should be legal under certain circumstances. Women scored marginally higher as responding that abortion should be legal in all circumstances, but if you add both the responses for “legal” together, men still outscored women.

            And, most tellingly, women *consistently* responded more than men that “abortion should be illegal in all circumstances” in every poll they took from 1975 to 2009. And the gap is greater between women favoring illegality now (26%) and men doing so (19%) than it ever has been.

            It may be the GOP’s war on women, but it’s not *men’s* war on women any more than it is women’s war or women. To proclaim otherwise only adds fuel to the conservatives’ foolish and misguided claim that feminists hate men. Of course feminists don’t hate men–for one thing, many of them *are* men. But let’s not pretend that abortion rights is a men v. women issue. It’s not.

            • You are absolutely right that in terms of lay-Republicans (if you will), Republican women are in agreement with men on this (a fact which, by the way, feels like betrayal to me, if for no other reason than all studies show that actual use of birth control and abortion varies very little by ideological background – so a majority of Republican women support laws which restrict all of us, while still finding ways around those laws for their own purposes).

              However the people behind this rash of legal initiatives — which is what I was writing about — are wildly disproportionately male. That’s who I was addressing here, the official “GOP,” the actual party as an institution and those who lead it and make decisions from within it.

        • Ckl

           /  March 18, 2012

          Well put and I am glad someone has the guts to say it

        • Karen

           /  March 18, 2012

          I have to jump in and say that where I live, I am a spec of a liberal floating in a sea of GOP supporters–and I work with all women! That said, on the issue of abortion they all of course are OUTWARDLY anti-abortion and so anti-choice. I have to wonder though, would they, did they, could they if they deemed it necessary?
          I have always felt that it is these type of people who have taken the GOP’s abortion bait–that is where they dangle this issue in front of us to distract from all the other evil they are up to. I think this issue touches at their hearts, that the GOP has read the brain research, knows that we are wired to nurture and shamelessly uses this over and over again.
          I personally do not see how this will ever be resolved, as long as the cheaters cheat and the thinkers are in the back seat.

          • nicholas

             /  March 19, 2012

            “I have to wonder though, would they, did they, could they if they deemed it necessary?”

            http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fmypage.direct.ca%2Fw%2Fwriter%2Fanti-tales.html&h=CAQEd1MpE

            This article is kinda sad to watch cognitive dissonance at work but yes their are many anti-choice advocates who make the choice. To some the politics is just appearances and while others project their shame and self loathing onto “those other women” and avoid facing themselves and the inconsistency between their beliefs and actions.

            • Tanya

               /  March 19, 2012

              That’s a pretty broad brush swipe! Most women, myself included, who are anti-abortion in their, who have found themselves pregnant at an “inopportune” moment, choose to have a baby as opposed to having an abortion. And most of us do NOT condemn women who choose to have an abortion. We comfort those who find themselves sorrowful. We pray with and encourage those who feel guilt. We stand with them as they live afterwards.

              • nicholas

                 /  March 19, 2012

                I do applaud you for giving comfort to the sorrowful, there is little enough comfort in this world and every bit is special.

                But I must argue It was actually a very exact brush stroke.

                I said ‘anti-choice’ not ‘anti-abortion'; anti-abortion to me means those who feel it is wrong and abstain from the act themselves which I can respect even while disagreeing. Anti-choice means those who take that belief and ask the government to force it onto others; and criminalize the choice of abortion.

                Then I said ‘advocate’ meaning those who don’t just hold the opinion but campaign for it. Those who go to picket lines and spread shame and fear, who have turned their beliefs into a weapon.

                Then I added ‘who make the choice’ (to have an abortion). Meaning the hypocrites, those who commit the actions they themselves try to make a crime. If someone has strong beliefs and actually lives by them they get some respect from me even if I disagree.

                And for good measure I added ‘many’ to mean not all or every person in that group but just some of them.

                I don’t want to just say something useless like “pro life sucks” or “I’m team Blue and everyone else is dumb” like this is just some sport we are cheering for. Our country is twirling down the drain because people treat our freedoms like they where the local team and fight them or defend them without every bothering to know why. I pointed not at all pro lifers, or all christians, or all republicans. I pointed very specifically at a select few people throwing stones and said that they do in fact live in glass houses.

        • “Many who are anti-choice don’t hate women or think that women don’t deserve a vote on what happens to their own bodies, but they truly believe that abortion is murder, and so by saying “If a woman chooses to have an abortion… whose business is it to tell her yes or no” is akin to saying “if this person feels it is right to take another person’s life, who is the government to stop him or her?””
          That seems pretty implausible. Prior to Roe v. Wade, the laws against abortion were very clearly morality and health laws, not laws about homicide. Go back and look at states’ books of statutes from the 1950s and earlier, and you’ll see abortion listed as a crime alongside sodomy, bigamy, incest, etc. As an offense that could be committed by the woman, it never was listed as a form of murder or even lesser killing of a person.
          The rhetoric of “abortion is murder” arose because of the decline in public acceptance of laws to regulate personal morality. Even Supreme Court justices like Clarence Thomas who think it’s *constitutional* to ban gay sex say that such laws are very silly. If people are becoming more skeptical about morality laws, then opponents of abortion need to reclassify it as something that we’re definitely all still against, like homicide. If people really believed that abortion is murder, they’d have to believe that a fetus is just as much of a person as I am. But if my mother said tomorrow that I had died, her pro-life friends would ask when the funeral was and want to attend. In contrast, when my mother had a miscarriage, no one thought there’d be any ceremony to mark the fact.

  9. ameliafaith

     /  March 16, 2012

    Reblogged this on Ameelz and commented:
    Amen!

  10. RIGHT ON sister!

  11. Maia

     /  March 16, 2012

    Wonderfull simple thoughtful and a big ol DUH!! For the stupid GOP!

  12. Mira

     /  March 16, 2012

    Yeah, my reaction to pretty much every male politician who makes a comment about how women should just keep their legs closed if they don’t want to be pregnant is, “How would you feel if your wife took that advice?” There’s just a willful blindness that “those” women are, in fact, women they know. And like to have sex with.

  13. Emily, it is time all women rallyed to Washington DC and protested loud and clear about this unacceptable state of affairs. Let’s make it happen.

    • JustNosy

       /  March 17, 2012

      The National Protest Against the War on Women will be held Saturday, April 28, 2012
      from 10:00am until 2:00pm in cities across all 50 States, DC and the territories!

      Join up on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/367293383290110

      Spread the word!!

      Great article. I found it through Facebook and will be sharing it with more of my friends. Thank you so much.

  14. mary

     /  March 16, 2012

    I am angered and nauseated on a daily basis, also. Exhausted. And am now so much further Left than before. Ive moved into areas of women’s issues (abortion) than I am comfortable with. But I’ve had to put my views about abortion on the back burner because of my outrage over what is going on today. So the far right has had the opposite reaction within this liberal, anti-abortion woman. I’m MAD AS HELL AND AM NOT TAKING IT ANYMORE. some women are now flooding the Facebook pages of prominent Republicans (legislators) with comments and sarcasm. I urge everyone to do the same. Start a national movement. Don’t forget your clergy!

  15. CJ

     /  March 16, 2012

    What is going on? Why are people so upset lately regarding birth control?

    • We’re not upset about birth control; we just don’t want to pay for every gal on the planet who gets pregnant and doesn’t want the baby. We also don’t think it’s right to force Catholics (and I’m NOT Catholic) to include it in health insurance they provide. Is that unreasonable?

      • Barb

         /  March 17, 2012

        yes

      • conspicuouschick

         /  March 17, 2012

        Actually Jeanne, it is unreasonable.

        1. Quakers and others hold very strong anti-war beliefs yet the US supreme court has said they must pay taxes which go to defense.

        2. The courts have also ruled that Amish employers must pay FICA (social security) even though their community believes not caring for the elderly is a sin.

        3. A hospital, college/university/school, social service organization is NOT a church. These things are highly defined by the IRS for these very purposes. Would we be having this discussion if an employer (religious or not) wanted to flout child labor laws, minimum wage laws or overtime laws? How about Jehovah’s Witnesses refusing to pay for blood transfusions? No, we wouldn’t. All employers must abide by all federal and state laws regarding employment. Period.

        • Thanks conspicuouschick… this is precisely the point. They don’t get to choose. What if an employer morally disapproves of smoking, do they get to avoid healthcare coverage of any of the negative health effects? No!

      • See on one hand, you don’t want women to have the right for an abortion, on the other hand you don’t want to pay for birth control. So, the only thing that is ok is female abstinance or serial pregnancy. On the third hand you don’t want laws that require people to (gasp) have health insurance (although on the fourth hand you don’t have a single issue with requirement that you have auto insurance, that’s just showing personal responsibility) to take care of the cost of the pregnancy and the new life.

        I am a Catholic and have researched the genesis of the church’s position on birth control. It is not allowed under the “thou shalt not kill” commandment. So, not creating life is the same as killing it. I just can’t wrap my head around that concept. Nor can I figure out what the position of the church is on the “post” born. Who is to take care of them if their parents are not able to manage a huge family? The people the church tells us we have to vote for because of one issue are the same people who think it is wasteful to provide assistance to those families, who don’t believe it is a worthwhile investment to educate those children and who don’t think there is any right, or responsibility, to provide health care for those kids. So far, I’ve gotten nothing but a gobsmacked face out of the priests I’ve asked after one of those “I’m not making a political statement, but. . . ” sermons.

        • Keet

           /  March 21, 2012

          Ms. Beins, you’re very astute. Cheers to you.

      • Robin

         /  March 17, 2012

        Jehovah’s Witnesses believe quite sincerely that accepting blood products – that is: platelets to stop bleeding, blood transfusions to save lives, human growth hormone for children with faulty pituitary glands, stem cells for those with cancer – is against their beliefs. A sin. Totally unallowable. Death, literally, is preferable.

        Does this mean, then, that any organization owned or affiliated with the Jehovah’s Witnesses then has the right to deny coverage of these treatments to their employees? Even if their employees have no ethical or moral objections to these treatments? Even if their employees and their families would much rather not bleed to death (or die in other painful, preventable manners)? Even if the employees are not Jehovah’s Witnesses?

        Is this really what you want? Do you really want your health care to be decided by the religious views of your employer? Because right now, you’re looking at it from the other side. You don’t want to contribute to an enormous pool that at some point will cover a procedure you disagree with. What you forget is that there are any number of people who may feel that YOUR health decisions are contrary to their own religious convictions.

        I suggest, I strongly urge, that if you find abortion or even birth control repugnant, you do your best to persuade others to share your views. Sharpen your arguments. Research your stance. If you find you cannot convince others – after all, 98% of Catholic women have used birth control at some point – perhaps you should reconsider just how well the Catholic hierarchy have thought out their position, and perhaps that position – as it was not announced *ex cathedra* (with the pope speaking as the infallible head of the church) – can and will be reversed.

        • Beth

           /  March 18, 2012

          We have a contemporary example of what happens when people can choose to exempt themselves from laws and limitations. The US Congress does this. Congress has a separate retirement system, separate (and gold-plated) healthcare, a separate social-security-like benefit, and has exempted itself from many of the laws it has seen fit to pass for the rest of us.

    • Barb

       /  March 17, 2012

      good heavens. you need to do some reading if you are unaware of the political climate regarding birth control. it is far too complex to explain in a blog post if you have absolutely NO idea what’s going on

  16. K

     /  March 16, 2012

    To play Devil’s advocate for a minute. We insist that it’s our right to chose and men don’t get the right because it’s our bodies. So, should we open that can of worms to give them more power by reminding them they are also involved and get equal say? I’m on your side. I 100% agree with the point. But that’s how they will counteract this fight like they always do. “Where’s our (penis’) choice in the matter?” Humble my response. Please!!

    • Well, I honestly believe that the men with whom we get pregnant do have a say — they just don’t have the final say. The vote is, let’s say, 60-40, in our favor. And if the man with whom one is intimately involved doesn’t like those odds, because he can’t get his head around the fact that the body that carries the burden has the deciding vote, well then, one should no longer be intimately involved with such a man! (Is my thought, anyway!)

      • Charis

         /  March 16, 2012

        I am a man on who has been in this situation with a FWB. I wanted her to keep the child but she chose to have an abortion. The situation sucks, but there is no other way than the woman having the final decision.

        • Patricia

           /  March 16, 2012

          I find it interesting that you worded it “I wanted HER to keep the child” why didn’t you say “I want to keep the child”… ??? I believe men are capable of caring for and raising a child… I just don’t see them doing it very often!

          • Of course men are capable of caring for and raising a child.

            But they’re not capable of physically carrying a child to term inside their body for nine months.

            Yet.

      • Kimberly

         /  March 16, 2012

        If a man is concerned that he may not have the “choice” of keeping a child he has conceived, he SHOULD be selective about who he “procreates” with. Make sure that the person has the same ideas. It won’t *always* work out that way, of course, but as earlier stated, this particular door swings both ways. If you feel strongly about such ideas, don’t blindly sleep with anyone who is willing to jump in the sack with you.

        • Scqueaky

           /  March 17, 2012

          Kimberly, I completely agree. While I’m all for adults having a fun romp with a partner of their choosing, there is ALWAYS the possibly of a baby being the result. So, unless you have a fairly flexible position on what should happen to that baby, you (man or woman) SHOULD be very selective about who you romp with. Of course this is a great argument for homosexuality (which I’m completely okay with) where the result of said romp would be just a fun romp!

    • D

       /  March 16, 2012

      K, thank you for that question. I thought the same thing when I read the article and was concerned that the responsible penis would have too much say and I could see it becoming a huge court battle. Glad to hear that is not the idea and I agree that a penis will never have a final say over what I do with MY body! They can have all the opinions they want but final say stays with the woman!

    • rjwatters

       /  March 17, 2012

      It strikes me that the “say” in the matter of pregnancy should occur when responsible people with adequate access to birth control discuss whether or not they want to conceive a child, rather than at the point where a fetus has been conceived and the question is one of abortion. Bottom line: make birth control excessively available, educate everyone about sexuality and contraception, and you are facilitating the debate about procreation at the point at which it should be occurring. A man can have a say about not wanting his partner to have an abortion by wearing a condom and/or making sure she’s on adequate birth control. If this doesn’t happen, and she does become pregnant, then the decision is hers, because the man abdicated his decision-making responsibility by not addressing it at the point at which he is biologically involved.

      Great post. I share your rage. The GOP has gone totally insane.

    • Laurie Hester

       /  March 17, 2012

      Ideally, every woman would involve the penis partner in her decision. Most do. The decision to have a child or abort is often based on his reaction and willingness to step up, ability to provide, etc. Ultimately, in the case of a disagreement between the woman and her partner, one opinion has to prevail. And that HAS to be the woman, making the decision with her own conscience. No man should ever have the power to either force an abortion against a woman’s conscience OR force a woman to have an unwanted child against her will.

  17. Dear AFMomXs2

    I do not allow trolling on this blog, and thus your rather shriek-y words will not be appearing. Agreeable people can disagree agreeably — that’s not quite what you achieved, however.

    Best,
    Emily

  18. “There is a purely incandescent rage that comes over me now on a nearly daily basis over the blatant dehumanization of women that is currently sweeping the nation. It is exhausting. It is heart breaking. It is spirit crushing. And there’s nothing to be done but to continue to feel it, because I refuse to stop fighting for my right, my daughter’s right, my mother’s right, my sister’s right — the inalienable right of all women everywhere — to human dignity.” Amen!!! Love this! Thank you for saying this.

  19. Valery Lytle

     /  March 16, 2012

    God bless you, Emily, and everyone else, for speaking your minds! We women are so overwhelmed sometimes with the work after the pregnancy, no matter how it turns out, that we wearily watch/hear the prejudices of others and shake our heads and go back to taking care of the children, our jobs, our other responsibilities…. and there seems to be no time/energy to stand up and be counted…. I hope those who can, including myself, will. We need to be heard, no matter how many times we have to stand and deliver (again!), we cannot sit back on our triumphs and think it is all set… it isn’t. They (you know who they are) will sneak attack again and again, just to show they can, and to distract people from other problems they refuse to solve, all in the name of POWER. ‘They’ are not just Republicans, not just men…not even just from the Right ….. people who want to dominate weaker parts of our society….sorry to say, when we don’t pay attention, it makes us weaker….think about it.

  20. Pamela

     /  March 16, 2012

    You. are. my. hero. *bows* I would like to nominate you for President…cause you GET IT.

    • Please don’t nominate me for President – they’d probably make me stop saying “lady bits.” : )

  21. I’m not going to be able to respond to everyone, so I just wanted to say: THANKS!

    And if some of us wind up disagreeing and a lively (but polite!) conversation ensues – thanks for that, too! Conversation is good.

  22. Opus the Poet

     /  March 16, 2012

    I am reminded of the Greek play where the women refused to have sex until a political goal was achieved. Perhaps the women of the GOP should consider that tactic…

    • Sheila

       /  March 16, 2012

      I think that we could do this on a one on one basis. Bring back conversation, and make sure you know both heads before going any further. I think the Repub attitude could change in less than a generation, if all women who dated them refused to consider sex except if they both agreed to having a child 9 months after each episode.

      • Opus the Poet

         /  March 17, 2012

        If being GOP was a genetic trait that would certainly eliminate it.

    • Jhessail

       /  March 20, 2012

      I don’t remember the exact details but I believe the wife of one law maker in I believe Virginia did just that and he changed his position. The play was Lysistrata.

  23. helensprogeny

     /  March 16, 2012

    I haven’t told you this recently, but I think it every time I read your blog – and most especially entries like this one: You are Awesome, Ems. Thanks for all your great work.

  24. Josh

     /  March 16, 2012

    I am trying to see how you arrived at the conclusion that the Republican Party is so anxious to control women’s sexuality. I dont think the issue is a “war” on women, but more of a personal responsibility issue. If you want birth control, pay for it youself. Funny how the left continues to spew “it’s my body”, but then expect free contraception, free insurance etc. If you do not want children, it’s up to both “participants” to take personal responsibility.

    • I disagree with virtually everything you say here, not least the notion that insurance-provided contraception is “free” — in a world in which insurance comes with the job, I’m actually working for that insurance. That’s part of my compensation as an employee.

      But I do agree that it’s the responsibility of both parties having sex. So if people think women shouldn’t be having sex for any reason but to produce babies, the only logical conclusion is that neither should men.

      (Also please note that you’re skirting the edge here. I’m happy to have people conduct conversations over disagreements, but flame wars — or anything even close to a flame war — aren’t acceptable).

      • Emily,

        I am confused by the issue despite what I have read about it from multiple sources.

        If health insurance covers birth control, but you are required to pay a co-pay for it do you believe this is alright? Or is the argument more than birth control should not only be covered by the insurance but paid for 100% so you can get it free at the pharmacy each month?

        I have been looking for an answer on how this argument is truly broken down so I can understand the separation of the two sides. Because if there was a co-pay involved then the Religious battle wouldn’t work seeing as the individual would be paying for it.

        Any clarification would help as it seems like a small difference but is large in scale I believe.

        Holden

        • I think the point is that certain institutions and individuals want birth control removed from insurance coverage all together. For instance, the President’s compromise — that insurance companies provide it to those who require it free of charge — is also unacceptable to many, because of the rather thorny notion that that still somehow makes unwilling employers complicit.

          • Thank you that is what I was trying to find out, because I agree that it should be covered in health insurance but also think it should require a co-pay like most other medicines/prescriptions. I think there will be a system in place for those who are poor under the ACA in order to help people who otherwise couldn’t afford it to have access but for most everyone else I think a co-pay is reasonable.

            Some of the bills and amendments are overkill and could lead to a slippery slope of who decides what coverage can be in a policy (based on morality or what have you), but I think the fix would be the co-pay. In that way the participant is paying for the birth control and not the institution which should help eliminate that argument and show if there really is more behind it. Even in the case of Georgetown and Sandra Fluke women at the school on their insurance who received prescriptions were covered by the insurance for medical reasons, per her testimony. So it seems that institution granted access with a co-pay so they must be all right with the practice.

