Theocratic insanity

This is one of the most unbelievably horrible things I’ve ever read, not to mention yet another piece of evidence (should you need one) of the mindless cruelty in restricting abortion rights.

Were someone to assassinate prosecutor Art Bauereiss and legislator Frank Corte Jr (hmm, both men. Surprise fucking surprise), I’d happily contribute all my savings to their defence fund. Both deserve *every* nasty thing that could possibly happen to them.

Why do people occasionally claim the US is a civilised, first-world county? With the exception of four or five major cities, it’s Saudi Arabia with better shopping.

(on a lighter note, a good comments exchange from the same thread:

1: "If you view a fetus as a child, all abortions are murders".

2: "And if you view snot as a child, then all sneezes are murders. Sheesh.")

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44 thoughts on “Theocratic insanity

  1. Very few Texas hospitals perform elective abortions, and the few that do charge extremely high fees and require that the patients go through complicated ethics reviews.

    Great, so we’re back in Vera Drake land; that is, if you’re rich, you’re fine.

  2. Jesus, that is bad. I happen to be against abortion, but I don’t understand why both sides can’t agree that it is not a category of crime for which jail time is appropriate. In states where it’s illegal, locking up abortionists is fair enough, but jailing women who have abortions or their desperate and deeply stupid boyfriends? For fuck’s sake.

    On a bit of a tangent, it also pisses me off that some people go to such extremes to get the baby to abort while others, who want their children, take every care in the world to look after the pregnancy and it still dies.

  3. Not to get started on an argument again (come on Larry!) but S2′s latter point sort of informs my liberal views on abortion: we seem to care so little about the real and daily suffering of children and babies around the world that I really cannot get worked up about the termination of a feotus. On the day when no child is living in poverty (or even just not starving) then maybe I’ll start to change my views on abortion. Until then, I’d rather lobby my government to do something about, say, childhood malnutrition in this country, or the US, or whatever, than to change the rules so that poor people cannot get an abortion… S2′s point also reminds us that there are no moral certainties here (something religious loons need beating into them).

  4. Matt,

    Am I being obtuse? I can’t quite see the link between what I said and what you said.

    Incidentally, is it OK to beat your girlfriend if she asks to be beaten up? I’m not sure about that one.

  5. And if you view an infant as a child, then all infanticides are murders. Sheesh.

    (Is the implication that there is no more reason to regard a fetus as a human being than there is so to regard a piece of snot? If so, what is "good" about this comments exchange? To state that view is to be confronted by its manifest absurdity. Why do you consistently talk as though it’s a good thing if an important moral debate degenerates into a mutual exchange of uncomprehending childish insults? How does this help anyone, beyond giving you an illusory feeling of satisfaction, as if you’ve just served an ace? ‘"Fucking mentalist!" Ha ha. That told him.’)

    Not many state-sanctioned beheadings or hand-amputations in the US lately, even in the midwest. Not have I heard many reports of young girls being forced back into burning buildings by the religious police, on the grounds that they weren’t veiled. But maybe these stories are just being suppressed by Fox.

    Conversely, I bet the shopping in Riyadh is pretty good, especially if you’re an oil billionaire.

  6. Hmm. Lethal injections are just *so* much better than beheadings, aren’t they? And mandatory life sentences for petty crimes are *so* much more civilised than hand-amputations.

    While my initial statement was silly hyperbole, you’d probably do better to dwell on the issues where the US is actually better than Saudi. The "not forcing girls into burning buildings" is a good example of one – well done.

    And I’m told the shopping in Riyadh is alright but nothing special. Certainly not up there with Dubai.

  7. "Lethal injections are just *so* much better than beheadings, aren’t they?"

    Lethal injections are an advance on public beheadings, yes.

    "mandatory life sentences for petty crimes are *so* much more civilised than hand-amputations."

    Mandatory life sentences for petty crimes are very far from being the rule in the US.

    "…you’d probably do better to dwell on the issues where the US is actually better than Saudi."

    We’re still waiting for a list of those many ways in which Saudi is better than the US, civilisation-wise.

    "…my initial statement was silly hyperbole…"

    That’s all I was alleging. Now, "put down that crack-pipe" ((c) John B).

  8. "Every sperm is sacred…" Bunch of abject cunts.

