Why I have a Pro-Choice Sign in my Front Yard (Even Though I Don’t Call Myself That)

[The publication Current asked me to write up my thoughts about abortion; I ended up writing nearly 3000 words. A much, much shortened version of the essay below is available on their website this morning, but if you want to read the full thing, go for it. Cross-posted to In Medias Res.]

That sign is in our front yard, signalling our support for defeating the “Value Them Both” amendment on the ballot here in Kansas this August. If the amendment referendum succeeds, it would overturn a state supreme court decision which determined that the Kansas state constitution guarantees at least minimal abortion rights to Kansas women, thus allowing Kansans opposed to abortion rights to follow our neighboring states of Oklahoma and Missouri and push for a total abortion ban. The sign thus betokens a “pro-choice” position, even though I’ve never called myself that and think the language of individual “choice” when it comes to abortion is part of the whole problem. So why am I, some who was raised in a politically conservative (but not, as I later came to see, particularly ideological) Mormon home and thoroughly absorbed the repugnance of abortion which was communicated to me, taking this position all these years later? Well, that’s a story, mostly having to do with what my wife and four daughters have taught me along the way.

When I say “repugnance,” I really mean it. While my parents were never activists and anti-abortion literature didn’t litter our home, the moral and even visual revulsion to the practice of abortion was invoked anytime the topic came up (which, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, during the death-rattle years of the Equal Rights Amendment–our church having played a major role in sealing its fate–was not infrequently). I can still call up in my memory a feverish image that somehow made its way into my brain when I was still a child: that of an abortion doctor plunging a huge butcher knife into a woman’s vagina, murdering the child in her womb. (I should note that the fact that some zealous opponents of abortion rights might point to procedures used in incredibly rare late-term abortions to insist upon the basic accuracy of that nightmarish image from decades ago has no effect on my thinking today; what I find most repugnant in 2022 is very different than it once was.)

Was it all just moral revulsion and distaste? No, there was some actual doctrine taught as well (emphasis on “some”). Mormon leaders over the decades have made multiple, if not numerous, statements regarding abortion, with some stipulating that “life begins when two germ cells unite to become one cell, bringing together twenty-three chromosomes from both the father and from the mother”–which would seem to suggest that Mormon doctrine teaches that life begins at the creation of human zygote–and others stipulating that a woman’s “right to choose what will or will not happen to her body” is fundamentally limited if “she behaves in such a way that a human fetus is conceived”–which would seem to suggest, in light of the previous declaration, that any sexual activity which results in the creation of a cell-multiplying zygote entails a mother’s complete responsibility to preserve that cell-multiplying life. In practice, however, none of these teachings were ever politically deployed throughout Mormonism in a theologically rigorous or ecclesiastically consistent way (which is not to say there haven’t been attempts to do so). In general though, the unarticulated presumption seems to have been (and still seems to be) that stating officially that “elective abortion for personal or social convenience is contrary to the will and the commandments of God” is sufficient, with no further elaboration or explanation regarding public matters being necessary. Repugnance at the idea of extinguishing “a cherished newborn baby,” complete with “beautiful eyes” and “little fingers” was perhaps assumed to do the rest.

It certainly did for me, for many years. The change in my opinions didn’t come at once, my movement away from being “pro-life” (a phrase I don’t remember particularly liking even in my most ardent phases) was a long process. Well into my 30s and 40s, articulating a set of reasons that could make sense of my youthful revulsion–even as I grew into a fuller understanding of the deep complexities of human sexuality, science, and sociality—remained hugely important to me, thus leading me blog about abortion and related topics repeatedly, in perhaps some increasingly strained ways.

During these years, for reasons that are probably similar to those of nearly every person who comes to think differently about the faith of their youth as they grow older, I became more and more doubtful that the statements of Mormon leaders, when not explicitly grounded in the scriptural canon, were necessarily the word of God and thus normative. For related reasons over the same time span, I came to recognize the scriptures as exceptionally complicated and thus not well-served by the proof-texts, just-so-stories, and tidy logical conclusions so unfortunately common in Mormondom (and pretty much every other Christian domination as well, to be fair), especially in regards to complicated claims regarding the pre-natal beginnings of meaningful life. And finally, officially non-Mormon (though unofficially, many conservative Mormon leaders and thinkers had been borrowing them for years) anti-abortion arguments, such as those dependent upon a religious invocation of natural law, became increasingly implausible to me; for example, I found the teleological demand to view a human zygote which may or may not implant itself in a woman’s uterine wall as equal in every way to a newborn baby simply unpersuasive, philosophically speaking. So what coherent articulation of anti-abortion belief did that leave me with, if I wasn’t to simply dismiss my original revulsions and intuitions as bankrupt, but neither found them well served by the simplistic affirmations of my leaders or many other anti-abortion thinkers? Well, one grounded in my long-standing contempt for philosophical individualism and capitalist commodification. Abortion, I came to believe, was a moral evil not primarily because of its harm to human lives (since 99% of abortions in the United States take place months before the life of the fetus in question stops being a matter of mere scientific principle and instead becomes an actionable reality), but rather because it was rooted in a socially harmful, choice-centric sense of disposability: a disconnect from both the anthropological fact and the civic ideal that our social relationships form a connection (as Edmund Burke said) between the living and the dead and the not yet born. Stanley Hauerwas’s essay “Abortion, Theologically Understood,” though I do not agree with all of it, made this point better than I ever could:

If you want to know who is destroying the babies of this country through abortion, look at privatization, which is learned in the economic arena. Under the veil of American privatization, we are encouraging people to believe in the same way that Andrew Carnegie believed. He thought that he had a right to his steel mills. In the same sense, people think that they have a right to their bodies. The body is then a piece of property in a capitalist sense. Unfortunately, that is antithetical to the way we Christians think that we have to share as members of the same body of Christ. So, you cannot separate these issues. If you think that you can be very concerned about abortion and not concerned about the privatization of American life generally, you are making a mistake.

