HomeArticleAbortions Should Be Commonplace And Guilt-Free

Abortions Should Be Commonplace And Guilt-Free

Alabama state lawmakers have passed a ban on abortion, including in cases of rape and incest. Under the new law, doctors facilitating a pregnancy termination will be sentenced to 99 years in prison. Alabama has four female state senators. Not one of them voted in support of the bill.

This draconian law is designed to send a legal challenge to the US Supreme Court with the goal of destroying abortion rights for women in any state that passes similar legislation. It is an assault on female reproductive sovereignty, and it degrades our species as a whole.

As we discussed the other day, female reproductive sovereignty is absolutely essential if humanity is to overcome the crises that are looming on the horizon without resorting to ridiculous measures like deporting humans off the planet to live in Amazon Space Tubes. All that is needed to beat overpopulation is for women around the world to have access to money and total reproductive sovereignty; to be able to access birth control and abortions whenever they need them without guilt trips and societal pressures.

Because guess what? Having a child is really, really hard, and most women when given a fully-informed and pressure-free choice won’t choose to do it very often. You know how I know? I have had two children.

I was brought up Catholic and was fully indoctrinated by my schooling into an anti-abortion stance. Do you want to know what changed my mind? Having a baby. It was the hardest, most life-changing, body-changing, mind-changing thing I have ever done. Every single thing about my beingness had to submit to accommodate my baby. From the morning sickness, through to carrying the child to term, through the long months of breastfeeding and sleep deprivation, to the fact that I had gone from being the primary concern in my life to secondary in every way possible. Every plan I had every made for myself necessarily had to go out the window.

I realized with some shame that as much as I loved my kid, I should never have so arrogantly assumed that I had the right to guilt other women into such an extraordinarily radical permanently life-altering decision. I had no right to shove some random stranger’s life on to a totally different and unwanted trajectory because I had some weird religious ideas about the potentiality of a bunch of replicating cells. That’s a severe intercession on her free will and I have no right to do that.

Having said that, women who have babies are superheroes. I live for the day when it’s mothers who are thanked for their service instead of soldiers. When you become a mom, you immediately become a passenger in your own life, and your child’s needs take the driver’s seat. Every single thing becomes relative to what’s best for your child. You don’t mean it to, it just happens. I was not a particularly selfless 25 year-old when I had my first baby, and overnight I was no longer numero uno in my life anymore.

And it’s so hard. In a world that is so toxic to life in so many ways, protecting your little baby to adulthood requires every ounce of creativity and inspiration you have in you. As hard as having a baby is on your body, bringing up a child with relative sanity in a world that is freaking crazy is even more taxing on your mind. My babies are nearly adults now, and I still have their needs first in a permanent but everchanging to-do list in my mind. In fact, I decided to take on this role when I saw them become more and more depressed about the mass extinctions, the dying reefs, the de-oxygenating oceans full of sea life-killing plastic, the lead-laden drinking water and rivers ruined by fracking as our environment suffers death by a thousand corporatist papercuts and the planet itself becomes more and more toxic to life. The kids see all this. They’re not stupid and they have the internet. It’s heartbreaking to hear them talk to each other, making these nihilistic jokes about their grim future, wryly noting that their parents’ generation does nothing but drag our feet to try and milk a few extra bucks out of an exhausted Mother Earth.

One day I found myself saying “Don’t worry, I’ve got this. Let me deal with this, I’ll fix it.” I didn’t know how and I still don’t but I set my intention and committed myself to doing anything that needs to be done.

I’m locked in. There is nothing more determined than a mother on a mission. And here’s the thing: if I fell pregnant now, you could forget about my daily zingers for the first three months because I’ll be as sick as a dog with morning sickness. There will be a window of about 45 days where I might be able to write, but pregnancy brain is a thing so don’t expect me to be all that sharp. And then you can forget about the next two to three years that will be taken up with the all-encompassing task of getting over the labor, getting breastfeeding established, sleep deprivation, working my way through a buttload of hormonal anxiety and the day-to-day task of protecting a tiny vulnerable little being who is so utterly helpless that you can see his little brain pulsating through his fontanelle throughout all his development stages until he can walk around on his own two feet and make his own cereal.

Which is why, if I get pregnant now, I will happily have an abortion. I’ve never had one before but I’d cheerfully have one now because I think what I’m doing right now is important and I choose to put it first. I choose to put it first because paradoxically I choose to put my children first. I put them on earth, they deserve to enjoy a long life on a healthy planet. I really should’ve sorted that out before they got here.

But also (and this is something I have only recently become powerfully clear on), I would have an abortion because I have the right to put me first. This is literally my body and I get to say who’s allowed to lie around for nine months gestating in it. I have the right to decide when it is appropriate to bring a baby into the world. I have come to realize too that taking a stand on this is essential to our ongoing survival as a species. Returning women’s sexual sovereignty is the only healthy way to curb overpopulation. Every woman needs to be able to make the decision of whether or not to have a child, because we are the ones with the internal wisdom to know when we are in a safe and abundant enough situation to nurture a child to a healthy adulthood.

For the majority of single women in the US right now, and especially in a state as poor as Alabama, choosing to have a baby is choosing to live in poverty. Until the work of child-rearing and mothering is honored appropriately with sufficient monetary value, then anyone who criminalizes abortion is forcing women into poverty against their will. This, by the way, is slavery. Forcing people to do work against their will and without recompense is slavery, and gestating and raising a child is hard, draining work.

And for those “it takes two to tango” people who never fail to bloviate endlessly about how this would all be solved if a woman just kept her legs shut, read this devastating throw-down by a Mormon mother of six who lays out an unassailable argument about why every single unwanted pregnancy is always indisputably the man’s fault. Men could easily stop their sexual partners from needing abortions if they chose to change their behavior. This is a watertight fact. So if you, as a man, find abortion reprehensible, well that’s fine, read this thread, make the adjustments you need to make and you will never put a woman through one.