    I understand the anti-abortion thing, I really do. I don’t agree with it, but that’s beside the point: if you happen to own a penis you have precisely no fucking right to dictate to any woman about abortion. Full stop.

  9. if you happen to own a penis you have precisely no fucking right to dictate to any woman about abortion.

    That’s just silly. Why?

  10. > if you happen to own a penis you have precisely no fucking right to dictate to any woman about abortion.

    Are you not aware that one of the side effects of legalising abortion is that men tend to tell their pregnant one-night stands to get abortions? So much easier than being responsible for a child. "Why should I support it? She didn’t have to have it." (That’s not an argument for criminalising abortion, before anyone accuses me of making one. The point is that saying that men shouldn’t be involved in the decision is not an argument for legalising abortion.)

    Besides, Andrew’s right. It takes two people to make a child, and they should both have a say. I often hear this bollocks about how men should just keep out of it, as if trying to talk to a woman about abortion is some form of oppression. Well, sorry, but we’re not all promiscuous irresponsible fuckers. Some of us are in grown-up relationships in which we actually support each other. If my wife were considering abortion, do you really think she’d want me to keep out of it, that she’d find my thoughts and advice intrusive? On the contrary: if I were to tell her it was entirely up to her and I was having nothing to do with the decision, that would be the nasty, callous, hurtful, chauvinist approach. Obviously.

    The key difference between Saudi Arabia’s penal code and the US’s is democracy, by the way. Surprised you both missed that.

  11. Besides, Andrew’s right. It takes two people to make a child, and they should both have a say

    If it were being incubated in a box a long way away from the woman’s body, sure. But it’s not. She’s the one who has to accept something living in her body; she’s the one who has to accept the health risks of carrying a pregnancy to term (greater than abortion, AFAIK); she’s the one who has to go through the pain of childbirth. Some say, perhaps, depending upon their relationship. But the decision must rest with the woman, for the simple reason that it’s her body that all this is happening to.

    as if trying to talk to a woman about abortion is some form of oppression

    Trying to talk about it? No. Having a significant effect on the final decision? Yes. Her body, after all. You could, of course, say that all you meant was the former – but if you stand no chance of the latter, I’m not sure what the point of the exercise is.

    On the contrary: if I were to tell her it was entirely up to her and I was having nothing to do with the decision, that would be the nasty, callous, hurtful, chauvinist approach.

    That’s not exactly the only choice, though. Try, for instance, (hypothetically) telling her it’s ultimately her choice which you will accept because it’s her body, but you’ll talk through as much of it as she wants to, listen to her and support her whatever she does.

  12. JD: I actually disagree on lethal injections vs public beheadings: if you’re proud of executing people, you should be honest and upfront about it; if you’re not proud of executing people, you should probably stop. And three-strikes-and-you’re-out laws ensure that even in the more civilised bits of the US, people suffer for extremely minor offences as I said.

    S2: I really don’t give a monkey’s whether a country’s judicial barbarity is dictated directly by its barbarous occupants (not a jibe at Americans – I’m sure if we had horrible innovations such as elected judges and prosecutors our judicial system would become equally depraved) or their barbarous religious leaders.

  13. S2, No, you’re not being obtuse. I sort of went with your comment, turned a few corners, drifted off at a tangent for a while and then found my comment. There wasn’t, to be fair, much link between them. –Matt

  14. Yeah, Lorna, thanks for that. You clearly know my wife better than I do and I shall from now on relate to her however you suggest, you insanely condescending moron.

    Just to be clear, I am well aware that that’s not the only choice, that there are hundreds of different courses of action available. That doesn’t change the fact that leaving the decision in her hands would be the chauvinist thing to do. Whether you agree with this is irrelevant, because it’s my wife’s perception, not yours, that matters. And that’s why I have a problem with idiotic remarks like Nosemonkey’s: they make a blanket statement, on behalf of all women, proscribing the behaviour of all men, yet their opinions are totally alien to the desires and needs of many — I would guess most — men and women. If everyone were to take this "pro-woman" stance, a lot of women would be very upset.