            Eliminating co-pays for birth control would leave me on the other side of the aisle for this argument because it would be too much. At that point the institution is paying for it, in part or in whole which could then force religions go against their morality and fully fund such a pill/coverage. Also in doing this it would be making a statement that birth control trumps all other medicines/treatments that other’s pay co-pays for in order to improve their lives. Be it allergy meds, insulin and other diabetes meds, cancer treatments and meds and others that all cost people lots of money but now birth control trumps all of them. That I wouldn’t agree with.

    • Sheila Durrant

       /  March 16, 2012

      I think birth control should be paid for by those whom it helps. And who does it help? Every person in the country. There is a population explosion, more babies being born in the world than can be cared for and fed. Every extra baby born, without parents who love and cherish it, is an expense, one way or another for the general population. Would I prefer my money to pay for birth control, or for welfare to a mother, unable to work for minimum wage and pay child care? What about a child who is abused, and becomes a criminal? Easy, I will pay the birth control along with my insurance. All prescribed medications should be on the formulary, viagra, birth control, cancer drugs. If it is too expensive, then assess a co-pay. Do we really want a government to say one person can have this drug, another person cannot have that drug?

    • Josh — if it’s NOT a War on Woman but a “personal responsibility issue” instead — where are all the admonitions, not to mention LAWs, aimed at men’s “personal responsibility” in all this? Please point some out to us. I’ve missed them completely.

      • Josh

         /  March 16, 2012

        Emily. Thanks for this forum to discuss these topics.

        Insurance benefits (in my opinion) are given to employees as an extra “perk” to entice the best employees to work for that particular company. They are not a “right” to have that job. It may be that your hourly/salary wage is adjusted to compensate for the company to pay the health insurance benefits.

        Also, please instruct me, on where I am skirting a “flame war”. I still would like to know why you think the Republican Party is so anxious to control women’s sexuality.

        I think the culture has arrived where it has become the “gimme” or “entitlement” era. Nothing in this life is guaranteed. Life is not fair.

        Patricia: Since when did we have to legislate personal responsibility? Why can’t both men and women live their lives without government interference, and accept any consequences as a result of their choices?

        • Misjoh

           /  March 16, 2012

          @Josh But its okay for insurance to cover medication for erectlile disfunction?

          Birth control pills are used for irregular or absent menstrual periods, menstrual cramps, acne, PMS, endometriosis, and for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. They are not just a contraceptive, they also have a medicinal value. Why would that not be covered by an insurance company?

        • Republicans ARE anxious to control women’s reproductive rights–the spread of laws that dictate how, why, and whether or not we have access to medication is infuriating and frightening. If its not about control, then why is Arizona proposing a law that would effectively make it legal to fire a woman for not providing proof to her employer that her birth control was used for reasons other than pregnancy prevention? How, why, and what she uses is NOT up to her employer or federal and state government–its between her and her doctor. We don’t debate on whether or not men’s medication like Viagara should be covered under insurance plans and no one has proposed that men submit proof that they’re using it for reasons other than sex to their employers (and we’d be outraged if they did!). The issue is about privacy and who dictates what you can and can not take and why. If I work for my health insurance and (yes your pay IS most often adjusted to cover it or you pay out of each check) then I want my medication covered regardless of whether or not my boss agrees–yes it is MY insurance, MY work and MY body so please let me make the choice.

        • Sarah

           /  March 17, 2012

          Hey Josh, I’ve actually had the same sort of conversation with some of my family, because they feel the same way. I think there should be a safety net for those that are having an extremely hard time taking care of themselves but beyond that, if we don’t have socialized medicine, we pay for our own, no problem there. I’m not going to ask anyone to pay for my birth control. I would really like for insurance to be fair though. Insurance companies can charge me more because I’m female and therefore could potentially get pregnant, and can charge women that have had children previously (which I have not) more because pregnancy falls into pre-existing condition territory. It’s only getting worse because of the “war on women” (I really hate the way that sounds, but it really is). Arizona has a bill that has made it through one of their houses that pretty much requires a doctors note to your employer saying exactly why you’re on that birth control, and they can fire you for it. There’s a bill going through Kansas that requires a doctor lie to a woman about the risks of abortion (telling her about the risks of cancer that have found to be medically unfounded), and that also okays lying to her further if it would prevent an abortion. A DOCTOR LYING TO A PATIENT ABOUT THEIR HEALTH!!! Then there are the transvaginal ultrasound bills on the table in Pennsylvania and Virginia, that has gone through already in Texas. A law REQUIRING a completely un-needed medical procedure, that requires in many cases to be violated, in a way that would otherwise be considered rape in many states, that then the woman HAS to pay for on her own. I keep seeing evidence of instances where women attempting to be responsible would be shut down in laws that keep getting passed in this country. Some state and the federal governments, pundits as well, are attempting “slut shaming” in every way possible, and I haven’t once heard people proposing or signing these bills into law even say “hey guys, you should probably stop having sex with these ladies so we don’t feel the need to make these laws.” To me it just seems as if these guys don’t believe women can be responsible enough on their own, they don’t see the gravity in anything they’re doing, and well that’s really jacked up, I know my uterus better than these guys do, it kinda seems like I understand the biology of a uterus in general better than a lot of these guys.

          • mhm

             /  March 17, 2012

            I completely agree with you.

            For years I payed for my own private insurance. It was great insurance. However, it did come at a price. Especially when I hit 30. At last total I was paying $435.00 a month. Now if I had been a man, I’d have only been paying $210.00 a month. I was paying over $200 extra essentially because of my vagina. Ya know the thing that apparently makes babies on it own. Whether I was on the pill or not that price never changed. Ladies, there’s been already been a war the other side is just playing dirtier.

            • Meg

               /  March 17, 2012

              This something that doesn’t make sense about the Arizona law. Everyone is worried that the women could be fired for taking birth control. But we pay more for insurance and — as young women in job interveiws — we worry about disclosing out family status because employers, like insurance companies, anticipate that you MIGHT have a baby in the future. And babies are expensive. For the insurance company ($10,000 births these day?) and for the employer (Maternity leave). Does anyone else worry that this can also be used the opposite way, to discriminate against women who DO want babies?

        • The GOP plan for women: No sex ed. No birth control. Pregnant? No abortion. Have a kid? Stay home. No income? No assistance.

          • starwheel

             /  March 18, 2012

            Yes, that brilliantly does ecapsulate the GOP’s plan. Every Republican/conservative I talk to on virtually every issue asks at one point or another “why should I have to pay for…?”
            And they only ask that question on issues they think doesn’t pertain to them.
            But if it’s an issue they care about (national defense, war on terror, torture, spying on Americans without a warrant, pepper spraying OWS protestors, preventing gays from getting married, tax cuts for billionaires, subsidies to oil companies, massive walls to keep illegal immigrants out, etc.) then they are perfectly fine with everybody else paying for those things.
            Health care for women? Eh, not so much.

    • Beth Johnston

       /  March 16, 2012

      Health plans morally tailored to an employers wishes woukd be very costly to manage; then again as a Canadian most of the GOP’ rhetoric is leaving me GOBsmacked! So let’s not cover smoking cessation; or pills to correct anything we could have avoided in the first place _ I thank gooneness acetemenophin is cheap when I want to get rid of this election induced headache

  25. Brandi

     /  March 16, 2012

    Thank you for your blog.. i have also been pregnant 4 times however only 1 baby resulted all the rest were miscarriages due to health reasons. My husband got “fixed” 6 weeks after she was born.. I think these other people need to realize that child bearing isn’t has easy as they think. Anyway KUDDOS on your blogs its amazing!

  26. Leah

     /  March 16, 2012

    I have a male friend, complete with penis, whose girlfriend told him she was pregnant and getting an abortion. He begged her not to, told her she could just leave the baby with him, even offered to see a lawyer and get it in writing before the birth and she got the abortion anyway. Now he sees other children the age his would be and it tears him up. Yes, it took two to make the baby, but it only took one to get the abortion…the woman. Therefore, while abortion SHOULD be a human issue, at the end of the day it is a woman’s issue.

    • One on level, in fact, I agree: At the end of the day, when the final call has to be made, it is the decision of the person who will suffer the greatest burden (see my earlier comment that I believe that men surely should be involved in the decision making).

      But there is much in life (most of life, in fact) that is not on a 50-50 distribution basis. At the end of the day, those who carry the greater burden (in any circumstance) should have the final call.

      • Sheila Durrant

         /  March 16, 2012

        Like you, I believe the man should have 60/40 part in the decision, but first of all, both men and women, before a relationship progresses to sex, let alone unprotected sex, should talk to each other. I doubt that woman, who had the abortion, changed her mind after getting pregnant. Knowing what a penis is capable of should be basic education for every young man.

        • Stride

           /  March 17, 2012

          Things happen- mistakes, miscalculations. It doesn’t nessicarily mean either of them are at ‘fault’. But as someone who has been in a similar situation to Leah’s friend (being the woman, and it was a long term commited relationship).. I chose to terminate, because I don’t have insurance, neither of us were fully employed or in any position to take care of a child. He was completely torn- he understood the reasons and supported me, but was distraught at the thought of losing a life we had created. When we arrived at the doc.. we found out I’d miscarried early on without knowing it. Suddenly I was distraught for an entirely new set of reasons, he was worried about my health but relieved. It’s been a long time since then, and we started opening up about what-ifs of future events. We decided that if the circumstances were the same, we’d follow the same path. In the mean time, we’re setting about changing our circumstances.

          Leah, for your friend.. did they discuss before hand what the plan was if something happened? It sounds like they had a communication breakdown. Abortion isn’t easy on the mind or the body, and to have a aprtner who is second guessing you so whole heartedly would be devestating, and a good reason to move on with your life (sans motherhood, and san boyfriend). I know how he feels, but life has a lot of paths, but they aren’t always available to everyone.

          • nicole lumpkin

             /  March 17, 2012

            I would like to know why congress can debate about birth control, but there r no debates going on about viagra! They will pay to help men have sex, but not to prevent from protecting themselves from unwanted pregnancies. Where’s the justice?

  27. Neocortex

     /  March 16, 2012

    I love your post, Emily! I do want to make a little point here…penises aren’t always attached to men. Sometimes they’re attached to trans women. Or genderqueer folks. Same thing in reverse goes for vaginas. Obviously, attacks on people with female reproductive systems do have a disproportionate effect on women, I just want to make sure that gender-variant folks don’t get erased in this vital discussion.

    • Tori Story

       /  March 19, 2012

      Right on! I read, talk and write a lot about sex, but slipping into assumptions that forget gender-variant folks happens all too easily when talking about the reproductive side of sexuality. It’s something I’m working on, but I love being reminded of it when I’m reading about sex because it helps my own process of self-education. Thank you for this important interjection!

  28. Alan Dortch

     /  March 16, 2012

    Well said, well said. I couldn’t agree more. I, too, have one of those penis things and I agree with this message.

  29. Anita Petriello

     /  March 16, 2012

    Oh, Emily! You wrote my exact thoughts! So well done and eloquently written, too! Women accomplished so much in the 1970s. It’s a shame we all now falling back. Yes, we obviously do need to remind some men, and women, that female people are people, too.

  30. Carol Westphal

     /  March 16, 2012

    “I am reminded of the Greek play where the women refused to have sex until a political goal was achieved. Perhaps the women of the GOP should consider that tactic…”

    But the scary thing is that (from what I’ve been reading) many GOP women are FOR these measures, whether by political belief or religious belief or both. They would deny all women’s reproductive rights simply because they’ve chosen to give up their own. They’ll just keep having “appropriate” married sex and babies, using no birth control, and looking down their noses at anyone who disagrees with them.

  31. Wait… what? Penises are involved in reproduction? Wow! That message does NOT come across in the rhetoric! I thought it was ALL women’s responsibility. And it almost sounds like we women are damned if we do make responsible contraceptive choices or don’t. Thank you for explaining the role penises play in this. Sounds like there’s some responsibility that needs to be taken by the other gender.

  32. Tracy Oeser

     /  March 16, 2012

    This goes right along with the new bill being considered in AZ where a woman can be fired if she takes birth control medication unless its for a medical condition.

  33. Diane Grow

     /  March 16, 2012

    Ted Davis a Commissioner in New Hanover County, North Carolina says,”If these young women were responsible people and didn’t have the sex to begin with we wouldn’t be in this situation.” Really?

    • (I think this was the statement that actually set off my storm of thinking on this – I saw that, and just went: “Who are the young women irresponsibly having the sex WITH?”)

  34. Diane Grow

     /  March 16, 2012

    Try to ‘hold an aspirin between your legs” as Rick Santorums “millionaire”, the main guy giving him financial support, said. Really??!!

    • Laurie Hester

       /  March 17, 2012

      I think we should start a Facebook boycott, and all women who don’t want a baby, should keep an aspirin between our knees until the next election. Who’s joining me? Pass it on…

    • nicholas

       /  March 19, 2012

      someone should send santorum a copy of the kamasutra with all the position where a woman can keep her knees together highlighted. Spoon, T-square, some variants of doggy style.

      • Sarah

         /  March 19, 2012

        I’d be willing to do that. Anyone have an address for his main office? or maybe the main office of his billionaire?

  35. Diane Grow

     /  March 16, 2012

    As for the “Vaginal Probe” Tom Corbet, the Governor of PA says, “just close your eyes”. Really??

    • Just lie back and think of England, right?

      (What a terrible human being Corbet is.)

    • Sarah

       /  March 19, 2012

      actually, he says that to the part of law that requires a monitor showing the fetus to be right in front of the woman’s face. Saying that they “don’t have to see it if they don’t want to, just close your eyes”

  36. Dean Stephens

     /  March 16, 2012

    I’m sure this won’t be a popular post, but here goes. I think we sold a bit of our souls as a country and as human beings when we accepted Blackmun’s trimester approach to abortion. Let me say first that I favor reasonable access to abortion, but I think we dehumanize ourselves when we discuss terminating pregnancies in the same language we use to analyze the Commerce Clause. I lived in San Francisco for about ten years, and it always amazed me that people rolled their eyes at the expression “unborn baby.” Yes, it’s your body and your right to decide. It’s just troubling that we’ve become so callous about it. Again, I say this as someone who is largely pro-choice.

    As a conservative, I’m aware that policies furthered by the GOP aren’t always the best, and in some cases are downright catastrophic. Just because I’m a conservative doesn’t mean I’m a dogmatic idiot. I find it the height of stupidity that the same folks who want to restrict abortion also want to put restrictions on contraception. I don’t like it when someone tries to muscle his religion into my politics, either.

    But at the same time, I want to ask liberals and Democrats who favor unfettered access to abortion what they think of the 100 million sex-selective abortions that have taken place in the last thirty years. It happens in the United States. If abortion is always okay, then this statistic shouldn’t cause you blink an eye. What if I add that a huge percentage of those abortions are forced, or nearly so, by angry husbands/partners, who wanted a boy? If aborting a fetus just because it’s a girl or just because your husband wants you to have one isn’t okay – well, you see where that path leads. I suspect that’s why people get outraged over a fat slob with a cigar and a microphone instead. It’s easy, safe, and doesn’t raise difficult questions. But if conservatives who favored war in Iraq should have to answer for thousands of dead civilians that resulted from their wrong-headed policy, then liberals who have made abortion virtually universal ought to have something to say to those hundred million. Both are foreseeable consequences of policy decisions.

    As for the “incandescent rage,” I guess I have a hard time taking it seriously, given that men (and women) across the spectrum routinely deploy demeaning rhetoric without arousing so much as your eyebrows. Do you give Bill “Dumb Twat” Maher a pass because you agree with his politics? What about President Obama’s Hollywood piggy bank, who fell over themselves to campaign for Roman Polanski’s release just last year? David Geffen, who made his fortune producing misogynistic rock and roll and rap (not to mention the ever-enlightened Andrew Dice Clay)?

    • With respect, you have no idea what raises my eyebrows and what doesn’t. And as I would not presume to tell you about your emotions or lived reality, I will ask you to kindly refrain from telling me mine. My rage is real, it is bone deep, and it is, I assure you, incandescent.

      Up until that point in this complex comment, one that raises a lot of (I genuinely think) fair questions (though I do think comparing a war to human reproduction is such a stretch as to be logically insupportable), I was ready to engage.

      Then you went and fell in the trap of being presumptive and dismissive, making broad and entirely baseless assumptions. Oddly, I’m not so interested in engaging now.

      (The truth, in case you’re interested, is that 1) I have a deep, deep dislike for Bill Maher, for many reasons, starting with his misogyny and on through his Islamophobia; 2) I have railed against Roman Polanski on this blog more than once, and personally do not give money to any movie that he has ever touched; 3) David Geffen is complex, like many people, and like all of us, imperfect, but I certainly have often made a stand against misogyny in music – look up my post on Too $hort, if you doubt me; and 4) Andrew Dice Clay? Loathsome).

    • Matt

       /  March 16, 2012

      “But at the same time, I want to ask liberals and Democrats who favor unfettered access to abortion what they think of the 100 million sex-selective abortions that have taken place in the last thirty years. It happens in the United States.”

      Is that 100 million worldwide, or in the U.S.? How many happen in the U.S.? Does the U.S. now have a statistically significant gender imbalance? Your statement is (deliberately?) misleading to make people think there have been 100 million sex-selective abortions in the U.S. Also, I’d like to see a source for that statistic.

      • That’s 100 million worldwide, predominately in Asia (especially China, India, Korea), if you go by Amartya Sen’s calculations based on sex ratios and “missing” girls. I’m South Asian American and agree with the Nobel economics committee that Sen is brilliant, but his method of reaching a statistic has been challenged.

        100 million sex-selective abortions in the US, when the overwhelming majority of sex-sel abortions are chosen by 1st and 2nd generation Asian immigrants, would require having a much larger Asian immigrant population than we do. The actual plausible number, when one uses Sen’s method and looks at sex ratio imbalances in the US, is pretty small because you really only see the imbalance among, as I said, 1st and 2nd generation Chinese, Korean and Indian Americans. And even among them, sex selective abortion generally occurs only after a daughter or two has been born and they are anxious to have a son before they reach the limit on the number of kids they can support. While I’m obviously saddened by the sexist attitudes intrinsically underlying any sex-selective abortion — even when it’s a woman who really wants a daughter — conservatives in both the East and West are the ones perpetuating the idea that gender is determinative. For example, if a Caucasian mother dreams of having a child she can dress in adorable ribbons and lace, it’s American conservatives who will tell her she’s sick and wrong to do so with her little boy. They’ll tell her if her little boy grows up gay, it’s her fault because of dressup. If it turns out she really did have a girl, just not biologically XX, conservatives will sneer at her kid as a “trannie.” Really, it takes a lot of guts for parents to have kids in a society that still has powerful voices telling those children that any divergence in gender or sexuality is a disease.

    • Hélène

       /  March 17, 2012

      Apart from the fact that I think we tend to greatly overestimate the number of women who get abortion for what we perceive to be ‘shallow’ or ‘wrong’ reasons… If we are concerned that people are using abortion for problematic reasons (refusal to have a girl, for example), the problem isn’t that they have access to abortions, the problem is a culture that valorizes boys over girls. So the solution is to address that culture, not to limit access to abortion.

    • Laurie Hester

       /  March 17, 2012

      While this practice of sex-selective abortion is abhorrent, it has nothing to do with keeping abortion safe and legal. In China, because of their policy of one child, which caused many selective abortions of females, there are many men who cannot find wives. Surely this will correct itself in a generation, as those excess males won’t pro-create. I personally have no qualms about millions of abortions; can you imagine if all those people were living on this planet now? But this is a prime example of why we should not let goverment have control over our reproduction… whether it’s outlawing abortion, or forcing abortions after one child. It is a decision only the pregnant woman should make.

    • Neocortex

       /  March 20, 2012

      There’s a big difference between “always morally okay” and “should be legal”. I don’t have to approve of someone’s reasoning for getting an abortion, to think they should be legally allowed to do so.