Women have spent the last few thousand years accommodating men’s irresponsible sexual behavior, mainly because we were scared you’d kill us or starve us or both. That must end if we are to halt overpopulation and free up half the population’s energy and creativity to put towards reversing our current perilous predicament which is a fun-house mirror of the same weirdly gross paternalistic desire to insist we make all the babies. This sick obsession with making women pump out every single baby mirrors our omnicidal thrust that insists on infinite growth on a finite planet. Females in most species of animal are the ones that put the brakes on fertility, and now more than ever we must be allowed to firmly plant our collective foot.

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Latest comments

  • I believe in a women’s right to choose if she wants to have an abortion or not but I also believe that women should not be allowed to have an abortion past a certain point in her pregnancy. It is cruel and inhumane to terminate a pregnancy when the baby is formed. I don’t understand why more people don’t bring this up. I had an abortion and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. With that being said it was so early in my pregnancy that it was nothing more than cells in a sac. It surprises me how many women do use abortions as birth control and terminate their pregnancies after the baby has already formed and can feel pain. Am I missing something?

    • Abortion has become a Billion$ Industry – way more than birth control – organ harvesting, baby blood/parts, stem cells, vaccine ingredients. The older the baby, the more valuable; as they sell the mothers on the notion that, “It’s just a blob of cells,” and hide the endured pain of the baby….

      We have to find incentives and support for adoption; as well as teach that intimacy is way more sacred than we’ve treated it – for a long time now…

  • I admire Caitlin Johnstone’s work and often start my day reading one of her articles. On occasion, I disagree with part of what she has written. In the main I agree with what is written here, but something else crept into this article that seems to undermine her usual fairness and subtlety, particularly the statement about how women mainly tolerated men’s irresponsible sexual behavior or otherwise we would have starved or killed them. We men have been unjust to women on a very large scale but this statement is too angrily one-sided and lacks the fullness of what does go on between men and women.

    I 100% think that women should always be the one to make the decision on whether to bear children or not, and never be made to suffer for exercising this right. But I also believe that men more than ever consciously want to be fair to women and against the unjust pursuit of sex and having children out of ego desires. I am very fortunate to be learning from some very wise men and women that the fierce criticism of men that is in this article is deserved and very useful, including to me. But it does not paint a fully accurate picture of men, or women for that matter. Both want to respect themselves for seeing the opposite sex accurately, and that means seeing all people most deeply want to have good will for each other, even as the other thing so often runs all of us. That is why criticism, even the fierce criticism in this article, can be good will. But that means it is given with the hope that the person will change, not just to relish feeling superior to the other person’s evil actions. This article has both. Again, it is a very valuable article in that it can be used by men to be more self-critical.

  • Great essay Caity! The only point I’d take issue with is that of:

    “Returning women’s sexual sovereignty…”

    When was it ever their to lose? It’s a whole new concept (since the end of the 19th century) and women, and the men who love & respect them, need to get on board. Draconian patriarchal laws, like Alabama’s, will only stand so long as people in their masses fail to demand their demise… to with the women’s rebellion against the polish government’s attempt so institute ‘Catholic-friendly’ birth control laws [http://s3.reutersmedia.net/resources/r/?m=02&d=20161003&t=2&i=1155942594&w=&fh=545px&fw=&ll=&pl=&sq=&r=LYNXNPEC920Z7]. Until we begin seeing such responses in the U.S. women will continue to be abused.

  • So American, Russian, Syrian, Saudi Arabian, Warplanes can fly about at will and drop every evil bomb their minds can conceive of, Killing and maiming thousands of innocent men, women and children (And some not so innocent) like Incendiary cluster bombs, white phosphorus, and thermobaric (Intense Heat, blast wave) but OH GOD, an evil woman does not want her baby, oh! surely she is going to HELL. The Hypocrites stand Condemned!

  • Nature is profligate when it comes to reproducing her many species. In springtime, the air fills with tiny bits of nature’s reproductive efforts as they are scattered without thought as far as they will go, while many of us sneeze in response. In the waterways and oceans, female aquatic life ejects millions of eggs while males do the same with sperm, clouding the waters with nature’s urgent and very thorough reproductive profligacy. Animals mate without thought of what results, although most seek places and nests when reproduction has met with success. Animals know how to raise their offspring but sometimes they’ll eat their young or that of others — and that doesn’t matter to nature who keeps them reproducing over and over and over again to ensure the survival of species. When species become overcrowded, they die off, but nature doesn’t mind this as long as species continue one way or another.

    The human species is capable of foresight and often tries to arrange happy, healthy, psychologically nurturing childhoods for its young, but nature doesn’t care about that; she’s perfectly happy to ensure human reproduction between a comatose individual and a drunken one, or a barely pubescent female and an abusive older male, or a violent rapist and a nun, or a mentally retarded female and a schizophrenic male or a terminally ill female with a psychotic male. Nature doesn’t care at all about these things as long as species continues, for nature is profligate about ensuring reproduction of all her species regardless of the species. If a female human has baby after baby after baby and then dies from exhaustion or starvation, nature does not object, for it can always produce more females, more babies. No problem.

    Among the human species there exist some males and females who insist on choosing when, where, under what circumstances and even IF they will bring new human beings into the world. They usually do so because they understand the human psyche and value nurturing, loving, wanting and welcoming more than random, profligate, thoughtless physical reproduction. Some even allow themselves sexual expression and intimacy with chosen others while preventing or even ending pregnancy because they do not want or cannot adequately perform the duties of parenting to an intelligent sentient being, and they seem to believe such parenting matters. They call themselves pro-choice.

    Other human beings do not want to permit this choice, preferring nature’s impersonal, random, thoughtless, forced reproductive success regardless of the predictable suffering that will result to both the unwilling parent and the unwanted child. They call themselves pro-life.

    But only one side of the ensuing debate can properly call itself pro-force.

    • I wish this comment section had an applause or clapping function. Beautifully stated!

  • The first and foremost right of every baby is to be WANTED. When this right is denied, the baby, the mother, and society suffer.

    “Abolition of a woman’s right to abortion, when and if she wants it, amounts to compulsory maternity: a form of rape by the State.”
    – Edward Abbey

  • Interesting, I only just noticed you wrote this one. Haven’t read it and don’t have time to now.

    As some here have learned, I’m a Bible believing “fundamentalist” as they would say. This hot button issue I avoid like the plague, however.

    The idea that anything and everything goes when it comes to abortion, whenever, however, even after a baby is born, is nothing but pure madness and psychopathy.