    As anyone who’s spent a bit of time around a pregnant woman will know, the hormones completely throw out her judgment. When a pregnant woman decides to get an abortion, sometimes it’s because she really wants one, and sometimes it’s the hormones speaking. (This doesn’t just apply to abortion, but to all sorts of major decisions.) At times like that, it is the duty of that woman’s friends and family, male or female, to remind her of what she really wants. An acquaintance of mine left her boyfriend for her entire pregnancy, despite being deeply in love with him and wanting to stay with him, because her hormones convinced her that she hated him. As soon as the child was born, she took him back — and, luckily, he was still around to be taken back. Another acquaintance of mine wanted to abort one day, despite being firmly anti-abortion; she now says it was one of the stupidest days of her life (which is why abortion shouldn’t be made too easy and things like the ethical tests in Texas hospitals aren’t a bad idea). Pregnant women are often the last people you should ask to make momentous decisions, as this Texan girl has ably demonstrated.

    > If it were being incubated in a box a long way away from the woman’s body, sure.

    That’ll become a relevant argument as soon as that technology exists. Until then, it is ridiculous to say that men should have no say in whether or not they become fathers. Should female MPs be allowed to vote on issues affecting prostate cancer or men’s prisons? Of course they should.

  15. To get back on topic: surely the issue is that Texas has effectively banned mid-term abortions. No, they’ve done this by the back door, but introducing rules and regulations which to all intents and purposes ban abortions after 16 weeks, but which don’t actually say they do. This is clearly absurd: it’s a cheap trick which will lead to real misery. A clear proportion of Americans support abortion rights (sorry it’s not a great link). So I’m certain that if these laws had been open about what they would achieve, there would have been an outcry.

  16. > I really don’t give a monkey’s whether a country’s judicial barbarity is dictated directly by its barbarous occupants

    And I’m sure that country’s electorate don’t give a monkey’s what you think. My point was merely that there is a difference between being killed by fiat of the king and being killed by the people through democratic means. If the majority of Saudis are against beheadings, tough shit on them. If the majority of Texans turn against capital punishment, it will be repealed. Whether you give a fuck or not, that’s still a huge difference.

    I agree with you about public executions, though. If capital punishment is ever relegalised in the UK, every execution should be compulsorily broadcast as the top item on every news report. People should see what they vote for.

  17. The link Matt Daws gives shows that a majority of Americans support women’s legal right to get an abortion, but actually it shows there’s very little support for abortion after 16 weeks – if you scroll down, the only survey there seems to be there dealing with time limits for abortion shows 61% of Americans supporting legally available abortions during the first trimester, but only 15% supporting them during the second trimester.

    There are far more comprehensive US polls on abortion <A href="http://www.pollingreport.com/abortion.htm>here. Again, most Americans support a woman’s right to have an abortion in the first trimester, but most oppose abortions in the second trimester (you have to scroll all the way down to the CNN/Gallup polls for the figures).

    I suspect that a poll in Texas (or any other Republican state) would have shown an even lower level of support for 2nd trimester abortion, since national polls are balanced out by more Liberal parts of the US.

    As Matt says, it still looks like a rather underhanded way of banning abortion after 16 weeks, but I don’t think it’s because there would be a lack of public support for such a move in Texas – or at least, the outcry wouldn’t have been representative of most Americans.

  18. Yeah, Lorna, thanks for that. You clearly know my wife better than I do and I shall from now on relate to her however you suggest, you insanely condescending moron.

    Oh, don’t be such a dickhead. I was talking hypothetically and you know it. Not knowing you or your wife, and loathing that self-help I-feel-statement bullshit, you can of course relate to your wife how you damn well please. I’m just saying you’ve set up a false thingamabob (what is that word? It’s driving me up the wall) there, as though it’s impossible to respect that it’s ultimately the woman’s decision without saying "right, I’m off down the pub, guess I’ll figure out what you did in nine months’ time". Leaving the decision in her hands is only chauvinistic if you’re incapable of letting women make decisions without blanking them and withdrawing all support.

    As anyone who’s spent a bit of time around a pregnant woman will know, the hormones completely throw out her judgment. When a pregnant woman decides to get an abortion, sometimes it’s because she really wants one, and sometimes it’s the hormones speaking. (This doesn’t just apply to abortion, but to all sorts of major decisions.) At times like that, it is the duty of that woman’s friends and family, male or female, to remind her of what she really wants.