I look today at the 15-year-old essay where I quoted Hauerwas, and I think the perspective it articulated (a perspective I tend to call “left conservative”) remains mostly sound. And yet I want to take much of it back nonetheless, because the animating force behind it—the admittedly simplistic yet still meaningful repugnance I felt when I first learned what abortion meant—has become deeply entwined other, more complicated and, I think, more mature intuitions. I’m particularly bothered by the way, in 2007, when our oldest daughter wasn’t yet 10 years old, I could write that those who defend abortion rights as necessary to the sexual freedom essential to individual personhood, who think it a matter of right to “enjoy sex without their futures or thoughts or relationships being messed up by any communitarian crap in any way, clearly have only ever had sex on the starship Enterprise‘s Holodeck.” I see the point I was trying to make in those passages, but still, that’s a sentence that could have only been written by a man woefully uninformed about the complications of sexual identity and expression, especially as experienced by women, one of whom he was married to and four of whom he was raising to adulthood. I hope I’ve repented of that presumption.

To be very plain: I now realize that to accept, even just implicitly, the notion that insofar as abortion is concerned there are only two types of pregnancies–those which result from violence, in which case abortion ought to be guaranteed to the violated woman, and those which didn’t result from violence, in which case abortion ought to be treated a perilous choice that needs to be weighed against principles of social responsibility and connection and regulated by the state accordingly–is really stupid, even if a coherent point can be found within it. Why is it really stupid? Because it’s a binary, and binaries practically always fail. Maybe that 16-year-old teen-ager’s, or that divorced woman’s, or that 42-year-old mother’s, sexual decisions were made entirely without violence. But were they made entirely without social pressure? Without religious expectations? Without bad information? Without forced compromises? Without conflicting socio-economic and cultural demands? As I’ve grown older, and watched my daughters grow and move into adulthood, and watched as my wife and I have moved into middle-age, the pressing and often painful complexities of marriage, sex, love, risk, desire, and children, the confusions and justifications and fears which attend all of them (as well as, of course, the many joys and surprises they bring), have simply become enormous to me. Add to that concerns about money, concerns about extended family, concerns about health (both mental and physical), and maybe most importantly, concerns about all the innumerable little assumptions and (mis)understandings amidst the ones we love which we navigate day after day after day. The result of all this is a heaviness—the same sort of heaviness I can remember feeling when I held our firstborn daughter, and felt the enormity which my wife and I had taken responsibility for.

Does that responsibility carry any kind of moral obligation to it? Of course it does! But that obligation cannot be extricated from all the other obligations that come with the complex existences we are all heirs to. Eventually, there came a point when I realized that the repugnance I feel at abortion is more than matched by my repugnance at the prospect that someone with the power of the state (and here I remember Elizabeth Bruenig’s sharp observation from several years ago: “penalty seems to be the only way those operating under the ‘pro-life’ banner feel comfortable expressing their commitment to life”) could approach any woman who has come to a moment of heavy decision-making regarding abortion in the midst of all of the above, looked her in the eye, and say: sorry, but we’ve decided that this choice should not be available to you.

So my intuitive sense of the wrongness of abortion hasn’t changed; that repugnance is still there, and it still guides my thinking. But it is no longer a solitary or supreme guide; there are too many other potential harms, manifest in too many other ways, for me to accept any longer that a pregnancy, insofar as the responsibility to the potential life which it may result in is concerned, is always of only two possible sorts. Between violent rape at one end, and mere (though is it ever actually “mere”?) convenience at the other, there is an immense amount of very murky road. Do my critical views about that individualistic, privatized, choice-centric mentality which treat all the connections in our lives as disposable still matter? Absolutely they do. But mostly today, they lead to me focus ever more on the response that millions of women have screamed, and continue to scream, at anti-abortion politicians who insist upon inserting their concerns into an enormously difficult and private decision, but whose concerns lead them to do exactly nothing in terms of compassionately responding to the enormous weight that women as human beings who can become pregnant and give birth experience every single day of their lives. What about supporting those connections? What about health care? What about maternal leave? What about reproductive assistance generally? What about educational and social and care-giving support? (Carolyn Homer’s list of what the “pro-life” label ought to include is an excellent rundown.) Again, while I do not agree with every implication of her language, the Catholic writer Leah Libresco Sargeant’s comments in The New York Times last week speak truthfully, I think:

Ruth Bader Ginsburg….made the case that abortion is really the price of admission to society we demand of women. And I think she’s factually right. That’s what we ask of women. We don’t support women when they’re pregnant, even with wanted pregnancies. We don’t support parents nationwide. We place heavy burdens on parents who are most vulnerable. TANF, which is support for needy families, has been hollowed out. The child allowance didn’t make it to parents who were the poorest. So it’s true, you can look around and say, our culture has no room for the vulnerable. It doesn’t have room for babies who are vulnerable, and it doesn’t have room for women who are vulnerable. So abortion is a crutch that lets us navigate that hatred of dependence that’s pervasive in our culture.

And now, millions of people who have worked very hard for decades on behalf of a simplistic defense of the unborn have kicked away that crutch. Bad decision, I say; very bad, all the way down.

Which is why, here at the end (for now, anyway) of this ongoing argument I’ve been with myself (and others) for years, we have the aforementioned sign in our front yard. The argument over abortion in the U.S., thanks to Roe v. Wade, Casey v. Planned Parenthood, and other Supreme Court cases, has for a half-century been utterly entwined with—and often served as a proxy for—debates over judicial power and the meaning of democracy. I have strong opinions about both of those debates, both nationally and in the context of our state constitution, and given that I have a profound distaste for undemocratically allowing unelected judges to make policy for the people, one might wonder why, all arguments over abortion aside, I don’t see Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health as a good decision, or Hodes & Nauser v. Schmidt (which articulated a very broad—much too broad, I think, especially given how many Republican politicians hypocritically misused it to justify opposition to vaccination policies during the pandemic—right to “bodily integrity” and thus abortion here in Kansas) as a bad one. The answer, of course, in line with everything I’ve written thus far, is that nothing happens without a surrounding context which weighs upon one’s choices.