    However, I’m personally not convinced that the opposite is also true, i.e. that the Bible forbids it as evil and sin no matter what the time and circumstance. Maybe I’m wrong and maybe not, but what I do know is that whatever the answer is it has to be honestly in harmony with the Bible. In my experience, however, there can often be error out there when it comes to proper honest understanding of it for certain issues.

    So yes – I avoid this issue like the plague and am the wrong “fundamentalist” to get involved.

    Consider this wicked reprehensible “abomination” though:

    All these psychopaths in power have to do with the evangelical population in America is say they are against abortion, say they are Christian too, make a few appearances at a church, rub elbows a bit with the likes of Franklin Graham, et al, and – presto – they are given an instant blank check and license from that same evangelical community to engage in all the war mongering, atrocities, murder and destruction that has been going on these past decades. Kill unborn babies? No! Kill innocent civilians including families and children – be my guest! Truly sad, and a truly sad capturing of much of the evangelical population. “Captured” – rhymes with “raptured,” but not nearly as good.

    (And on a side note: Caitlin I just had to do the captcha image quiz literally around 20 times. Could you please reduce the level to maybe 1 screen?)

    • captcha bullshit is only doing a eensy-weensy, teeny-tiny bit of google’s eee-vil… it is used more to capture biometric info and educate THEIR AI… they throw all ‘your’ (sic) info into the black hole of meta-data… they CAN tell EXACTLY who you are by the nature of your typing and mouse movements, brought to you in part by your fiends at captcha ! ! ! look it up, sheeples, not my k-k-k-konspiracy mongering…
      .
      further, EVEN IF totally innocent, i have given up both here and other places to TRY and figure just what the fuck one of the partial images ARE, never mind if it has a storefront, or motorcycle, or wisp of smoke in the image i can barely tell what planet it was taken on… seriously, i can go through 3-4 of these exercises in futility, and EVERY set has blurry, crappy, barely discernible ‘pictures’ i have NO IDEA what they are (which i realize is the point), much less if there is a fucking chimney in them…
      gee, guess i’m a stoopid robot and didn’t even know it; shit, i bet the bots do better at this turing test than i do…
      about tired of that exercise in futility, simply won’t comment on sites which require it… also, the scrolling and CTRL-ScrollWheel magnification are borked on this site… just sayin’…
      this may be the last captcha i do simply to post this anti-captcha message; the irony, it burns…

  • My mother had three pregnancies before she had me, her first live birth, and I was born before Roe v. Wade was decided. None of the others were natural miscarriages or premature births — all three were aborted illegally. After one of those procedures, my mother went into septic shock and nearly died as a result of the infection she got from the “coathanger” abortion. She was one of many who had to endure these types of dangerous procedures, and that’s what caused women to push for legalized abortions. These women were genuinely pro-life because they wanted to save the lives of the living, breathing humans who were often permanently disabled or sterilized or killed because of these illegal abortions.
    ————————

    I find it highly ironic that the men (and even the women) who oppose abortions are usually the very same people who oppose welfare (they often oppose child support and alimony, as well!) and even single motherhood. Most women who get abortions do so because they don’t have the financial, physical, and emotional support needed to raise a child. If the anti-abotionists were serious, they would personally create and fully fund a program that would pay 100% of the expenses for housing, food, healthcare, childcare, basic necessities, etc. for BOTH the mother and the children who result from these unwanted pregnancies for the next 20+ years — enough to cover college and other expenses as many parents do for their adult children and enough to fully make up for the permanently lost income-earning capacity that the woman experiences when she has to devote herself to raising these children. If she’s a single mother, she won’t have the ability to dedicate herself to her job in a way that would enable her to maximize her full career potential; this is another cost of motherhood that is rarely acknowledged.
    ————————–

    Caitlin is 100% correct about unwanted pregnancies being the result of men’s actions. In addition to what she wrote, there is the issue of men lying about their feelings about the relationship in order to get women to have sex with them. They will often profess their love and talk about marriage just to get women into bed with them. Many women then allow the men to have unprotected sex because they think the relationship is more permanent…until she gets pregant and the truth manifests itself.
    ————————–

    As some people noted in response to the Mormon woman’s post, nobody has the right to force a person to share their organs or body with another person against their will. The example was made of a person being forced to donate a kidney in order to keep another person alive — that person would die without the donated kidney. Most people would agree that this would not be acceptable, but that’s analagous to what people want to force on women when they want to force pregancy and childbirth on them against their will.

    • I am sure you have all noticed the Republican WHITE MEN (And their ‘born again wives’) are always behind this Control of Women’s bodies. The reason for this is GREED—most all of them are Wealthy, and the rich must have a constant supply of CHEAP LABOR in order to stay rich, and have their NANNIES. Therefore they will fight tooth and nail to prevent any form of birth control, not just abortion. I, myself will become Pro-Life when the ‘lifer’s’ take on the responsibility of adopting, supporting, and raising to maturity every last unwanted baby on earth. But that will never happen because it will cost them $$$$$. In my book they are one and all lying HYPOCRITES (and closet queers). God Save the Queen!

      • Don’t forget the rally in Kansas with the “pro-lifers” (sic) holding up signs saying SUPPORT OUR UNBORN TROOPS. I think the photo I saw of that says it all.

  • I now from personal experience what happens when you inadvertently kick over a large hornets nest. WOW! Raising this issue is a lot like that.

  • I used to be “pro-choice,” but have come to the self evident realization that abortion is objectively evil (unless it’s for the safety of the mother, incest, rape, etc.). Look into the history (true/actual history) of Planned Parenthood and eugenics. It’s quite disturbing.

