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Current location: Wisconsin
Member since: Sat Apr 14, 2007, 05:49 PM
Number of posts: 27,985

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oh, horseshit. this isn't a fucking war that one side will "win". grow up.

be fucking civil. is it that fucking hard to post here and not be on some vendetta against a poster or group of posters? this place is insane sometimes and shit like this is what makes it suck.

you're part of the problem.

Molly Ivins' takedown of Paglia is classic.


"What we have here, fellow citizens, is a crassly egocentric, raving twit. The Norman Podhoretz of our gender. That this woman is actually taken seriously as a thinker in New York intellectual circles is a clear sign of decadence, decay, and hopeless pinheadedness. Has no one in the nation’s intellectual capital the background and ability to see through a web of categorical assertions? One fashionable line of response to Paglia is to claim that even though she may be fundamentally off-base, she has 'flashes of brilliance.' If so, I missed them in her oceans of swill."

I will c&p a reply from my thread on the topic...

My intent was never to 'drive a wedge', 'be the word police', or 'be divisive'.

I wanted to discuss the harm, stigma and confusion that can be caused by the words we choose. ESPECIALLY with people who support choice and may not realize the potential harm or that the party has updated the language. The words in question of this thread are "safe, legal and rare" - specifically taking note of the word rare. In context of abortion (not unwanted pregnancies, abortion). The national party removed it because of the fact it's open to interpretation... and all of the reasons outlined in the OP.

*I* get that you and other liberals are very very likely to fully support choice. *I* get what you *MEAN* by rare. We *all* want to make unwanted pregnancies rare... but do you not see, even a little, how using the "rare" language can be harmful? There have been massive attacks in every state on abortion since 1989. And they are getting worse. And, as such, I feel it's incredibly important to discuss how our language forms our societal beliefs and vice versa. To quote LeftyMom from another thread...

19. That's the political genius and moral cowardice of the phrase.
To pro-choice people it means "unplanned pregnancies shouldn't be common, for women's sake." To the mushy middle it means "abortions for deserving women but not for those trampy other women." To anti-choicers it means "let's whittle away at legalized abortion even if we can't get a ban past the Supremes yet."

It's a political Rorschach ink blot. It means what you want it to mean.

I have had at least 2 conversations here with people who literally said, "oh, hey. wow - I really hadn't thought about it like that, I will change my language". Others have been nasty, combative, dismissive and rude. And there's been a lot in between.

Bottom line - it's a discussion. This is a discussion board. It's an important topic to me and I thought to many other DUers. Again- the word that causes confusion, anger, harm, etc was REMOVED from the party platform for these reasons. It's just weird that so many DUers are fighting it.

Here is this is the Democratic Party altered platform (with "safe, legal, rare" removed):

Protecting A Woman's Right to Choose. The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman's right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay. We oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right. Abortion is an intensely personal decision between a woman, her family, her doctor, and her clergy; there is no place for politicians or government to get in the way. We also recognize that health care and education help reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and thereby also reduce the need for abortions. We strongly and unequivocally support a woman's decision to have a child by providing affordable health care and ensuring the availability of and access to programs that help women during pregnancy and after the birth of a child, including caring adoption programs.

See? It's possible to support all of the things we discussed and leave the frequency out of the policy discussion to avoid the confusion and/or potential harm.

Ideally, abortion rates drop as a byproduct of the rest but we keep the focus on what it should be. We typically don't fight to expand access to something we want to be rare.

It's not that controversial.

Carry on.

A linguistic trick of affirming the right to abortion while simultaneously devaluing it.

Safe, legal, rare.

Saying it should be "rare" indicates - clearly - that it is happening more than it should be and that there are 'good' and 'bad' abortions. Abortion is one of the most stigmatized events of a woman's life and the widespread "rare" mantra propagates that.

Calling for it to be "rare" proposes that there is something wrong with abortion. It places the procedure as a very different type of health care. One in which the goal is reduced use rather than expanded access and enhanced quality. And this has contributed to the significant decline in the number of locations where abortions are performed in the United States. The result is also fewer physicians - good physicians - who are even taught abortion care. Less than half of all OB/GYN's residency programs offer training in abortion care.

Saying it should be rare legitimizes efforts to restrict access to abortion.