    And you call me insanely condescending? Good grief. Remind her of her previous thoughts on the matter, listen to what she says, maybe. Nobody but her knows what she "really wants", unless they’re telepathic. And anyway, what if she’s changed her mind in the meantime? What if all the people around her are more concerned with children/grandchildren/saving the baybeeeeeeeees at all costs than they are with her real wishes and needs?

    That’ll become a relevant argument as soon as that technology exists.

    It’s relevant inasmuch as it points out the basic problem – that when it comes down to it, it is the woman who has to share her body with something she doesn’t want, which uses her resources, which is a health risk to her and which will put her through insane amounts of pain in a few months’ time. Nobody else can compell her to agree to that.

  19. > Nobody else can compell her to agree to that.

    Unless she was raped, no-one ever does.

    > Oh, don’t be such a dickhead. I was talking hypothetically and you know it.

    Predictably, despite my explaining it in some depth, you’ve missed my point, which was that I wasn’t speaking hypothetically, and that’s the problem with attitudes like yours: you’re responding to people’s real-life experiences with hypothetical suggestions, and, in the case of fuckwits like Nosemonkey, extending those hypotheses to proscriptions, and be damned to reality. I didn’t set up a false dichotomy — I certainly never said anything about going down the pub — I pointed out that anything less than being a joint decision-maker is, in the eyes of some women, completely fucking them over. Your not being one of those women doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

    > Nobody but her knows what she "really wants", unless they’re telepathic.

    No, nobody including her knows what she really wants, which is why decisions shouldn’t be rushed into.

    (Just to make this clear, even though I’ve already done so: I’m not saying that all women are dizzy. I’m saying that pregnancy hormones can, in some cases, some of the time, totally fuck up the woman’s judgment to the point of delusion. In my experience, most women who have been pregnant agree with that statement.)

    Unsurprising to see your obvious sheer contempt for the idea of babies displayed there. People who are concerened with saving babies are just scum, aren’t they? Don’t they realise that they use resources?

  20. "I actually disagree on lethal injections vs public beheadings: if you’re proud of executing people, you should be honest and upfront about it; if you’re not proud of executing people, you should probably stop."

    Just to be clear: when executions in Britain ceased to be public, that was a step *back* for civilisation?

    Oh, and let me add standard John-B boilerplate: anyone who disagrees with me is a twat, should be boiled alive, etc, etc. There. That should move the debate right along.

  21. Just to be clear: when executions in Britain ceased to be public, that was a step *back* for civilisation?

    Of course it was. Executions carried out in private, preferably where any witnesses are also quietly disposed of, and where anyone who knew the victim never finds out where they went to that sunny Thursday, are far more civilised, aren’t they?

    That obviously doesn’t mean that, e.g. executions in the US and executions in Saudi are in any way comparable. Just that oppressive governments should have the balls to oppress the people to their faces, rather than behind their backs.

  22. Unless she was raped, no-one ever does.

    Except that if she and the biological father have different views on whether the pregnancy should be carried to term, and his view wins the day, someone just has. And if there’s no possibility of his view winning the day, then why bother?

    Predictably, despite my explaining it in some depth, you’ve missed my point

    Explain it again for me, then. I think that it’s quite possible to say that the decision is ultimately the woman’s, and that while other people can talk to her about it they cannot be allowed to have a significant impact on the final decision, without just leaving her to cope on her own, and that doing this is not chauvinistic. What do you think?

    I pointed out that anything less than being a joint decision-maker is, in the eyes of some women, completely fucking them over. Your not being one of those women doesn’t mean they don’t exist

    Granted, and fair point. But I still have a problem with the idea of being a decision-maker over somebody else’s body, rather than supporting her to reach her own decision.

    in the case of fuckwits like Nosemonkey, extending those hypotheses to proscriptions, and be damned to reality

    Hmm. If it is a proscription, "it’s your body and you get the final say in what happens to it" sounds like one of the nicer ones out there. I’d go for that.

    Unsurprising to see your obvious sheer contempt for the idea of babies displayed there.