    • oh-h-h-h, totally eee-vil, um, unless it isn’t…
      i am certain you will school us all on the “etc.” part in particular…
      .
      (btw: the rich/powerful and connected ALWAYS manage to exempt themselves from both the morality and legality of these types of issues; consequences are for little peoples…)
      .
      no, YOU look at his story, and you will find that this is simply one of a thousand ways Empire’s puppet masters use these hot button issues (valid and not) to divide 50% of the 99% against the other 50% of the 99%, when we should be working together to dismantle Empire, overthrowing the locked-in rule of the 1%…
      (more like .1 or .01%, but that doesn’t exactly roll off the keyboard…)
      .
      we MUST agree to disagree on the 10% of the issues which divide us (AND which may be ameliorated if not eliminated upon the dissolution of Empire), and unite on the 90% of issues we can agree on to have any hope of defeating sauron…
      the nine nazgul have been circling for some time, and we haven’t even sharpened our swords…
      .
      stop dehumanizing each other for valid differences of morality, religion, and personal philosophy; you only serve Empire’s ends, not yours… besides, i can’t believe there are THAT many jesus’s, bhuddha’s, and mohammed’s out there never hearing some golden rule-ish bullshit like, ‘judge not lest ye be judged’…
      is that some hippie-freak bullshit or what ? ? ?
      FORGET about ‘love thy neighbor’, that’s so old skool it’s ancient his story… GTFOH

  • Good Luck getting an accurate poll from NYT or MSM on this issue, but VOTE:

    Only Women AND Girls… Abortion – for or against?

    I bet the VAST majority are against, but ‘Feminism’ and ‘Evolution’ scream loudly and demand compliance!

  • Very tough issue with individual complexities involved every time, no doubt.

    That being said, we all know what happens when ‘reproductive healthcare’ is chosen. Everyone reading this – and everyone not reading this – started out the same way. The fact that ‘Evolution’ and feminism were able to successfully sell the notion that ‘pro-choice’ is solely a female issue – and the ”fetus’ is a blob with no Constitutional Rights (thanks Killary!) – is pretty incredible.

    “War on women” ?? How many will die if they choose adoption instead?

    What about the war on baby boys and girls?! They have a 1% chance of survival…

    Abortion is probably – very quietly! – THE biggest growth industry of the last half century…
    Organ harvesting, stem cells, vaccine ingredients, baby blood, and likely other ‘benefits’ of which I’m unaware.

    “One dead, one wounded,” is what I’ve heard, from women who’ve made that choice. And a girlfriend told me that she merely helped a friend get one, and she still thinks about that day many years later…

    Yes, this is a man talking. And I sincerely do try to understand the woman’s perspective. I can’t imagine the pain involved… But these words have to be part of the conversation too: sex risks pregnancy. Pregnancy creates a baby. What can we do to raise awareness and responsible behavior???…..

    And maybe incentive-ize adoption?! I bet mom would look back and feel much better about that temporary sacrifice later on down the road…

    No career matters that much.

    • With all due respect, pregnancy and childbirth do not constitute a “temporary sacrifice” for most women. More often than not, pregnancy causes physical (and sometimes mental/emotional) damage that lasts a lifetime. It’s easy for a man to discount what women go through when they endure pregnancy and childbirth, and some women seem to breeze through most of their pregnancies, but there are a very large percentage of women who experience debilitating, and even life-threatening medical issues as a result of pregnancy and/or childbirth.

      I’ve also known a few women who’ve had both abortions and also put babies up for adoption. They’ve all told me that the choice that haunted them the most was putting a baby up for adoption. They were always wondering what happened to those children and hoping that they weren’t suffering; this was many years after the adoptions.

      It’s not about “careers,” either, though that is a very legitimate concern for women. Women are disadvantaged enough already without having to add the burden of single motherhood (most women who have abortions are unmarried at the time of the abortion). For women, having babies when there is no support system around is the quickest and most effective way to become impoverished. This often lasts for a lifetime; it is not temporary.

      • Thank you for some very well communicated points, JM…

        Especially: “For women, having babies when there is no support system around is the quickest and most effective way to become impoverished. This often lasts for a lifetime; it is not temporary.”

        I would not wish such a circumstance on anyone. Must be soo overwhelming!

        It’s a very important conversation – my point: “What can we do to raise awareness and responsible behavior???…..”

        Thanks again for your reply, JM…

        • Thank you for your considerate reply, John. I agree that abortion is not something that should be considered casually, but as someone who has helped a few friends when they were getting their abortions, I can assure you that none of them ever considered it casually. All were traumatized, but knew that the alternative would be even worse for all concerned. Do rest assured that the goal of most women is to avoid an unwanted pregnancy in the first place. That will require the participation of men, as well, since they are every bit as responsible for these pregnancies as the women — there are some excellent points in the article that Caitlin linked to that place men in an even more powerful position.
          ———————————

          The good news is that abortions are also at their lowest levels since Roe v. Wade was decided.

          https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/01/17/509734620/u-s-abortion-rate-falls-to-lowest-level-since-roe-v-wade

          • You’re welcome, JM!

            I wish all debates could be so chill?!

            : ) !!!

            Perhaps – hopefully? please, please! – the answers are on the way, and all this is part of the process…

            Best to you, JM! I appreciate your genuine and eloquent communications…

  • I generally support most of the positions you adhere to and I applaud your positions on social justice, anti-regime change wars and the rights and dignity of all persons regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation etc. But on this issue I believe you are blinded by your personal experience and are advocating a stance that invalidates all the morality of your above mentioned positions.

    In 1935 Nazi Germany passed the Nuremberg laws which forbade marriages between Jews and non-Jews. Basically these laws promulgated the ideas that Jews were unter-mensch (sub-human) and therefore did not, as a result of their “inferior nature” qualify as a full human beings. The National Socialist philosophy also relegated Romani, Homosexuals and the mentally disabled to imprisonment or death because they were considered non-human and mere animals or genetic mistakes. The Nazi Aktion T4 program euthanized thousands of mentally challenged persons and hid their deaths under the guise of miscellaneous deaths to cover the fact that they were “cleansing” the state from beings that the social hierarchy claimed had no legal right to live. Various scientific studies were promulgated by German scientists that claimed to show such persons as not full human beings because they were missing some element and hence inhuman experiments were made to try and prove that point.