I’ll freely admit that if Dobbs really does turn out, in the years to come, to have been just the first step in the expression of the Supreme Court’s determination to no longer involve itself in not just abortion legislation, but voter rights legislation, gerrymandering legislation, health care legislation, gun control legislation, etc., the time may come when I’ll eat crow and call this a good decision, at least constitutionally speaking, because the ending of undemocratic judicial rule over the people’s elected representatives will turn out to have been a very, very good thing. However, given that the Supreme Court involved itself in New York’s century-old and widely supported gun laws literally just the day before Dobbs was handed down, I see no reason to believe the Court is suddenly turning away from screwing with democratically determined legislation. Rather, I conclude—as I think any remotely well-informed observer also must—that the Republican majority on the Court has, with Dobbs, achieved a long-standing and carefully developed (and financially well-supported) political aim, nothing more. That is an aim that will hurt women whose lives I want to make easier; preserving Hodes here in Kansas is, I think, not nearly as much a perhaps unavoidable concession to the individualistic, choice-centric assumptions of our current social order as it is an embrace of showing mutualist support to women who, in the absence of a radical change in the direction of solidarity and equality our economy and culture, are now facing potentially grave harms in their navigation of the heavy choices of family and health and life. (Also, please note that, despite claims to the contrary, Hodes has not “radically changed and expanded the landscape of abortion in Kansas,” unless you think that “landscape” is defined entirely by the ability to the state to be able to ban one particular rare second-trimester abortion procedure or impose prohibitively burdensome abortion clinic requirements; moreover, keep in mind that does the “Value Them Both” amendment really doesn’t appear to do anything of specific value for women’s choices at all anyway). Thus I say, to any Kansan who reads this: vote on no on August 2, please!

Abortion is, I believe, often (if not always and in every way) an evil. I also believe there are lots of evils in this world, some actual and some potential. Telling a pregnant person who might have to tragically confront–in all their diverse physical and economic and familial and occupational and religious and mental situations–a hideously difficult route through all these diverse evils (both real and potential) that they no longer have, and never should have had, a political or legal promise that one particular route will be available to them, no matter what their circumstances or what the science of what’s going on (or not yet going on, or no longer going on) inside their bodies at any point along their pregnancy, is simply repugnant to me. So yes, I changed my mind since I was a boy. If I was able to do so regarding same-sex marriage, I can do it regarding the necessity of abortion rights too.

Comments

  1. All the links in this piece seem to be wrong. Unless, of course, every one of them is supposed to take me to my own long-forgotten blog. ;)

  2. Dammit, I thought I had fixed that. Thanks for letting me know, DaveW; I’ll get it corrected.

  3. My typically Mormon views on abortion have evolved since becoming a mother, losing a child to stillbirth, raising daughters and sons, and hearing incredibly painful stories from family, friends, and psychotherapy clients. Ultimately the decision belongs to the pregnant person. Politically motivated religious arguments which exploit tender emotions about “baby-killing” to raise money and take political power are in my mind the greater evil. If a person hates abortion, don’t get one. Support sex/consent education and contraception. Make it possible for pregnant people and their babies to survive and thrive.

    The ship of bodily autonomy has sailed. I understand the rage expressed by my daughters (and sons) after the SCOTUS decision last week, and feel it myself. This battle is not ending anytime soon. People who adhere to traditional religion should not assume that righteousness and morality are on their side. They should recognize that yes they do know someone who has had an abortion, just as they do know people who are gay – they have just not been trusted with these tender stories.

  4. Well said, Karla.

  5. Thank you for this well-written, well thought out essay. I’m not a mother (yet), but I know mothers (and fathers) who are scared of adding to their families as a result of the SCOTUS decision. I also know people who are now afraid of dating, marriage, and starting families for this reason.

    Overturning Roe could very well result in a baby bust and population decline that may never reverse itself because of this. That is, if the United States doesn’t end up reckoning with the complete opposite outcome of increased abuse, crime, homelessness, poverty, a clogged foster care system, and services for the disabled becoming even more overcrowded, poorly run, and underfunded than they already are. I hope the SCOTUS and the politicians who backed them are careful of what they wish for.

    While reading this essay, I couldn’t help but think of this post:

    https://bycommonconsent.com/2020/10/28/reflections-on-heartbreak-and-choice/

    It makes you think. How many LDS women have had abortions for this reason – or any reason, really – but have kept quiet due to the risk of church discipline and stigma? How many LDS women have continued carrying a pregnancy with genetic defects and/or a life-limiting diagnosis not out of choice, but due to obligation, pressure, knowing what the church’s stance on abortion is, and not wanting to be forced out of their faith community? It’s not not to wonder if they feel any resentment (towards their heavenly parents, the church, and church leaders) about being saddled with such a pregnancy and what comes after.

    Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to terminate a pregnancy should belong to the person who will be most affected by it according to their circumstances, their research, their physical and mental health, and their beliefs.

  6. Chadwick says:

    @Karla “People who adhere to traditional religion should not assume that righteousness and morality are on their side. They should recognize that yes they do know someone who has had an abortion, just as they do know people who are gay – they have just not been trusted with these tender stories.”

    This is brilliant. Thank you.

  7. Karla,

    I also know people who abuse their kids, sell drugs, and cheat on their taxes. Viewing the humanity in people does not lead to the conclusion that their actions are acceptable.

  8. Dsc, I have a very difficult time seeing how your comment actually responds to Karla. You seem to putting words in her mouth and do so in a very icky way. She right. Just because you’re religious doesn’t mean morality and righteousness are your side. Yikes.

  9. >Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to terminate a pregnancy should belong to the person who will be most affected by it according to their circumstances, their research, their physical and mental health, and their beliefs.

    That’s the conundrum isn’t it? Because it can be reasonably argued that the person most affected by it is the one being killed.

  10. Brian,

    I was responding to Karla’s final point. Knowing someone who does X is entirely irrelevant to whether X is a moral thing to do. The clear intent of bringing up the fact that everyone knows someone who has had an abortion is to create sympathy for those who have had an abortion. And we should have sympathy, but that says absolutely nothing about whether we should condone the act.

    Literally no one is saying that they have morality and righteousness on their side because they are religious. For my part, I believe that I have morality and righteousness on my side because I’m on the side of not killing a living human organism except in the most dire circumstances. I also happen to think that I have logic on my side because I don’t make lazy arguments like “if you don’t like abortion, don’t get one”, which only makes sense if you first acssume that a fetus has no moral value of its own.

  11. Dsc, she didn’t make the point that you think she is making in her final point. She makes the point that some people don’t share things with certain people because they know they will be terrible back. You sort of proved her point on that. I’ll leave your second comment alone b/c your example is not what I’m taking about. I’m talking about your response to Karla, not your position on abortion.

  12. Brian, I don’t think I’ve misunderstood the point. She’s trying to guilt people into empathy by personalizing the issue. But that’s not a logical way to proceed. We can sympathize while standing our ground on the issue.

