Found while looking for other things in the dark, judgey hole in the soul of the Internet that is the Voice for Life NZ site: an article – copy-pasted from American antichoice sites, because that’s how religious extremists roll – entitled
I was actually kind of interested, because it’s a bold proposition: ending all abortion before Christmas.
Turns out it’s a lie on two counts, because it’s not about ending all abortions, and most of the 25 items will have no effect on abortion whatsoever. The others aren’t really things ethical people should do, but that’s obviously not going to bother antichoicers.
The list breaks down like this:
- Generic activist stuff, much of which will probably target abortion clinics: 14
- Specifically harass clinic workers and their patients: 4
- Volunteer at lying, bullying crisis pregnancy centres: 3
- Idolize dead foetal tissue (probably in front of clinics): 1
- Fund antichoice groups: 1
- Feel totally smug about being antichoice: 1
- Actually support people who choose to continue pregnancy: 1
No support for comprehensive sex education, which is proven to reduce unwanted pregnancies. No donations to Planned Parenthood to provide contraception for people, which is proven to reduce unwanted pregnancies. Nope, just more of the same bullying and lobbying and pats-on-the-back for the upstanding warriors fighting the good fight to punish people for sex they don’t approve of.
That one item about supporting people – specifically, single mothers, because couples never have a hard time providing for a child – is number 24 on the list, and actually reads “Be a witness to the joy of life by helping out single moms who chose life.” Because why would you help a struggling parent if you weren’t getting a good smug-vibe from it?
The best bit? VFL illustrates the article with a photo of a headless pregnant person with their tummy wrapped in a bow. Because pregnant people aren’t just non-people with no face, identity, or autonomy, they’re also just the giftwrap for a ~sacred unborn child~.
And we all know what happens to giftwrap after the present arrives, right?
Antichoicers: treating pregnant people like trash.
Another group has entered the abortion coliseum to throw down over their right to impose their personal morality on everyone with a uterus, and their motto is
It sounds fair enough: abortion’s a complex, polarising issue, after all. So I figured hey, maybe I could help them with the hard questions about abortion.
What about a situation where scans show that the baby will have a serious disability?
This is indeed a hard question, and raises a lot of concerns about how our society treats people with disabilities, and the value or lack of value we place on the lives of people with disabilities. But at the end of the day, the pregnant person involved should be allowed to make a decision which is best for them and their family, and sometimes that’s going to be abortion, because they don’t feel capable of raising that child nor of giving that child up for adoption.
Without easy access to medical abortion, won’t some women want to seek the same result by other methods?
Yes. And a lot of them will die. Far more than will die due to abortion, which has a zero fatality rate in New Zealand and is many, many times less likely to kill you than pregnancy.
How about situations where a [person's] health might be threatened by pregnancy?
They get to choose whether to continue the pregnancy.
What if a woman has no stable income and can’t drop out of uni or work to raise a child – isn’t pregnancy unfair for child and mother?
That’s a decision the pregnant person has to make.
Should a child be brought into the world if there is an abusive situation in her home?
That’s a decision the pregnant person has to make.
What about a situation where pregnancy results from sexual assault – isn’t abortion the best solution?
That’s a decision the pregnant person has to make.
Gosh. I guess most of those questions weren’t so hard after all.
The real point is this: Pro Life New Zealand want to use over-simplified, judgemental arguments to shame pregnant people into not having abortions. Note the question about sexual assault, and “isn’t abortion the best solution” – as though prochoice activists are out there insisting that every pregnancy resulting from assault be aborted. Note the first question is about disability – as though these religious extremists give a fuck about challenging society’s ableism once you’re out of the womb.
We’re PRO. CHOICE. If a person simply cannot cope with their pregnancy, we support their choice to have an abortion, safely and legally. If a person feels they can cope with their pregnancy, we support their choice to continue the pregnancy and their right to be supported by society, especially if they or their child have special medical needs or if they’re raising a child alone.
Antichoicers do not support your choice, unless it is the choice they agree with.
[Trigger warning: youth suicide]
In another of his copy-paste jobs (because he just won’t learn) Bob McCoskrie quotes the following:
Much to the dismay of ardent feminists, many states already have on the books so-called parental involvement laws, decrees which require a girl to notify a parent, guardian, or other approved adult or family member before she can obtain an abortion.
A new study by Joseph Sabia and Daniel Rees, researchers from San Diego State University and the University of Colorado, Denver, gives further evidence in support of such laws. States that have parental notification laws, they find, also see a drop in the suicide rate of girls ages 15 through 17.
What’s wrong with this “analysis”?
If your first guess was “anyone who uses the phrase “ardent feminist” isn’t exactly unbiased”, you get a foetus-shaped cookie covered in blood-sprinkles.