    Human beings, under the guise of state morality, decided who were human beings by rule of legislative, police and military force. And this is the slippery slope that you are heading towards. You eloquently expressed your personal experiences of motherhood and the severe challenges a mother faces, the sacrifices she has to make and the economic and social obstacles that may lie in her path for her decision to bring her fetus to term. But every moral decision brings its own severe set of challenges, temptations and regrets in its pursuit towards doing the right thing. But those problems do not validate an approach that fails to recognize the persons or rights that are being protected. Civil rights caused various difficulties in the status quo of the societies they were militated against but the fact that freeing slaves would destroy the agrarian society they fueled, cause unemployment, or social unrest is not a valid reason for the brutalization of a race of persons treated as mere human chattel. The higher principle must prevail or else the lower principle will reign supreme. One hopes to find the right moral principle but mere feelings, or personal experiences, no matter how problematical will fail to establish a proper morality under a universal principle and give lie to every other moral principle because someone’s subjective experience would trump an objective viewpoint. Perhaps racists or misogynists had a bad encounter that forms their opinions but that is not a foundation of any true ethic.

    The fact that a woman has a right to her body, even against unwelcome advances by her spouse, is indeed a moral truth. But a fetus is an individual entity that is biologically in a symbiotic relationship with the mother’s body but not a part of that body per se. So the question arises of whether that entity is merely a living being like bacterium etc. or a living human being. Especially in the first half of the pregnancy that question is extremely hard to answer definitively whether by social, religious, philosophical or scientific investigations. So I understand the anguish this question may entail for whoever is trying to do the right thing. Yet if we do not exert ourselves in making a good faith attempt we may very well wind up setting moral and legal precedents that may legitimize further holocausts.

    Finally the argument that men pass laws because they seek to control or hurt woman is disingenuous because a large number of feti that are aborted are female so there is a partial protection of the female gender and the idea that most men are against abortion is specious because it fails to consider that men (even Republican men) often benefit from abortions as they are freed from the financial burden of supporting the woman they got pregnant.

      • Abortion – There is NO excuse. Birth control is widely available and quite cheap. Available free from many organizations. F*cking use it.

      • Let’s consider a fetus at 7 months into pregnancy. Does it have a right to be included in a system of universal health care? Has it entered into an implicit contract with its mother to occupy her womb until it has an excellent chance of viability outsider her womb? Even though it is essentially the same as a neonate, does the mother – not in danger of death herself – have a right to terminate its life? Or even after birth does she/he have a right to suckle its mother’s breasts? Why is this a human being with rights when outside the womb, but not two months before? Morally and legally we are in a gray area, and that gray area extends backwards in gestational time.

        I do believe in a woman’s right to – early-on – terminate a pregnancy, but this is not like removing a wart? It is a sad event, a failure, a tragedy, a spiritual crisis.

        • To clarify: I liked the well-written and compelling article. I just didn’t like the title – or this particular comment.

      • What determines your “sovereignty”? Who gave it to you or how did you get it?

        • I had a premature birth baby die in my hand. He didn’t quite fill my hand. My son struggled to exist and live, but couldn’t. He died in my hand. It was the worst experience I’ve ever had. I think if in committing abortion you and the father should watch the whole episode and don’t hide from it. You shouldn’t be able just to “move on” without considering the existence of a life destroyed in the uS of A more so for convenience.

          If there is rape or rape incest involved then certainly a morning after pill should be used. I can imagine that in being raped there would be those that would feel such shame. anger and embarrassment they would be incapable of telling anyone or even face the reality of the rape to use a morning after pill. And if the morning after pill didn’t work? Those are hard ones to put a pat answers to.

          If “society” believes that the unborn human life should exist and the mother and/or father are incapable of providing, it should take on the burden of providing for the child when born where it insists life.

          I’m not much though for governments having power over life or death. That kind of power will be abused for “the good of society”. Easy to make judgements and legalism.

        • Hey Mike,
          You asked, “What determines your “sovereignty”?”
          I say, “Your existence.”
          You asked, “Who gave it to you or how did you get it?”
          I say, “It’s inherent, innate. It’s part and parcel of your status as an individual body, mind and consciousness.
          On the flip side, sovereignty doesn’t actually exist. It’s merely a mental concept. The same non-actual-existence applies to government, supreme court, abortion laws, morality, etc. They are all just mental memes… but memes that people wholeheartedly believe in unto death, and for which they will glad kidnap, cage and kill others, if seen as necessary in their mind.

          • “Your exsistence” is a fairly subjective answer. If you do have it I agree that “It’s inherent, innate.” I think I do have it, but would like Catilin to explain herself as it is her defense. The way she used it was as if, “just because”.

            Her answer as well could be subjective, but might explain how she got there.

            Here’s an interesting interpretation of usage of Sovereignty.

            Yick Wo v Hopkins 118 US 356 1886

            “SOVEREIGNTY itself is, of course, NOT SUBJECT TO LAW, for it is the author and source of law; but in our system, while SOVEREIGN POWERs are delegated to the agencies of government, SOVEREIGNTY ITSELF REMAINS WITH THE PEOPLE, by whom and for whom all government exists and acts. And the law is the definition and limitation of power.” (Emphasis mine)

            Sovereignty and Sovereign powers are define in Black’s Law Dictionary 1891 pg 1117:
            “SOVEREIGN POWER OR SOVEREIGNTY
            The power in a state to which none other is superior or equal.”
            ___

            My experience being that truth is out there. Finding it not so easy. Yes this does not explain where sovereignty comes from.

      • Isn’t it murder to kill another human being without cause recognized around the world? Certainly some pregnancies may threatened the mother’s life, but apart from that isn’t it murder to kill a human life?

        The act of murder is in fact a statement of irrelevancy to a human existence. How is your sovereignty more relevant than the sovereignty of the human fetus? Certainly under feudal times you certainly make war with another king or queen who invades your territory or you just want to take over another land. Except for rape how has the human fetus made war with you? Did you not in fact invite otherwise by consensual sex?

        The type of sovereignty seems to me one whereby you have self-anointed as a queen who’s every action is justifiable just because.

        Which brings me back to my other question. Who gave you your sovereignty or how did you get your sovereignty?

      • “No one, of any age, human or otherwise, has a right to use my body for any reason whatsoever.”

        The fetus is not an invader. It comes into the mother’s body, normally, via voluntary action on the part of the mother (as well as the father). If you invite someone into your house, you can’t throw her out during a thunderstorm. I think it ought to be a question of when life begins.