      Forcing someone to have an abortion is repugnant…how does this contradict the “my body, my choice” concept? I’ve known people who have been counselors at clinics, and, while there’s no way they can be sure of catching everything, they try to catch those cases.

  37. Diane Grow

     /  March 16, 2012

    Bill O’Riley says that sex is “recreation” so he doesn’t want Health Care to pay for a womans recreation. But Viagara is for a “medical condition” so health care SHOULD pay for it. Hum. How many men want to use their penises for making babies over the age of 60? In that case we shouldn’t have to pay for their Viagara.

  38. Patrick McMullen

     /  March 16, 2012

    Here’s my only problem (and I completely agree with the post): until you get some left-blooded, hippy men saying this exact same thing, the GOP (or close-minded turds, whichever you prefer) will simply label this as the ramblings of a “leftist whore,” or something as equally ridiculous as that. I say that instead of attacking the GOP, why don’t we focus the attention on the guys on “our” side? Get the liberals out there! Get the Dem’s in the Senate to stand up and actually say something! That way, both sides of the fence are represented, politically. Am I right here?

    • You are right!

    • DanB

       /  March 17, 2012

      Patrick,

      Just as most of the attacks on women are coming from men, it’s necessary for men who care about women to speak out on their behalf. On this we totally agree. However, I’m uncomfortable with the way you wrote this, because while maybe I’m unfairly reading your intent, it sounds to me as if you’re suggesting that men’s voices count for more then women’s voices. For some in the GOP, that’s undoubtedly true, but I think those ears are equally capable of tuning out men who speak up on behalf of women (we’re “emasculated”, don’tcha know?)

      So, yes, men who support women should speak out for them; but I think the best thing we can do is to encourage them to speak out for themselves.

      Here’s what I wish: I do wish for more men to speak out on behalf of women, but especially, I wish that more women would. I wish for women’s voices to be heard so clearly and forthrightly that they overwhelm their opponents. I wish that those who discount the voices of women will find themselves discounted even more.

  39. Katie

     /  March 16, 2012

    nicely put!

  40. Sharon

     /  March 16, 2012

    In my opinion, some vital health and political issues have gone missing and/or have been misconstrued by both sides of this debate over the past few months. First, this would be argued so differently if we would simply use different medical terms. For instance, I am 51 years old and have been prescribed “birth control” pills — not for reproductive control, but for the purpose of hormonal control, and for my female/physical health and well-being. And really, aren’t ALL women prescribed “hormone therapies” of one form or another at some time in their lives — and similarly, men? I guarantee that “birth control” is used more often these days by general health practitioners (for acne/hormone stabilization, control of excessive menstruation/anemia) than it has ever been used before! We now better understand the role of hormones in metabolic, nutritional, and mental health, for example.

    Secondly, much of the GOP has actually remained silent on this issue. Unfortunately, it is the vocal minority we are hearing from, with their panties all up in a wad trying to defend themselves in what began as an “economic” and “Church vs state” war with ObamaCare rules — not a war against women. But once they got started trying to defend the “don’t force employer to do something against their morals” … they kept digging their trenches deeper… and then oh crap, Rush Limbaugh jumped in the fray, again!

    So, I think it’s time to play less of a blame game, and more of a “name” game, and win this argument once and for all! It’s not really about “birth control” at all, anyway! It is simply about that company or employer providing meaningful health insurance to men and women equally — translating to “equality in hormonal health coverage” for men and women — at whatever stage of life they may be in — and the stay out of it from that point on, and allow that person and his/her doctors determine what is appropriate or necessary for that person’s hormonal well-being and physical health!

    • Marva wolf

       /  March 17, 2012

      You go girl! Thanks for pointing out the obvious to some pretty close minded people. I thought we were past this kind of ignorant thinking. I feel like its the 1950’s or earlier. Amen!!well said

  41. Great post. All this reproductive stuff–contraception, abortion, all of it–boils down to an easy motto, which is this:

    TRUST WOMEN

    • ExpatJK

       /  March 17, 2012

      x1000. As a woman I am really glad to hear this, THANK YOU.

  42. Kudos to you…well said…..I had this discussion with my 81 year old father in law who made it sound like it was the woman’s fault and going around helter skelter having sex. His argument was that the government or insurance companies shouldn’t have to pay for birth control, that there are Planned parenthood and Health Department Clinics to get free birth control. I countered that argument with a personal experienc to the Planned Parenthood, being a young marrried woman who had a child and couldn’t afford birth control and it wasn’t covered by my insurance. My husband was working and they charged me on a “sliding scale” accoring to our income,and it still was expensive 28 years ago. The results 2nd miscarraige and then second son. Love them both, but then I went for the permanent method. He said then if the woman is going around having sex than her boyfriend should pay for it. I asked him, do you think that just single women have sex? How do you think your grandson’s arrived, in the cabbage patch.ANd to think he is not the only one that thinks like this. I said as a woman I did not want to return to the dark ages and unsafe practices for women….my 60 year old sister in law thought the same way he did, maybe that is why she is a spinster! My mother in law said nothing, the is the perfect subserviant wife. NOT ME, and my husband backed me up!

    • Great comment but you channeled a little bit of your father-in-law when you wrote this part “she is a spinster!” eek!

      It is also a woman’s right not to marry too. We are no longer chattel :D

    • Josh

       /  March 16, 2012

      Berni,

      With all due respect, you are making the point of the GOP. Whatever choices you have made in your life lead up to this exact moment. You are either dealing with the consequences or reaping the rewards for those choices. Because of those past choices, you couldn’t afford birth control, and thus are/were asking others to pay for it. Everyone is struggling today in one form or another. To force upon people to give you something, is in my opinion, a form of slavery.

      If an insurance company finds it cost effective to cover all your medical needs, then so be it. The argument is that they should not be forced to cover it.

      Also, how is covering and paying for your own medical costs returning to the dark ages and unsafe practices for women?

      • Actually, the argument the GOP is making about Catholic-affiliated institutions like Georgetown Law is that even though insurers are saying it IS more cost effective for them to provide birth control, the bishops still want the students and employees blocked from getting contraception. This isn’t just about employee health plans. The women at Georgetown Law aren’t getting a discount on their student health plan compared to the women at GW Law (a nonCatholic school). They are PAYING for their insurance, not getting it as a gift from the bishops. Let’s stop acting like these women are beggars demanding charity.

  43. doggbiscuits

     /  March 16, 2012

    Men are only shamed for sex if it is with another man.

  44. NancyAnn

     /  March 16, 2012

    Bravo, well said. As for “Josh”…my husband and I have insurance through his employment. We pay roughly $3000 a month to medically insure ourselves and our one child. I do not see the services that said insurance covers as “free”. As for oral contraceptives being covered, it is part and parcel with women’s health coverage. The statistics show that over 65% of women that are taking oral contraceptives, are taking them for a medical issue other than pregnancy prevention…65%! So if say, you had cancer, and the company you worked for decided that their personal/religious beliefs were in conflict with the treatment of cancer, does that mean that your insurance that you have through your employer should not cover it? It should be treated the same way, and that is why there is a infinite number of women up in arms, feeling as if the GOP is waging a war against women. Most employers offer health coverage options for their employees, but the majority of these options do not include “free” healthcare.
    Em: sorry for my first post to be negative, I just found your blog and think you are truly insightful.

  45. I just love this post and the comments! It makes me smile and you have someone so cool to even post Bonita Applebaum. On a kind of serious note, I bet you the GOP war on woman was implied in their jobs bill. How else are they going to create jobs when 51% of the US population are highly educated women and the workforce calls for mostly knowledge workers? Well the strategy as outlined probably indicates pregnant women can’t work…

    Voila, help wanted signs go up everywhere! Problem solved.

    Yes, I know this isn’t the case but look at your title. I don’t think the GOP leaders know that pregnancy is not a disability :D

    • Sarah

       /  March 19, 2012

      Actually, in the eyes of the law, pregnancy is a disability, though a temporary one. (I know this because of what my sister’s continuation school said when she got pregnant at 16)

  46. Lynn Sulackow

     /  March 16, 2012

    Emily,

    Thank you so very much for caring enough to express what so many of us are feeling. It took me over 9 years to get pregnant to have my only child (a daughter, who is now 25). I had her right before I turned 39. I went through at least 7 years of pain before the doctors found out what was wrong. I do believe abortion has it’s place, but a woman is crucified just because she made that choice. Strangely enough, it does take two to have sex and produce a baby. When you make a derogatory remark against women, take time to remember this one important fact…you have (had) a Mother and without her you wouldn’t be here. Remember that you wouldn’t want these negative things said about your Mother, Wife, Spouse, Girlfriend or Daughter. Someday, all of these women will thank you for standing up for them. Thanks again, Emily.

  47. Reblogged this on Perspicere.

  48. Jess

     /  March 16, 2012

    Tell me how politics are good for our health. I can’t afford eyeglasses. I can’t afford healthcare. I can’t afford a place to live. I rely on my friends and family to help me out, like a thousand million other people over the entire history of mankind. When did overpaid politicians set the bar for the rest of life on the planet?

  49. So excellent, so spot-on, so “I wish I’d said it.” No, this comment doesn’t exactly add to the conversation, but I figure some support won’t go amiss.

  50. Tommie O'Sullivan

     /  March 16, 2012

    Hmmm, the GOP is the party that says it wants LESS government intruding on our lives. Apparently all those idle government people want to crowd into my bedroom.

    I’ve always felt that many so called pro life people aren’t that at all.. Just ask if they support capital punishment. I think they’re just pro punishment. And now it seems that they’re very afraid that someone somewhere is having more fun than they are.

    W hy, oh why do these people feel they have a right to stick their noses into everyone’s private lives. Horror of horrors. I might just have a happy and healthy relationship with my partner. I guess we can’t have that, can we? At least if these self appointed morality police have their way.

    Everybody better get out and vote in November !

    • Jen

       /  March 24, 2012

      “Hmmm, the GOP is the party that says it wants LESS government intruding on our lives. Apparently all those idle government people want to crowd into my bedroom.”

      Priceless. That’s how I think of it too, I’ve just never said it so eloquently.

      Everyone should have the rights to uphold their personal beliefs *and* take personal responsibility. If only we could agree on that, then the nation and government could start tackling real issues like that little problem with the economy.

  51. Thanks for writing this. I hope my daughter grows up to be as thoughtful, well spoken, and courageous. I hope my sons do too, for that matter.

  52. Bill keck

     /  March 16, 2012

    Sydney,

    U r a jewel, I can hear u speaking as I was reading your feelings about those gd republicans. It was a pleasure listening to you.

  53. Kelly Kann

     /  March 16, 2012

    Love your post. This response is mostly for you. I too am outraged beyond words. I am a middle aged well educated wife and mother of two. I have used birth control most of my life, only partially for contraception. I only know one woman who has never used birth control and I know people of all ages and all faiths. I wish Rush and all the GOP could see the millions of intelligent, educated, responsible, married moms who ALL use birth control for many many reasons instead of assuming that only morally reprehensible sluts use birth control. We are ALL offended. It astounds me that so many men of that generation have no idea how birth control works or that their wives used it for YEARS and many still do. How can they speak and legislate about issues that not only do they not understand, dont even take the time or energy to research?

    There are so many reasons why this is so awful and they alone should win the argument but if all else fails, I offer the following marketing suggestion. Along the lines of your blog, I want to ask all men, before they go vote, to go to their wives, girlfriends, lovers, crushes or anyone else with whom they hope to have sex with in the future and ask them how limiting access to contraception will affect the quality or frequency of the sex they would have with them will be affected.

    I cannot imagine how my sex life with my husband would have been different had I not had access to birth control. What a stressful nightmare. For him too! Do all of these men want children with everyone they sleep with? every time? REALLY?

    Anyway, great post and lets hope reason and common sense will win out.

    • Josh

       /  March 16, 2012

      I think you misunderstand the argument. No one is limiting your access to birth control. The argument is who is going to pay for it.

      • conspicuouschick

         /  March 17, 2012

        Actually Josh, you’re misunderstanding the argument. Since I (and most every other employee) pays part of the health insurance premium, it’s about an employer allowing their judgments to interfere with my medical decisions and overall health.

        • Josh

           /  March 18, 2012

          Don’t like the benefits that the employer is offering, find another employer. OR better yet, get self insurance with a private insurance company that covers what you feel they should cover.

          You just summed up the argument.. “since you pay PART”, the employer pays into the fund as well. The employer should have a say in what what their part is funding!

          • M.S. Burgher

             /  March 18, 2012

            No, they should not. An employer has a right to the employee’s skills, not to tell them how to live their lives.

          • So you think that employers should have the right to decide what medical care their employees receive?

            How would you feel if you were in a car accident and your employer denied you access to blood transfusions?

            There are women I love and care about who suffer from menorrhagia (I know it’s a scary word, look it up) that makes it MEDICALLY NECESSARY for them to be on birth control. Otherwise for a few days out of every month they are dangerously anemic. Believe it or not, the pill is a medically accepted treatment for some conditions – it’s not just a “recreational” drug.

            (Not that I’m saying that people who just use the pill for birth control are any less valid. But even if you don’t accept the right of women to have birth control, surely everyone must accept the right of women to be healthy.)

            • This does bring up an interesting question, although we’re obviously far afield of the OP. When I go to interview for a job, my prospective employer is precluded from asking me anything about my religious beliefs. This would be under the theory that religion has nothing to do with work, unless you’re working for a church. But now, I need to cross examine a prospective employer about their beliefs. The entire focus has now transferred from matching a person to a job to matching a person to a job with the right boss who believes what I believe. Interesting dynamic shift.

              To be honest, I’m getting tired of hearing the argument that birth control has multiple uses. It obviously does and I used hormone therapy for fibroids. But what we have to get over is there is nothing at all wrong with taking the pill to prevent pregnancy. I understand the position of the Catholic church on the subject and churches, already subject to special rules, have special rules. What I do want to know is where were the Bishops when this exact same provision was enacted in what, 17 other states before the federal gov’t added it?

  54. yarnball

     /  March 16, 2012

    I am absolutely NOT denying anyone the “right” to have sex or to use contraceptives or to have an abortion. THAT decision is between you and God. However, I do NOT want to pay for your choices that are different than mine. If I believe sex outside of marriage, or using birth control or abortion are sinful, why should I have to accommodate your “choices”? Choose away .. but don’t turn around and stomp on my “rights” to view it differently. Clearly, Catholic theology says these choices are wrong. Why on earth would anyone expect Catholic institutions to go along and fund (what they believe to be) sin?

    • In a democracy everyone pays for things they disagree with- I for instance paid for the iraq war and for the expenses involved in prosecuting marijuana possession.

      Similarly, if the Catholic Church doesn’t like the law of the land, perhaps it would be better off giving up its tax free status.

      And finally, the Church won’t be paying. Insurers will.

      • I have to respectfully disagree with your argument. You are talking about TAX dollars going to pay for things with which you disagree. The point that Yarnball makes is that these private institutions shouldn’t be made to pay for something with which they disagree. The situations are not analogous.

        • M.S. Burgher

           /  March 18, 2012

          You are incorrect. No tax dollars are in question here – this is about insurance that forms part of employees’ compensation.

    • Mathilde

       /  March 17, 2012

      Who is going to pay for the unnecessary mandatory ultrasounds that several states are trying to impose before abortion? The people asking for it, or the women who don’t want it?

      • M.S. Burgher

         /  March 18, 2012

        Sadly, the women who don’t want or need them.

    • Laurie Hester

       /  March 17, 2012

      Why should employers have the right to force their religious beliefs on their employees? Health care is a right, and our government has mandated it as a right. If a religious institution wants to join the secular world as an employer, they have no right to deny anyone coverage. If they don’t like the secular world, let them go back to just being churches.

      • Pamela Clare

         /  March 17, 2012

        There are a lot of things other people do with which I disagree. There are a lot of things the government uses my taxes for that I oppose. If we as a representative democracy decide that something is essential, then we all contribute toward it regardless of how we feel. So how about you think of it this way: Your taxes will go to pay for preemptive wars against other countries or subsidizing oil companies, and mine can go to fund contraception and abortion.

        We curb religious freedom in various ways in the U.S. For example, when faith healer parents let their child die of strep throat, the might face arrest and prosecution. When old men force with FLDS little girls into “spiritual marriages” and rape them, they are prosecuted and imprisoned. They don’t get to rape girls just because their version of God says it’s okay. Similarly, churches and hospitals shouldn’t be able to deny women access to privacy and health care or to the health care providers of their choice.

        Contraception is essential to women’s well-being. To require religious hospitals and institutions to include contraceptive coverage is to require them to care for women’s well-being.

        Where I live, Catholics are buying up hospitals left and right. My insurance plan, which isn’t Catholic, requires I go to a certain hospital that was just bought up by the Sisters of Questionable Charity. I’m not Catholic. I don’t believe what Catholics believe. But my money goes into their coffers. What about communities like mine where only Catholic options are available both for health care and employment? It’s not like I can fly to another part of the state when I need to go the ER for an asthma attack. The nurses who work there can’t necessarily pick up their families and move.

        Contraception and access to abortion are basics of health care to which women are entitled by virtue of being human.

      • Pamela Clare

         /  March 17, 2012

        Laurie, my reply wasn’t for you. It’s for Yarnball. :-)

      • Josh

         /  March 18, 2012

        Laurie Hester: I have my pocket constitution and bill of rights here in front of me. Where does it mention healthcare is a right?

        • rantneedsabettertitle

           /  March 18, 2012

          EXACTLY! Thank you Josh!!!!

        • Tara

           /  March 19, 2012

          It’s in that other important document Josh, the declaration of independence. Life, and thus health, is one of the three basic unalienable rights.

        • yohabloespanglish

           /  March 24, 2012

          That the United States belongs to the UN arguably means that our government must abide by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Subsection (1) of Article 25 states that, “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.”

          Obviously, the specifics of how this is followed is down to each individual country but I feel that ours is woefully remiss in how it interprets the application of this article.

  55. kim

     /  March 16, 2012

    I’ve shared this post and have seen it being shared all over facebook. When I get home, I’ll share on google+. thank you for saying what needs to be said.

  56. Dean Stephens

     /  March 16, 2012

    Since I’m not clever enough to figure out how to respond to a specific post, I’ll drop a couple of thoughts/responses here.

    With respect to the figures, they’re worldwide. That I didn’t specify was not an effort to mislead; I thought it was obvious. As for sources, there’s a Wikipedia entry on sex-selective abortion citing a number of 90 million. If you search Google Scholar, there are a number of articles citing numbers between 75 and 130 million (the best is a study out of UNC in (I think) 2005).

    Emily, as for my comparison of war dead in Iraq to aborted female fetuses, the logical basis is this: Every policy decision has foreseeable consequences that its advocates try to ignore. So Bush and the Neocons pretended that an invasion wouldn’t lead to innocent deaths and (likely) war crimes. Likewise, liberals who argue for unfettered access to abortion ignore the reality that such a policy leads to an increased number of abortions, for all reasons, including ones we’d rather not think about. And because you argued that access to abortion and contraception are “human issues,” it was appropriate to consider the implications of abortion around the globe.

    As for your assertion that I was being presumptuous and dismissive: I commented that people like Maher don’t raise your eyebrows becuase, well, they don’t. I searched for Geffen, Maher, and Polanski on your blog. You’ve written one entry about Polanski (if there are others, they don’t come up on a search for “Polanski” or “Roman”). In that entry you asserted that you’d watch his apologists’ (your word) movies “with a bad taste” in your mouth, if at all. In other words, you’ll continue supporting them with your dollars and patronage. That’s a far cry from incandescent rage. And you certainly haven’t written the kind of invective about them that you unleashed in this post. My statement was neither presumptuous nor dismissive. It was based on the content of your blog, which provides an idea of what raises your eyebrows (isn’t that one of the purposes of a blog?).

    • You cannot seriously believe that you know the reaches of my heart and the workings of my mind because you have conducted a keyword search on my blog. Please stop. If someone else wants to engage with your arguments, that’s up to them, but if you insult me or anyone else one more tome you will be banned.