Prior to 1989, laws interfering with a woman’s right to abortion were ruled unconstitutional. The shift in the composition of the Court under the Reagan and Bush I administrations led to the 1989 and 1992 Webster and Casey Supreme Court decisions establishing a threshold of “undue burden” for the constitutionality of state-based restrictions. Under this new legal regime, states can demonstrate a preference against abortion through the implementation of waiting periods, parental
involvement, mandatory information, and scripted provider speech requirements; since 1994, almost every state has done so. These laws vary in their construction and studying the effects of these laws is difficult but suggests that additional barriers to abortion disproportionately affect traditionally vulnerable populations.24 For example, the most severe waiting periods require two in-person visits to the clinic with a prescribed time between visits. In a world where many women lack paid sick leave and childcare, access to a provider in their community, and affordable transportation/lodging, a two-visit requirement may be insurmountable to some women.

Using this phrase is a linguistic trick of affirming the right to abortion while simultaneously devaluing it is both harmful and ineffective as a strategy to securing rights. The desire to help an individual woman achieve her reproductive desires by avoiding an abortion is a laudable goal, not because it reduces the need for abortion, but because it is what that woman wants for her life.

Credit for several portions of this to:

J Womens Hist. 2010;22(3):161-72.
Rethinking the mantra that abortion should be "safe, legal, and rare".
Weitz TA.

Worth every penny to buy the whole article, btw.

The most excellent shutdown piece ever.

I don't who this guy is, but he's explained it in the simplest of terms I've seen yet. It's going viral on FB and I am posting the whole thing here. Spread it far and wide:


Summary for anyone who is interested and who wants to more fully understand what is happening with our federal government right now:

1. This shutdown is not happening because both parties won't compromise. This shutdown is happening because Republicans in the House of Representatives have refused to pass a budget bill without a bunch of amendments tacked on to it, chiefly amendments nullifying Obamacare.

2. Obamacare is not directly tied to this budget bill in any way. It is a separate piece of legislation, already passed and signed into law back in 2010. The House Republicans are just saying, "We don't like this law, Obamacare, that was already passed, and because we do not have the votes to repeal it in the manner laid out in the Constitution" -- they don't; they've already tried to repeal it 42 times, yes, that is true, 42 times -- "we're going to instead DEMAND that the law be repealed or delayed, or else we won't pass this budget legislation necessary to keep the country running."

3. Again, Obamacare was signed into law, in the fashion laid out in the Constitution of the United States, in 2010. It was not, like, laid down by martial law, unless you think a bunch of congresspeople and senators voting for a bill counts as martial law.

4. Also, the president behind Obamacare was reelected in 2012. Also also, in 2012 the Democrats retained control of the Senate, and House Republicans actually lost the popular vote, but stayed in control of their chamber because of shrewd gerrymandering. All of which is to say: If Americans hate Obamacare so much, how come they reelected Obama and voted so strongly for Democrats.

5. Remember that in 2012, the Supreme Court, led by a conservative chief justice and majority, upheld Obamacare's constitutionality, except for one part. (And that part is kaput. The president is not trying to enforce it with UN troops and black helicopters. It's why we don't have a state-run health exchange here in Wisconsin.) So, to sum up: Obamacare was not only enacted according to the rule of law in this country, it also survived scrutiny by the highest judiciary body in the land, which is in the hands of the opposition party.

6. The point being: None of this is to say whether Obamacare will be good or bad for the country! It is only to say that it was passed according to the rules, and it's been legitimized by our top court and implicitly by citizens who voted to reelect the president whose name it bears. Socialist tyranny, it's just not.

7. What the House GOP is pulling right now -- "Get rid of Obamacare or we'll shut down important services and risk a global financial catastrophe by not raising the debt ceiling" -- this is not politics as usual. This is extortion. They are a minority; even plenty of other Republican legislators think that what these guys are doing is absurd and dangerous (and this will likely become more clear the longer the shutdown goes on). If these guys want to get rid of Obamacare, they should go out and campaign and get more senators and a president elected. That is how democracy works. AMERICA, Y'ALL.

8. A note on the debt ceiling: Voting to raise the debt ceiling is not voting to spend money that the U.S. doesn't have. Congress *already voted* to spend that money. The debt ceiling is a bizarre, redundant device, and we are basically the only country that has one. (Denmark has one, but it's just a formality and has never been a point of controversy or contention.) Essentially, it's like if your dad went out and bought a lot of stuff with his credit card, but then he had to ask your mom if it was OK for him to pay the credit card off. The money is already spent. If your mom says no, then your dad is failing to honor his obligations, and his credit rating (and your mom's!) is going to be trashed. The difference on the larger scale is that if the U.S.'s credit rating is trashed, the whole planet's economy could take a massive hit, because we are, you know, a global super-power.