        The fact of life, philosophically speaking, is consciousness. Where there is consciousness, there is likely a will to remain conscious, that is, a will to live. Once a fetus has become conscious, it should be regarded as alive. IMAO, a woman who goes this long without having an abortion ought to be regarded as having committed herself to bringing the baby to full term and delivering it alive. And to providing sustenance.

      • Sovereignty strongly implies its reciprocals – accountability and responsibility. Yes, it demands it. Pregnancy is a BFD. Each of us, if we’re going to claim real adulthood, must demand full accountability and responsibility of ourselves and of each other. That is why I state that in almost all cases, seeking an abortion has NO excuse. Responsible birth control must be used by accountable adults. Problem solved… or at least 99% of the problem. For the 1% of outlier situations, abortion should be available.
        I suspect that the real issue is the deep energetic scar inflicted on both parties. What about the profound emptiness, sadness, sorrow, guilt, grief and shame that so many women (and men?) feel after an abortion? That scar runs VERY deep, and causes its own unique version of PTSD. No man or woman in their right mind would risk such trauma to themselves, and to the life they might create.

        • BDev what is your source for Sovereignty? Legally defined as the power in state to which none is greater. Here meaning that sovereignty remains with the people. But is only a legal interpretation or what Justice Matthews considered a self-evident truism. However not legally applied or administered as so where government grant “Its” people privilege to exercise self-evident rights.

          Otherwise from the POV of a King or Queen that sovereignty rests only in them. You or I are not equals to the King or Queen. Depending upon interpretation in fact there may be no real moral reciprocals except accountability to yourself as you see fit; much like Humpty Dumpty. Where one is sovereign may simply be to do as you wish and likewise understand that it’s better to work out problems peaceably and yield your power to survival. We get to the intersection at the same time by mutual peace treaty we agree to yield to the right or to the one driving forward. Or we can draw swords. That’s really how our laws are supposed to work.

          Then again where does your sovereignty come from? Self proclamation is arrogant and to war with others.

  • As one, I’m for men note having a say on this issue. Women need to come to a conclusion without regard to religion as to what law is to be written.
    On a personal level, to have, or not to have an abortion, that’s that woman’s choice, unless her religion controls her.
    On this issue, Caitland, you should have provided an additional check box – I am a robot.

  • Wow, that’s a pretty broad brush you’re painting men with Caitlin. But I ain’t settin’ foot in the lioness’ den, only fools rush in…
    .
    The only problem with sex is men and women.

  • Luv u Cat but I can’t go along with you on this one. Like you I’m raised Catholic but that has nothing to do with my stand. It’s a matter of civil rights… Let the kid have his day in court before you send it to the biohazard bag. Due process for all.
    They say it’s “choice” but is it? Why is it that it’s the poor and minorities – or do I repeat myself – that go down this road? Maybe they want the ( black ) woman to “choose” so they can sleep at night, secure that it wasn’t them, it was her.

  • While I fully support a woman’s right to choose, I do not believe that abortion should be either commonplace or guilt free. Though women have a right to have an abortion for any reason (until the third trimester), an abortion is a tragedy and not something to be celebrated. All life is sacred, even the lives of animals, even the lives of unborn human fetuses. While a woman may not be able to afford another child or senses that she would not be a good mother or would have to make more sacrifices than she is able to bear, abortion is nevertheless a sad business. She is choosing the lesser of two evils. I fail to see how anyone can be anti-war and pro-guiltless abortions. While the new Alabama law is obscene, I do believe that pro-life people have the moral high ground. But life is more complicated than their oversimplified worldview. A pregnant teenager, for example, shouldn’t have to give up her shot as a fulfilling career.

  • Where does “female reproductive sovereignty” end and a racial eugenics program begin?

    Because the Abortion complex in the united states was explicitly created as a eugenics program, and it has had the effect of a racial eugenics program. Go look at the numbers if you don’t believe me.

    For upper class white women Abortion is a personal convenience. For lower class non-white women (who get most of the abortions) it is a eugenics program.

  • People within the southern United States and parts of the mid west detest ” unwed motherhood ” and welfare for the children of these unwed mothers; and as such they make life as hard as possible for these people every way that they can!! These folks are ” legislating their religion into the state laws “; it will be interesting to see which way the United States Supreme Court deals with these laws!!! Many years ago one of my teachers explained to us the human male-female pairing thusly!! He told us that at the moment of a child’s conception the female takes precedence and the man and the child, or children, lives revolve around her!!! This is true for a stable family!! However in today’s world, many women want children but they do not want a husband or any male around permanently!! Properly raising children is very hard work and must be done 24/7 to be done adequately!! Having a child just to obtain a welfare check is very common nowadays!! I pity these children; but there is nothing anyone can do about them because most of them are very bitter, unloved, as well as being lost in this complex world!!! Ms Caitlin is right that medical abortions should be legal and guilt free; but within these United States individual states can make very illegal and very shameful!!!

  • I don’t understand why people think it’s odd that some (a lot) of women are anti-abortion. The women lawmakers in Alabama may just think they needed to vote that way to stay in office, for one thing. I mean, it’s proven fact that some men in Congress are privately all for abortion for their mistresses, while publicly being anti-abortion. But I think it’s more likely they are anti-abortion. They may, or may not be far-right evangelicals either.

    My sense (no data, just from listening/observing) is that most women agree with most or all of the points Caitoz made here. But they can’t wrap their head around one thing — the actual *act* of aborting a fetus. And I get it. It’s the part that if you don’t think about, makes Caitlin’s casual observations easy to agree with.

  • The biggest abortionist is the American Government, yet where are your outcries???

  • Before, during and after.

  • Personal responsibility anyone ????

