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Baby Killer: We Need New Language Already For Abortion Debate

Baby Killer: We Need New Language Already For Abortion Debate

When it comes to abortion, Americans have a reputation for being extreme. For the first time ever, a majority of Americans identify as pro-life, but what does "pro-life" mean exactly? While 51 percent say they're pro-life, in fact only 23 percent say abortion should be illegal in all circumstances. Thus, splitting the issue of abortion into two camps doesn't really represent the nuances of American views. Doing this means that anyone with reservations about abortion can be grouped in with the Cupcakes For Life folks who advocate throwing birthday parties for "children who weren't allowed to be born," and citizens who want abortion to be safe and legal can be branded as baby killers.

Just last night we saw how the adversarial nature of the debate can boil over. When Bart Stupack, a "pro-life" Democrat, agreed to a compromise that made restrictions on abortion funding slightly less extreme, he was called a "baby killer" on the House floor. The compromise in the healthcare bill makes sure that federal money is not spent on abortions. Stupack's original amendment would have banned insurance companies that accept federal money from covering abortion whatsoever. Still, singling out abortion, a legal medical procedure, as a service that cannot be funded is a significant concession for abortion advocates. But, alas, it's possible to succeed at getting abortion funding restricted, as Stupack did, and still be called a baby killer by your fellow lawmakers.

You can be for women having control over their reproductive health and also for reducing the number of abortions. And pro-life and pro-choice labels don't make much sense when you consider that many "pro-life" politicians also favor the death penalty. If you had to come up with a new label to describe your position on abortion, what would it be?