9. Again, this is not about a lack of compromise on both sides. The House GOP is demanding that the president and congressional Democrats just undo their chief legislative victory. And it was a legitimate victory! And frankly, Obamacare is something that a lot of Americans *want*. Those Americans are real citizens, too. So this is like if your dad and your mom and you and your sister all vote to go to Olive Garden one Thursday evening, but your little brother wants to go to Applebee's, and so instead of just accepting that he won't always get his way and planning a stronger case for Applebee's for next Thursday, he flips out and runs outside and slashes all the tires on the car so you guys can't go anywhere. Except, again, much crazier, because instead of just one family it affects millions of people and could also set off an economic calamity of titanic proportions.

10. Let me be clear: I do not hate Republicans. My dad is a Republican! I am a small businessperson! I go to church! I LOVE CHRISTMAS. This is not about name-calling or hating on anyone, and frankly, I do not expect to change anyone's mind about any of the proceeding details. But I am tired of the notion that both parties are equally to blame for our troubles; it has surely been true in the past, but it's not right now. (And it is entirely possible for ALL POLITICIANS TO BE AWFUL and for ONE OF THE TWO PARTIES TO STILL BE CONSIDERABLY WORSE.) Believe me, I would love nothing more than to see a revitalized Republican party, with views that I might disagree with but which were not straight-up lunacy. IT WOULD MAKE MY DUMB INTERNET FIGHTS A LOT MORE INTERESTING.

I can't believe I'm posting this. I am a fool. I don't know if I will even respond to comments. I have a headache already. Maybe it would not be so bad if we all downloaded our consciousnesses into computers after all.

An ode to Dookus/MonkeyFunk/RudyNJack

I haven't posted in a few months but I felt compelled to share the news that one of the DU originals who became a good IRL friend to me and many others has passed. He died suddenly this morning.

Some reading this will remember my friend as a shit-stirrer and he was. He was also ferociously hilarious, unendingly compassionate and incredibly wise. And I miss him. Remember the Laura Branigan wars? Or when he ran for pope? Or Veep? He always had such high goals.

To borrow some words of some friends I've shared this grief with today: You know how you meet someone in person once and you feel like you've known them forever? Sometimes once is all you get. Cherish that. Tell people that you like them. Or even that you love them. Tell them why you appreciate them as friends. It will save you regret later. Nobody likes regret.

So please join me, if you will, in toasting my friend. Our friend. I love you, Shawn. I am a better person for having known you.

Tim Wise - The Pathology of White Privilege

Abortion Safe and Legal? Yes. Make it Rare? Not. The. Point.

I know a lot of people are 'personally' opposed to abortion and claim that they would never have one or encourage a loved one to. I hear and see a lot of Democrats using the "safe, legal, rare" phrase and, honestly, it bugs the SHIT out of me. Why? Because the "safe, legal and rare" language still stigmatizes women's health care choices. We don't owe anybody an explanation when we need abortions any more than we do when we need breast exams or pap smears, and their frequency is a medical matter, not a legal one.

I see Democrats reference party icons like Kennedy, Clinton and the party itself using this phrase. Thankfully the Democratic Party dropped that seriously antiquated language in 2008: http://thecoathangerproject.blogspot.com/2008/08/reclaiming-morality-of-abortion-and.html

And here is a good piece summarizing my feelings on this matter: http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/blog/2010/04/26/safe-legal-rare-another-perspective

A common narrative in the political and cultural discussions of reproductive health focuses on reducing the number of abortions taking place every year. It’s supposed to be one thing that those who support abortion rights and those who oppose abortion can agree on, the so-called common ground. The assumption is that we can all agree that abortion itself is a bad thing, perhaps necessary, but definitely not a good thing. Even President Clinton declared (and many others have embraced) that abortion should be safe, legal and rare. According to the Guttmacher Institute, almost half of all pregnancies among American women in 2005 were unplanned or unintended. And of those, four in 10 ended in abortion. (http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_induced_abortion.html#1) In other words, between one-fifth and one-quarter of all pregnancies ended in abortion. Without any other information, those statistics can sound scary and paint a picture of women as irresponsible or poor decision-makers. Therefore reducing the number of abortions is a goal that reproductive health, rights and justice activists should work toward, right?