    • Many are rape within the family…

  • the language of “individual rights” is as limited and self-contradictory as the “individual sovereignty is absolute so the society should guarantee it ” liberal ideology.

    the reality is, our liberal society regulates just about every aspects of our individual lives. it does especially when our act involves anyone else’s safety or interest.

    if the question was simply whether my body is mine or anyone else’s, we wouldn’t need this conversation at all.

    if someone kicks a pregnant woman in the belly and causes miscarriage, i bet the kicker will pay a whole lot more than for kicking a non-pregnant belly.

    you don’t want another child in your life? try your darned best not to get pregnant, first, before you argue for your right to abort… whatever has started growing in your body as a result of your voluntary action.

    we as a society should reserve the authority to force you to explain why you do what you do, but only after we as a society have done the absolutely very best to provide all members with the best possible conditions for them to make the right decisions.

    only after child-bearing-and-rearing is no longer a costly endeavor can we as a society impose our collective will on individuals who are pregnant. this discussion itself is a proof positive that our society is grossly unjust, especially to those who bear and rear children. not that anyone has an absolute right to do whatever they want to do with whatever is growing in their own body.

    work for justice so that we can all make the socially-acceptable decisions. “individual rights” is only a lesser evil.

  • Remember old article about steep drop in crime rates that local police gave themselves
    credit for. Another article showed that statistically this was about 20 years after
    abortions became legal. Rationale was that mothers who did not want a child were
    able to abort pregnancy rather than unwillingly raising an ”unwanted” child.

  • “female reproductive sovereignty”

    When I see feminists and others campaigning for MALE reproductive sovereignty I’ll start caring.

    If you didn’t want a baby should have kept your pants on! Takes 2 to tango ya know! Sex makes babies der! You knew the risk when you had sex! If you didn’t want a baby should have kept your pants on! Etc etc.

    • Please (please please) read the article by the Mormon mom that is linked from this article.

    • “Keep your pants on” doesn’t solve the problem of rape, whether by stranger, date, friend or husband.

      Almost everyone on both sides disagrees with me, so I’ll toss out a line to see whether any of the exceptions might be here:
      Since the sensible rationale to oppose abortion is based upon individual rights of the unborn, I also oppose making exceptions for rape and incest. If an unborn is a child, is a person, it is entitled to protection. However, since I would allow abortion any time in the first tri-mester, the decision in the cases of rape and incest should be pretty easy to make in that 90 days. (I wouldn’t oppose expanding the 90 days to 4 1/2 months; by that time “clump-of-cells” has been sufficiently passed to give me serious doubts about any LACK of “personhood.” Seems like a child to me, and I’m against killing those.)

    • Men have reproductive sovereignty. I had myself snipped. Now, I have total reproductive control and will never have an “oops” take over the next 18 years of my life. If I want a kid I can adopt one. If you want a kid, find a partner you share that desire with but don’t act like forcing your will to procreate in another is your right.

      Stop whining. Men’s rights are fine. If you feel oppressed it’s because you want to.

  • Excellent article Caitlin. Lots of serious food for thought here, and among the commenters too. This is how healthy, free discussion of emotionally charged issues should go, in order for all of us to grow a little wiser in a world that desperately needs it.

  • As a 64-yo SWM with zero children, I have NO “dog-in-this-fight” — thus no reason/justification or rationale for offering-up my opinion. But I will, regardless. IMO, the “STATE” has no place in “governing” (by legislative acts) the innate human OPTION of participating in (species) REPRODUCTION. This is an inherently individual, personal, and entirely private “decision”, thus “choice.” MALES obviously cannot become pregnant, and thus are not burdened by the FEMALE’s sense of direct personal responsibility for the gestational development of a human fetus, it’s “healthy” birth, its post-natal growth and maturation (all the way through to “legal emancipation”, usually at age 18) and all the hormonal, emotional and psychological effects and affects of that MOTHERHOOD spanning not less than these first (early) two decades of that child’s life — then ALL the way until that Mother’s death (hopefully) some many more decades later (fortunate!) or that child’s death earlier (unfortunate!!) Do “elected” legislators have ANY “legitimate” (legal, ethical or moral) grounds/basis to play in this on-going pageant of BASIC HUMANITY? No. The very premise is absurd — irrational, illogical, and utterly detached from the REALITY of the sheer HUMAN ELEMENT in the mere fact of Human existence. Abortion is ABSOLUTELY a “reproductive right” of women/FEMALES. MALES are the least inconvenienced, are not the slightest “deviated” from pursuing and attaining LIFETIME personal goals/ambitions, and can easily/frequently DO dismiss/ignore any sense of personal responsibility FOR their role in Fatherhood. Current attempts to AGAIN “criminalize” pregnant FEMALES who individually choose to “abort” THEIR OWN human fetus — and physicians who choose to “support” them — is simply WRONG. ANY “argument” to the contrary is disingenuous, hypocritical,
    cynically self-serving and/or deliberately misleading. Ultimately, the simple fact is that NO ONE is entitled/authorized to “legally dictate” to ANY individual FEMALE (woman) person HOW to “control” her own biological life, and thus her ON (personal) life’s “road”. To me, the “RIGHT” of any/every woman (FEMALE) to abort — as SHE “chooses” — is INALIENABLE! It isn’t an “issue” for COURTS OF LAW to “decide”. PERIOD

    • “High IQ People” may well likely NOT BOTHER to read/respond to COMMENTS. I am, don’t — but sometimes DO (both) for “comic relief”. SMART folk have long-ago recognized that “COMMENTING”( at all) is simply a form (outlet) for VENTING. ANYONE with half-a-brain will promptly LEARN that “COMMENT” is over-run/dominated by trolls. Which renders “comenting” on COMMENT a futlie exercise — except for PERSONAL venting!!

      • I made my point though, which you can’t refute, high IQ person. And one of my favorite experiences in life was telling my black female coworkers first thing in the morning that the fiery young white girl Women’s Studies graduate working with us said she wished black women had more abortions. I don’t know what ensued, but she resigned abruptly at lunch. This was a salaried job, with full benefits. Good luck when you’re old and alone with all those young folks in the street raised by “strong single mothers.” You deserve everything coming. LOL.

    • ” Abortion is ABSOLUTELY a ‘reproductive right’”
      I have to disagree because I think the moment of live birth is too arbitrary to decide that it is the first point at which the growing child is entitled to be protected. People who study fetal development usually become convinced that it is a child they are looking at quite some time before live birth. Long before live birth the unborn can feel pain, can hear sounds and react at times in ways to imply feelings of fear.