    Nah, not really, though I’ll hold my hand up to muttering darkly when some kid on public transport just won’t stop screaming (though yes, I know, that’s not the fault of the kid or the parents). Possibly I’m using a spelling specific to about three LiveJournal communities, in which case the confusion is understandable, but my comment indicated contempt for a) people who are all about the cute little babies but don’t give a damn about older children, or the practicalities of raising them (politicians who’re all about the pro-life laws but also all about penalising poor and single parents, for instance, would get the derisive spelling); and b) people who want to look after the foetus at all costs, including to the life or health or expressed wishes of the woman. And those people, yes, actually, are just scum, because they’re more concerned with whether they get to go "awwwwww" at a baby than with any practicalities of the situation.

  23. I think that it’s quite possible to say that the decision is ultimately the woman’s, and that while other people can talk to her about it they cannot be allowed to have a significant impact on the final decision, without just leaving her to cope on her own, and that doing this is not chauvinistic. What do you think?

    The point is that that is your opinion. Other people have different ones. Like S2′s wife, by his own account. And mine, for that matter.

    I’ll hold my hand up to muttering darkly when some kid on public transport just won’t stop screaming (though yes, I know, that’s not the fault of the kid or the parents).

    Of course it is. That’s bad parenting.

    And those people, yes, actually, are just scum, because they’re more concerned with whether they get to go "awwwwww" at a baby than with any practicalities of the situation.

    Yes, the entire abortion debate can be boiled down into whether or not you think the little nippers are cute. Any other profound insights into the human psyche to share?

  24. > Except that if she and the biological father have different views on whether the pregnancy should be carried to term, and his view wins the day, someone just has.

    Another point missed. Look, when you jump out of a plane, you know there’s a risk that neither parachute will open. You take as many precautions as you can, making it very unlikely, but it could still happen. And it’s no good, as you’re plummetting through the air, whinging that you’ve been denied any choice in your fate. You haven’t. You had a choice, and you made it.

    Unless a woman is raped, she is not forced into pregnancy. Some women are sometimes forced to live with the consequences of their actions — something which I support, for men and for women, in pregnancy and all other circumstances.

    The reason you’re wrong, Lorna, is that you think the phrases "cannot be allowed" and "not chauvinistic" go together.

    Andrew,

    it’s interesting, isn’t it, the way feminists have defined the debate: "If you agree with your wife, you’re a chauvinist." I’ve had to ditch so many right-on sensitive feminist beliefs in order to get on with women.

  25. Erm… Nice to see everyone het up. But I did say "dictate to", not "discuss with" or "talk about".

    There is a somewhat important difference there. Notably one which means no man should be able to force a woman to have a child they don’t want OR to have an abortion they don’t want. Unless they’re willing to do an Arnie in that piss-poor film with Elizabeth Thompson, that is.

  26. Passing a law on abortion doesn’t dictate anything. You can always move out of Texas, or, truly shocking, I know, not get pregnant in the first place. There is always a choice. Most importantly of all, the choice not to play the fucking game.

  27. Yes, the entire abortion debate can be boiled down into whether or not you think the little nippers are cute.

    No idea where you got that from, since I didn’t say it. I said that people who’re concerned solely with the fate of babies, and not with the fate of older kids or people who may not be able to survive pregnancy/raise a child, and still attempt to claim the moral high ground, are scum. If we must use that term, since Squander Two brought it into the conversation in the first place. Left to myself, I’d probably only go so far as to say they don’t have much right to a credible opinion on the matter.

    Another point missed. Look, when you jump out of a plane, you know there’s a risk that neither parachute will open. You take as many precautions as you can, making it very unlikely, but it could still happen. And it’s no good, as you’re plummetting through the air, whinging that you’ve been denied any choice in your fate. You haven’t. You had a choice, and you made it [...] Some women are sometimes forced to live with the consequences of their actions

    If I’d known you were arguing about whether abortion was a reasonable response to an unwanted pregnancy, which you seem to be doing here, I wouldn’t’ve got into it. I was assuming we were arguing about whether, assuming abortion is one of a number of options, it’s a decision that can be said to rest with the father rather than with the woman herself (assuming she’s generally capable of consenting to medical treatment). I’m not going to debate whether abortion constitutes taking or ducking responsibility, because our views are never going to mesh however much we yell at each other.

    The reason you’re wrong, Lorna, is that you think the phrases "cannot be allowed" and "not chauvinistic" go together.