  13. Banning abortion is an ‘establishment of religion.’ The pro-life movement is overwhelmingly Christian.
    Believing that a clump of cells in a uterus is a child with a spirit and a divine destiny is a religious belief.
    Believing that spirits are waiting in the pre-existence to gain a body is a religious belief.
    Believing that life begins at conception is a religious belief.
    Believing that a spirit enters a fetus before birth is a religious belief.
    Believing that abortion is murder is a religious belief.
    Believing that God sends people to heaven or hell based on whether they get an abortion or not is a religious belief.
    Believing that sex is a sacred procreative process is a religious belief.
    Believing that divine gender roles mean women should bear children is a religious belief.

    People are welcome to hold any religious beliefs they want. The problem comes when people start insisting that others follow their religious beliefs. A pregnant atheist should not have to deal with a legislator’s religious beliefs while making decisions about reproduction.

    My firm religious belief is that God doesn’t really have an opinion about whether or not a pregnancy results in the birth of a baby or not. I base this on my experience with a miscarriage and all the praying I did at the time. My secular belief is that legislators should not be making health care decisions for pregnant women.

  14. Dsc, your continued justification of your misreadings and your aggression weakens your argument To wit: you’re the one who is equating being gay (not a sin) and having an abortion (may/may not be a sin, how do you know unless someone tells you) with people who “abuse their kids, sell drugs, and cheat on their taxes” (all sins). Thus, your retort employ its own faulty logic. Your complaint of her faulty logic is perhaps best read as a projection of your own. Secondly, as Karla argues, some people ARE so cold and threatening in their responses that others don’t want to speak to them about important things in their life. And I’m all for calling that out. Third, and as a corollary, your complaints about ‘guilt’ are ridiculous. God uses motivation by guilt all the time. Whether we like or not (I don’t particularly) is another matter. But it’s a ‘valid’ form of argument. Continue to dig your own hole if you want, but, obviously, I’m sort of tired with your weak points masquerading as something more. You have a valid point in there somewhere, but your aggression and hypocritical comments are overpowering it.

  15. Chadwick says:

    Dsc

    Equating child abuse, drug lords, and dishonesty with the LGBTQ community means we cannot even have an open discussion with you.

    My experience is that people with these views cannot leave leave well enough alone. So please have the last word and let the rest of us engage in civil discourse.

    Janey: that list is gold. Thank you for sharing.

  16. Janey, that a human embryo or a human fetus is a living member of the species Homo sapiens is not a la inherently religious belief. That the law should prohibit people from killing living human organisms is not an inherently religious belief. Yours is, to be perfectly honest, a lazy argument that demonstrates that you’ve never even heard of organizations like Secular Pro-Life and the long list of pro-life atheists and secularists.

    Brian, abortion is the taking of a human life. It’s a sin. I feel no sense of obligation to sugar coat it.

    Chadwick, I wasn’t addressing “the LGBTQ community” with my comment; I was addressing the issue of abortion.

  17. When confronted with two evils, do the least evil thing. Killing a baby is less evil than suffering though childbirth and adopting.

    I’ve never met anyone who should not have ever existed and I’ve never met a mother or mother who gave a child up for adoption who wishes the baby didn’t exist. I doubt I ever will.

    More good than harm comes from children being born, even if that takes a toll on the mother. We ought to rally around those at the margin to ease their burdens they carry with bringing life into the world

  18. Geoff - Aus says:

    It is good that DSC and Sute can make comments here, though they should remember that they are a reducing minority. I thought conservatives valued free speech, but I have been banned from commenting on meridian magazine, millenial star, and this week times and seasons for disagreeing with/criticizing their point of view.

    I don’t understand how American politics works. Is there a way to reduce the number of conservative states or governors to make more states safe for women.

    This an attack on women, when they realise that a miscarriage, or still birth, could land them in prison. Is there a way they could show their disaproval at the ballot box and vote for independent or democrat governors instead of republicans? To make more safe states for women.

  19. Dsc,

    That the law should prohibit people from killing living human organisms is not an inherently religious belief.

    But it is, at the minimum, even if not explicitly grounded in theology, a belief which depends upon some kind of philosophical claim. That’s not an argument against that belief, obviously; mine and yours and Janey’s and most everyone’s beliefs are similar dependent upon some set of philosophical (or around here, more often explicitly religious) presumptions. But that does mean that you can’t assume that your move from a scientific observation (“a human embryo or a human fetus is a living member of the species Homo sapiens”) to a normative one (“the law should prohibit people from killing human [embryonic and fetal] organisms”) happens either automatically or obviously. There is intellectual work being done to get from your point A to your point B, and that intellectual work, including its costs vis-a-vis other conflicting normative claims, can be contested, as is happening in the discussion here.

  20. Dsc, FYI the Church allows abortion in some cases. Perhaps you didn’t know. But, of course, you do know that. So for you to blanket categorize all abortions sins is way over the top and at odd with Church leaders and current teachings. Stepping into some serious judgement and condemnation shoes there. I don’t believe for an instant you can fill them.

  21. Russell,

    I don’t think I implied that there isn’t intellectual work between the scientific observation and the philosophical conclusion. My point was that it’s not inherently religious. Banning abortion is no more a religious imposition than any other policy that values human life.

    Brian, you are again mischaracterizing what I said. Taking a human life is a sin. I’m sure that if I said that in any other context, you would understand that I say that as the general rule subject to rare exceptions. God told Moses “thou shalt not kill”, but everyone seems to understand that defense of self and others, while technically falling under that prohibition, isn’t what God was talking about.

  22. Dsc, believing that an embryo is a human being is a religious (or philosophical for secularists) belief. The belief is different across religions and cultures. The abortion ban is a religious imposition of those beliefs on people who do not share them. In Utah, the abortion ban tracks the Church policy about abortion closely – it allows exceptions for rape, incest, severe fetal abnormalities, and risk to the life of the mother. Clearly, that legislation is based on religious belief. Louisiana’s abortion ban prevents abortion from the moment of conception, which is also based on a religious belief. The existence of a small number of pro-life secularists hardly changes the belief into a non-religious belief. And no, I haven’t heard of pro-life secularists or pro-life atheists. The pro-life crowd is overwhelmingly pushing religious beliefs and having some token atheists around does not transform the movement into something non-religious.

  23. Dsc, Moses and God immediately made another exception to the commandment “thou shalt not kill,” just one chapter later. Moses reveals the penalty for terminating a pregnancy:
    If some men are fighting and hurt a pregnant woman so that she loses her child, but she is not injured in any other way, the one who hurt her is to be fined whatever amount the woman’s husband demands, subject to the approval of the judges (Exodus 21:22) (GNT).
    If a man beats a pregnant woman to the point that she miscarries, he pays a fine. Elsewhere in that same chapter, the Lord set down the law that someone who kills a man, hits or curses his parents, or kidnaps someone to sell them into slavery is to be put to death (Exodus 21:12–17). The Lord does not penalize terminating a pregnancy, even by a man hurting a pregnant woman, the same way he penalizes other killing, or even just cursing out your parents.