      • NancyAnn

         /  March 16, 2012

        I don’t understand the whole “I don’t want to pay for your birth control or abortion” statements….. Last time I checked I paid for my insurance, and all medical expenses for myself, unless your check was lost in the mail?? :)

        • Josh

           /  March 16, 2012

          My insurance goes up every time the government mandates a change to the insurance policy. The insurance company will always try to make a profit, either by cutting payments to the healthcare professionals or raising rates.

          Again, if an insurance company finds it cost effective to cover all your medical needs, then so be it. The point is the government should not mandate what an insurance company should or should not cover.

          • NancyAnn

             /  March 16, 2012

            Neither should the church…or you…and my insurance premiums have been going up for years…it doesn’t have anything to do with what
            The government does or does not do–that is a scapegoat.

            • Josh

               /  March 16, 2012

              Huh? I’m not understanding. Please explain this reply.

            • Josh

               /  March 16, 2012

              If the church (a private entity) or company (private entity) chooses to offer insurance as a benefit, they should, after all, be able to say what insurance company they will work with. If that church or company is going to be using their own money to pay their portion of your insurance, they should have a say so in what they will and will not cover.

              Insurance is not a constitutional right.

              Do you not think that government regulation is a part of why your premiums have been going up for years?

              • Eric

                 /  March 16, 2012

                Josh, if insurance companies didn’t cover contraception, then your rates really would go up. Which do you think is cheaper … contraception or prenatal, birth, and post-natal care? What is more expensive to the employer, covering the cost of mandated contraception coverage, or covering the cost of maternity leave (also government mandated)? What about the healthcare of unplanned-for children? As an earlier respondent said, contraception benefits all of society, because on an overcrowded planet, the only babies who should be born are the ones that are planned for. And easy, affordable access to contraception reduces abortions. So our choices, as a society, are very simple. We pay for contraception (via insurance for the most part at this point in time), or we pay a lot more … and in a myriad of ways … later.

                As to your last statement, please review the escalating profits of the major insurance companies and their shareholders, the percentage of insurance dollars spent on actual health care, the amount spent on marketing, on lobbying congress, etc. and then reassess your assertion that government regulation is the cause behind rising rates. The U.S. spends a greater portion of our GDP on healthcare than any first world nation, and we get less for it (both in people covered, and more recently in positive outcomes).

                • Josh

                   /  March 18, 2012

                  Eric, It doesn’t matter what I think is cheaper or best for any particular company. I am not a CEO, stockholder, or benefit from any insurance company. I don’t care what their profits are. They have the freedom to do what they think is best for their business! If they make more money on viagra than BC pills, so be it! They accept the consequences for their business decisions. You sound like you want to take their choice away.

                  I care that my government, (and socialists like you) demanding that a private company fund
                  something it doesn’t want to pay for.

                  If you don’t like your insurance company THEN CHOOSE ANOTHER ONE!

                  And get over this over populated crap. I take it you have never been outside the metropolis of any large city. There is plenty of food and livable space in this country. Ever been to Nebraska, Kansas, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, Nevada.. etc. Also, don’t we have an obesity problem?

                  • Josh,

                    I understand that you are very passionate about this, but if you’re reduced to repeating your same point over and over, and using the word “socialist” as a meaning-free insult, you’ve reached the point of badgering and belaboring your point. Enough. I’m asking you to step away now.

                  • yarnball

                     /  March 18, 2012

                    THANK YOU, JOSH! Well said.

              • LibertarianAtheistMotherofFour,ThankYouVeryMuch

                 /  March 19, 2012

                Your insurance goes up when they have to pay for more births, not birth control, Josh. I agree with personal responsibility and I agree that health insurance is not something the government should be getting into. But you are so busy clinging to your libertarian purism that you are missing the point. In the real world where real people live, our lives and economies are set up for employer-based health coverage. Most of us can’t just drop a job and get a new one or take on the full cost of self-insurance. And no libertarian should ever be ok with the idea that the government can force you to tell your employer why you are on birth control.

                Also, for a large number of women, birth control is a minor risk. Why hasn’t it become an OTC drug? Maybe a quick Q and A with a pharmacist to check risk factors? It’s ridiculous.

                • Also in response to Josh, who wrote, “… church … or company … should … be able to say what insurance company they will work with …”

                  No. The insurance is income, and as such falls under legal standards and regulation.

                  Are you saying an employer should be able to whimsically decide to pay people with Spanish Pesetas or Jordanian Dinars because they prefer the exchange rate, or chickens or prayers because that’s what they believe in?

                  A job is a job. Pay is pay. If you want a we-the-people approved corporate license to employ people in the US, then live up to certain standards and get ready to be regulated by the same we-the-people who enfranchise you with your opportunities to harvest employees from the general public.

                  No more second class citizens, ever, please.

    • M.S. Burgher

       /  March 18, 2012

      Dear Dean,
      Despite your rudeness to our host, as demonstrated by the fact that you obviously did not read her response, I can supply you with one of the answers you say you seek.

      You ask, what we think of the abortion of female fetuses based on sex? Here is the answer of Asian feminists: these abortions have largely replaced the tradition of killing girl babies. The problem is the low value the culture places on women; changing that is the only way to stop it.

  57. I pinned this to Pinterest! Well said indeed.

  58. Whitney Gillis Zylstra

     /  March 16, 2012

    Thank you for articulating my thoughts! I am like Moses and you are my Aaron! :-) But seriously, you wrote so beautifully. I have sent this to many friends on Facebook. Blessings to you.
    Whitney Gillis Zylstra

  59. ClaireAPN

     /  March 16, 2012

    I am a nurse practitioner who has worked for many years in women’s health/family planning. I have seen the stress, anxiety and heartbreak a woman endures when she has an unintended pregnancy. It seems that men do not often take the responsiblity to help with the costs involved in contraception, yet they partake willingly in the fun – you know what I mean. In many (maybe most) cases, the penis partner disappears when difficult decisions have to be made. I also see how more and more women, particularly young women, forgo effective contraceptive methods as the costs have skyrocketed and public support for women’s health has been eroded bythose running our state and federal governments. Talk about “family” all you want. Women’s health is family health. You can’t have a healthy family without access to reproductive healthcare for women.

    I was riding on a bus returning from a visit to my then boyfriend, now and still husband, when I heard the news that Roe V Wade had passed. I was flooded with joy and relief. Abortion had been decriminalized and women were safer. I am currently angry, frustrated and concerned that my baby granddaughter will grow up in a world where she cannot get reasonably priced reproductive health care, including contraception, and where, if she needs an abortion, she will have to find a kitchen table abortionist and put her life at risk.

    Thank you for your blog post. I am so glad to have seen it posted on Facebook. It is only through such articulate outrage that we can make our points and hopefully squash this horrible attitude that women are irresponsible, stupid beings who need to be controlled by powerful men – men who by and large, cannot control their penises. Politicians – you know who you are!

  60. sweendoggedly

     /  March 16, 2012

    Your take on ‘this recent unpleasantness’ is dead on. Incandescent rage is exactly what I feel when I see what the current crop of troglodytes in power are trying to do to the women of my country.

    Thanks!

  61. This is an excellent point, and not one I’ve seen made yet.

  62. yarnball

     /  March 16, 2012

    from above post: “In many (maybe most) cases, the penis partner disappears when difficult decisions have to be made.” Really? penis partner? really?

    Perhaps “difficult decisions” would not be necessary if folks kept sex within the marriage relationship, as intended. Sex for procreation and Sex for fun … WITHIN marriage.

    Also, I’m not gonna give my power over to men and act like I am not responsible for the decisions I make about sex and whether or not I get pregnant. IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO MAKE A DIFFICULT DECISION, DO NOT HAVE SEX IN A POTENTIALLY COMPROMISING RELATIONSHIP.

    • KStan

       /  March 16, 2012

      I’m sorry, but where in the constitution does it say that sex is intended to be “kept within the marriage relationship”? Who made that rule?

    • Sarah

       /  March 17, 2012

      Do all marriages stay together forever?
      Do all married couples want to have children? (I won’t even get into that one because you obviously only see marriages and sex as vehicles to have children)
      In a perfect world whenever someone got married they’d live happily ever after, they’d take care of each other as much as possible, and no one would die without leaving something for the other to have. This is not a perfect world, sadly enough. Every relationship has the POTENTIAL of being compromised.

    • ExpatJK

       /  March 17, 2012

      So I guess if a woman is raped, it’s just too bad for her because she failed to wait for marriage or something like that? Saying “I’m not gonna give my power over to men and act like I am not responsible for the decisions I make about sex and whether or not I get pregnant. IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO MAKE A DIFFICULT DECISION, DO NOT HAVE SEX IN A POTENTIALLY COMPROMISING RELATIONSHIP” ignores the fact that not all women chose to engage in sexual activity which resulted in pregnancy (this includes but is not limited to rape). AND your statement about avoiding ‘difficult decisions’ is equally applicable to men, since as Emily wisely noted in the OP there are generally two partners in a pregnancy-making situation.

    • Marisa

       /  March 17, 2012

      I am a married woman, my husband and I have been married for nearly 2 years. We really want to have children but are waiting because we cannot afford them right now. I have just recently become employed full time but my husband has not been able to find full time employment for about 3 years (he has worked many temp jobs and completed a Master’s degree in the meantime). If we had a child right now we would have to rely on welfare in order to care for our child. Are you saying I should not use birth control, I am married after all so I do not need to worry about whether I get pregnant or not, my husband and I can start having a bunch of babies and raise them in poverty.

      • Josh

         /  March 18, 2012

        Marisa:
        We are saying that if you want birth control and your insurance company doesn’t offer it, then you must pay for it yourself. Why force a private company to do something it doesn’t want to do.

        • Sarah

           /  March 19, 2012

          okay, Josh, that might be what you are saying, but that isn’t what Yarnball is. Also, the argument about access to birth control came up because of the claims over the Catholic Church, a church is not a business, in my opinion, unless it pays the same taxes as any other business, so please, say something else in this case.
          If you are working for the diocese of San Jose (the catholic diocese that I live in) or for The Church of Christ on The Alameda (a church by where I went to high school), or the Christian Scientist’s church, a place that does nothing that isn’t related to the church, I can kinda, sorta, see going with the whole we shouldn’t have to pay for your birth control thing, I suppose. Catholic Charities or O’connor (the Catholic Hospital the next town over) which doesn’t only hire from the religion, should be held to the same responsibilities as any other private business. I know that you don’t think it should be required for any business in the first place, but maybe that’s what the GOP should be arguing, instead of arguing from a place of religion. This blog post wasn’t about you paying for my birth control, or Emily’s or some girl down the street or wherever. This was a post about responsibility. The responsibility that you seem to want to preach to no end. This post was about MEN taking as much responsibility for the act of sex and whatever comes of it. Or maybe the GOP charging men to take some sort of responsibility as opposed to blaming it all on women.

          • You are so right Emily. Even after your wonderful post to begin with—so many want to disengage the penis from the results. I think it has come down to; it’s the woman’s fault just from being born a woman, and, she just has to take what she gets and be quiet about it. I really think that it all goes back to that purposely mis-written Genesis.

        • Except again, the debate is not over the *insurance company’s* not wanting to offer it. (If you look at things that go uncovered by insurers, it’s actually much more common in the individual market to have insurance that doesn’t cover pregnancy and delivery — because they *are* expensive and bad for a corporate bottom line.)

          The insurance companies are so gung-ho for birth control, they’re saying they’ll contact the employees and students of Catholic institutions directly in order to ensure those women have access to contraception. The Catholic institutions are saying they don’t want to let insurers have that communication — they want to block it. (In fairness, as a general rule the nuns who actually do the grunt work of running hospitals, like the Sister who heads the Catholic Hospitals Association, ARE in favor of this compromise. It’s the male bishops who are not.)

    • eva

       /  March 17, 2012

      Plenty of marriages dissolve after children happen, too. Or is a “virtuous” woman supposed to foresee the future, too?

    • And, whatever you do–DO NOT LET YOURSELF GET RAPED, or MOLESTED by a family member, neighbor, pastor, priest, teacher, doctor, rabbi, etc.

      It seems to me that too many of these posts; even those that recognize the necessity of a penis to engender a pregnancy; fail to acknowledge the numerous unwantted pregnancies in which the woman did not make a choice to have sex for either recreation or procreation.

    • Pamela Clare

       /  March 17, 2012

      @Yarnball — A lot of MARRIED women use contraception because, even though they are married, they don’t want children at that time (or maybe ever). This isn’t just about single women. It’s about married women, some of whom are mothers. Married women with children make up a significant number of women who seek abortions. Being married doesn’t necessarily mean a woman wants kids or 5 kids or 10 kids. Most couples choose to limit the size of their famlies. Marriage doesn’t make the issue of unintended/unwanted pregnancy go away.

    • Sure, stay locked in a vault–do not appear in public—Oh, right that’s what a burka is for!

  63. Brittany

     /  March 16, 2012

    Thank you for sharing your story. It helped me understand my own outraged feelings.

  64. Kathleen Hartley

     /  March 16, 2012

    Well said and I applaud you! Can not tell you how happy I am so many people agree! Although we have our faults getting pregnant is not just our fault! As you said it is a Human issue not a women issue! As they say “It takes too”

    Kat

  65. Totally agree! No one ever asks men who they plan on using their viagra with. It’s okay with any insurance company and okay with religious institutions. No questions asked. A guy has to have his fun, doesn’t he?! Too bad he’s having his fun with some poor woman who can’t get birth control.

  66. Jsoleil

     /  March 16, 2012

    Thank you for this beautifully written blog post, the Conservative/Republican War on Women has awoken a sleeping giant.

    For those who feel it’s a “perk” to have birth control pills covered by insurance; I would like to remind them that there are thousands of medicines covered by insurance that are not life saving and treat medical conditions related to quality of life.

    In addition to the the contraceptive benefit, the pill carries life saving benefits – prevention of endometrial/ovarian cancer and fibroids that can burst and risk a woman’s life.

    Hormonal contraception regulates a woman’s menstrual cycle thereby eliminating long periods with painful cramps and heavy bleeding which can lead to anemia. It is medication that has preventative and palliative benefits.

    Denying insurance coverage for this medication because additionally, it prevents unwanted pregnancy is blatantly discriminatory against women.

    And I’d like them to explain to me how is insurance coverage of Viagra *not* paying men to have sex? Last time I checked, not getting an erection is not a matter of life and death. That insurance covered medication carries no other medical benefit and instead offers life threatening side effects, like heart attacks.

  67. dawn dorinda

     /  March 16, 2012

    Hey Emily et al:
    This issue has been around for a very long time, under many different guises, but the core issue is the same- A woman’s right to personal legal power (aka choice). How do we know that that is the core issue? Politicians are involved.

    Did you know that The Equal Rights Amendment, first proposed in 1923 to affirm that women and men have equal rights under the law, is still not part of the U.S. Constitution.
    The three simple words: “under the law” impact everything.
    And I am using the word “everything” in it’s most literal sense, in the same way that having a baby changes everything.
    The argument always ignites around the abortion issue, becomes too intense and is dropped for a decade or two.
    So, current events have come back around and we engaged in the same conversation. Case in point:

    FLASH! On Feb. 14, 2012, for the second year in a row, the Virginia Senate passed a resolution ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment. The Virginia House refused to release the bill from committee last year, and current Privileges and Elections Chair, Delegate Mark Cole, called it a political ploy, declared it dead, and said he will not docket it. For further information, contact Diana Egozcue, vanowpresident@hotmail.com.

    I am so happy that this new generation is willing to speak out so freely. Now is a good time for action as well. Perhaps if we can finish the ratification process started over 200 years ago in this country, we can move on to more pressing issues……like health care!

    http://www.equalrightsamendment.org/

  68. Dan Long

     /  March 16, 2012

    I truly enjoyed reading your column. I agree with much of what you say except the 60%-40% women/men decision making assertion. By this ratio, women will make the final decision 100% of the time, so we should call women what they are: The Deciderers (W allowed me to use his term) and the ratio should read 100%/0% as far as bottom line decision making. That’s the reality of it. Thanks!

  69. Barb

     /  March 16, 2012

    perfect!

  70. Thank you for putting it so perfectly.

  71. Natalie Hastings

     /  March 16, 2012

    Yes, we do. You can actually understand biology quite well AND BE FEMALE and not agree with Democrats on this issue.

  72. Kathy

     /  March 16, 2012

    fantastic! so well written and so well said!! I posted this and I am hoping all my GOP friends read this and take stock…also hope they remember that women vote!!!

  73. LanaB

     /  March 16, 2012

    I’d like to address the comments of Dean Stephens, if I may, and also Emily’s responses to them.

    First, I am totally with you, sister. Thanks for calling out the obvious double standard at play in the majority of these contraception, abortion and health care debates.

    But Im a little bit flummoxed by your responses, Emily…I heard Dean asking genuine questions, attempting to participate in the conversation in a meaningful way, and I just didn’t see the disrespect that you apparently did. And I’m as far left leaning a lesbian democrat as you’re gonna find. I don’t necessarily agree with Dean, on pretty much anything, but if disagreeing with the majority is grounds for being booted from the forum, that doesn’t seem to support the open, intelligent conversation you have stated you welcome.

    At the end of the day, your blog, your rules, of course.

    As for rage: yep, got that. Brimming with it. Thanks again for a great post, Emily.

  74. Thank you, again and again. While I believe children are valuable, so are the mothers who care for them. I had my only son at 29 weeks, it cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, and I maintain my right to be responsible and not have another with my husband right now, because the first one nearly cost my life, and certainly cost my son, and cost more money than we make in three years. Would anyone prefer that we have more and ask the government to support my children if I die, or we go bankrupt?

  75. I have shared this on my FB page! I have a little boy; I don’t want him to grow up thinking he has no responsibility for where his penis takes him and what he leaves behind. Intimacy is a shared experience and a shared responsibility. Thanks for this “incandescent” post. (P.S. I learned about How Babies Are Made from the very book you picture on this post sometime back in the Jurassic. I never had the questions or confusion many of my peers had)

  76. John

     /  March 16, 2012

    This is so awesomely eloquent. Kudos to such a well written and intelligent, logical blogpost. I am unable to express myself in such a concise, yet interesting and engrossing way.

    Bravo

  77. leggomypreggo

     /  March 16, 2012

    To men everywhere who think birth control isn’t a medical necessity: If there was a pill that could prevent 3 months of vomiting, 50 pounds of weight gain, constipation, skin pigmentation, acne, 24 hours of debilitating pain, hair loss, and years of sleepness nights – wouldn’t you take it? What I just described is pregnancy. The pill to prevent it is birth control. Although I love my young daughter, I use contraception to be able to chose when I have to go through these medical conditions again. (And I didn’t even mention the yuckiest stuff!)

  78. love it. beautifully written piece. too bad the politicians will never read it, let alone understand it. their minders and cloister security men will keep this sort of thing away from them. A cloistered politician is one who doesnt know what is happening in the world, let alone want to comment on what is happening

  79. Josh,

    With all due respect, the amount of income at a person’s disposal has very little to do, causatively, with a person’s personal choices, particularly when they are very young.

    This is not even controversial, it’s basic socioeconomics.

    The argument against the insurance company being able to choose whether they want to cover birth control is twofold. Firstly, contraceptives are often administered for clinically diagnosed disorders, and there should be no room for moral judgement about the uses of hormonal contraceptives when it comes to the availability thereof.

    But more importantly, people don’t generally get much of a choice of insurance coverage (they get whatever their employer bought). If you argue that people should just buy whatever they need apart from that coverage, I would point you to the absolutely ridiculous costs of medical attention and pharmaceuticals, costs which have evolved BECAUSE insurance providers are basically able to command any premiums they like, which means that hospitals and doctors can command any sort of pricing they like.

    The idea that people should “just” change their behavior, especially economically, is naive and facile.

