Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Anti-Abortion Crowd Takes Another Stab at NC

I'm not usually prone to borrowing wholesale from another blog, but I will in this case, as the points are cogent, the issue is alarmingly local to North Carolina, the movement to force women to procreate is repugnant, and there's always the chance that the majority of aging men in the NC General Assembly might decide this year to cave to pressures from the Christian Right. So ... hat tip to BlueNC for this:
Biased and misleading information
Submitted by PPCNC -- local P... on Wed, 05/26/2010 -- 2:51pm

* crisis pregnancy centers
* NC Legislature

Imagine the outcry if North Carolina created a special breast cancer license plate to support organizations that agree to deny women information, referrals, or counseling about the medical options available to treat breast cancer. Substitute pregnancy for breast cancer and, in essence, this is what activists rallying in Raleigh this week to pass "Choose Life" license plates want.

The "Choose Life" bill specifically states that funds raised through the sale of these plates may not be distributed to any organization that "provides, promotes, counsels or refers for abortion." This puts the state in the business of fundraising for organizations that agree to deny women legal health care information at a time of crisis.

For years now, the "Right-to-Life" and other socially conservative organizations in North Carolina have pushed for a "Choose Life" license plate. Since it must be approved by the North Carolina Legislature, these activists tout the plate as either an issue of free speech or as a benign fundraising tool for "crisis pregnancy centers."

First off, just because a person is free to speak a lie or, in this case, deny women legal health information, it doesn't mean that the State should sanction this speech by fundraising to support it.

Second, "choose life" is pure political sloganeering. No other approved license plate in North Carolina panders to the politics of one side in a divisive argument.

Finally, implicit in their argument is that "life" is on their side. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Every single minute of every single day a woman dies from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth -- 536,000 women every year. Of course, the majority of these women live in lesser developed countries where abortion is mostly illegal, family planning hard to come by, and prenatal care virtually unheard of.

In fact, the abortion rate in countries where abortion is mostly banned often equals or exceeds the abortion rate in the United States. The primary difference is that in countries where abortion is illegal, women die at a much higher rate from abortion -- so much for "choosing life."

The quality of life enjoyed by most women in the U.S. hinges on access to safe, legal, and affordable reproductive health care options including abortion, prenatal care, and family planning services.

In the United States, sixty percent of women who have abortions already have a child or children. They know the love a child offers as well as the demands of caring for a child. In fact, the number one reason women give for choosing abortion is "concern or responsibility to other individuals." For most of these women, choosing abortion is about "choosing life."

So let's go back to the fallacy of "Choose Life" license plates. Whose life are they choosing? The mock up plate features children rendered in crayon. North Carolinians who want to support children may already purchase a "Kids First" license plate that raises funds for programs that directly serve children.

If the purpose of "Choose Life" license plate is simply to raise money for "crisis pregnancy centers" then would-be license holders should become donors. That's what supporters of most causes do. Assuming the "crisis pregnancy centers" are legitimate non-profit organizations, the donations are even tax deductible.

The final suggestion made by these groups is that Planned Parenthood can get their own license plate to counter the "Choose Life" plate. In essence, their answer is for North Carolina to create two license plate funds: one for Planned Parenthood, that provides women with all of their legal pregnancy options, and a "Choose Life" fund that denies women this information.

Planned Parenthood is far too respectful of women's lives, not to mention the State's budget crisis, to fall for such a wasteful bad policy. We hope the NC Legislature is as well.

Tell your legislators that the state has no business sanctioning and financially supporting organizations that deny women information about services they have every legal right to access. Take action now!


brushfire said...

It all comes down to who owns our bodies. If the government can force women to endure unwanted pregnancies, then the government owns their bodies.

Anonymous said...

It does come down to who owns their bodies. The baby that the murderer kills because she became pregnant and the baby is inside the body of the murderer temporarily also owns his or her body.

brushfire said...

The development of a human being is an analog process, not a digital one. A fertilized egg is not the same as a human being. It is a cell the size of the period at the end of this sentence. An embryo is not a human being. It is a rapidly dividing collection of cells, with no consciousness, deriving nourishment parasitically from the blood of someone else. At some point, the culture makes a decision as to when the fetus becomes human. Many cultures, including the Greeks, did not consider a newborn, fully human until it was accepted and named by the father. Religions traditionally considered quickening - about 5 months- to be the point at which the fetus became entitled to consideration as an entity in its own right . In our culture, a newborn baby is clearly a separate human, even though it is still developmentally fetal by many measures. Up until that point, we must balance the needs and rights of the woman with the needs of the fetus. The balance shifts over the course of the pregnancy but (unless one is a Catholic bishop),any rational human would agree that until the point of birth, the woman's life must take precedence over the fetus's life.

Dog Tom said...

I find it fascinating and a bit odd that abortion supporters protest quite loudly when their 4th Amendment protection are brought under scrutiny (4th Amendment gives the right to an abortion), yet these same abortion supporters would abridge the 2nd Amendment citing that guns "kill People". Seems a hypcritical to me.

Dog Tom

brushfire said...

OK Dog Tom, I find just the opposite fascinating. That a person will justify government interference in a woman's reproductive and family decisions, citing the sanctity of life. At the same time these very people (it seems) justify the right to any one collecting mass arsenals of weapons with no possible sporting use. And they are usually the people who support war, bombs, and torture! Can you explain that to me please?