  24. Out, out, brief candle. Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.

    This is the wrong blog to discuss abortion. I

  25. Janey,

    No, the belief that an embryo is a human being is not even philosophical. It is scientific. Now, whether an embryo is a person or is otherwise entitled to rights is philosophical. Religion plays the same role in that question as it does in every other question. Whether you want to acknowledge it or not, the question of whether it is right to hold people in bondage as property is also philosophical. Its abolition was also highly religiously motivated. That many of the people fighting for abolition were religious does not convert it into an inherently religious question.

    The fact that you have not seen secular pro-life advocates means that you have not seriously engaged with the other side of your position. Christopher Hitchens, for example, a leftist who was famously antagonistic toward religion, but recognized that fetal life was human life and insisted that abortion policy had to grapple with that fact.

  26. I joined a support group for women who have terminated their pregnancies for medical reasons and their experiences are truly harrowing. Fetuses developing without brains, with the organs outside of the body, with lungs too small to support long term life, with genetic abnormalities that may lead to difficult outcomes or truly horrific outcomes with no way to know before birth which side of the spectrum it will be. Even before the recent court case, many of these women already had to travel to Colorado, the only clinic in the country that does late 2nd and early 3rd trimester abortions, because they had received the diagnosis following the 20 week ultrasound and waited some weeks in the hope that things would turn around. These women named their babies, mourned for them. Some felt they had to hide their true experience because of the judgment of their families or faith communities.

    One in four American women have had or will have abortions during their lives. You all know some of them. It could be your aunt, your mother, your sister, your wife, your daughter. Many women who have abortions, perhaps up to two thirds, already have children. Are we all ignorant or deluded or evil or selfish? How can that be? Could it be instead that we are trying to make responsible choices?

  27. Thanks for sharing that, Anon. I’m sorry that there are so many folks like Dsc who are just falling all over themselves to condemn you, as they sit comfortably in their uterus-free bodies, safe in the knowledge that their horribly harsh black-and-white view of the issue will never be applied to *them*.

  28. “For my part, I believe that I have morality and righteousness on my side because I’m on the side of not killing a living human organism except in the most dire circumstances.”
    I agree, which is why I am pro-choice. What counts as a dire (enough) circumstance? Who can be more qualified and more entitled than the pregnant person to make that decision?

  29. Who can be more entitled and more qualified to determine when lethal force is necessary than a cop (or anyone else) faced with a potential threat? And yet we don’t just leave that up to individuals. Because getting it wrong means needless death.

  30. Per the CDC

    In 2019, 629,898 legal induced abortions were reported to CDC from 49 reporting areas. Among 48 reporting areas with data each year during 2010–2019, in 2019, a total of 625,346 abortions were reported, the abortion rate was 11.4 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44 years, and the abortion ratio was 195 abortions per 1,000 live births.

    From 2010 to 2019, the number, rate, and ratio of reported abortions decreased 18%, 21%, and 13%, respectively. However, compared with 2018, in 2019, the total number increased 2%, the rate of reported abortions increased by 0.9%, and the abortion ratio increased by 3%.

    Similar to previous years, in 2019, women in their twenties accounted for the majority of abortions (56.9%). The majority of abortions in 2019 took place early in gestation: 92.7% of abortions were performed at ≤13 weeks’ gestation; a smaller number of abortions (6.2%) were performed at 14–20 weeks’ gestation, and even fewer (<1.0%) were performed at ≥21 weeks’ gestation. Early medical abortion is defined as the administration of medications(s) to induce an abortion at ≤9 completed weeks’ gestation, consistent with the current Food and Drug Administration labeling for mifepristone (implemented in 2016). In 2019, 42.3% of all abortions were early medical abortions. Use of early medical abortion increased 10% from 2018 to 2019 and 123% from 2010 to 2019.

  31. I’m genuinely curious why so many pro-choice advocates – specifically with religious backgrounds and upbringings – can’t (or refuse to?) acknowledge that there are millions of educated, intelligent women who have suffered through miscarriage, stillbirth, and a host of other terrible conditions associated with conception and pregnancy who remain staunchly anti-abortion and “pro-life.” This is not a topic where if one simply “listens and learns,” one will arrive at identical conclusions to yours.

    Though I’m reticent to call out any one person, Karla’s comment came first in the thread. A number of questions surfaced when reading it:

    — Why would the decision not involve the father?
    — Would you disagree that the pro-choice movement – specifically Planned Parenthood – has as much money and political power as the “religious right” pushing the pro-life position?
    — Why does the “bodily autonomy” argument only ever concern one body? The successful reproductive act of a human male and human female will result in a living human organism. On the weighing scale, why should this genetically unique human organism by default hold less value?
    — Both sides talk about the horrific cases at the margins, yet 80+% of abortions (according to the CDC and Guttmacher) are performed electively (ie, not for cause of rape/incest/medical necessity) on single women in their 20s. How could we help educate that population to make abortion less appealing, since there are clear negative effects from the experience?

  32. @Dsc, do you oppose IVF? Have my many friends who have discarded unused embryos after completing their IVF cycles committed murder?

    If you feel that it is your job to prevent women from doing something you view as harmful to human life, what else are you doing in your to prevent others from doing harm to human life?

    Everyone can have all the opinions on abortion they want. If you oppose abortion, don’t get one, don’t pay for one, don’t encourage one. But neither you nor any legislature should get to decide whether a woman should be forced to carry and birth someone else, not any more than you should get to force someone to give up a kidney to save a life (which is actually a less invasive procedure than the c-sections I had).

  33. I appreciate this post, which walks the reader through an evolution of belief that is rarely shared on such a controversial topic. It shows humility and a willingness to learn, so thank you.

    I would like to add to the discussion that even if you are adamantly against abortion, you have so much to lose when abortion is banned, including:

    -The right not to be questioned about your miscarriage
    -The right to create multiple embryos while pursuing IVF
    -The right to get lifesaving care as quickly as possible (or possibly, at all)

    Based on some proposed legislation, this could also include the right to your medical privacy, digital privacy, the right to share controversial information, and even the right to cross state lines for medical procedures.