Now, here’s a link to the actual article, because Bob’s penis doesn’t deserve pageviews. What jumps out at you from that? Is it this bit at the end?
This article has been republished with permission from The Family in America, a publication of The Howard Center. The Howard Center is a MercatorNet partner site.
Have another foetus-shaped cookie with a red-licorice umbilical.
But who is “The Howard Center”? If the URL of “profam.org” doesn’t give enough of a hint, here’s what they say about themselves:
Introducing The World Congress of Families
We affirm that the natural human family is established by the Creator and essential to good society.
The “Natural” Family and Society
The natural family is the fundamental social unit, inscribed in human nature, and centered on the voluntary union of a man and a woman in the lifelong covenant of marriage. The natural family is defined by marriage, procreation and, in some cultures, adoption. Free, secure and stable families that welcome children are necessary for healthy society. The society that abandons the natural family as the norm is destined for chaos and suffering.
Oh! They’re extremist Christians! Who would have thought?
And the actual study they’re citing? Why, that’s here. It’s okay, Bob, we already knew that the concept of linking to primary sources so people can make up their own minds is alien to you.
I am no stats nerd, and I welcome any who are to provide their own commentary on the math. But here’s the thing:
Poisson estimates indicate that the adoption of a parental involvement law is associated with an 11%–21% decrease in the number of 15- through 17-year-old females who commit suicide. … we conclude that these estimates likely reflect a causal relationship, but note that its magnitude appears to be modest: for an average-sized state, an 11% decrease in the number of 15- through 17-year-old females who commit suicide translates into 0.79 fewer suicides per year, while a 21% decrease translates into 1.50 fewer suicides per year; ordinary least squares estimates confirm that only a small portion of the within-state variation in suicides among U.S. minors can be attributed to parental involvement laws.
Sure, the fundies have a good point when they say that every teen suicide prevented is a good thing (presuming it’s prevented because the teen in question chooses not to, and not because they’re locked in a basement by controlling parents). But we’re still talking about one less suicide a year. Not exactly a slam-dunk of a finding, that.
And without wanting to disparage the entire science of statistics, it still bugs me to see these kind of numbers with no context. We just don’t know why there’s a causal connection – though the study has a suggestion:
This pattern of results suggests that the adoption of a parental involvement law results in an immediate reduction in suicides, but that after the first year its impact wanes. This may be because the enactment of the laws typically comes amidst press coverage alerting minors and their parents to the new law, but dissipates as public attention to the law diminishes
Right, so for a blip in time, teenagers are more leery of sex, or feel more able to insist on contraception, because the idea of having to tell their parents they’re knocked up is front of mind. After that … yeah, nah. Doesn’t seem like much of a compelling case for the religious lobby’s assertion that
it seems reasonable to suggest that if parental notification laws do indeed act as a deterrent upon risky sexual behaviors, such laws save many more girls from severe psychological distress, even if that distress does not end ultimately in the ending of life.
Um, just a thought: maybe wait until you’ve got an actual study linking parental notification laws with “risky” sexual behaviours before you start jumping to conclusions.
Levine … found that the adoption of a parental involvement law was associated with a 15%–20% reduction in the abortion rate of 15- through 17-year-olds, and a 4%–9% reduction in their pregnancy rate.
Which means that one seemingly incontrovertible effect of parental notification laws is more teenagers having babies. Choice.
So there we go. Bob McCoskrie is still stealing other people’s content with paltry attribution and no value-add commentary, and can’t even be honest enough to present the real findings of the study or acknowledge his sources are religiously biased.
Bonus fail, from the article McCoskrie thieved:
“Under the law,” reports the Chicago Tribune, “a parent or a guardian would have to be notified at least 48 hours before an abortion was performed on a minor except in cases of a medical emergency, sexual abuse, neglect or physical abuse.”
Um, Chicago Tribune? If a minor’s pregnant, it’s a case of sexual abuse. That’s the point of having a legal definition of “minor”, douchebags.
In the interests of even-handedness, here’s a disclaimer: I’m prochoice as all fuck. You might have gathered.
… by co-opting the language of anti-trafficking groups, of course!
Family Life International – the group which runs John Paul II Centres in Auckland, Wellington and soon Dunedin – has announced it will be bringing Abby Johnson to NZ as part of their “40 Days of Life” campaign. (Yes, 40 days as in Lent. Because the antichoice movement is overwhelmingly an extremist religious movement.)
Abby Johnson is now a professional antichoice activist. She previously directed a Planned Parenthood clinic, despite apparently not understanding what an abortion is, because according to her, she was asked to assist in one after eight years working there and seeing it happen on the ultrasound made her realise how terrible it all was.