  • I notice all the high IQ people are going extinct. On the internet comment boards, especially under articles about immigration, many people love to remind us which races according to research have the highest IQ. I notice they are the same groups that are going extinct. Europeans, British and Japanese, the smartest people, are all going extinct. They borrowed money for advanced education like they were told (because they are so smart) and then after graduation discovered they couldn’t afford a family as a result. So they are going childless and unmarried, unlike the low IQ people who are proliferating. So apparently “smart” and “obedient” are the same thing now. I guess the Dodo had the highest IQ of the bird species. They knew to just stand still and get clubbed in the head. The low IQ disobedient people with their children and families just don’t get it. High IQ = Highly obedient. Low IQ=Disobedient. High IQ people have abortions and get angry with low IQ people who won’t. High IQ people believe the human race should die out because the people with infinite credit who enslaved the earth with debt say the planet is now overpopulated (or at least the academics they fund do).

  • “women who have babies are superheroes.“

    Actually, women who have babies are selfish, evil monsters, for dragging innocent unborn spirit-matter into the hellhole of material existence. A few decent religions and philosophies have preached anti-natalism for centuries (and were usually persecuted or suppressed for doing so). Thus, abortions should not merely be commonplace and guilt-free, they should be mandatory for all pregnancies! The reason that powerful men are trying so hard to mess up reproductive rights is because… wait for it… they are evil, and want more poor souls to be trapped in their evil hellhole, to become debt slaves, brainwashed consumers, cannon fodder, etc. Women who aid in this heinous betrayal of the unborn are duplicitous vermin, lower than scum. Make no mistake, this reproductive battle is a war between the forces of good and evil, and only evil people reproduce. Thank you, and have a nice day!

  • I still want a progressive who believes in government social programs and entitlement programs to explain to me how these programs, which are sustained by workers’ contributions from their paychecks, are going to continue with depopulation. Where will the free healthcare and social security pensions come from if their are no new workers working good jobs to pay into these programs? It takes two children per woman just to keep the population growth flat, and Gen X already didn’t have enough children. There will be a lot of old people with no families in the future. Of course then Caitlin and her ilk will be writing essays calling for euthanasia. Never once did they question the role of central banking and debt-money in this. Because above all, they are obedient. To the MEN in charge.

    • Kofi, is your point that the new AL law will help populate AL with good workers, working well-paying jobs?
      So unwanted children born into some level of poverty is your solution?
      Or did I misunderstand the .. thrust of your reasoning?

      • you are correct, and kofi is proud of himself.

  • Memo to the old white males who comprise Alabama’s “leadership”:
    1. immigrants & people of color are increasing in number, and that worries you, right?
    2. they have, on average, less economic power than whites, right?
    3. birth control costs money, right?
    4. guess who will tend to have more babies with your new AL law?
    5. Didja pass 4th grade math?
    6. How’s that gonna work out?

  • “Abortions should be commonplace and guilt-free”. This is how women think. Don’t question the basis of an evil system, just find a way to survive in it. The reason women naturally think like slaves is because they can’t fight and aren’t built for it, so they choose security over freedom every time. But a MAN, a righteous MAN, imagines a different society that doesn’t require “commonplace” abortions, and will possibly take up arms to create that. There’s that risk-taking gene. Using thin-air money to engineer a matriarchal single mother society was a very effective way of enslaving humanity, and single mothers traded away our freedom for welfare that isn’t even adequate. Rather than submit to their fathers and husbands, women submit to a few hated old men they have never seen. They choose big brother over a husband. If ever some men who weren’t raised by these foolish natural cowards can manage to fight this beast of a system off, or if it just fails and splinters on it’s own, the lesson learned is to never put women at the head of the table again. They have proven every traditional view of them correct. Women have a valuable role in the home, and that’s it. If marriage is so bad for their health, big brother is still worse. If marriage is slavery, then slavery to your husband is still better than slavery to big brother. This is currently woman’s world, and they blew it. Single mothers greased the way to 1984. The fact that a woman would call for more efficient means of killing babies rather than an end to private central banks and debt-money says it all. Boudica, Joan of Arc and Harriet Tubman were unexplainable flukes. Left to their own devices, women have no honor or shame. They choose government over a husband, and then do disgusting things with anyone for extra money when the welfare isn’t enough. They sleep with the invaders, the occupiers, the master, and claim that makes them “strong.” GTFOH.

    • 1. presently 7.5-8 billion nekkid apes stomping around thisy here ball o mud; many estimates peg a 2.5-3 billion maximum as being sustainable for a western middle-class lifestyle… suggestions ? ?
      (see, swift, jonathan, a modest proposal)
      2. to pithily repeat the author’s point towards the conclusion: do we own our own bodies or not ? ? ? IF SO, get your grubby hands off my gonads, etc…
      3. IF MEN got pregnant (FOAD pedants), there would be drive-thru combo abortion clinics with fast food and beer… possibly hookers, too…
      4. there is a word that eludes me where people believe someone else’s pregnancy is all-encompassingly important and precious life for the universe, but ALSO believe JUST as strongly in sending those older babies off to fight and kill and die for Empire, AND being immensely proud about it while willfully ignorant of it… not to mention supporting the death penalty… what *is* that word that eludes me ? ? ?

  • How many of the self-righteous, anti-abortionists are equally incoherent about the number of fetus, infants and pregnant women who are orphaned, maimed, and killed each hour of each day as a result of this country’s MIC wars. I challenge the humans who publicly gnash their teeth and wail over the cruelty and sin of abortion to step forward and become equally vocal on the deaths of fetus/pregnantwomen/infants resulting from our endless wars.
    I’ve had 2 abortions. Both were when I was a confused, parentless early teen who didn’t know how to say no to a man. I have no regrets at all. I do what I can to break the myth that people need to marry and have children. IMO children are great for some and not a good choice for the majority.

  • AMEN!!!!! Since men want to control women, it would be fantastic if us women struck back by refusing to engage in sex. We have to find a way of holding men accountable for their sexual behavior, such as them having vasectomies or being castrated.
    I also propose that the people behind these draconian laws are secretly gay. Especially when women would receive the death penalty for seeking or obtaining an abortion. When all the women are gone from the world, men will have 3 options: 1) become asexual (I personally don’t see this happening) 2) masturbation or 3) turn to other men to get their sexual needs met.

    • Ummm….if we women refuse to have sex with men that means we don’t get to have sex with men. Not a good option.

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