    Bodily autonomy and privacy should not be lightly discarded by anyone. Everyone has something to lose.

  34. At the risk of being controversial (something occasionally frowned upon here, apparently) is there really a misconception among advocates of this issue – this comment section or otherwise – between the spontaneous occurrence of miscarriage and the active decision of abortion? Has any proposed legislation in the “red“ states targeted IVF to be illegal? I legitimately don’t know .. but it sounds a bit like fear mongering to me.

  35. Bensen, I don’t think the laws are going after miscarriages intentionally, but if a person is pregnant at one point and then not pregnant later, the state is absolutely going after them, because how do you prove that you *didn’t* intentionally cause it?

  36. Ziff, if the state doesn’t have the burden to prove mens rea then it is a really bad law.

  37. Oh, I would think the state still does, but that doesn’t mean that any woman who has a miscarriage isn’t at risk of being under suspicion.

  38. Benson – IVF is not being targeted, but laws that protect embryo’s / fetuses from fertilization (see: Oklahoma) would include fertilized embryos created during the IVF process. It’s uncertain legal territory.

    There is definitely fear-mongering going on on both sides. But there is also just… fear. A lot of this is uncharted territory. A lot of these proposed bans appear poorly thought out and could cause a lot of unintended consequences for everybody.

  39. Kristine says:

    Bensen, so far most women who have been prosecuted for miscarriages were struggling with addiction and used drugs during pregnancy. In Texas in particular, where there’s a $10,000 prize for an accusation, there will undoubtedly be more prosecutions of mothers who can’t prove that they didn’t do something that might endanger the baby. And in a world where facts don’t matter, an extra cup of coffee might be enough to win a court case on: https://ebm.bmj.com/content/26/3/114

  40. Benson, I read an article some times ago detailing horror stories from Mexico re: miscarriages triggering abortion investigations and even jail time. I don’t remember any statistics about how common it is. Ultimately, the only one who really knows if it was an abortion or miscarriage is the mother, so stats couldn’t be accurate anyway. It seems like it’s a matter of overzealous medical personnel tipping off law enforcement to their suspicions.

  41. My point about IVF isn’t about laws targeting IVF – in fact, my point is they don’t. So why do we allow people discard embryos they don’t use during an IVF cycle but we don’t allow women to discard embryos from their uterus?

    Logically, if you believe a fertilized egg is a person, they are no different. But that they are being treated differently shows that abortion is about controlling women’s bodies / punishing them for having sex.

  42. Elisa, yep.

  43. “When do two sex cells joined together become a person with rights equal to the mother’s?” has been a very important consideration for me. Our church made it clear when my 40-week stillborn child, delivered via an emergency C-section, was not given a name and blessing and didn’t have her existence noted on the records of the church. A priesthood holder assured me that “her spirit will come to your next baby.” For a crazy time I obsessed about that as a part of my grief. In fear and trembling my husband and I chose to get pregnant again and I prayed he would be a boy so as to differentiate him from her (he was/is). But my baby girl, Lucy Marie, is gone from me. She is gone with no assurance that she even exists but my claim that she is mine.

    My experience with Lucy’s death made me absolutely pro-choice. I would never, never force anyone to go through the almost insane trauma I went through then. People may come to their conclusions about abortion through logic, theology, or tradition. I came to mine through blood, sweat, and tears.

  44. Karla, same.
    My circumstances weren’t/aren’t nearly as tragic, but my pro-choice conviction is based on life experience. Mothers know what others cannot.

  45. Michael,

    Florida doesn’t ban abortion until 15 weeks. Tennessee and Texas don’t ban abortion until 6 weeks. I don’t know about the others, but I presume that if they do in fact both contain no rape or incest exception and ban abortion from conception, that will quickly change.

    The life of the mother question isn’t any more difficult than any other prohibition on killing except to save the life of another. The concern here is manufactured. I repeat: no state prohibits abortion in life-threatening circumstances.

    Cite me the cases summarizing your view of bodily autonomy. States have police power. The presumption is that they can exercise any power not prohibited to them. https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/police_powers

    What do I care what “Republicans” plan to do? There is no federal power to ban or protect abortion. It’s not a part of any of Congress’s enumerated powers. I have no idea why you would point to other peoples’ bad takes on the law to justify your own. I have never stated that I support a federal ban on abortion, so I am truly puzzled why you would bring this up except as an attempted tu quoque attack on other bad legal reasoning.

  46. Oops, wrong thread…

  47. Kristine says:

    “The life of the mother question isn’t any more difficult than any other prohibition on killing except to save the life of another. The concern here is manufactured. I repeat: no state prohibits abortion in life-threatening circumstances.”

    Dsc, you are wrong. There are cases (including most ectopic pregnancies) where the mother’s life is in danger, but not yet emergently. I just saw a Missouri lawyer talking about her conversations this week with a doctor trying to determine whether he could perform an abortion on a patient whose non-viable fetus had not yet died, but whose slow demise was causing the mother to become septic. At what point is her life sufficiently endangered to perform the lifesaving procedure? There are few bright lines in these cases and when things start to go bad, doctors shouldn’t have to consult lawyers before deciding what to do. Women will die because doctors have the added worry of whether they can be prosecuted for making a call that a judge disagrees with in a difficult case.

  48. Kristine says:

    And maybe more subtly, women will survive but lose their fertility. Treating an ectopic pregnancy *before* the fallopian tube ruptures improves the chances of a future healthy pregnancy. Treating post-miscarriage bleeding with drugs that may be banned because of their possible use in medication abortions can prevent more drastic treatments like hysterectomy to stop bleeding. There are many, many reasons besides wanton, selfish desire not to have a baby that women might need these kinds of treatment. There are unintended consequences to simplistic moralizing via legislation.

  49. Geoff - Aus says:

    There is an assumption that republicans will take control of the senate in november.
    Can the women of America unite and say no, you do not represent us. Surely this can be organized?
    Conservative Australian women just did it, because they said they were not being represented on womens rights, climate action etc.

  50. Geoff – Aus, the voting situation in America is a problem. Trump’s Big Lie gave cover to a lot of Republican efforts to pass laws making it harder to vote in ways that will affect racial minorities and low income voters (those more likely to vote Democrat) the most. I’m not going to go through an exhaustive list because it’s so depressing, but the Republicans are attacking voting rights and the Supreme Court is helping them.