Pity no one can find any record of that abortion ever taking place.
So Abby Johnson wrote a book and founded an organisation called “And Then There Were None”. Don’t worry, despite the fairly obvious assumption you may make, it’s not actually a group openly advocating for the murder of healthcare workers.
Instead, ATTWN treats healthcare workers who perform abortions like they’re victims of sex-trafficking – right down to not giving a fuck about what they actually want or choose. The language is actually pretty … gross.
Our goal is to provide financial, emotional, spiritual and legal support to anyone wishing to leave the abortion industry.
Because obviously The Abortion Industry is a terrifying labyrinthine creature, and no one can just, you know, hand in their resignation and get a job somewhere else.
Sidewalk counselors will be trained then periodically stationed at abortion clinics to reach out to clinic workers in a calm and inviting manner in order to establish direct personal lines of communication.
Any person seeking help from ATTWN will be assured, without reservation, that no personal information will be disclosed.
And I’m sure that if the antichoice movement has already disclosed all your personal information in order to intimidate you, they will offer a full apology.
Elsewhere, Johnson states:
NO ONE GROWS UP WANTING TO HAVE AN ABORTION.
Yeah, and no one grows up wanting to have open heart surgery, Abby. Therefore we should ban open heart surgery.
NO ONE GROWS UP WANTING TO WORK AT AN ABORTION CLINIC.
Suffice it to say I know a few counterfactuals to this, self included.
And while we’re on the topic of FLI’s “40 Days of Life” and antichoice bullying, here’s some suggested reading from the UK:
“We are very supportive of people’s right to protest, but what we saw in Bedford Square was beyond the pale,” says Clare Murphy of BPAS. “They hang around by the door and encircle women.” And 40 Days for Life’s use of cameras is particularly disturbing. According to the organisation’s leader Robert Colquhoun, photographic equipment is only used to protect the protesters, who he says have been threatened previously. But BPAS reports that the cameras have been turned on patients, in a tactic that amounts to harassment. Yesterday, 40 Days for Life tweeted to celebrate its first “turnaround”, but it’s hard to imagine that any woman who has been repulsed by such intrusive actions is making a positive choice to be a mother.
Let’s not buy the bullshit. The antichoice movement has one goal: stopping abortions. And they will do and say whatever it takes to achieve this. And if healthcare workers and pregnant people die in the process, they do not care.
We baby-hating prochoicers often make the argument that people who are anti-abortion seem to care so much about a foetus, and so little for a baby.
Turns out, they don’t actually care about a foetus either. Not if its mother needs prenatal care funded by the state. Just as long as they can force her to stay pregnant.
You couldn’t wish for a better illustration of their real motives. Just look at Rep. Jodie Laubenberg insisting that she is the most “pro-life” person in the Texas State Senate, literally as she denies necessary healthcare to pregnant people.
I know, I know. Another day, another dollar, another No Rights to Your Own Uterus media release which waxes lyrical about how the sovereign duty of [women] is to churn out babies for Jesus.
But on the one hand, we need to keep an eye on the crap they’re spewing. And on the other, their language is so desperately tryhard it brings a smile to my baby-hating face:
The Family Planning Association continues to seduce our youth and wage war against women, by its promotion of contraception ,sterilisation and abortion. In God’s plan for procreation women’s fertility is a cause of celebration, not a call for sterilisation. Pregnancy is not a disease and unborn children are not invaders and the enemy to be destroyed.
I need a badge which says “Death Peddler”. Who’s with me?
Yes. That amazing life and liberty experienced by Mexican immigrants, documented or otherwise, who on crossing the border into the US are immediately welcomed with open arms, given all the rights and freedoms of white Americans, and not at all oppressed with racist, punitive legal systems and scary fucking vigilantes.
Or maybe they’re referring to Americans travelling south, and “life and liberty” is antichoice rhyming slang for tequila?
On a more serious note: gosh, it’s almost like NZ antichoicers have copied-and-pasted rhetoric from US antichoicers. That won’t end badly at all
unless you’re a healthcare worker.
This raises the number of antichoice centres they run, which prey on vulnerable pregnant people, to three.
You may be fooled into thinking that they’re open-minded and compassionate towards pregnant people in difficult situations, but you’d be wrong. They’re very good at hiding it, of course; they even mention abortion on their website, pregnantandworried.co.nz (because it’s so unusual for a pregnant person to feel worried).
Of course, they don’t refer you for abortion services – a fact which is no longer apparently on their website, despite showing up on Google:
So if you are actually pregnant, worried, and wanting to get an abortion, they’re just another obstacle in the way, another set of people to have to deal with, and that’s all assuming that they aren’t a lying, judgemental bunch of religious asshats.