    I do? How so? *Confused now* I thought I thought supporting a woman in her choices over her body and "not chauvinistic" went together.

  28. > people who’re concerned solely with the fate of babies, and not with the fate of older kids or people who may not be able to survive pregnancy/raise a child

    Straw man. Where are these legions of people who love foetuses but hate human beings that the pro-abortion crowd are forever telling us about? I’m extremely cynical about the human race, and I even I don’t think they exist.

    > I do? How so?

    It’s the way in which you put them in the same sentence that gives it away, really. Do you not read what you write?

  29. Andrew, I’d like to acquaint you with a program *ahem* conceived of and funded by the Bush Administration, and presented in almost all the schools in the US. This is pertinent to the subject of this post, and teenage pregnancy in the States in general.

    The program is Absitance Only education. It does not teach about STDs. It does not teach about birth control/pregnancy prevention, it does not teach the sorts of things to expect of your body as it develops through puberty. What it *does* teach is to not have sex until one is married. It teaches that one can acquire the AIDs virus even if one uses a condom (which, statistically, makes these kids just use condoms even less). It teaches all sorts of other distortions and faith-based garbage that has nothing to do with sex, sexuality and reproduction, and hence we have pregnant teenage girls saying "How did that happen?" Literally. Because they’ve no idea what does it.

    I’m serious. Google the US’s Abstinance Only programs; you’ll be appalled. And I wager you’ll not say "or, truly shocking, I know, not get pregnant in the first place."

  30. *shrug*

    Since you started that whole bit of conversation by randomly accusing me of thinking a certain bunch of people are scum on no evidence whatsoever, I’m not particularly interested in pursuing it. I’m not saying there’s legions or that they’re particularly in positions of power, just that when I have conversations (online or real-life) with such people they don’t impress me.

    It’s the way in which you put them in the same sentence that gives it away, really. Do you not read what you write?

    Sure I do. Even went back over it to try and work out what you were on about, and no joy. I just don’t interpret it the same way you do. And I’m still not sure what the point of your comment was. I confuse "not allowed" with "not chauvinistic" – what? Explain! (Or we could just stop. That’s an option, too :)) Seems to me both of those have to be a lot more specific for your comment to make much sense.

  31. Lorna,

    Chauvinism involves forcing the views of your social group (which could be, but is not necessarily, your gender) on other, different, groups of people. To say that a certain group of people, whose opinions are different to yours, must not be allowed to act in a certain way is practically the dictionary definition of chauvinism. You say that and then follow it with "is not chauvinistic." And that’s not a minor quibble about semantics: it’s demonstrative of your chauvinism towards people who are different to you: you don’t want anyone to behave in a way that you feel would be inappropriate in your social group. I don’t tell you how to live, but you have no qualms whatsoever about telling me that I should not be allowed to have a say in whether I become a father.

    Jean,

    The sex education at my school was so laughably bad that it was utterly useless. Yet, somehow, I still found out about contraception. Could that possibly be because of television, magazines, etc? Why, yes, I think it could. And that was in the days before the Web. I’m not convinced by this argument that the only possible way to access information is for the government to give you it. How did you find out about these Abstinence Only programs? Because, unless you were taught about them at a state school, you’re kind of undermining your own point.

  32. One ‘can’ find out information from other sources. But that does not mean that education plays no role in shaping the views of people who recieve it. To argue otherwise is downright stupid. Jean described a situation in America where the education system encourages a belief in untruths. Does this make people more likely to believe untruths. Yes, plainly it does. This does not mean that all who are exposed to these untruths will believe them, simply that more will believe these untruths than they would if education had concentrated on an informed discussion of contraception.

  33. Jean: Wow. And I thought I was patronising and condescending. Well done you. Now, go read what I wrote and note that at no point did I suggest that women should abstain from sex. Sex education is sufficiently well established in my country to have given me a grounding in all kinds of ways to do the dirty with the opposite sex and not be left with a lingering problem. I suggest you google the terms ‘contraceptive pill’, ‘condom’, ‘diaphragm’, ‘IUD’.