    I’m in Utah, where the Republican legislature recently gerrymandered the state again. Several years ago, voters got sick of the gerrymandering and passed a resolution calling for an Independent Voting District Committee (can’t remember the exact name), in which non-politicians would create a map of voting districts. They spent hundreds of hours on it, considering communities and natural boundaries. They then presented this map to the State Legislature. The Republicans didn’t even look at it. They promptly threw together a gerrymandered map that would dilute the pockets of Democratic voters and passed it and then Governor signed it. There was a huge public outcry, but that doesn’t seem to matter much anymore. Last I heard, an organization somewhere was considering filing a lawsuit about the gerrymandering, but nothing’s been filed yet.

    I live in one of those Democratic pockets of people. The gerrymandered map broke us up, rather like a pie, and my district includes hundreds of miles of rural voters (more likely to vote Republican) that dilute my vote. The Utah House is controlled by Republicans 59-16 and the Utah Senate is controlled by Republicans 23-6. Utah is basically a one-party state and they make sure it stays that way.

    I’ve heard that Australia requires voting – like you’re automatically registered and the government bends over backwards to make it easy to vote. America is not like that at all, and it’s getting worse.

  51. Dsc,

    Your reply that “look at the token atheist who agrees with my pro-life ideas” doesn’t make your pro-life ideas non-religious. That’s a rather lazy argument. An abortion ban is based on religious beliefs, even if the religious right has learned to speak in secularism to disguise their real motivations. If a fetus really is a human being, then the general rules about bodily autonomy should be applied to any conflict of interest between the mother and the fetus, which is that no human being can be forced to save the life of another human being. If a child is going to die because you, DSC, will not give the child your kidney, the state can’t force you to give the kidney. And you can refuse for any reason – you wanted to go skiing, say, and donating a kidney would delay that. The state cannot force you to skip your skiing trip to donate a kidney to a dying child. An in utero human being shouldn’t have more rights vis-a-vis someone else’s body than a person born years ago. The abortion ban is religious. If it’s at all secular, it’s entirely defeated by bodily autonomy.

  52. @Geoff – Aus, I’ll point you to my ignored comment above and repeat the important clarification:

    “[There] are millions of educated, intelligent women [in this country] who have suffered through miscarriage, stillbirth, and a host of other terrible conditions associated with conception and pregnancy who remain staunchly anti-abortion and “pro-life.” This is not a topic where if one simply “listens and learns,” one will arrive at identical conclusions to yours.” Millions of American women cheer for the recent ruling and champion the efforts to reduce the number of abortions in the United States, even if that sizable demographic is rather underrepresented on this blog.

    Janey talks of gerrymandering like it’s a uniquely Republican problem – this distasteful tactic has been political modus operandi for decades on both sides. What’s more, the “exhaustive list” of Republican efforts to supposedly attack voting rights is way overblown. I’m not sure if we’re allowed to link to external sites in the BCC comment section – if you go to politico.com (hardly a bastion of right-wing talking points), you can find a nicely detailed article entitled, “The New Voting Restrictions Aren’t as Restrictive as Many Think,” published just a couple of months ago. It provides the necessary nuance to explore this topic properly. (Also: the immigration case before the Supreme Court this term was ruled in favor of the Biden Administration. The Court is not as partisan as presented.)

    @Janey, I understand your recent comment to Dsc but disagree with it. Dsc might greedily withhold his kidneys from a needy child, but plenty of other people might be eligible to donate all or part of the kidney. Pregnancy is so very different – once a child is forming within a mother’s womb, there is no “surrogate” option to take over the pregnancy. It’s all-or-nothing with the woman who exercised her bodily autonomy at multiple decision points pre-pregnancy.

    In reading many of these comments, too many are equating morality with religiosity. As every law we have is based, at some level, on shared morality, dismissing the recent ruling as “religiously based and biased” misses the mark. Both sides like to use dramatic cases at the margins to advocate for blanket allowance / prohibition, but 80+% of abortions are performed on single women in their 20s for convenience / elective reasons. Now that we have 50 policy laboratories, hopefully the most effective policies at reducing the aggregate number of abortions while protecting the extreme cases will rise quickly to the top.

  53. Kristine says:

    “80+% of abortions are performed on single women in their 20s for convenience / elective reasons.”

    No part of this statement is accurate, except that most women who seek abortions are unmarried. https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2022/06/24/what-the-data-says-about-abortion-in-the-u-s-2/

  54. “Now that we have 50 policy laboratories, hopefully the most effective policies at reducing the aggregate number of abortions while protecting the extreme cases will rise quickly to the top.”

    But we already know the answer to this! Real sex education (i.e., not abstinence-only). Better access to birth control. More power in general to women to control their sex and reproductive lives.

    What we’re getting instead is a bunch of states who are only willing to try ways to stop abortion that allow them to express their love of patriarchy and their hatred and suspicion of women. Pregnancy is taken as a given, as something that just kinda sorta happens, because if you start looking back and asking what caused it, then you start assigning responsibility to men, and they don’t want that!

  55. @Kristine – you’re right! The summary I read used a Guttmacher number that Guttmacher (by their own acknowledgment) had extrapolated. If we use the age range 20-34, just shy of 80% of abortions fall into that range. We both found the same stats on marital status: ~86% were unmarried.

    The ‘convenience / elective’ claim is tougher to prove / disprove, as there is very little research data to go on. However, that which we *do* have points towards the 80+% statistic being accurate. That is, very, very few abortions are chosen due to rape / incest / health risks to the mother. Do you not believe it’s worth a concentrated effort to reduce the aggregate number of abortions among this demographic?

    @Ziff – I disagree that the policy answer is as cut and dry as you present. Despite your apparent beliefs, conservative women don’t have their heads in the sand or stuck in the Bible, incapable of seeing things “as they really are.” “Real” sex education would promote abstinence more often and more frequently, not as the only way but as the ideal way. Assuming that sex is just gonna happen irrespective of teaching and education is a rather bleak and defeatist approach to something so important and sacred.

    What’s more, painting those who disagree with your abortion stance with the broad brush of patriarchal oppression is, to be unfortunately blunt, a bit superficial and juvenile. I agree that men need to take more responsibility for unplanned pregnancies – shutting them out of the natural consequences of sexual activity (ie, leaving the abortion decision exclusively to the woman) will not help promote this responsibility – it will have the opposite effect.