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Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 5 years
Frankly, I don't care if you feel invalidated and I think I won't answer. How about I like making snide comments to anonymous users.
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 5 years
Anon 46, how about you sign-up/login and then maybe I'll care what you think.
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 5 years
Brandy it's so rare to see a pro-choicer who sees a fetus as life. I personally see life as a process, there's no definite point where it begins. The question for me comes down to: Can someone who doesn't 100% exist yet be deprived of something she doesn't fully possess? I say yes, but really, the thing we as a society need to focus on is education.
brandysbug brandysbug 5 years
What I said was ABSOLUTELY not the same thing as saying eggs are life....eggs have NOT been fertilized and therefore are not splitting and transforming into a person. The connection you made there to what I said was what's absurd.
ShaynaLeah ShaynaLeah 5 years
Brandysbug - No, it is not separate from its mother - If you were to miscarry early in pregnancy it would be reabsorbed into your body, it cannot survive separate from the uterus, it is like saying that the eggs that your body releases each month are life - therefore you shouldn't ovulate - absolutely absurd.
brandysbug brandysbug 5 years
I am joining this discussion late in the game and I whole-heartedly believe in every woman's right to choose what is best for herself, but it bothers me to see comments from those that continually refer to a fetus as "just a bunch of cells." To me, this is just a way of distancing ourselves from what it actually is - a life, a human being, a baby. No one gets an abortion at the point when the baby is a zygote or blastocyst, and actually is just "a mass of cells." At just 5 weeks (just one week after a missed period), a heart/brain/spinal cord are forming. At just 8 weeks pregnant, a mother can see an ultrasound of the little baby with is own, individual heart beating away. The fetus, at this point, has the beginnings of arms, legs, hands, feet...and has even formed tiny eyelids. Sure, this fetus might need its mother to see to its most basic needs - for nourishment, shelter, growth and development....but don't babies and toddlers rely on their mothers to meet the same needs? While this fetus is living inside of its mother and is certainly a part of its mother, it is also an individual and a separate being from its mother. I would never judge someone for choosing abortion...it is her right to choose. But, I think many people try to justify it by saying "oh, it's not really a baby..."
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 5 years
Lovey, honestly I think contraceptive and hormonal birth control should be available in school nurse's offices. I worked at a teacher supply store for a while and an inner-city teacher used to tell me horror stories about pregnant 5th graders... holy shit. I didn't even have my period yet in 5th grade. The lack of sex ed in this country is sickening.
loveydovey4 loveydovey4 5 years
I work with pregnant and parenting teens. I will tell you that most of the girls who come in either want to keep the baby or abort. Adoptions are very rare. These girls weren't educated about or given access to contraception thanks to Texas' abstinence only policy. I would love if we could have comprehensive sex ed... or even abstinence plus. It infuriates me that conservatives take issue with abortion but don't want to teach the kids how to prevent pregnancy. My personal views on abortion are kind of circumstantial. I would have probably had an abortion if I had gotten pregnant during college. That being said, if I got pregnant now I would be able to provide so I would keep the baby. I think both sides have really good points. That is just what works for me.
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 5 years
Don't worry, no hard feelings. Still friends. I'm honestly considering boycotting all TresSugar articles on abortion, I love sex and culture, but abortion is the worst combination of the two. I'm sorry if I've been touchy, but I really do respect your opinion too.
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 5 years
What word do you think would be better? Birthers has already been taken. Part of making a choice is knowing the impact of your decision. Abortion can be devastating to would-be fathers. I was just trying to bring up another side of the argument. Letting a man somehow veto a woman's abortion is a terrible idea. I'm not saying I should be allowed to hijack your uterus, holy hell, I'm saying that contraception education and advocating for adoption are the only ways to fight the ludicrously high number of abortions. And you know what? A million years from now we'll live in a utopian society where no abortions take place ever because contraception is 100% reliable and everyone uses it properly every single time, and every child will have a loving home and we all live happily ever after. I don't judge people who have abortions. Honestly if I'm being bitchy about this it's because my cousin got knocked up by some thug who just got out of prison. I don't know what I'm more mad about, the fact that she had an abortion, or who she let knock her up. Wanna-be hustlers, coke-heads, convicts, abusers, holy shit. And now with the abortion stories everywhere! Whatever. I'm not a religious person and I don't personally think of it as a moral higher ground, it's just a different set of morals.
ShaynaLeah ShaynaLeah 5 years
Spacekatgal - Thank you - It is so true that much of the debate over abortion is fought in terms of advertising... Pro-Life is a term that is subverted in the hands of anti-choicers - What about my life? You're not Pro MY Life when you say my uterus can be hijacked. I don't recognize some bundle of tissue and cells as 'life' - And I resent the implication that there is some moral higher ground that anti-choicers stand on when they decree their judgment over my uterus. The bottom line is that you can believe what you would like, you can decide to not have an abortion, and that's part of being Pro-Choice - you are making a DECISION, i.e. you have an an option. All Pro-Choicers are saying is that, we all are entitled to that option, and none of us are entitled to take it away from another.