    Otherwise, are you seriously trying to suggest that teenagers don’t know how to make babies, but do know how to bring on a miscarriage? That would require some pretty weird gaps in the education process, wouldn’t it? ‘What does that do, Mrs. Smith?’ ‘Erm… Nothing, but if you look at the big round thing above that, that’s where you need to kick a pregnant woman to kill her foetus. Okay, kids, there’s the bell. Enjoy your recess.’

  34. I simply do not believe that there are material numbers of American teenagers who do not know that sex leads to pregnancy. Even the fucking Welsh have worked that one out.

  35. Dsquared is right. And so is Andrew. Come to think of it, so am I.

    > pills, condoms, diaphragms and IUDs can fail

    And they all say as much on the packaging. It’s basic risk assessment, isn’t it? If you’re not willing to accept, say, a 0.5% risk of pregnancy, don’t have sex. Or at least, don’t have sex 200 times.

    I’m not convinced, though, that abortion has been criminalised in Texas. As far as I can see, the idea of having to go [gasp!] to a hospital was so traumatic for these eejits that they opted for the jumping-on-the-womb option instead.

    Is there some reason I can’t think of why this girl wasn’t allowed to cross state lines, by the way? Abortion’s illegal in Northern Ireland, but that doesn’t stop Northern Irish girls having abortions: they just have them in Liverpool.

  36. John: Sure, but my point was all about taking a cheap shot. Your site brings out the worst in me. Besides which, if someone can’t calculate the number of standard deviations away from the mean they’d have to be to get pregnant using a particular combination of birth controls, all whilst trying to get the bloody things out of the wrapper, well they shouldn’t be breeding in the first place…

  37. I don’t tell you how to live, but you have no qualms whatsoever about telling me that I should not be allowed to have a say in whether I become a father.

    Oh, that’s what you’re on about. Right, okay. In that case, I’d say I don’t tell you whether you can become a father – I’d say I tell you whether you can, morally speaking, dictate to a woman whether she has an abortion or not. To me, the two are slightly different. To others, this may well come across as purely semantics.

    And either way, I’d say – and you may well take offence at this – that between the right to decide to become a father or not, and the right to decide whether a painful and potentially dangerous thing happens to one’s own body, if the two are in conflict, the latter is vastly more important. Sorry, but I don’t see them as anywhere near equal.

  38. Abortion isn’t legal because childbirth is painful and potentially dangerous — especially since abortion is painful and potentially dangerous. Abortion is legal because some people don’t want to bring up children.

    > To me, the two are slightly different.

    Say a woman is pregnant with my baby, and wants to abort. You say I’m not allowed to stop that happening. In what way is that different from telling me that I may have no say in whether I become a father? If you insist that no man may ever stop any woman having an abortion, how does any man ever have a say in whether to become a father?

    You know, there was a time when feminists were proud of their role in creating the next generation. How the suffragettes must be spinning in their graves. "We must have the absolute right to abortion because childbirth can be painful." Life’s painful. Get over it.

  39. Say a woman is pregnant with my baby, and wants to abort. You say I’m not allowed to stop that happening. In what way is that different from telling me that I may have no say in whether I become a father?

    Because the focus is on the person whose body all this is happening to. I did say others might find it purely semantic. As I said, it’s not that I have a particular interest in denying a bloke the right to decide whether to become a father or not. It’s just that I think the person who is most affected by it should have the final choice.

    You know, there was a time when feminists were proud of their role in creating the next generation. How the suffragettes must be spinning in their graves.

    That’s nice. I’m sure Emmeline and Christabel would object to my non-nationalistic pacifism, too. (Actually, I’m sure they wouldn’t give a shit, given my total non-importance.) What’s that got to do with anything?

    "We must have the absolute right to abortion because childbirth can be painful." Life’s painful. Get over it

    Not discussing the right to abortion. The person going through the pain is the person who gets the final choice whether to go through with it or not, yes. What else could possibly be reasonable?

  40. > What’s that got to do with anything?

    It was a comparison between the greatest generation of feminists, who changed the world for the better, and the self-absorbed narrow-minded pish that passes for modern feminism, which is proud of destroying life.

    > What else could possibly be reasonable?

    In cases in which the father is offering to take sole custody of the child and raise it and pay for it while the mother is insisting on abortion because she doesn’t want to raise a child, you honestly think that there is only one conceivable reasonable course of action. Jesus wept.

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