There is a common misconception, happily promoted by Western media, that anti-choicers and pro-choicers are opposite ends of the spectrum. They oppose abortion, ergo we must love abortion. This misconception allows setups like pregnancy “crisis” centres to flourish, because they’re seen as providing some kind of balance to the Family Planning and Planned Parenthood organisations out there. You’ve got your pro-choice centres, they say, so we’re just putting forward our point of view.
Which is all fine and dandy until you remember that the pro-choice point of view is PRO CHOICE. We want pregnant people to have all available options. We want people to be able to access contraception and education and be empowered by society to avoid unwanted pregnancies.
Anti-choicers are driven by one thing: stopping pregnant people getting abortions.
They will say they want to support families. They will say they want to support stressed-out pregnant people. But at the end of the day, they want to support families not to have abortions and they want to support stressed-out pregnant people as long as they don’t have abortions. They want to play on the completely normal anxiety pregnant people feel – especially pregnant people in difficult circumstances – get them in the door, and love-bomb them into CHOOSING LIFE. At which point they can just fuck off.
That is their goal. Any benefit they bring to the community they operate it is completely incidental to it.
And while we’re on the topic, let’s revisit the idea that the Catholic Church is all about life. Right up until it’s down to you vs preserving their precious paternalistic control over [assumed] female fertility.
For thirteen hours, Texas State Senator Wendy Davis filibustered a bill which would close 30 abortion clinics in the state, leaving only 5 to provide medical care to its 26 million inhabitants.
She couldn’t sit, or lean, or take a sip of water, or pee, or stop talking. She was challenged by antichoice Republicans for daring to go “off-topic” by talking about sonograms – which you’re forced to get in Texas before an abortion – and Planned Parenthood – who, among other health services, provide abortions.
She stood and spoke and shared the stories of people who needed abortion services, who are being ignored by the kind of blinkered fundamentalists who think female bodies can just “shut down” pregnancies caused by rape or that rape kits cause abortions.
And at the end of the day the bastards tried to cheat their way through anyway, claiming the vote on the bill was taken before midnight when hundreds of thousands of people watching live knew damn well they hadn’t.
They’d raised a point of order against her because she needed help with her back brace, and then they tried to pretend that 12:03 was really 11:59 to get their way. That’s the hypocrisy of the antichoice movement in a nutshell: one rule for women, another/none for themselves.
Wendy Davis, you are one badass state senator.
And lest you think this is just a Republican-heavy US state issue? See Coley Tangerina.
A good sign that you’re reading something spun out of whole cloth by a lying misogynist jerk (anti-abortion or MRA varieties) is when you Google the quote they’re waving around and every single site that pops up is an antichoice (or MRA) site which uses identical punctuation and provides identical – inaccurate – citations.
It’s almost like antichoicers (and MRAs) have no genuine arguments to make and just copy-paste each other’s lies.
Case in point: two quotes “from Margaret Sanger” circulated most recently by Right to Control Your Uterus.
First, a disclaimer: Margaret Sanger held a number of views which are abhorrent, about people with disabilities, about people of colour, about eugenics. There is a huge body of work about why views like hers contribute to a very well-founded distrust of the medical establishment by marginalized groups.
But let’s not kid ourselves. Antichoicers do not bring up Margaret Sanger’s racism and ableism because they actually care. They bring it up because they believe (a) that everyone has the same obsequious attitude towards authority that they do and (b) that this somehow discredits all arguments in favour of reproductive freedom (and (c) that if they just scream “YOU’RE A NAZI!!!” loudly enough they don’t have to worry about the complete baselessness of their own rhetoric).
Today I’m dealing with quote 1, which is the easiest, since it appears to be 100% bullshit.
Quote 1: Total world sexy domination
[Our objective is] unlimited sexual gratification without the burden of unwanted children
Usually cited as something like:
The Woman Rebel, Volume I, Number 1. Reprinted in Woman and the New Race. New York: Brentanos Publishers, 1922.
Well, unfortunately, I’ve read this scan of The Woman Rebel Volume 1, Number 1 a few times now, and wouldn’t you know it, it isn’t there. The word “gratification” doesn’t appear at all in Woman and the New Race according to the text on Project Gutenberg, and while “unlimited” and “sexual” do, they are not in any similar context.
I haven’t pored over these texts for days, of course, but that just goes to show you that lying scum like Ken Orr can’t even be bothered to take fifteen minutes to Google things before reproducing them.
Next time on QoT’s Amazing World of Fact-Checking Antichoice Lies: We <3 Baby Murder!