Wrong. Those numbers mean nothing without context. If the 1.21 million abortions that took place in 2005 (http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_induced_abortion.html#1) represent the number of women who needed abortions (and in my opinion, if a woman decides she needs an abortion, then she does), as well as the many women who chose to terminate pregnancies that they very much wanted but could not afford to carry to term, then that number is too high. The work of reducing the number of abortions, therefore, would entail creating an authentically family-friendly society, where women would have the support they need to raise their families, whatever forms they took. That could include eliminating the family caps in TANF, encouraging unionization of low-wage workers, reforming immigration policies and making vocational and higher education more accessible.

On the other hand, if those 1.21 million abortions represent only the women who could access abortion financially, geographically or otherwise, then that number is too low. Yes, too low. If that’s the case, then what is an appropriate response? How do we best support women and their reproductive health? Do we dare admit that increasing the number of abortions might be not only good for women’s health, but also moral and just?

What if we stopped focusing on the number of abortions and instead focused on the women themselves? Much of the work of the reproductive health, rights and justice movements would remain the same. We would still advocate for legislation that helps our families. We would still fight to protect abortion providers and their staffs from verbal harassment and physical violence. What would change, however, is the stigma and shame. By focusing on supporting women’s agency and self-determination, rather than judging the outcomes of that agency, we send a powerful message. We say that we trust women. We say we will not use them and their experiences as pawns in a political game. We say we care about women and want them to have access to all the information, services and resources necessary to make the best decisions they can for themselves and their families. That is at the core of reproductive justice. Not reducing the number of abortions. Safe – yes. Legal– absolutely. Rare – not the point.

bullshit, indeed. there are laws against "abortion coercion", but not coerced childbirth.

Which hurts society more: A medical procedure involving a woman and her doctor or an unwanted child dumped into our already overtaxed community?

We both know.

ETA this that i found on the internets:
Perhaps an "informed consent" law for continuing pregnancy?

"As your doctor, before you decide to continue with this pregnancy, I'm required by law to share with you a long list of horrible side effects and pregnancy complications which may occur, and then we're going to watch a video which will show you grossly deformed fetuses and small infants with horrible malformations, as well as charts about the likely unemployment, depression and higher suicide rates those infants can look forward to as adults.

I also have some information for you about the negative impact this pregnancy will have on your body, your future health, your marriage, the children you already have, your chances of employment, your education, the likelihood you'll end up impoverished when you get old because of the costs of posting bail when your children become druggies and criminals.

Please be aware that no one has the right to force you to continue this pregnancy, and if the father, or your parents, or your employer or neighbors are putting pressure on you to have children, the law will step in and protect you. Society is providing this entirely unbiased information purely out of the altruistic desire to make sure you don't regret your decision to ruin your life by having children.

The benefits of decriminalizing abortion

On January 28, 2013, Canada will celebrate 25 years of reproductive freedom. Since our Supreme Court struck down Canada's abortion law in 1988, our country's experience is proof that laws against abortion are unnecessary. A full generation of Canadians has lived without a law and we are better off because of it.

Canada is the first country in the world to prove that abortion care can be ethically and effectively managed as part of standard healthcare practice, without being controlled by any civil or criminal law. Our success is a role model to the world.

After 25 years with no legal restrictions on abortion whatsoever:
- Doctors and women handle abortion care responsibly.
- Abortion rates are fairly low and have steadily declined since 1997.
- Almost all abortions occur early in pregnancy.
- Maternal deaths and complications from abortion are very low.
- Abortion care is fully funded and integrated into the healthcare system (improving accessibility and safety).
- Further legal precedents have advanced women's equality by affirming an
unrestricted right to abortion.
- Public support for abortion rights has increased.

Responsible abortion care: Since 1988, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) has successfully managed abortion just as it does for every other medical procedure -- by applying policy and encouraging medical discretion for doctors, subject to a standard code of ethics.

Doctors abide by CMA policy and guidelines, and follow best medical practices based on validated research and clinical protocols. Criminal laws are inappropriate and harmful in medicine because they constrain care and negatively impact the health of patients.

Much more at link: http://www.rabble.ca/columnists/2013/01/benefits-decriminalizing-abortion

Joyce Arthur is the founder and Executive Director of Canada's national pro-choice group, the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada (ARCC), which protects the legal right to abortion on request and works to improve access to quality abortion services.

See more of her work here:
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