Guns-Why

Guns-Why

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Too Nervous to Talk About the Election, so Let's Talk About "Fetal Personhood and Criminalizing Abortion" Instead


Really! I'm as nervous as a pregnant nun in church and can't even think about the election on Tuesday, much less expound on it in any meaningful way. Just the thought of another cold, lying, dishonest, sociopath sitting in the White House scares me pea green and pop-eyed and causes me to spiral downward into the pits of hell.

Perhaps even worse is the thought of a bunch of astonishingly ignorant, condescending, paternalistic old farts defining rape and dictating what grown women and young girls can and cannot do to their bodies. Since I'm practically catatonic at this point, let me introduce you to Chris, a prosecuting attorney who steps away from her usual subject matter on her delightful blog, The Dead Authors Club, to offer her perspective on Fetal Personhood and Criminalizing Abortion.
. . . I’ve been watching a lot of Republican candidates for federal office saying a lot of stuff about pregnancy and rape, and pregnancies resulting from rape, over the last several weeks, and I am simply unable to keep my mouth shut any longer. Because as all of my friends know, I’ve been prosecuting rape, child abuse and homicide for over a decade and a half, and this is a subject that I happen to know quite a lot about. And I am deeply disturbed by the personhood movement, by the idea that there should be specified exceptions to a blanket criminalization of abortion, and by the fact that the group of mostly men propounding this policy seem to have absolutely no FREAKING idea what they are actually trying to do here. . .
That's just the beginning. It gets even better, if possible, and ends with this rallying cry:

. . . one more thing. Stop with the pandering bullshit about “small government.” Because no person who seeks to require government officials to be involved in litigation over the fertility of the uteruses of all of the women who reside in their jurisdictions can credibly claim to be a proponent of small government.
Between the beginning and the end is a whole hell of a lot that I imagine most of us lay people -- as well intentioned as we might be -- haven't even thought about. This is an extremely profound article that should resonate with anyone who has one ounce of humanity.


23 comments:

  1. A powerful piece, and as you say, a prosecutor is aware of many issues that wouldn't occur to most of us.

    The anti-choice position on abortion, whether with or without a rape exception, is unworkable in the real world (aside from being morally outrageous). It's not a credible plan of action. It's a dog whistle and a marker of membership in the theocrat tribe.

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    1. She certainly opened my eyes to things I hadn't even thought about. The sad thing is that while these are mostly men talking it up, there are plenty of their women folk who say the same things.

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  2. The pro-choice women I know who support Romney just simply deny that he means what he has said about overturning Roe v Wade. They think he is only saying it to be supported by the far-right pro-life people.
    Unbelievable. And apparently it's ok with them that he would lie to be elected.

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    1. These women have their heads up you know where. I come across them all the time on FB and they really do live in a alternative reality. So many, too many, don't believe he's even lying. They think it's a liberal myth!!!

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  3. I'm as nervous as a pregnant nun in church

    These days a pregnant nun in the Republican party would be even more nervous.

    Let's Talk About "Fetal Personhood

    Is it wrong that every time I hear that expression, I think of people like Akin / Mourdock / Ryan as examples of "fecal personhood"? -- Shit in human form!

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  4. Don't worry, it'll be Obama by a landslide in spite of all the bullshit about it being close.

    Here's why: all the gays, blacks, Hispanics, and poor will vote Obama, or almost all. Most women will too, including many Republican conservative women who can't admit it but will secretly vote Obama on election day.

    That leave only the super rich and the hard racists.

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    1. I so hope you're right but between the games they're playing with voter suppression and the problems that Sandy has caused, it's all a bit unsettling.

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  5. That is an excellent post. I wanted to leave a comment there but it appears comments are closed; I couldn't find a place to leave one. So, I will comment here.

    First, I think democratically challenged, morally confused characters like Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock should be required to write an essay before they're allowed to legislate on a fundamental human right such as a woman's autonomy over her own body. The essay would address the question, "Is an acorn an oak tree?"

    The pertinence is that while an acorn could become an oak tree, it's obviously something else: an acorn. And if one destroys an acorn, have they killed an oak tree? Anyone with a grain of sense and the slightest claim to intellectual honesty would have to say no. To say otherwise, one would have to argue all acorns always become oak trees. If that were true, Earth would be overgrown with oak trees. Obviously, that's not the case.