  56. Sammy, just because you don’t like the answer doesn’t mean that it isn’t right. Teaching people that sex is important is good. Teaching them that it is “sacred” just betrays that you’re trying to force your religious ideas on everyone else. Bad form.

  57. I mean, we already know how to reduce abortions. What we don’t have, but we’re going to get, is a couple of dozen fundamentalist Christian approaches to shaming women for having sex. Which state will require women of childbearing age to register their uterus with the government and have their period tracked to be sure they’re not getting abortions on the sly? Which will use pregnancy-sniffing dogs to keep women from leaving the state to get an abortion? None will involve penalizing men for irresponsible ejaculation. None will involve making rape easier to report and prosecute, and making the punishments for it more sure. Because it’s all about misogyny, not about reducing abortion.

  58. @Ziff – it seems we’ll agree to disagree. The idea of ‘sacredness’ is not unique to religion – and sweet mercy, if you can’t call sex ‘sacred’, what else would the word even be used for? Your kneejerk antipathy to religion isn’t serving you well.

    I might recommend you frequent sites a little more neutral in your media consumption. Despite claims from the Maxine Waters and Mother Jones crowd, our culture is nowhere close to The Handmaid’s Tale.

  59. LOL @Sammy. I haven’t had a good laugh in a while from these threads. What a comment!

  60. FWIW, I have a completely different take on abortion. (Personally, I find it distressing as a father of 6, and 4 daughters. For me, another child is not a disaster.)

    I believe that a woman has an absolute right to determine the father of her children. And the circumstances of bearing those children. This right extends well into pregnancy. (There must be some cutoff point, like viability?)

    God has placed the future of our species in women’s hands. We must honor her decisions in this effort.

  61. Geoff - Aus says:

    Sammy, Interesting that none of the conservative women are commenting here, but a bunch of conservative men are?

    For years republicans have been selling that they have the solution for abortion, so republicans celebrated when the solution was delivered. When we see what that looks like for women they may not be so impressed. If republican women having miscarriages or still births start getting interviewed by police, if the rate of maternal deaths starts increasing to pre RvW levels etc etc.

    There could be mass disaffections from support of the mostly male republican leadership. In Australia the conservative women did not go to the opposition party. They voted for professional women who were like they aspired to be. Integrity, representation and treatment of women,
    climate change. In Australia they were called teal independents, because the conservative party is blue. In America they might be pink independents or some off red that is appealing to republican women.

  62. Honestly, Sammy, I hope you’re right about the future. It gives me some hope that you think women’s rights (and LGBTQ rights, and really, all our rights) aren’t on the chopping block. Will you please work with me and people like me, even if you find it distasteful, to help prevent the darker future I fear?

  63. Janey (June 28 @5:49pm) — really well said. Thank you for that.

  64. thanks, john f.

  65. Geoff - Aus says:

    Are you having extreme weather there? Our largest city Sydney (population 5.3 million) is having it’s third 1 in 100 year rain event/flooding in 18 months.

    Are you having extreme weather too? Is it being acknowledged that climate change is a factor? By republicans too?

    This was one of the issues that conservative Australian women said these conservative men do not represent us on. Along with integrity in politics, and treatment of women.

  66. @Geoff – Aus, I can’t pretend that it’s not a little distasteful for you to assume I’m a conservative man based on my desire to minimize abortion and protect fetal life. Clearly the problem of nearly a million abortions a year (in the US) is a multifaceted concern. For example, if we had proper prison reform, we wouldn’t have a disproportionate number of black men away from their families and futures, which would have downstream effects on the disproportionate number of single black women who pursue abortions. My adult life has, unfortunately (inevitably?) made me rather skeptical of the efficacy of vast federal policy. I’m hopeful that, at least as far as the abortion topic is concerned, more simultaneous state-wide approaches will result in better policy with more result and less rancor. A fool’s hope, perhaps, but better than what we had.

    @Ziff, I think we have some fundamental disagreements on the interplay of rights and responsibilities. But that shouldn’t and doesn’t mean we can’t move forward in some kind of harmony. Thank you for commenting in a way that diffused some of the tension that clearly leaked out in my previous comment.

  67. @Sammy – this thread isn’t about voting rights, so I won’t go too far off track, other than to say that your comment about how gerrymandering is a ‘both sides’ problem is wrong in the context of the example I gave. Republicans make up 78% of Utah’s legislature. Democrats don’t have much influence at all here in Utah, so ALL of the gerrymandering in Utah is Republican.
    You also said that the attacks on voting rights really aren’t that bad. Geoff is from Australia, where the govt does everything it can to ensure that every single person casts a ballot. The argument that the USA is just chipping away at voting rights a little at a time is not super persuasive. The USA ought to be following Australia’s example in this issue, and actively doing everything it can to help every citizen return a ballot.

    @Geoff – we’ve got climate change problems here too. Big Oil pours millions into lobbying to stop efforts to reign in fossil fuel use. I would certainly vote for anyone who could stand up to them. I don’t have what it takes to form another political party though.

  68. Geoff - Aus says:

    Sammy,
    I have concluded that you are a conservative/republican on a number of grounds not just your desire to protect fetal life at the expense of the mother. Everyone else wants to reduce abortions to a minimum, just the non republicans follow what works https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/sep/25/facebook-posts/graph-us-abortion-rate-during-different-presidents/ it involves respecting women, giving them the resources to prevent unwanted pregnancies such as real sex education including consent, and affordable birth control. You defend the republican way.
    That you twist facts like this claim that I have concluded from you fetal defence alone.
    That you talk about millions of republican women who have had pregnancies but are pro life.
    That you exagerate, to the point of lying, that there are nearly a million abortions 630,000.
    That you try the both sides do it
    All indications of republicanism.
    What do you believe about climate change?
    Is America still a democracy if the republican party does not want the people to vote, and does not accept the result when they do? Will you vote for America to become a dictatorship, or is there a limit to your republicanism?

    Janey, teals were not a new party, but independents but there was a billionair who organized funding. Surely there is a billionair who is pro choice, pro climate action, and pro woman. Perhaps you could recruit one? Is there a place for independents in your system? https://nationworldnews.com/inside-the-teal-wave-how-the-independent-revolution-happened/

  69. Geoff - Aus says:

    Sammy, You assume that because a woman is single her abortion is for convenience. It has just become public that more than 60% of these single women became pregnant, but were abused by their partner, and left, not wanting to have their abusers child, Does this sound like convenience To you?
    I missed your reference to small government as another indication of being republicanism.

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