    • Josh

       /  March 18, 2012

      Naomi,
      I take it you would not like to be “forced” to pay for someone else’s cell phone or satellite TV bills, right? Why should a private company be FORCED to pay for something it doesn’t want to pay.

      (The next paragraphs mention “you” and “your”, not referring to you personally, but society in general)

      No one is forcing you to work for any one company. If you don’t like the company’s insurance policy, then find another job that will accommodate you.

      If you don’t like the current situation you are in, then change it. Work harder, get a better education, and buy better insurance. Yes, it is all about your daily choices.

      My 15 year old is getting ready to turn 16. Is he automatically entitled to get a new 2012 Aston Martin? Of course not. He gets to start at the bottom with a beat up 91 Honda (or whatever he can afford), and hopefully make good choices and progress in life that will allow him to buy that Aston Martin.

      I find it sicking that in this day, people think that because their life is tough, that they are entitled to everything that is available. Yes, change your behavior, get out of that rut, do something with your life and stop whining! If you think that is “naive” then you will be in this same dismal situation for the rest of your life.

      • Bevie

         /  March 18, 2012

        Seriously? Have you TRIED to find a new job lately? Real life is WAY more complicated than you are portraying it here.

      • Michelle A.

         /  March 18, 2012

        Josh, I have been reading a number of comments to this post and something you keep bringing up is decidedly disturbing to me. You keep talking about the “rights” of these private companies – either insurance companies or employers. Last time I checked, companies DO NOT have the same rights as individuals. They never have, and they never should.

        A company has the right to make money for the people who own/run it. Other than that, the only right they have is to follow the law.

        • I think he’s honoring my request that he step back, so let’s just leave sleeping dogs lie.

          Thanks!

  80. Simply bravo.

  81. asdf

     /  March 17, 2012

    I just went to a seminar type thing on women equality and this wasn’t talked about there. I am only 14 and i believe that what is happening is wrong. I the youth (the ones that are supposed to be naive and care-free) can see that there is a problem, then it must be serious. You brought up some very good points here. Thanks you for posting this.

  82. Donna

     /  March 17, 2012

    Wow! So well said!

  83. kristina hardy

     /  March 17, 2012

    right. on. thank you.

  84. ExpatJK

     /  March 17, 2012

    Emily, I love this post. Thank you.

  85. Lynne

     /  March 17, 2012

    Everywhere else in nature, the female selects the male–or not–her choice. The males put on the flamboyant colors, displays, and bear the brunt of having to prove their worth to contribute to the gene pool. Only humans have turned that around and made it a male decision where females preen and primp to impress the males, and look where that’s brought us: to the point where males think they should actually have a say, other than demonstrating their capability. And while it’s a good point PG makes regarding a man shouldn’t have to pay for an abortion if he’s ready to be a single dad, the reason the female chooses in nature is because she bears the physically dangerous brunt of the duty – carrying and giving birth to the baby. Even if dad raises it, he doesn’t invest 9 months of his life, his body and health to deliver that baby. So, sorry, but even then, it’s the woman’s choice, not the mans.

    • Oh, still definitely her choice, just saying that I wouldn’t think a guy was failing to hold up his end of responsibility if he were willing to raise a baby on his own but the woman has decided to have an abortion instead.

  86. Mark Mazzola

     /  March 17, 2012

    I find it bizarre that we live in a culture that is so interested in controlling other peoples’ sexuality while still failing to notice that it missed half of those engaging in sexual activity. Back in the age before the world wide web when I was in college women had to be appear not to have many sexual partners (or none), while young men like myself were told that we should have many sexual partners. Of course these sexual partners had to be women to had had few or no previous sexual encounters. The math never did work.

  87. Jane

     /  March 17, 2012

    I think that birth control should be covered. It is indeed used for medical reasons by many. It can also be used to prevent pregnancy which is important if you are pro-life. I myself, would rather people prevent pregnancies than have abortions. At least you aren’t killing.

  88. Whitney Gillis Zylstra

     /  March 17, 2012

    My husband said he didn’t care because it didn’t affect him. AND, then followed that by saying it was okay for these laws on abortion to pass. I said, well it does affect you because if one of our three teenage boys gets a girl pregnant I’m going to force them to have a catheter stuck up their urethra (or penis since we’re talking penises) without pain medication after they watch the girl have an ultrasound. And then I’m going to force them to go through a vasectomy until they’ve understood the consequences and then and only then can they reverse the vasectomy. He didn’t respond. Good Lord above. This could be grounds for divorce.

  89. Dorothy

     /  March 17, 2012

    Well said, Emily. Thank you.

  90. Julie T-G

     /  March 17, 2012

    I, too, am covered with an incandescent rage. So are many of my sisteren. I think the time has come to march on Washington (again) to demand federal protection from these “Jane Crow” laws. Perhaps a constitutional amendment thats states it s unlawful to play politics with women’s health? I feel the iron is quite smoking hot right now, and we should capitalize on the collective female outcry. So many of us may never find such a co census again. Who’s with me?

  91. I wish you had a megaphone too Emily! Everyone in our country needs to read what you have written.
    I recently saw a pro-life bill board with a baby girl on the picture. It said, “my daddy say’s I am a gift”, my first thought was, ” ya, if you are lucky enough to have a daddy”. This is something the GOP and many others do not get. Babies should only come into the world because they are wanted!

  92. Right you are. When it was “proposed” that the only birth control needed was an aspirin (hold it between you knees) I suggested the only birth control needed was a safety pin (pin your fly shut, and keep it in your pants). I think the GOP has really let the fringe element (the crazies!) take over. it is the death knell for the party if they keep this up (and i am not one of them–so i don’t really care.)

  93. sherry

     /  March 17, 2012

    Shabbat shalom. Brilliantly written and well said. I agree totally.

  94. yarnball

     /  March 17, 2012

    In order that each of us can live within our belief system, it seems we need to get rid of employer funded insurance. Everyone go buy your own insurance from the company of your choice. I’ll choose one that does not pay for those things that I believe to be wrong such as abortion and morning after pills.

    • Laurie Hester

       /  March 17, 2012

      It’s not that easy. If you have a pre-existing condition, or are overweight, no insurance company will cover you. Except for now that we have the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, there is now a high-risk pool people can join. The best solution is not an insurance-based system, which only adds a layer of profit to the cost of medical care, but a single-payer system, like the one I enjoyed when living in the UK. But I agree, it shouldn’t be the employer who pays. Employers should be mandated to raise the salaries of everyone for the exact amount they are currently paying for health care, and then we pay instead a benefits tax, which I guarantee will be less than your raise, because a single payer system like Medicare eliminates the huge profit which insurance companies take. In fact, while working in the UK, the total I paid for income tax AND benefits tax was LESS than I paid in income taxes and SS in the US. The reason being that we pay so much for our military.

      • rantneedsabettertitle

         /  March 18, 2012

        Nice thoughts, but I doubt most people would use the raise to even bother buying their own insurance. We wouldn’t have an issue in the first place if people thought more about the future than immediate gratification. Thanks for your post, I found it very interesting. It also reminded me about the argument to privatize our retirement funds (social security alternative).

  95. Kliffthegirl

     /  March 17, 2012

    I love when I stumble across a blog that moves me.

  96. Dawn

     /  March 17, 2012

    I am confused by many things.

    1. How is my choice to take a contraceptive anyone’s business? Someone please explain to me why you need to know. I want to know how it is going to burden you? Change your life? The fact of the matter is, you need to worry about your life and your choices, not mine, you are not part of the life I live, therefore, to be blunt, you do not matter to me, so move along.

    2.I want to know how my paying for a medication is burdening you? If I am making the payments on my health care how are you impacted? The statement “I don’t want to pay for that” is so totally off the wall, not to mention an excuse, that it is laughable. Want to know why? If you use that statement then all I can say is I do not want to pay for the drugs that treat your cancer, or the infection you get, no drugs for you for that operation you need either. Oh, and none for your family either. You go think about that.

    As a young girl my mother talked to me about responsibilities and sex. I remember the best part of the conversation was that the best form of birth control out there was to keep your legs crossed.

    There are so many issues out there, that this should be the LAST thing any politician is routing for. I want to know what they are going to do about the following:

    Economy
    Unemployment
    Job growth
    Education
    Over sea wars or actions.

    THESE are the more important issues people. Not who I sleep with, or how I control whether or not I am trying to have a baby. By making this a point and a big one they are avoiding the big issues. Think about that. If this is all they can offer, what are they hiding?

    I do not care if you are purple with polka dots, I don’t care if you sleep with 10 different people of 10 different races and what sex they are. I do not care if you take the pill or not. I do not care if you want to have children or not. I do not care what your choices are. I am not you, so why should I?

    I do care that everyone have the same level of health care, the same opportunity for jobs and education. I do care that Americans seem to have to fight in every war, when really, they need to stay home. I do care that the children of today are lacking in basic education. I do care that there seems to be a condition for everything. My new favorite head scratch-er is a medication for shift disorder…umm? really?

    I care that the common sense jar is empty and needs an influx bad. I think everyone needs to stop thinking about their rights over the rights of others. I feel that everyone needs to start taking responsibilites for themeselves and stop blaming others.

    The pill should be covered with no caveats, by anyone.

    • Chris G

       /  March 17, 2012

      I agree. this is something that should not be made an issue.
      please tell our president to quit adjusting the mandate and bringing the subject back into conversation every two weeks.

    • Sara

       /  March 17, 2012

      Brilliant points, all. Great comment.

  97. I believe GOP has lost sight of more than pregnancy………but that is beside the point. Perhaps more GOP-related posts in the future.
    I really enjoyed the post.

    A~N

  98. Amelia Higgins

     /  March 17, 2012

    So well said! These are the thoughts that simmer through my brain as I listen, mortified, to what the GOP haters spew, but I can never get them down so succinctly. Thank goodness there’s folks like you with skill!

  99. Cyndia M

     /  March 17, 2012

    Kudos to you for your eloquent post! “Incandescent rage” sums it up for me as well. I was 14 when abortion became legal, and cannot imagine returning to a time before that. What really stuns me is the attitude of a lot of women I come into contact with. Just recently I attended an all-women gathering. Of a dozen women, only two of us were aware of the war on women. After much conversation, there still was a puzzlement of “why do we need to do anything?” “These bills won’t pass” etc… Sorry ladies, these bills ARE passing. Here in Alabama, women (and supportive men) are rallying to fight the 16 anti-women & women’s health bills currently being brought into the legislature. Our governor wants to refuse federal dollars that, if he does so, will deny health care for 30,000 poor women and children. I am beyond livid. And I do not understand why every woman in this country isn’t just as angry as I am.

  100. lindak61

     /  March 17, 2012

    Amen, sister!

    What I would like to know is, why is it that legislators seem to be allowed to practice medicine without a license? Shouldn’t all these *medical* decisions be made between a patient and a doctor?

  101. kp

     /  March 17, 2012

    BravA!

  102. Andi Andrzejewski

     /  March 17, 2012

    Honestly I think a lot of this debate has less to do with women’s rights, than the idea of bringing down the Catholic Church. Where I live in Buffalo, NY there was a Town hall meeting where it was brought out that Muslim institutions are exempt from this provision but the Catholic ones are not. Kathy Hochul our Representative,refused even to discuss the why of that.
    I am not even Catholic but it disturbs me to see one group’s beliefs being honored and another told “tough” we don’t like you, we are going to force this on you no matter what.
    And you know what? Catholic Institutions here ( and I suspect all over the country) are advertised as such to a fare thee well…you know going in that you are applying, for, attending, working at, whatever at a Catholic Institution….you don’t like their rules, don’t be there – but forcing them to pay for something they believe is a sin is against their rights under the Constitution- “Congress shall make no law abridging the free exercise of religion” and all that.
    And if it’s ok for the government to force this on the Catholics…who’s going to be next. Can we then dictate that Muslims can’t pray 5 times a day or what ever? Again if you don’t like Catholic rules, don’t work for them, attend their schools, ect and you won’t ever have to worry about it.

  103. Dean Stephens

     /  March 17, 2012

    Emily – My girlfriend sent me your post. She and I engage in political back-and-forth all the time, and, because we have different perspectives on a lot of issues, our discussions are always lively. I love her and respect her deeply, and she does me. As a result, we have great debates and we learn from each other. She hasn’t managed to change my mind yet, and I haven’t managed to change hers, but the point is that neither of us are dogmatic nincompoops.

    That’s the perspective I brought to my two posts. I attempted to engage you on the issues. Given that the other posters are largely continuing the dialectic, I thought it would be a good place to insert a dissenting perspective. I was respectful, even self-effacing; there’s not a single turn of phrase, much less an insult. I might have added a dash of hypophera, but that hardly amounts to effrontery. Even if I was tempted to insult you (I’m not) I certainly wouldn’t waste my time composing posts for that reason.

    Rather than take me at face value and engage, you attacked my integrity in a public forum and then threatened to “ban” me. Of course this is your blog and free speech rules don’t apply, but it’s distressing to see you respond to a point of view you dislike by threatening to silence the speaker.

    When I pointed out that a search of your blog contradicted your assertion that you have written repeatedly about Polanski, you accused me of telling you what’s in your heart and mind. How is it insulting to research the contents of your blog and read what you’ve written? A debater demonstrates respect by familiarizing himself or herself with the other side’s material. If I just wanted to lob invective, I certainly wouldn’t have first spent time to see what else you’ve written. That your assertion lacks substantiation isn’t insulting, nor is it the result of a personal attack – it’s a fact, based on research. If I’m wrong, if you’ve written other posts about Polanski, I will gladly concede the point and apologize. Until then, whether you agree with my conclusion or not, whether you like my conclusion or not, it remains defensible. Ironically, in looking for some ulterior motive in my comments, you’ve engaged in the very sort of specious speculation in which you’ve accused me of dabbling.

    If you don’t want to debate with me, that’s your prerogative. You don’t have to bother responding to my posts. But don’t respond simply to impugn my motives and make accusations that have no basis in what I actually said.

    I would appreciate if you would post this response.

    • Dean –

      Are you familiar with the concept of derailing an argument?

      What you are doing right now – attempting to turn an argument about birth control and abortion into an argument about Roman Polanski, and insinuating that she is not qualified to express rage about this topic until she satisfies your criteria on every other topic – is derailing.

      That is what is insulting.

  104. Jermy

     /  March 17, 2012

    I think a point that seems much overlooked in this whole thread is that its not so much the GOP to find an issue with but rather the evangelical faction therein that seems to have commandeered the party. In sum, the religious right’s attitude is eerily similar to that of repessive theological societies and entitites like the Taliban where women are treated as second class citizens and shamed for their sexuality. Anyone who has read “Infidel” by Ayaan Hirsi Ali will know what I am talking about. The behavior of so many conservatives is very much like that of the Taliban in spirit, if not in function. If you look behind the attitudes of people like Rick Santorum or Rush Limbaugh, their justification is almost always rooted in religion and thats the real problem. They have lost all touch with the notion that religious freedom does not mean the freedom to impose one’s religion on others. If you are Catholic, then dont have an abortion or use contraception.

    • Josh

       /  March 17, 2012

      How is having a rooted belief in something a “real problem”? You make it sound like if you care deeply about something, you should be obligated to change your opinions that match everyone else.

      • Carol Westphal

         /  March 17, 2012

        Having a rooted belief is not the problem. The problem comes when people with a certain belief system try to force everyone to believe as they do, or change federal laws to favor or completely parallel those beliefs. That’s a theocracy. I don’t want to live in a theocracy. That’s one of the principles on which America was founded, that there was to be no state or government religion and all people were free to believe and worship as they chose. Keep religion out of politics, and many of these issues would be non-existent.

        • Josh

           /  March 18, 2012

          And what belief system are they trying to force on you? If you FREELY CHOOSE partake in a religious institutions insurance plan, then you are obligated to play by their rules.

          If you don’t like their insurance plan they are offering… THEN GO SOMEWHERE ELSE! No one is forcing you to pay their insurance premiums!

  105. Jo

     /  March 17, 2012

    Great blog, brings up the topic that I think so many are missing. I look forward to reading your previous posts.

    One argument I don’t understand is that of someone not wanting to pay for others’ birth control – per a commenter above “However, I do NOT want to pay for your choices that are different than mine. If I believe sex outside of marriage, or using birth control or abortion are sinful, why should I have to accommodate your “choices”?” How will this work if some of us think smoking, over-eating, not exercising, rock climbing,… just to name a few….. are all poor choices, maybe even unethical. Can we demand that insurance not cover the consequences of those “choices”?

  106. nicole lumpkin

     /  March 17, 2012

    Kudos to u for saying what many other women think! Instead of just blaming women for getting pregnant, how about some shame for those men who dont stick around to support the offspring they create. Responsibility extends past just the brief time of sex. Men feel the freedom to walk away while women r left to take care of the aftermath….whether its abortion,adoption, or taking care of a baby. Part of birth control needs to not only be an action, but also the responsibilty for parties involved.

  107. christine

     /  March 17, 2012

    Fantastic post. Elegantly written and spot on. You deserve to be Freshly Pressed if I do say so myself. :)

  108. I struggle, at times like this, to keep my “tin foil hat” tendencies at bay. But it’s hard to not wonder why, suddenly, with all else going on in our country, birth control (and shaming women who have sex) have become THE ISSUE of the day. Are they trying to wave their hands over here, to keep us from focusing on something over there?

    Leaving my tin foil hat at home, I am angry too. I am angry at the people who are trying to change this country, one step at a time, into a land where religion marginalizes women and demands they be stoned, burned, mutilated and worse. To me, that sounds a lot like the “heathens” the religious right here in America point to in the Middle East and decry.

    If we codify *one* religion’s beliefs into our country’s founding documents and legal precedents, we open the door for *any other religion* to come to power and do the same thing. Today, it’s the Christians in power, demanding we put their God “back” into the country’s public spaces and laws. There’s no guarantee those Christians will *stay* in power. And thanks to the precedents today’s Christian (maybe I should generalize and say “religious right”?) have set, we may find stores required to close at sundown on Friday and stay closed through to sundown on Saturday (to quote the author’s own belief set — and with no disrespect intended!). We may find ourselves required to face Mecca for prayer five times a day (Muslim). Or we may face laws which invade our privacy, our body and our own belief systems — much like the current wave of religiously motivated legislation is doing to me.

    I wonder if the people pushing these and other religiously-motivated agendas realize they’ve made one thing clear to me: if this is the way your God wants you to behave, the way your God believes, I want *nothing* to do with Him. He is anathema to my beliefs of love, acceptance, compassion, and charity.

    Thank you for your post. I will share it on my FB wall, so others can see it.

    Anne.

  109. IratePhotog

     /  March 17, 2012

    Let me start by stating I am not a fan of abortion — but I am even LESS of a fan of the anti-abortionists because all too many of these (predominately) religious conservative Republican legislators are also against:
    • Comprehensive sex education is schools
    • Mandating covered access to Birth Control through public health and/or private insurance
    • All while the males still get insurance-covered Viagra and other erectile dysfunction drugs

    All of these factors add up to the fact that there are many unwanted and unintended pregnancies, which the religious conservatives help create and then leave the woman to deal with the baby, while the male (often) walks away.

    I also oppose the hypocrisy of the ‘small government’ religious conservative Republicans intruding Government into the most private moments in a woman’s or couple’s lives and into the doctor/patient relationship. What business is it of theirs what a woman or couple decide they need to do to ensure proper care of a child (or children) so that child can be born into a family situation filled with love and opportunity?

    Then I add in the refusal by those same religious conservatives to mandate prenatal care; post-natal care; and total disregard for the economic situation into which the baby will be born and their refusal to fund education and poverty-prevention-and-reduction issues, and what I see is that this seems to be a planned attack on women aimed at removing them from positions and situations where they can gain positions of power and prestige by re-establishing control over their bodies, and by keeping women poorer by making them raise a (possibly unwanted) unplanned-for child.