Dog Tom Coffey said...

Brushfire said:

" At the same time these very people (it seems) justify the right to any one collecting mass arsenals of weapons with no possible sporting use."

You see, this is the problem here, they do not need to justify their "mass arsenal" to anyone. And exactly what do you classify as a "mass arsenal"? As for the sporting use paradigm, the last time I read the 2nd Amendment, it did not talk about sporting use. I posit the right to keep and bear arms presents a balance of power issue far and justifiably removed from the bogus "sporting use" theory.

Sporting use, to me, is illustrated by people using firearms to shoot at targets in organized competitions. This is all well and good, but has absolutly nothing to do with the 2dn Amendment, nor should it. Interestingly enough, many sporting competitons utilize the latest in technology as the principal instrument to punch holes in paper. The AR-15 and M14 Semi-Automatic weapons being two of the chief violators at the Camp Perry National Championships.

As for abortion, the fact remains that the woman's right to choose is upheld by the 4th Amendment to the Constitution. How does one vehemently support the 4th Amendment while denigrating the 2nd Amendment. I still find this to be hypocritical.

Dog Tom

brushfire said...

Dog Tom, maybe we really agree more than we realize. I support the second amendment, but I read the first half "a well regulated militia" as being as important as the second half. I interpret this as requiring training and regulations on possession of weapons. In my ideal world, every child would be expected (not forced) to serve in the military for two years after high school. Here each child would be trained in the responsible use of weapons, and would learn skills and discipline that would help them mature. Their time would earn them free education and medical care for life. This would provide us with the ability to rapidly mobilize a trained army in the event of emergency. It would keep politicians from carelessly and casually starting wars because such wars would involve their children and grandchildren also.
I believe Norway has a similar system in place.

brotherdoc said...

What guns have to do with the topic of this thread I don't know, we are not talking about the NC Legislature putting a slogan on the license plate that says Support the Second Amendment (the NRA puts out enough bumper stickers already to that effect, so let's leave guns out of it). Letting money collected from license plate fees go to support the anti-abortion crowd is wrong. Until the Supreme Court changes the law, abortion is legal--it would be using the license plate, a public document, to promote a view that actually challenges the law. I like the bumper sticker that says, "If you disapprove of abortions, don't have one." Point being, no one is coercing anyone into getting one, but the anti-abortion people want to take away the option altogether. Can't libertarians see that goes against their principles?

Anonymous said...

If you approve of abortions, maybe your mother should have had one. This would have solved many problems.

When a sperm combines with an egg, unique DNA different from the mother is created. When she kills the embryo, she commits the murder of another human being. Nothing you can say changes this fact.

Anonymous said...

A fetus is a living human being - and is so at 12 weeks with development of neurological and physiological functions. One may argue all day long that it is a woman's right to choose to have an abortion or not, but it's still murder any way you look at it. Any rational person can see that - whether you want to admit it or not is your own problem. The blogger - full of misinformation - writes that crisis pregnancy centers only share half of the information while planned parenthood shares all of it with women. What a bunch of crap - this blogger does not know what the heck he is talking about at all. And quite frankly, JW is way out of his league in this one with his own bit of ridiculous verbage.

brushfire said...

anonymous - As the saying goes, you are entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts. Society and law determine the definition of murder. The fact is that abortion is not murder in our society and under our law. The majority of people in this country support the freedom of women to choose to end an unwanted pregnancy. Redefining abortion as murder would create a whole host of insoluble complications and problems. And we would revert to the bad old days when poor women died and rich women had access to abortions anyway.

Anonymous said...

brushfire - it is murder any way you look at it, period. Since the government condones it, it's legalized murder. The government condones murder of the most innocent - an unborn child. Period. If I left it up to society to determine right and wrong - as you say - then well, you see what we have now because that is what we have done. You live in your world of "facts" and I'll live in mine.

Mike D. said...


By your definition, is not warfare also murder? And how about capital punishment? Also murder?

Anonymous said...

Mike D - let me clarify. This is of the innocent - an unborn child is innocent. While I don't condone warfare, in war it is not the murder of the innocent or completely helpless, or at least not intended to be. Capital punishment is not the killing of the innocent either. I did not say I condone any of it, but there is a distinct difference.

Anonymous said...

Murder is not justifiable homicide. Self defense or defense of one's country is justifiable homicide. Abortion is, in most cases murder.

BikerBard said...

There are many of us in this country who disagree with your loaded terminology of "murder."

All of your ranting and repetition will not change our minds and our viewpoints that a woman has the right to terminate a pregnancy.

I am old enough to remember when young women drove to NYC to pay lousy doctors there for a legal abortion. It was a disgrace!

Anonymous said...

Abortion is still a disgrace.

BikerBard said...

So are Republicans and Tea Baggers.

Anonymous said...

Bikerbard - typical comment from a shallow individual and I would expect nothing more, coming from you. It's really, well, just sad.

Anonymous said...

At the risk of sounding curmudgeonly, I say if you want to announce your politics from the bumper of your car, buy a sticker and leave the state out of it. If you want to donate to a pro-choice or pro-life organization, your dollars will go much further if you give them directly to the organization.

BikerBard said...

You ARE a spokesmodel and authority of the "shallow."

BikerBard said...

"Abortion is still a disgrace"

What a great line for a bumper sticker! LOL!