amandachalynn amandachalynn 5 years
I would never group you in with the wackos! I think you are a very intelligent woman, and I always enjoy reading your comments because you are able to say why you believe what you do, instead of just going with what you've been told is right. I hope you do adopt those little ones someday! You'll be a great mommy!
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 5 years
Amanda, you and I must have been typing at the same time, I just read your post # 30. No hard feelings, I think for myself when it comes to EVERYTHING and I often get grouped in with the wackos. I just wanted to make myself clear. I didn't think you were TRULY insulting me.
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 5 years
Amanda I read your link; fair enough, but not enough to convince me. When it comes to the argument of whether life begins at conception or not, it comes down to this: women don't have abortions minutes after conception. Women have abortions after the fetus has firmly 'made itself at home' and is on his/her way to becoming a living, breathing, thinking person. Abortion deprives a human being of the life he/she would have had, had you not intervened. There's no two ways around it. On another note, I fully plan on adopting two or three kids eventually. 'Be the change you want to see in the world,' I don't know who said it, but it's true. Lickety, I agree, "It's America, so thankfully reasonable minds can differ." Let's all just be happy that most of the people who post on this site are pro-life or pro-choice, and not those fanatical anti-choicers and anti-lifers.
amandachalynn amandachalynn 5 years
Betty, just to be clear, I am in no way insulting you personally. I read and agree with many of your comments on many different issues. I wish that everyone held up the labels that you eloquently stated above. Unfortunately, it does not happen that way. The majority of anti-choicers call themselves pro-life. We are going by majority here. I honestly think that you and women who think like you are the minority in the pro-life argument, which is a shame because you are clearly able to make your point in a non-judgmental and intelligent way.
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 5 years
So let me break down these definitions, I can't stand being insulted and labeled an anti-choicer. ANTI-CHOICERS believe that abortion is morally wrong. They think abortion should be immediately banned. Anti-choicers think that the girls who die from botched illegal abortions are baby killers and are getting what they deserve. Anti-choicers often support abstinence-only education. PRO-LIFERS believe that abortion is immoral. Pro-lifers ALSO can't stand the thought of some innocent young woman spread-eagle in a dirty storage shed while some unlicensed abortionist crams a coat hanger up her vagina. Pro-lifers support contraception education and adoption, they DO NOT support abstinence-only education. Pro-lifers tend to be idealists; they yearn for a day when society collectively realizes the value of unborn life. Pro-lifers are also realists; the understand the dire consequences that would come with immediately banning abortion. PRO-CHOICERS do not see abortion as immoral. Pro-choicers simply believe in choice: a woman can have an abortion, put her baby up for adoption, or become a mother. Pro-choicers also tend to support contraception education and adoption; they see abortion as a last resort. Pro-choicers do not believe in abortion as a primary means of birth control. ANTI-LIFERS also don't see abortion as immoral. Anti-lifers don't place much value in contraception education and adoption, because they see abortion as an ideal form of birth control. I am a pro-lifer. If you ladies feel like throwing the term 'anti-choice' around, that's your business. Just please stop insulting me with it.
amandachalynn amandachalynn 5 years
Of course they are Shayna! A woman is nothing but an incubator. I wish someone would tell all of the innocent children who are stuck in foster care or orphanages that adoption is always a choice. I love the naivety that goes with abstinence preaching. We are humans, humans have primal urges. Abstinence goes against human nature. If someone is abstinent for religious reasons and it makes them feel validated, good for them. And I don't mean that sarcastically. Just don't try to force it on the rest of us. Focus more on reproductive education.
ShaynaLeah ShaynaLeah 5 years
AmandaChalyn - Good call - great examples. What about better education about birth control options? That's what always cracks me up - the same anti-choicers who are against abortion also are against the Pill, Plan B and educating teenagers.
amandachalynn amandachalynn 5 years
Not everyone believes that human life begins at conception. See http://hplusbiopolitics.wordpress.com/2008/06/25/inconsistancy-in-the-life-begins-at-conception-argument/ If my fetus is a full human being, I should be able to claim it on my taxes. I should be able to drive in the carpool lane. I should be able to get the childs price at a restaurant because the fetus is certainly under 3 years old. This whole argument is getting ridiculous. Until the fetus is outside of the womb, it is a part of the mothers body, and she can do what she wants with it. If you disagree, you don't have to have an abortion. Stop worrying about what others are doing and focus on yourself. If you're so concerned about the welfare of children, go volunteer at one of the many orphanages. Become a foster parent. Help the children who are here and suffering. I don't mean to sound rude, but this just gets me.
snowysakurasky snowysakurasky 5 years
i think its weird that for so many things, we know right from wrong but for this, because someone's body is involved people claim we can't enforce right from wrong. however if the baby was 8.5 months we all would.... but if its little or if there was a rape, no we can't say its wrong. doesn't make sense~!. oh and if the chick stabbed herself in the stomach i bet that'd be a crime. but if there's a doctor involved.. no?
snowysakurasky snowysakurasky 5 years
hmm i think tressugar is definitely not pro-life! the only time the issue gets tricky for me is when the mom's life's in danger or the baby has a big problem (no brain, etc)
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