    The overriding themes in this debate are religious conservatism and the desire to control women — which ought to come as no surprise, as any student of history knows that religious conflict is the direct cause, or a significant contributor, to a majority of the world’s wars (and subsequent deaths). The part of this that bugs me is that the courts have ruled that medical providers do not have to offer legally prescribed medications or medical procedures because “it infringes on the religion of the provider.”

    I argue the opposite: Every time the courts have made rulings such as this, they are ESTABLISHING — if only in that localized place and time — one person’s religion is superior to another’s in a situation where the laws are written so folks MUST go to people who deny them service based on religion.

    I am sorry pharmacists and doctors, no one made you take those jobs — in fact, you had to fight hard to get into those medical and pharmacy schools in order to get your degree. You KNEW you would be required to provide services you may object to to folks you may object to when you started these schools. Why the ‘conscious’ attacks now? These attacks are designed to force YOUR religious beliefs upon a defenseless individual. Why defenseless? Because state and federal laws require us all to get medical services and prescriptions from licensed providers.

    Here’s a tip to the religiously squeamish in medical fields: If you have a problem providing services to everyone, get out of the business. You are highly educated and can readily find new employment in a variety of fields and research institutions and companies. Stop mandating your religious beliefs upon a public that requires your services. Church-run hospitals and hospital groups should sell their operations to secular companies and remove religion from any treatment issues.

    I’ve ranted and rambled enough. I just hope enough women get PISSED off at Republican lawmakers this year that they are all voted out of office.

  110. Tommie Warren Usry

     /  March 17, 2012

    I found this site most interesting and would like to continue reading your thoughts. This is a well thought out commentary. Keep them coming.

  111. Chris G

     /  March 17, 2012

    As both a male and a republican, I agree with everything you said except for the conclusion.
    My question, again coming from being a male: why is it so taboo to hold men such as myself more accountable for any children we bring into the world?
    I do not understand why it is so unreasonable to “shame men,” as you said when we screw up.
    I am all for increasing the accountability of fathers in our country.

    • Laurie Hester

       /  March 17, 2012

      Men are responsible for any potential baby which they help create IF that potential baby is turned into a viable baby by the woman. Their choice is made when they have sex; the decision to turn that potential baby into a viable one is the woman’s alone because it happens inside her body.

      We do need to make fathers responsible for their offspring; a national registry would do that. And those who want to avoid the responsibility of a child, don’t have sex unless you know the woman will abort. Once that woman decides to take that potential life to a viable one, you ARE equally responsible.

    • I agree with the general sentiment of your post.

      However, I do not think that “shaming” anyone has ever produced a truly positive result. Shame is not positive – shame is something inflicted upon you by a morally judgmental society, not a true reflection of the heart.

      I have no children, and I am not sexually active. But if I were to have a child with a penis-bearing partner, I would want him to be involved because he is just as excited about the child’s future as I am. Not because he was “shamed” into participation.

  112. Shabbat Shalom!!! Great article.

  113. They figured this generation would be complacent? Hell no! THANK YOU.

  114. yarnball

     /  March 17, 2012

    If you need birth control or an abortion, then don’t work for a Catholic institution.

    • Laurie Hester

       /  March 17, 2012

      If you are a religious institution, and you don’t want to pay for birth control or abortion, then don’t become an employer, which requires certain responsibilities, such as providing health care without forcing your religious beliefs on your employees. Freedom of religion applies to the individual NOT employers.

      • Josh

         /  March 18, 2012

        Laurie, my dear. You are wanting to live in a socialist/communist country, Please do some research on the constitution of the US before you post anymore.

        • Ok, that’s it. You may not continue to try to thread jack in an increasinly rude and disdainful effort to belittle people into agreeing with you. One more and you”ll be banned. You’ve made your point – over and over again. Now it’s time to step away.

        • Laurie Hester

           /  March 18, 2012

          Save your condescension and read the constitution yourself. Nowhere does it say an employer has a right to freedom of religion. That right belongs to the individual, and no employer can force their religious ideology on an individual by withholding health care which the people deserve and voted to give ourselves. You may want to live in a theocracy, but the constitution prevents that.

        • Jo

           /  March 18, 2012

          If these Catholic institutions do not want to pay for some health care due to their beliefs, they should go the way of the Amish and stop taking federal tax dollars.

  115. Libby

     /  March 17, 2012

    One need only look at what is happening in Texas to understand that BOTH political parties leverage issues involving women to further their own agendas. To lay the blame at the feet of one over the other simply continues the propaganda and does NOTHING to remedy the problems.

    • I had the pleasure of attending a breakfast in one of the reddest of red Texas counties (Fort Bend, southwest of bluish/red Houston) and hearing US Rep Al Greene (who was arrested with George Clooney just the day before and I got to shake his hand) and State Rep Senfronia Thompson speak. Ms. Thompson spoke of the bills that were filed to protect women in the 2011 session. This included a bill to require insurance companies to cover pap smears that would have an earlier detection component, which of course was tabled as the sonogram bill was considered way more important. Every bill brought forth by the democrats on women’s issues were tabled and died at the end of the session. Of course, nobody heard about those bills, because right now, the GOP are the only ones talking. Who knew about these other bills? Only the handful of democrats left in the legislature. But yes, there are democrats there, and they care about women, they’re just being shouted down.

      The true value of this discussion, which actually includes something we’re not getting very often, open discourse on an important issue,

  116. As a Conservative, I take issue with your post. It is very condescending to assert that members of the GOP don’t understand where babies come from. The crux of your argument seems to be that men are involved in creating the pregnancy, yet most of the comments talk about how it is ultimately up to the woman (even if you say that the men get a 40% say…they are always overruled).
    I don’t think that Conservatives (in general, minus a few outspoken idiots) are saying that insurance should not ever cover birth control. The issue is whether they have the CHOICE to cover birth control, and in particular, whether private, religious-based institutions should be forced to pay for something that goes against their moral beliefs. If having birth control covered is an important benefit for you, then choose to work where that benefit is included, or opt to pay for it yourself. If someone is so against the teachings of the Catholic church, then do not work for a Catholic organization. I really cannot wrap my head around why anyone would want to force a church-based organization to pay for something that it does not believe in. In my experience, those most vocal on the issue are the same people who speak out vehemently against any attempt at someone forcing their morality on them. Why should an opposing moral view be forced on these Christian organizations?

    • Josh

       /  March 17, 2012

      Well said.

    • Laurie Hester

       /  March 17, 2012

      You have is exactly backwards. Freedom of religion applies to the individual, NOT employers. If you are a religious organization, and you decide to employ people who do NOT share your faith, you CANNOT force your religious beliefs on those individuals in your employ by withholding health care. Let me ask you this. If you worked for The Christian Science Monitor as a journalist, would you also support them withholding coverage for surgery from their health plan, since it is against their moral principles? Do you also support religious organizations withholding coverage of Viagra? Surely that goes against their principles too… or maybe we should require that men prove they are taking Viagra in order to reproduce, before they get a prescription…

    • Whitney Gillis Zylstra

       /  March 17, 2012

      Conservative Maryland, Catholic hospitals are a business that is not acting in furtherance of religion. The churches aren’t funding the hospitals, they are reimbursed by the Federal government for Medicaid, Medicare and the insurance companies are paying for the procedures. They operate like all other hospitals and either make a profit or if not for profit put money back into the hospital by paying more to employees, buying equipment etc… The employees are contributing to their own healthcare in both situations so why should they be denied certain coverage? If they want to be fully funded by the church, hire only Catholics and be a private institution then they can do whatever they want, and at that point if they did hire people of all faiths, then because they are private, funded by the Catholic church they can deny whatever coverage they want.

    • This was absolutely wonderful and I’ll be sending it to everyone I can possibly think of (and I’ll be at the TX state capitol on 4/28!).

      Well, well said!

  117. Well said! for anyone who would like to fight this War on Women, please go to UniteWomen.org There is a march planned in every state capitol for April 28th.
    I have been saying for years, women are pushed down the ladder because of sex and men up, time to climb the ladder to freedom!

  118. Emily

     /  March 17, 2012

    Thank you for writing this, thank for voicing what myself and so many others think. It’s nice to know that people outside my own social circle feel the same.

  119. Hey.
    I read this and I liked it, even though I had to google ‘GOP’. I am still not sure I understand it – the acronym yes but not entirely what the issues are.
    Not sure if it is common knowledge but I’m almost certain that babies are made the same way here in France too. Certainly this works in some parts of Europe as I am pretty sure that that was how I managed to have my daughter and I was definitely on European soil.

    Well said and I look forward to reading more.
    Kerry

  120. Also let’s not forget that NO method of birth control is 100% effective, except abstinence. Which is not for everyone. I’m a 38-year old woman in a committed relationship and we indeed have sex. I have an IUD and he had a vasectomy years ago. We are being responsible but if one or the other of our methods of birth control don’t work, you can bet your sweet bippy that I’m terminating the pregnancy. And that’s no one business but ours if I do.

  121. Pamela Clare

     /  March 17, 2012

    Very well said.

    I also find it very strange that the people who want to crawl into my vagina with their laws say they’re for small government. What they’re actually supporting is BIG government, invasive government, and a government that reduces women to reproductive tools.

    I’ve had two pregnancies and two babies. I wish men worldwide could experience a good 12-hour unmedicated labor, because I think the push for these laws would cease almost overnight. As long as the use of my body is required, I have the ultimate say over whether or not I agree to whatever it is — sex, an ultrasound, a pregnancy, an abortion. Men have authority over their bodies, as well — whether to have sex, whether to ejaculate inside a woman or to wear a condom. And there their choices end.

    This rush to legislate pills and medical procedures is nothing less than an attempt to control female sexuality. It’s nauseating. It tells me that there are those — both men and women — who do not yet see women as equals.

    My womb is not my destiny. It’s not my primary reason for existing. I have a life and goals and dreams beyond reproduction. And if I enjoy sex, that’s my business, not some goonhead lawmaker’s.

    This must end. We must make it end.

    • Valery Lytle

       /  March 17, 2012

      Well said! Very well said….sadly, we women have to fight for equality AGAIN…..déjà vu ’70’s….

  122. Joe King

     /  March 17, 2012

    “My heart says no but my penis says yes”.

    Sincerely,

    GOP.

  123. Jim Hawkins

     /  March 17, 2012

    The only problem with this article is was the left that started calling these “women’s issues”. I fully agree that it takes two to tango. If someone is not willing to live with the consequences of their actions, the should choose not to participate in the activities.

  124. Chris Synfield

     /  March 17, 2012

    …and yet Viagra is a covered benefit in most health plans and contraception is not?
    This is what happens when Men write the rules. No huge surprise there.

  125. Beth Harrelson

     /  March 17, 2012

    I am a conservative, however, that doesn’t mean I’m against abortion entirely. I feel the abortion laws need to be more specific and that every pregnancy is not ended simply because both parties fail to use contraception. As a Catholic I believe in contraception, but abortion is NOT a form of it. I feel abortion is necessary to keep people safe. I don’t feel religion based health care facilities should be forced to do abortions. I also don’t believe that the tax payers should have to pay for people who have regular abortions. There is a local young lady that has 8! I’m sure there are some that have had more. Safe abortions are certainly necessary and I’m all for those that are needed for so many women. Contraceptives and condoms are less than a meal at McDonald’s. If someone truly doesn’t splurge on fast food, high priced coffee and still can’t afford to buy protection then I’m totally in support of helping them.
    There are far more serious medical issues that it is impossible to get support for than providing for those who cannot take the time, give up a couple of beers or a few Grande Mocha Latte’s.
    As far as the horrific language being used…name calling never solved or achieved anything.

  126. Laurie Hester

     /  March 17, 2012

    Men say women should make their choice *before* they have sex. I say men should make the choice about whether they want to risk possible offspring or a possible abortion *before* they have sex. If you don’t approve of abortion, then keep your pants zipped.

  127. Laurie Hester

     /  March 17, 2012

    The same so-called religious men who are anti-choice AND anti-birth control are not telling the truth when they say abortion is against God’s will or that life begins at conception. The only passage in the entire Bible which talks about the unborn is a passage which states that if a woman is struck and her unborn baby is killed, the guilty one has to pay her husband 50 shekels of silver. 50 pieces of silver; that is what worth God puts on the value of a fetus. Jesus never brought up the subject evidently. Early Christians didn’t even baptize babies until they were 1 year old. The whole “life begins at conception” thing was made up by men to control women.

  128. Candace

     /  March 17, 2012

    I read this post and these comments with great interest. I am in my 60’s and have been following these arguments since the 1960’s. I used to be adamantly pro-choice. After I thought long and hard about it, and did some studying, I came to the realization that the fetus is a baby, a being with a soul. Because of this, I believe abortion is murder. I realize that many don’t agree with me, and that’s ok–it’s their privilege to disagree. But it is not ok to murder. I do agree that it takes two to produce a child, and men should have as much responsibility as women. If they make a child, they support a child. Period. I have listened to political rhetoric on both sides, and don’t see where the GOP is anti-women. The media seems to encourage that idea, but if you really look at what people actually say, it isn’t true. The spin on the Catholic thing doesn’t work for me, either. I guess there is only separation of church and state when it is convenient for the government. they had no business stepping in and dictating to the Catholic church about their insurance. I may not agree with the Catholic policy, but it is their right to decide about their faith. The government may NOT step in, according to law. If a person works for a Catholic organization and does not like the insurance provisions, they are certainly welcome to obtain other employment, or their own insurace. I’m sure that I will get hate messages about this, but I am 63 years old, and have thought about this for many years. A pre-born baby is a life. Men are just as responsible as women for raising and supporting a child. So, blast away.

    • Laurie Hester

       /  March 17, 2012

      Candace, it is your right to come to the conclusion that killing a fetus is murder, and for you NOT to have an abortion. It is NOT your right to dictate YOUR moral beliefs to others. I am anti-abortion, but pro-choice. I would not choose to have an abortion, but I will defend the right for others to make that decision for themselves, according to their OWN religious and moral beliefs.

      You also forget that the Constitution, while protecting freedom of religion, also protects our freedom FROM state religion. In other words, Catholic hospitals and other religious people do NOT get to pass laws dictating their religious beliefs or force their religious beliefs on their employees.

      Are you aware that there is NO mention or prohibition of abortion in the Bible? Early Christians didn’t even baptize their babies until they were 1 year old. This idea that life begins at conception was made up by men. Still, I respect your right to believe it does, just as I expect you to respect other women’s right to believe life begins at viability. Look the word up.

  129. Laurie Hester

     /  March 17, 2012

    To put this in terms which men can understand, it is useful for me to use the following example, and I think that every woman in Congress should add this as a rider to every anti-choice bill.

    To save valuable lives, any person in prison will be tested as a kidney donor and if a match is found for a child who needs a kidney, will have his/her kidney taken.

    Think about it. It’s not a perfect analogy, but you only need one kidney, and the health risks of removing one are no more than those of pregnancy, but like having a child, will affect you in some way the rest of your life (you will have to be responsible and live life cleanly in both cases). Like pregnancy, where you chose to have sex and have to accept the consequences (according to men), if you do the crime, you have to accept the consequence that ending up in prison might result in a kidney being removed. Like forcing women to go through pregnancy to save a precious life, that 4 year old who needs a kidney will have their precious life saved. It’s a win-win. Too bad most prisoners are men…

    There is no argument men can make against this practice which cannot be used for the abortion debate. Our bodies are our own, and that is a right which is god-given and doesn’t need to be enumerated in the Constitution, as per the ninth amendment.

    If you agree, pass this on to every pro-choice female in Congress.

  130. Rachel

     /  March 17, 2012

    Thank you for saying it all so well. I have been feeling very deflated as a woman by the stance that has been taken. All we have done, and yet it still boils down to we are whores and bitches. So sad and hard to take. I will be sharing your observation, because you have said it all so much better than I could.

    • And deflated is exactly what they want us to be. Deflated people feel powerless. Powerless people get discouraged. Discouraged people DON’T VOTE. Not voting is exactly what they want women to do. Because, when women vote, democrats are elected.

  131. Lizzy

     /  March 17, 2012

    Thank you so much for this thought provoking article and the ensuing comments. I really appreciate your thoughts. I agree with your opinions and I’m very scared about the recent attacks on women’s reproductive freedoms. Thank you for saying: “If the Republican Party is so anxious to control women’s sexuality (and it clearly is), it had better start shaming men, too.” If a woman does not want to be in a monogamous relationship, does not want to get married, does not want to have children, and wants to have sex with many different partners that is her choice. It amazes me how much people (women and men) cannot handle that and want to use derogatory words to describe this. It makes me wonder why it upsets them so much and why they are threatened by that. Thanks again.

  132. Jen

     /  March 17, 2012

    Bravo! This is an excellent discussion of why reproductive issues are JOINT issues. :D However, I also wonder how you tie this specifically to the GOP. I would assume it’s because of the latest issues about how companies can exclude birth control. Do you think institutions that are based in religion should be allowed to exclude this because of their beliefs? Where is the line?

    • Jo

       /  March 18, 2012

      I think the line is if they accept federal funding or not.

  133. Thank you for saying this. Women get shamed for making babies, and I’ve never figured out why they’re supposed to cross their legs but men have no responsibility for keeping it in their pants.

  134. Debby

     /  March 17, 2012

    Yasher Koach!!! More power to you. Thank you for summing up my feelings exactly!

  135. Thank you! Now, how to we take this message to the country (and the world) ?

  136. Lyssabits

     /  March 17, 2012

    I think this would be a great time in our nation’s politics to bring up the fact that it’s pretty weird that our employers are responsible for choosing what our health insurance options are at all. The whole question of whether religious employers should have to provide coverage for things they’re morally opposed to would be moot if we reconsidered how our health insurance gets delivered.

  137. “It happened to be the penis I eventually married…” — at first that stopped me from reading further.. but I’m glad I persisted. Love your “Note on Commenting” as well! Would you consider adding one more tag — “human rights” ? :)

  138. And there should be a huge turnout of men at those rallies!

  139. i am SO glad i clicked on “popular posts” from my dashboard. i will be a regular reader from now on!

  140. Battynurse

     /  March 18, 2012

    Very well said and oh so true.

  141. Dawn

     /  March 18, 2012

    I thought about this some more yesterday while pulling weeds. Weeding is a good source for reference. I don’t want the weeds in my garden, anymore than I want the church or the government in my life. They (govt. weeds and religious sects) stifle what tries to grow around them. They impose their roots into you until you either choke and comply or just wither away.

    I feel now that the biggest issue the churches or religious sect have with this issue is the fact that they lose control. I wonder how many Catholics secretly take birth control with out shame? To a cynic like myself, all I see in the churches eyes are cartoon dollar signs. More parishioners, means more money! Keep it rolling in by producing more followers.

    They expect those that follow to have faith. Yet show none in the same followers. If the people that worship believe it is wrong to take it, they won’t….right? Apparently not.

    It is real simple. If you are a religious business and receive a free tax status, or anything from medicare, medicaid, or social security you have to accept federal and state mandates.

    I do not attend church. I feel that where I worship or how should not be contained to a building. I can just as easily confer with my religious provider in a fog filled field, the bathroom or even the produce section of the grocery. If you only pray in a building, you have no idea what you are missing. Try it, you just might like it.

    I have spunk. I live my life. I make mistakes. I have sex. I LIKE sex. This is wrong how? I refuse to live in shame for anything I do that makes me human.

    We have a saying. In GOD we trust. Well folks, I trust God, but I do not trust the church and I do not trust the government in all aspects of my life. Because try as we like, no matter where you go, who you worship or who you vote into office. You take on that persons personal beliefs. Try as they might, they cannot and will not stop trying to convert you to their way of thinking, which on some level is good. But when it comes to singling out a certain little pill, for a certain sex of the masses, they go to far.

    • You mention something here that I keep coming back to in all these arguments, to wit: There is nothing wrong with sex.

      I can certainly see that some people feel that sex should occur only in certain relationships and confines, and if that’s what they feel, I support them in their decision making.

      But the biggest problem, frankly, the source of all of this angst, is our deep discomfort with sex. The more we learn to not be guided by the notion that sex is wrong and/or dirty and that wanting sex is wrong and/or dirty, the closer we will come to not making each other miserable about it.