    As someone who believes in God, I think it's not coincidence that humans are endowed with the ability to reason, to apply logic to both concrete and abstract things we're trying to figure out, and thus arrive at sensible conclusions.

    The notion a fertilized human egg is a human being with a soul, and that this is God's doing, is based in faith. But it's faith drawn from magical thinking that goes way beyond reasoning and logic. Did God intend for people to resolve difficult questions that way? Or did God intend for humans to use the powers of observation and reasoning he endowed them with? It seems to me the logical answer to that is yes.

    If the intention were otherwise, magical thinking could lead a whole lot of people to believe all sorts of things harmful to themselves and others. If one can believe an acorn is an oak tree, one can believe that a woman who repeatedly miscarries must have offended God, and so must be punished or at least be shunned, by decent, God-fearing people. The possibilities are endless.

    Yesterday, I saw (at Think Progress, if I recall correctly) that some fundamentalist preacher is saying the Northeast states hit by hurricane Sandy are paying the price for liberal tolerance of gays and such. There's some magical thinking devoid of logic for you. I wonder what that preacher thinks the Bible Belt Gulf Coast states were being punished for when that oil rig blew up and contaminated the entire Gulf, or when hurricane Andrew blew through, doing tremendous damage a few years ago.

    Two other things lawmakers should have to address before voting on bills to outlaw abortion:

    1. "How do you justify adopting a full-employment policy for underground-butcher abortionists?"

    2. "In light of the often fatal consequences of No. 1, how do you justify favoring the survival of an unborn, potential life over the survival of an actual, live woman?"

    Those questions are enough to give even magical thinkers a headache, or at least they should be.

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    1. Wow. What a terrific response. Don't think I ever thought of this analogy before but isn't all magical thinking devoid of logic? And isn't that precisely why trying to convince them of that fact is nearly impossible?

      You have 2 places where you can reply: 1) Directly after a particular comment, as I'm doing here by simply clicking on "Reply" after your comment, entering text in the box that pops up, and then clicking on "Publish" right under the box, or 2) scrolling down to where it says "Add comment" when you just want to make a comment in general. If you still have trouble in the future, let me know because that will be a sign that I need to change something in my settings. I'm trying to restrict "Anonymous" comments but unfortunately that can interfere with others.

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  6. Akin, Mourdock, and Ryan are being flushed away, and the Republican parties hopes with them.

    Apparently, misogynistic troglodytes aren't what the country was yearning for after all. Who'd have guessed?

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    1. I think the people have rejected a whole laundry list of GOP talking points -- thank Gawd.

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  7. *party's. Aaargh! That's what I get for typing after a whole day feeling tensed up over the election.

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  8. L.P., I wasn't able to find a place to comment at the blog your post linked to.

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  9. Oh!!! I see that. Well, now I do. She must have closed them is all I can figure. I didn't even try to leave a comment, so hadn't paid attention to that aspect. Sorry.

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  10. Congrats on winning, Leslie. I was so nervous through this campaign... I think I was steeling myself against the awful prospect of that soulless prig getting into the White House and America being flushed away on a ripetide of Right wing sewerage.

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    1. Thanks Magpie. This campaign has been an unbelievable roller coaster ride. Needless to say, I'm thrilled. Can we ship the secessionists to Australia? ;)

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  11. Love the photo! (of the two women, that is....)

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    1. Sometimes I feel we haven't advanced much further from when that was taken. :(

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  12. L.P., I hope you are OK. I'm concerned, as I'm sure your many other blogging friends are. If you're having difficulties, and if you're able to, please post at least a short notice. In any case, know that you are thought about and cared about.

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  13. S.W.: You are too kind. I did get pretty damn sick about the time of the last debate and stayed sick until right after the election. Zero energy and scared out of my ever loving mind Hey, I quit smoking! I'm fine now and I've been thinking about you and everyone else but I think this election impacted me more than I realized -- even after we won it so royally. I just needed to take a break and catch my breath. Some thoughts are churning around in my feeble brain, so hopefully I'll be able to pull some threads together and tie them into a coherent piece here shortly. Thanks for asking, though -- it really means a lot.

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  14. OK, good to hear from you here. Congratulations on quitting smoking. I look forward to your next post.

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