      • Tori Story

         /  March 19, 2012

        Yes! Yes, yes, yes! I feel there’s a big rhetoric surrounding abortion – and recently also surfacing a lot around birth control – about the riskiness of sex and talking responsibility for those risks as though sexual desire and activity isn’t a natural, regular or healthy part of life.

        I’ve read elsewhere and in some of the comments on this blog post a rhetoric, too, of sex as luxury item: that if you can’t afford birth control independently (and let’s remember on this point, that different methods cost different amounts in different places and work to different effectiveness for different bodies and relationships – I try not to universalize my own costs or experiences of BC, and would ask that others do the same), or even if you can’t afford to raise a child should birth control fail, then you shouldn’t have sex at all. To me, that simply doesn’t seem like a realistic attitude towards sexuality, and it sounds awfully classist.

  142. thesoulcaretaker

     /  March 18, 2012

    I love this comment. Had practically the same conversation with my dad,who’s 90. That’s his excuse, what’s theirs?

  143. This post is now circulating via my female Facebook friends, and I’m so glad I bumped into it. In the Big Bang theory of the universe, the push-pull forces mean that the more power women gain in the world, the harder some men will try to pull back power for themselves.

    All we need to do is keep pushing back. The water will stop sloshing around eventually.

  144. Pamela Daniels

     /  March 18, 2012

    Amen!

  145. Mercy Smircich

     /  March 18, 2012

    ‎”Because as we trundle along, shaming women for having any kind of sex, ever, that is not entirely focused on producing babies — ”
    If the GOP is focusing on woman on in the matter of birth control and abortion, it’s because the Democrats have consistently made these issues about ‘woman’s rights.’

    ‎”If women are having too much sex, so are men.”
    Which Republican ever said that women have too much sex? I believe the issue is casual and permiscuous sex, which does take a toll on society.

    ‎”Birth control, abortions, prenatal care, postpartum care, child care — whatever we may think, whatever we may have been told — are not women’s issues. THEY ARE HUMAN ISSUES.”
    This statement, I very much agree with. But I wonder if this author would be consistent and I wonder what she would say if the father of an unborn child tried to have some say in whether or not it was aborted?

    After saying that abortion and birth control are NOT women’s issues…the VERY NEXT PARAGRAPH SAYS:

    “And there’s nothing to be done but to continue to feel it, because I refuse to stop fighting for my right, my daughter’s right, my mother’s right, my sister’s right — the inalienable right of all women everywhere — to human dignity.”

    Uh, so NOW it’s about you and your daughter? I’m confused

    ‎”If the Republican Party is so anxious to control women’s sexuality (and it clearly is), it had better start shaming men, too.” Well…the the Democrats sure wouldn’t let Republican’s shame President Clinton now would they?

    My few cents.

    • I suggest you read the comments I’ve left above – I address some of the things you raise.

    • Laurie Hester

       /  March 18, 2012

      “But I wonder if this author would be consistent and I wonder what she would say if the father of an unborn child tried to have some say in whether or not it was aborted?”

      Sorry to be repetitive, but I’m guessing Margaret didn’t read all the comments. The father of a *potential* life makes his choice when he chooses to have sex or not. After that, he can neither force a woman to bring that potential life to viability against her will, nor can he force her to have an abortion against her morals. He can certainly offer support and his opinion to the woman who is pregnant, but no, he doesn’t get to make the decision about her body. A potential life does not have rights which supersede a woman’s right to control her body; it gains individual rights when it is able to live independently (viable). Nor does the father have rights over her body. If he doesn’t want to risk having his fetus aborted, then he shouldn’t have sex.

  146. Margaret Michael

     /  March 18, 2012

    I don’t disagree with the fact that this is a “human issue” and not just a “women’s issue” at all — I wholeheartedly agree. And I am a conservative (they call me a compassionate conservative). What I don’t understand is why it is ok for the government to spend my tax money to support people (men AND women’s) reproductive choices and activities, and, in some cases (not all), lack of responsibility.

    • Laurie Hester

       /  March 18, 2012

      Margeret, why is it okay for the government to spend my tax dollars on an elective, immoral and illegal war (Iraq)? Why is it okay for health insurance to cover illnesses for people who smoke and eat their way into obesity? Sometimes our tax dollars go towards things we personally find immoral. Elections have consequences. Americans voted to make sure that ALL Americans have health care, and yes, that includes smokers and people who have sex. What gives you the right to determine who can have sex and who can’t? Or who gets health care and who doesn’t? Conservatives spent trillions of our tax dollars on an immoral war and tax cuts for the rich, and the deragulation of the banks which caused this whole economic mess, and now you’re complaining about paying for birth control for people who are unemployed because of what dubya did? Do you prefer to have them bringing more unwanted kids living in poverty and welfare and becoming criminals?

      By the way, The Affordable Health Care Act is going to SAVE tax dollars. Tax dollars will be used ONLY to help those who cannot afford health insurance; the existing system of insurance (paid for by employers and employees) is kept intact. By requiring insurance companies to stop kicking people off their coverage and require them to cover pre-existing coverage, and, most importantly, to spend 80% of premium dollars on health care, and mandatory coverage (including healthy people in the pool), the upward spiral in health care costs will stop, putting more money in YOUR pocket. A better option would be a single payer system, which would immediately take that 20%+ profit the insurance companies are taking off the cost. The 2 main reasons why health care keeps going up is that poor people use the emergency room as their primary care, which is far more expensive than preventive care and non-emergency care, and the insane 10 million dollar bonuses the insurance companies are paying their executives. Obama Care eliminates both these causes.

      • Margaret Michael

         /  March 18, 2012

        Whoa! You make a lot of assumptions about a person based one ONE of their beliefs. I think we all do way too much of that with both liberals and conservatives. Are you absolutely sure that all of your beliefs are consistent with your other beliefs? Most of ours (people) are not. I teach critical reading/thinking and one things that usually stands out for students is that when you box people in, you are making an error in judgement and thinking. We are too complex for that, and there most often isn’t one perfect answer that meets all needs.

        Be careful about speaking for all women also. Most of the women I know do not see themselves as “victims” of a male society and of the GOP. I won’t say more, because I don’t want to do the same thing you are doing.

        Have you ever studied the consitution? Aside from the women parts? If you have, great, your opinions would carry more weight with me.

        Last time I respond to a group like this! If you want fair and open discussion, you need to be fair and open. BTW I do think LImbaugh was WAY off base. But I also think the woman, who CAN afford her health care more than most, should pay for her own contraception. I don’t care who has sex and who doesn’t, as you noted. But I do care that they (and yes, other choices such as smoking/obesity, have some personal consquences. They aren’t “victims,” that we should pay for thier choices. Have some personal repsonsibility, please!

        And, BTW, AMERICANS didn’t vote for Obamacare, politicians did.

        It also is poor debate to confuse it with other issues — you can’t get to the bottom of anything that way. Argue the war somewhere else. This was about women/men/penises.

        • Candace

           /  March 18, 2012

          Margaret, well said! You said the things that I was thinking.

        • Tori Story

           /  March 19, 2012

          With respect, I’m not clear on where Laurie claimed to speak for “all women” as you warned her against, but I think you are coming close to that with the statement “most of the women I know.”

          I certainly am not comfortable with anyone speaking for “all” women, especially because “woman” can be exclusionary and essentialist term that can marginalize trans individuals.

    • Star wheel

       /  March 19, 2012

      It’s okay for the government to spend your tax dollars on issues you don’t agree with for the same reason it is okay for the government to fix highways you don’t drive on. Because it’s not about YOU.

      If you don’t believe in contraception, then don’t use it.

      But if you think women should carry a greater burden of their health care costs, just say so. Don’t cloak it in the fraud of your “beliefs”. Because using contraception for whatever reason IS taking personal responsibility.

      Your not wanting to “have to pay for it” is just selfishness and self-centerdness. And that’s your problem.

      • … and, in response to Margaret Michael, no one is asking YOU to pay for it — it’s part of someone’s PAY that is delivered in the form if insurance — they pay for it themselves out of their income.

        Alternatively, do you want the government via politicians to tell you what you can spend YOUR income on if they believe differently than you about, say, Fords versus Chevy’s, or ANY use of your own taxable income as you see fit?

        Birth Control is never paid for by taxes, but is always paid for by someone’s income who then buys insurance and wants that insurance to cover medical pharmaceutical prescriptions, insurance with equal protection and due process for all just as every other publicly offered service must be.

        No discrimination allowed — this isn’t the Jim Crow South anymore.

        No more second class citizens, ever, please.

        • Judy Rosenthal

           /  March 19, 2012

          Why is it okay for insurance to cover Viagra but not birth control for women? Sure, let’s get the guys all stirred up but prevent the women from protecting themselves by making birth control expensive, and not covered by insurance if you work for someone who doesn’t believe in it. What’s up with that thinking? Sounds a bit cavemanish to me.

      • I’m curious if there is a better way to handle BC. I know it is prescription-based, but would it be better / more helpful / beneficial to make it OTC and have it available behind a pharmacist counter (with things like Claritin and Sudafed)? That way, it isn’t being affected by insurance, and it would be about as accessible as condoms?

  147. Couldn’t have said it better. Watching these lunatics makes me feel like I’m being metaphorically clubbed over the head and dragged to a cave. In Afghanistan. I wonder when the GOP decided they can win a vote without women? I guess the most tolerant thing I can say about that approach is that it seems short sighted.

    http://www.nicoleangeleen.com/2012/03/05/my-apology-to-rush-limbaugh-for-being-such-a-slut/

  148. Deb Morris

     /  March 18, 2012

    In regards to your article “Dear GOP: You do know how pregnancy works, right?”. SPOT ON, Emily. Thank you for boiling this issue down to the essentials and pointing out the significant truths.

  149. Caitin Marquardt

     /  March 18, 2012

    If Insurance covers VIAGRA, it should also cover Birth Control Pills. End of story.

  150. Yarnlady

     /  March 18, 2012

    If you consider all the complications that have just been shared perhaps we should take extra time to consider who we are going to share with.

  151. Marcy Sacks

     /  March 18, 2012

    Thank you so much for expressing my thoughts, rage, frustration, and exhaustion. I am grateful to you for taking the time to put this on paper (metaphorically speaking).

  152. ron

     /  March 18, 2012

    I’m 68 years old. My hope of a a cooperative effort with Republicans is quickly disappearing. I thank the effort of those who try but I have found Republican’s don’t want to think. My wife and I keep trying to talk but usually just piss Republicans off (Thank God Dems are out there to have a good conversation with. Republicans have their short short slogans to ride to election and they will just keep riding them. They’re anti Obama even though he is doing a great job: They’ll say anything (no matter how incorrect it is) to get into power. And than try to implement mean and anti community ideas. Hopefully enough voters will think and Obama will beat Romney 50.00001% to 49.99999%. How can elections be so close when the way to go is so obvious? Sorry for the pessimism but a lot of moderate congressmen are quitting because there is no cooperation across the isle.

    • Candace

       /  March 18, 2012

      I entered this blog expecting it to be a conversation. I was wrong. It is simply a liberal rant, with very, very little open mindedness. Anyone who does not agree with the liberal premise is immediately shot down as being a Republican idiot, with no mind at all. Anyone who is pro-life is immediately told they are anti-women. Anyone who feels that there is something wrong with our government telling a church or any other organization how to run their business is told they are completely and tottaly wrong. There is very little if any attempt to seriously question and understand the other side. The few who do post trying to put forward the idea that we should not be putting every individual in the same box, without understanding them as people, are immediately castigated. I’m out of this. I’m deleting this blog from my computer, as I’m sure most of you will be glad to hear.

      • I don’t quite know what to say to this. It’s a progressive blog, at which liberals and progressives gathered to express their very powerfully felt emotions about a handful of very, very big issues. I’m doing my best to keep the conversation at least polite, but I don’t know anywhere on the web, or indeed in real life, where people who have powerful disagreements about enormous issues put those disagreements entirely aside and simply accept what the other side has to say.

        You, for instance, as much as called me a murderer, yet I let you say your piece because you were able to say what you wanted to say clearly and without yelling or being (otherwise) insulting. But if you suspect that I (or others) take kindly to be called murderers and will be able to sit quietly while that’s said, I think you’re expecting too much of human kind.

      • A Chastain

         /  March 21, 2012

        I believe that the Bill of Rights covers the practice of religion, but when religion becomes a ‘business’, your words not mine, I think that they can no longer expect the government to protect them. Are you a church or an employer? Are you a religion or a corporation? Freedom of choice with all due respect, does not force you to have an abortion if you do not want one, however, making abortion illegal will force me to follow your religion which is a violation of my constitutional rights.

  153. Dule Sutherland

     /  March 18, 2012

    Those Republicans exit. Some live on farms and have difficulty subdividing family into individual units; maybe they are bee keepers. But not all Republican candidates oppose your view. . . one might even actually end wars Obama promised to end. So far Obama has been what Nixon was to Johnson: elect me for a second term to end the war you elected me to end. Avoid the hype. Don’t participate.
    Best.

    • The surest way to see to it that people to whom you are entirely opposed are elected is to not participate in the process.

      The President has made mistakes, and he has made choices with which I do not agree, but he has also been opposed by a Republican Party dedicated — vocally, openly, publicly dedicated — to his downfall, an opposition made stronger by the fact that many progressives decided to sit 2010 out and Tea Party politicians swept into the House.

      If you would like to put forth reasonable arguments about the President’s actions and policies — in a post that is somehow related to those questions — that’s one thing, but coming to a post about women’s reproductive health in order to threadjack with “the President didn’t do what he said he’d do,” is sheer petulance, and it isn’t acceptable. Please don’t do it again.

  154. becky

     /  March 18, 2012

    well put!!!!

  155. Funny how the obvious can seem so surprising to so many! Bravo!

  156. Shannon Pirron

     /  March 18, 2012

    So awesome! Well written – well said! Please keep writing. :-)

  157. starwheel

     /  March 18, 2012

    I think’s it’s about time women abstained from having sex with Republicans/conservatives.

  158. You have captured my feelings of rage perfectly with your post. The barrage of woman-hating actions each day, every one worse than the previous, is literally making me sick. I can’t watch TV news at all. I no longer listen to NPR in the car. And I don’t read my usual news sources. STILL, the horror gets to me, in my email, via Facebook…

    It as if every Republican was simultaneously infected with a strange prion disease that causes rapid-onset misogyny-Tourettes.

  159. yvonne haverland

     /  March 18, 2012

    Thank you for being brave enough for all of us and speaking out. You are right it takes both a woman and A MAN to reproduce.

  160. This is a wonderful post. I know many women who say they are, or actually were, die-hard Republicans who are now looking to vote for the “other side” in the next elections due to the GOP War on Women.
    I would love to post this on my blog with comment if that’s alright with you.
    Thank you for standing up and ‘speaking’ out on this as it is incredibly important people be made aware and take action.

  161. Judy Rosenthal

     /  March 19, 2012

    Absolutely brilliant! Perhaps you could go before Congress and read this because they seem to have forgotten that the penis is the delivery system for the sperm. I have been so upset that we seem go be going back 30 years to when women had to march in the streets for the right to their own bodies……..and I remember those days and marched. Maybe the next thing they will do is take away our right to vote since it seems to be a definite control issue. Bless you for speaking out……..just speak out louder and more far reaching, PLEASE!

  162. Holy crap, this is funny. And frickin’ true. There are already 320 comments but I feel the need to add my voice to the noise. You’re awesome.

  163. Republicans: “… OMG, did my penis do that? …”

    Thanks, Emily, “… Birth control, abortions, prenatal care, postpartum care, child care –whatever we may think, whatever we may have been told — are not women’s issues. THEY ARE HUMAN ISSUES …”

    … personal and private issues, not political issues, not subject to government control, only human issues subject to we-the-people’s self-governmental support.

    So much for “… all created equal …” … “… equal protection and due process …” … “… no law respecting an establishment of religion [ "inflicting other people's morals as law" ] …” … “… establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility … promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity …” … and so on — does NO lawmaker actually READ the laws that set precedent before them?

    No more second class citizens, ever, please.

    Click!
    Love and hugs,
    Peter Blaise

  164. Karen

     /  March 19, 2012

    Why don’t “share this” buttons have a link for congress?

  165. Laurel

     /  March 19, 2012

    Thank you so much for posting this!

  166. Bev Umland

     /  March 19, 2012

    Thank you.

  167. Christina

     /  March 19, 2012

    very well said. the last few sentences especially ring true for me as well….this is getting out of hand and yes is becoming a war against women which saddens me but mostly just pisses me off. the church doesnt want the government telling them what to do what they have to do..fine well i dont want the church telling me what to do/have to. if a republican gets elected in November..i only hav one thing to say god help us.

    • Christina

       /  March 19, 2012

      i am pro life for the most part but think there are extenuating circumstances that warrant and even require an abortion…but my biggest problem is that it has to be one extreme or the other there is a middle ground and compromise…also what is wrong with birth control im all for that

  168. I’m glad to hear someone else making this point, though in my position as a male feminist it is usually feminists telling me that sex is none of my business that I have a problem with!

  169. Anita

     /  March 19, 2012

    It simply amazes me that Rush Limbaugh wasn’t fired.

  170. This article almost made me cry, made me think, made me cheer. …because it is right and correct.

  171. Just shared this on FB – bravo for your well articulated article!

  172. elizabeth

     /  March 19, 2012

    I wanted to share a story I think of every time I wonder about the issue of men being part of the abortion process. I know a woman who married a man,both appeared to be decent people, loved each other and wanted to start a family. The woman’s first pregnancy was difficult, at one point in time the doctor advised she should get an abortion that the risk of her health and the child’s was to high. She talked this over with her husband who said if she died it was gods will and she should go on with the birth or he would have to leave her. He could not be with a woman who could do such a thing. Even during the birth he would not allow her to have a C section when the doctors said she might die. Again this was against gods plan.
    So she went on with it and had her first son. He suffered major brain trauma and is now considered disabled unable to take care of himself.
    The trauma to the woman was so great the doctor warned another pregnancy could harm her possibly kill her.
    However the husband was upset she gave him a disabled son. They had to try again or he would leave her for not performing her womanly duties.
    A few years later she became pregnant. Again the birth was very difficult but this time she gave birth to a healthy baby boy at the expense of her own reproductive organs. Her uterus was so damaged she would never be able to have another child again.
    As it turns out the husband was not so loving nor so kind. Once he found out his wife could no longer have children he left her and took the healthy son. Later she found out her husbands family carried some kind of hereditary condition that often resulted in babies being born with issues such as no brains, disfigurements and mental issues. Her husband it turned out even had siblings she had never met because the family “hid” them away. He knew of these issues and never discussed it with her basically using her as a breeding tool until he could no longer get what he wanted.

    Yes, it takes 2 to make this happen. At least as far as egg and sperm go but the mans job is done once the sperm has left. They don’t have to stay, they don’t have to carry the baby to term, they don’t have to raise it or shelter it if they do not want to. How many men have convinced a woman to carry a baby with the promise they will be there only to run off later. Yet we should give them equal share in the decision?I think not.
    Although it is not their fault in the role they play in the child making process because of the way they are designed it is also not our fault the role we play as women. It would be nice if we could sit down as peers and also be able to have a well informed discussion with our partners but unfortunately this is not an equal playing field and women have higher stakes in the process and decision making then men do. I can only imagine if I was married to a man like above and I HAD TO GET HIS PERMISSION just because we were married. He would have signed my death warrant.

    Some even suggest we accept the consequences because we are adults and we know what we are getting into. Well we live in a day and age we do not have too accept sex = baby. Just as I don’t have to accept the nose I was born with or another person has to accept the fact they have cancer. I think most women are not “surprised” they got pregnant. Most adult women ( I say adult because there are still teenagers out there who think they can’t get pregnant if they are a virgin) are pissed because most likely they tried other forms of birth control to avoid this.

    • I think we all can appreciate how sad a story this is that a man/father/husband was such a tyrant that he used fear against his loved one in order to get what he wanted and it risked her health and more. At least there are not many instances of woman using such a tactic that must be considered in all of this, I know there aren’t many but alas I will try to convey one from my past experience.

      I know of a woman who led a man to believe that she was in love with him and cared for him and one day they were married. This woman went on to tell this man that nothing would make her happier than to have his child and they could grow old together and perhaps have a full family to love and cherish. And then one day this woman became pregnant, and the world changed all at once. Once the woman was pregnant things seemed to turn cold, this man was not longer necessary as she had what she wanted. Soon to come were the divorce papers which told great tales of financial woe for this nice fellow who would give up half of his retirement account, a portion of his paycheck and would need to sell his house in order to share that asset as well. About 6 months after the divorce filing had started their young son was born in a hospital surrounded by his mother’s family, with his father no where in sight held away by a court order along with his family. Soon after came the custody hearing, in which this fine mother received primary custody of the child with small visitation allowance for the father every other weekend and on specified holidays but only whilst paying a hefty child care payment. This man was misled by a woman who wanted a child but did not want the father to have a role in that child’s life other than to pay, the father had no rights to protect himself but was told he should have considered his actions in deciding to have a baby with this woman. It takes two to have a child, but somehow one seems to get custody more often than the other in most states. We all have tales of woe about the opposite sex taking advantage of a situation and holding the other side hostage but that does not truly make the full point.

      Two individuals are involved in the making of a child yet 1 gets the primary decision because of the strain on her body, which I admit can be quite a toll. But how about the husband who wishes to be pro-choice? His choice seems to end with the decision to have sex with a woman despite her being clear about her intentions or not. Shouldn’t there be a right of choice for the father to opt out of supporting a child he chose not to have? Abortion is the female opt out clause but there is not one for the opposite sex, this seems quite unbalanced. A male who wanted to have a child while the female chose to abort the child is often called upon to help pay for the procedure and any complications that come from it, it may not be required by law but the court of public opinion is a pretty powerful thing given social media now a days where is the father’s right to privacy from choosing not to pay for something he does not support.

      There are a lot of things that come into play in the decision making process, all I am saying is pro-choice means everyone has a choice, not just one party. If you want to be truly pro-choice give both sides that option in their own way, or call yourself female pro-choice, because you’ve taken away my right of choice in this.

  173. This is a perfect example of an intelligent person with intelligent thoughts. Thank you so much for this viewpoint, and perhaps it’s one the entire GOP should be reminded of. It takes two to tango, people!

  174. Katie

     /  March 20, 2012

    I love this. Well said.

  175. Lauren Anderson

     /  March 20, 2012

    So well said Emily!! I also shared on my FB wall, quoting: ‘Birth control, abortions, prenatal care, postpartum care, child care — whatever we may think, whatever we may have been told — are not women’s issues. THEY ARE HUMAN ISSUES.’, as this point you make is the crux of the issue here. Keep getting pissed, and expressing it in writing!

  176. JJ

     /  March 20, 2012

    Great article!! I totally agree with it takes two to make one! On a side note, if everyone agreed to marry before either exposed those areas and that is who they would be with for LIFE; then the the partner/sex/child options would be chosen and discussed with a ton more thought and responsibility on each of the partners shoulders way before the wedding/joining night!!

    • I absolutely agree that if marriage is the state in which two people agree is the only place for sex, then that’s the only way they should have it. I have no argument with people who want to live their own lives that way — we must all live with ourselves and our conscience.

      But it’s important to me to note that marriage is not the only way to lead a responsible heterosexual life, and that many marriages are unhappy, and that people in perfectly happy marriages sometimes fall ill or on hard times, or…. In short, marriage is simply not a solution. It might be one couples’ solutions (or many couples’ solution), for at least part of their lives, but it is not, nor can it be, a society-wide solution.

  177. Anna

     /  March 20, 2012

    I have seen a lot of comments about including men on this decision. I agree 100%. Men should be informed, too. What I don’t understand is why people would choose to wait until after pregnancy becomes an issue to have the discussion i.e. ” We are a mature couple who engage in sexual activity. We are not ready for a child therefore we will take steps (birth control) to prevent the situation; but on the chance that a pregnancy does occur, what will we do?” My advice gentleman: if she says abortion and you don’t agree; don’t have sex. If she says, absolutely we’d have the baby and you don’t agree; don’t have sex. Should you choose to engage anyway….Well, as far as I am concerned, once the ball leaves your court and is in mine, I decide how it’s played…

  178. John Palmer

     /  March 20, 2012

    Have you googled “Santorum” ?
    pretty much sums up my feelings for the GOP.
    warning the definition is not really safe for work.

    men need to step up and take responsibility.
    oh and as a guy, to all the other guys, just cuz the woman is dressed ‘sexy’ isn’t an invitation for rape.

  179. Kelly

     /  March 20, 2012

    Thank you, thank you! This is amazing!

  180. Tiffany

     /  March 20, 2012

    I stumbled across this blog while link chasing and I am pleasantly surprised! You’ve got yourself a new reader.

  181. Devonee Labriola

     /  March 20, 2012

    Very well said. I too am putting this on my FB page to share. Bravo to you for putting to words what so many feel.

  182. Sharon Rush

     /  March 20, 2012

    Oh, thank you for your wonderful exposition of the feelings I have been having for some time now. I thought we were done with this women bashing. Oh, I am so tired of it being an issue. It just shows how deeply engrained these views are and makes me want to grind my teeth. I love that you show how the whole baby thing is a woman’s thing with all the choices, and really the only necessary male thing is the penis (or maybe just the sperm).

  183. annette

     /  March 20, 2012

    well said – thank you for sharing it

  184. Vince

     /  March 20, 2012

    I have long said that so many government types don’t seem to grasp what Is ACTUALLY going on. Even being male, and of course, having an opinion myself, I believe this to be true- If you dont have a vagina, do not try to legislate what they do. Do not try to explain to those with vaginas how they work, and what they should be doing with them. Mutual respect is a huge issue in gender matters. Women don’t try to legislate what penises do, WHY would it be acceptable the other way around. On behalf of all reasonable men, I am sorry.

  185. thank you thank you. that was a fantastic piece

  186. Love this post! It is hard to stay engaged sometimes because it becomes all consuming and I end up feeling angry and attacked but they want us to GIVE UP and I will not. Check out my poems on the subject if you would like

    http://poemsonaledge.wordpress.com/2012/02/25/dear-foster-freiss/

    http://poemsonaledge.wordpress.com/2012/02/26/dear-virginia/

    http://poemsonaledge.wordpress.com/2012/02/26/dear-patriarchs/ this one is explicit. I would value your feedback!

  187. My sentiments exactly. I’ve never been more outraged with the GOP than I have been in the last few months. It’s like the book the Handmaid’s Tale coming to life. I’m just appalled that men with power feel this way about women. I still don’t understand it. I guess I never will…..

  188. 4xsMom

    I spammed your first effort to call me (and many others in these comments) a murderer. When you came back and tried again, I banned you.

    Them’s the breaks, kid.

    • Emily’s ball, Emily’s rules. Thank you for keeping the conversation on point and under control.

  189. A Chastain

     /  March 21, 2012

    I taught both of my boys that if they were going to engage in sexual activity that first they needed to be able to have frank, honest mature discussions with their partner about what happens if…. I taught them that if they were not able to have that level of openness and comfort with their potential partner, they were not ready for the commitment of sexual intimacy. Advice which both of them follow to this day. When I read of the woman who horribly regrets the abortion she had and wants to blame Planned Parenthood or the man who was ‘devastated’ by the abortion had by the mother of his child, I can see that as a direct result of those people not following the above rules. Being honest with yourself about what sexual intimacy can lead to, being honest with your partner about what you will do if birth control fails, being willing to bear the consequences of your decisions without a bunch of whining or blaming others is part of being a grown up. That said, in my opinion, my body, my choice. If I am going to allow your child to live in my body for nine months, I have to be in complete and total agreement with the idea. To have the government, the father, the church or society dictate that I must carry a child to full term whether or not I am willing to do so is unhealthy to a child who deserves nurturing in a loving, welcoming womb. If a man wants to keep a child, then he bears the responsibility to plant a child in the womb of a woman who agrees with him. That my friends is true freedom of choice!

    • I taught CCE to middle schoolers for years and years. When we got to the Sexuality Catechesis part of the year, I would remind these kids that you can use a condom to prevent pregnancy or STDs (not that they may, but they can) but there is no condom to protect you heart or your future. That kids, is up to you.

      I’m glad you gave your sons such good advise and strong foundation. If they tell 2 friends and they tell 2 friends it might catch on. I guess this is about personal responsibility.

  190. Antonia

     /  March 21, 2012

    I agree, though it’s not entirely true. Women are fully capable of getting pregnant without the involvement of a penis (ie artificial insemination or in vitro fertilization). However, pregnancies created in this method rarely result in termination.

    • Well, that was my point in saying “no matter the make-up of your family…” etc – at some point, if you want a baby, you need semen.

  191. Whew! That was a breath of fresh air. Thanks for the satirical tone coupled with some serious criticism. I hope this reaches a broader audience, because I think it reminds people what we’re really discussing. Labeling a discussion about reproductive rights as purely female is useful in some contexts, but it’s hard to totally remove it from the broader discussion about sex — which is a human discussion. The GOP is too quick to sidestep that blatant fact.

  192. Stephanie

     /  March 21, 2012

    This is one of the best articles I’ve read in a long time- logical, well written and with just the right touch of humor-I really hope it gets through to the morons running our country; apparently they think we’re all sneaking around with turkey basters full of stolen semen and conducting underground lab experiments with test tubes and human clones! Keep up the good fight :)

    • we’re all sneaking around with turkey basters full of stolen semen – heh! That is quite a visual. : )

      • *Giggling*. Now I have to roast a chicken for dinner Saturday. I just have to, just to use the baster. My husband thanks you.

  193. marh

     /  March 21, 2012

    I think you are reading disrespect when none is intended. You may not agree with the gop, but you certainly don’t want the dems to determine what you can and cannot do either.
    we fought for you to use your intelligence and abilities to think for yourself. Please do. Be introspective with what others want you to believe. I really have not heard any GOP say they do not want you to have birth control. If so who??

    • Tara

       /  March 21, 2012

      Rush Limbaugh
      Rick Santorum
      The republican majority in AZ state gov’t who passed a bill allowing employers to fire you if you use birth control
      The GOP in seven states who are trying to sue the Obama administration over his plan to include birth control in mandated healthcare
      Roy Blunt, who tried and failed to pass an amendment that would allow employers to remove birth control from health insurance coverage.

      I thought five was enough.

      • Anita

         /  March 21, 2012

        The Republican majority in AZ state government has not passed a bill that gives employers who are opposed to birth control the right ask, fire, or hire women who use contraceptives. However, the bill went back to be rewritten by the woman, State Representive Debbie Lesko R, who drafted it as the wording caused confusion. It is expected to be back and up for vote once that happens. She claims she wrote to it to protect religious beliefs, or so she claims. Which motivates one to ask: Why should someone else’s religious beliefs dictate what anyone does with one’s own personal life?

        • Tara

           /  March 21, 2012

          I apologize for the misinformation. I’ll retract that statement, but throw Virginia republicans in office in there to fill in the gap. Although they insist that their proposed bills (which include that horrible transvaginal ultrasound mandate) wouldn’t criminalize birth control, Dick Black has referred to birth control as “baby pesticides.”

  194. Thanks a lot for this post — I have been fighting, heartbroken, and furious about this issue for ages. I keep making this argument as well, that if women are having too much sex….with WHOM exactly do you think we’re having sex? You don’t want to pay insurance premiums that cover birth control? Well, I don’t want to pay for your viagra. (Or your war! Or any other number of things the GOP seems to have on their agenda!) You don’t want women to have sex? Fine, we won’t!! THEN let’s see how long it takes these men to change their minds!

  195. Anita

     /  March 21, 2012

    What makes you think women do not grieve after an abortion?

  196. Diana

     /  March 22, 2012

    This was flawless. Unbiased, honest, reasonable, witty, and sane. Thank you for brilliantly, vibrantly stating what should be the obvious to every last one of us, no matter where we stand on these issues. Sometimes all it takes is someone like you, lighting a match in what’s too often these days the dark,

  197. This is an amazing piece!

    My fiance and I are video artists, and I’m currently writing and collecting monologues to do a short-film length piece on women’s rights. I would love to be able to use even a short excerpt, if of course, you would be interested in seeing an actor perform it and so on….

    • That sounds most intriguing – let’s talk! You can email me at elhauser at hotmail dot com

      (And thank!)

  198. Well said Ms. Hauser! My mother was ordered to abort when she was pregnant with me simply because the other person responsible for my existence decided he didnt really know if I was his and abandoned my mother and I within the first tri-mester. I was called names from Bastard to waste of sperm all coming from family. Very awful growing up. It was a touch choice but it was my mom’s choice. She gave birthh, raised and educated me.

    Not all women can make the same decision and forcing them to just adhere to some archaic way of living is being facist. I’m sorry. It’s the 21st century. If you don’t want women getting abortions then maybe you should make it a crime to enpregnate a woman and skip out on the kid. Wonder how that’ll go over with voters.

  199. Very well written opinion piece. Women always have been blamed as seductresses, ever since Adam’s finger-pointing in the Garden. A thousand years after the God-sanctioned misogyny of Genesis, we get the woman-hating (woman-fearing?) Paul, then Augustine, then the Inquisition, then the Salem Witch Trials, etc, and now we get misogynistic hip-hop lyrics (“witches” are now “bitches”). Meanwhile, we poor fellas are the innocent victims.

  200. Excellent post. Brava!

  201. karen duffy

     /  March 23, 2012

    8 have never understood hoa any man can legislate or even have the right to commen t regarding female reproduction. How many times have theyh given birth, and male or female if u do not b elieve in abrtion don’t have one nobody else knows the circumstances regarding a pregnancyh. If I were to get pregnant (not likely,I also believe I birth control) my life an d tbhe fetuses would b e in grave danger. Mind your own business

  202. Jen

     /  March 24, 2012

    Thank you for this post, here’s to hoping it is spread far and wide and gets some people to think on both sides of the argument – I know exactly why it matters to me that women’s right to choose is respected, as a woman who was raped in an abusive relationship I would have been stuck for life if I had gotten pregnant and abortion had not been an option.

    Fortunately for me the timing was bad, and I had friends and family who finally figured out something was wrong and helped me get out of the situation. At 19 from a small town where no one ever talked about rape or what to do if it happened I had my moment of realization of what was happening to me from a poster in a bathroom stall in my University’s library.

    While I have loved many people with a penis since then, I will always hate the one who drugged me and took my virginity then shamed me into staying with him for months because I had broken my own vows to myself that I wouldn’t have sex outside of wedlock. Birth control wasn’t in the picture because I was on the abstinence plan – the penis chose otherwise. So had I gotten pregnant the anti-choice crowd would have preferred I was in torment for 7-8 months once I learned I was carrying a baby, then loathed it after it was born because it was tied to him? Sure, there’s always a remote possibility I would have loved the baby in the end, but I was still a moody teenager – it’s unlikely.

    The key thing here – I never reported this crime, I didn’t speak of it for over a decade to anyone because it still shamed me. There are still so many women who might have similar situations who are not accounted for in the statistics, even when they make projections, because we refuse to be labeled, to have that stigma as being weak, or a slut, or an idiot for finding ourselves in that position because we were young, naive, and taken advantage of.

    And your post reminds me that I need to have this discussion with my own father, who is a staunch Republican who tows the party line, to remind him not only “what if” this was your daughter, but that was *almost* his daughter. He was ready to beat the boy to a bloody pulp when I finally told him the truth, and I need to ask him why he isn’t still willing to defend the right of his daughter, and other men’s daughters, today. It’s not going to be an enjoyable conversation, but it needs to happen.

    Thank you again.

    • helensprogeny

       /  March 24, 2012

      Thank you so much for your comment, Jen, and thank you for telling your story here. My thoughts are with you as you talk to your father. May it be a fruitful and loving conversation.

      Peace.

  203. Linda illingwoth

     /  March 24, 2012

    Amen.

  204. Sherry Mandel

     /  March 25, 2012

    Thank you for putting in print (or on screen I guess), what I have been walking around ranting and raving about for some time now! Well done!

  205. There is more than one issue in reproductive rights. One of the biggest problems I have is that these all seem to be lumped into one category. Personally, I’m pro-“It’s complicated.” I also understand that my personal views differ from many, and should not be legislated based on my personal beliefs.

    Legislatively:
    If a reproductive measure is preventative (BC, condoms): I’m all for it. You planned ahead, have as much sex as you want between consenting parties.

    Personally:
    My husband and I use condoms because I don’t think we know enough about how hormones function to mess with mine, but I made the choice not to use them, and every woman should have that choice as well.

    Legislatively:
    There are too many factors in abortion to justify strict legislation.
    First, we would need to define when life begins. Conception, birth, when there is a functional brain, when there is a heartbeat? If we cannot define the beginning of life, we cannot begin to legislate abortion.
    Further, legislating abortion as illegal puts the life of a fetus ahead of the health of the mother. This is extremely counter intuitive, since the health of the mother directly relates to the health of the fetus.
    Also, consider a late-term, live-birth “abortion” in which a woman has preeclampsia (I’ve jokingly heard this described as the fetus trying to kill the mother from a survivor about her – now 2 year old – son). In this case, if the pregnancy isn’t terminated, both the mother and the fetus will likely die. Should the pregnancy continue so the fetus has more time to grow in it’s natural environment? Or should the mother technically have the pregnancy aborted to save her own life and possibly terminate the life of the fetus? I’m going with the second option, but if abortion is legislated as illegal, the line between what is safe for the mother may get overridden by what is best for the fetus without looking into the future for that fetus.
    There are so many other examples as well – rape, incest – that make it too difficult to preserve the life of a fetus over the life of a living person.

    Personally:
    The only time I would abort a pregnancy is if the fetus is trying to kill me (such as in preeclampsia cases), but that does not necessarily mean the life of the fetus is terminated in the process.
    I believe life starts at conception, but I understand that not all share this view. So, I keep my personal beliefs out of politics.
    I had a miscarriage. I was in a car accident. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about the baby I wanted to have. No charges for vehicular homicide or involuntary manslaughter were filed against the person that hit me.
    Unfortunately, in some states, legislation would consider me the “murderer” and the person who ran their car into me would get away with a much lower charge. This breaks my heart every single day. It breaks my heart to think that there are some women who would be punished by a governmental entity because their bodies could not maintain a pregnancy. It breaks my heart to think there are government entities in this country that would consider me a murderer.

    If reproductive rights are going to be legislated for women, why not for men as well? Using the same logic that seems to be stirring women’s rights and turning it instead onto men, then all men should be circumcised (since the GOP seems to mostly refer to Christian ideals rather than moral – religion and morality are two different things). Having a vasectomy should be illegal.
    Obviously, I don’t think this is the best case for men, so why should it be the case for women?

  206. Morgan

     /  March 29, 2012

    Wonderful!!! I agree completely

  207. Reblogged this on commentaryfromthecouch and commented:
    I just recently found this blog and it is just fantastique! I think that Emily has got great insight and is not afraid to share her opinions with the world.
    Thank you for allowing me to repost this to my blog Emily and please keep up the great posts!

  208. I’ve had two kids, girl and boy, and fortunately no miscarriages. I used different forms of birth control religiously to make sure I had only two so I could give each of them opportunities even with a limited income. I told both of them in their early teens that the day they decide to have sex is the day they decide to become a parent because there are two people involved and you never know what might happen. I’m not a fan of abortion but I do realize that in some rare cases it may be the most humane option. I am a fan of any other type of birth control that will assist young people both male and female to make responsible choices with the most important role of their lives.

  209. kristine

     /  May 9, 2012

    So very well said!! Thank you for putting so elegantly what a lot of us are thinking.

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