5 Indisputable Facts About Abortion

rccrawford@swbell.net

Tissue can be frozen and thawed and live, human life cannot!  The zygote is tissue, it is not life.    

As the 2010 Election period approaches, many of us need to be reminding people of the strengths of the Pro Choice argument. In my state of Texas the battle lines could not be more clear. Our Republicans are staunchly pro life. There are of course the usual arguments that are tried and true that outline the foundation of the Pro Choice movement very clearly. But to that group can be added these following arguments that in my mind are indisputable. I have not heard these arguments made by others and thought that if they have not been considered and rejected in the past, then perhaps they would be useful today. Some of the ideas seem to meet the requirements of what could be considered “law” (not statute law) and are labled as such. Enjoy!

 

 

Indisputable fact 1, it is not life at conception:

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It is indisputable that normal “human life” is not created at the moment of conception. It is a fact that there is a difference between human tissue that is created at conception and a “human life”. There is no known case where a human life has been frozen solid, and lived. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cryopreservation The zygote and like tissue is living human tissue, but not human life. The differentiation being that human tissue can be frozen and reused and “human life” cannot be frozen and revived. Human life has a “spark of life” that living tissue does not have.

 

Let’s look at the difference between living human tissue and human life. Fingernails, hair, skin, zygotes and other body tissue is human life. But it is not “alive” –it does not have the spark of life–in the sense that it does not have the attributes of a fully formed “human being”. Many tissues that make up humans, have unique DNA, can be frozen, thawed and reused, stored and chemically treated and not lose their usefulness as living human tissue. Living human life cannot be frozen and restored or chemically treated and restored.

 

Disambiguation between human life as found in human tissue and human life as in the human experience is of essential importance. One of the primary differences between human tissue as life and “human life” is that human tissue cannot create order out of disorder  http://whatislife.stanford.edu/Homepage/LoCo_files/What-is-Life.pdf

whereas “human life” can.   Tissue can create cells, function on its own and carry out its natural duties but it cannot direct those duties and it cannot create a zygote without direction and assistance from a higher order of human life. In order to have the attributes of a human, in order to have that “spark of life”, it must be able to create order out of disorder and a zygote cannot do that. The zygote is simply tissue of the woman, controlled by the woman and created by the woman. 

Indisputable fact number one is that human life is not created at conception.

 

Indisputable abortion fact 2, the Law of Hindered Birth:

The “Law of Hindered Birth” which states that “A forced birth precludes a willing birth” certainly is and has always been a fact of nature.

It is a fact that pregnancy occupies about 9 months time in a woman’s life. If a woman is hindered in her options of birth and abortion by a law restricting the right to abortion and is forced to give birth to an unwanted child; then she is precluded from giving birth to a wanted child during that period of time. For example if a married woman is raped and becomes pregnant and is forced to carry the child to term, then she cannot in the same time period have a child by her husband. In effect being forced to have the child of the rapist causes the woman to Lose the life of her wanted child.

And if the Family can only afford to raise one child, then they will be forced to go their entire life without ever experiencing a wanted birth with a child of the union of their marriage. Either that or they would be forced to give away a child that is conceived and carried for nine months.

Upon rape, the woman is not carrying in her womb anything other than the “tissue” outlined in Indisputable Abortion Fact 1. However anti abortion law would require her to carry that tissue until it becomes a life in the normal sense. In doing so it condemns the woman to risk her life in pregnancy with a 13 in 100,000 chance of dying and also forces her to “lose” the life of her wanted child.  The result of the anti abortion law boils down to the fact that a wanted child is lost and an unwanted child is forced to be born without good reason, or the woman dies or is injured.

 

Indisputable Abortion Fact 3, saving a fetus, causes the death of an adult:

There are more people dying than can be saved. Choosing to save one person allows another to die.

Every day about 70,000 people die from a range of causes. http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_many_people_die_every_day_in_the_world

 Despite billions of dollars in charity and millions of people working to alleviate needless death, these 25,500,000 people that die each year cannot be saved. Making an effort to save one allows another to die. Choosing to save tissue from abortion and to spend any amount of time or money doing so, simply takes resources from another person that leads to his death. Therefore the net outcome of the choice to save human tissue from abortion is the death of a living and breathing human being. Wasting money saving human tissue from abortion that is not human life allows human life to die. (See Indisputable Abortion Fact #1)

Indisputable Abortion Fact 4, The Pro Life Conundrum:

The Pro Life Conundrum is an indisputable abortion fact that ties a Pro Life woman’s actions to her responsibility for abortion. Miscarriage is a terrible, natural and unavoidable aspect of human life. The percentage of miscarriage to birth is estimated to be as high as 70 percent and as low as 30 percent of live births. I will use a 50% maximum as my model here to make the facts indisputable.

Women are fully aware that miscarriage occurs in 30 to 50 percent of all pregnancies. As a result any choice to have sexual intercourse is a choice to risk miscarriage. Miscarriage that is intentional is abortion. If a woman intentionally has sexual intercourse she is taking an intentional chance of aborting her fetus.

This of course is the Conundrum: “ If a person believes that intentional abortion is murder, then that person must never engage in sexual intercourse. It is impossible to have sex without intentionally risking abortion.” 

Well of course the person trapped by the Pro Life Conundrum is simply stunned. The usual answer is that their abortions were not intentional and with malice and are therefore not intentional abortion. Which of course is the same argument any pro choice person can make. No one sets out in life to have an abortion. Indisputable Abortion Fact 4 holds.

 

Indisputable Abortion Fact 5, Birth Rates drop under anti abortion rules.

It is an indisputable fact that from the period after the baby boom and the invention of improved birth control, until the period governed by Roe V Wade, ( from 1959 to 1973), there was a drop in live births from 4,286,000 to 3,136,000 (a loss of as much as 1.15 million human babies per year under the rules of the pro life movement). In effect what has occurred is that a new basement for live births was set under pro life rules after 1959 that has not been overcome to this date. 

After Roe v Wade the number of births increased year to year such that today we have recovered most of the babies lost under anti abortion rules. Please see my avatar, it is a graph of the period from 1959 to 2000 with lives lost by pro life rules on the left and lives saved by pro choice rules on the right.

 

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The above are my list of the five indisputable abortion facts that support the Pro Choice view. I hope that you will feel free to distribute these ideas among your friends and neighbors.

 

Analysis Politics

Timeline: Donald Trump’s Shifting Position on Abortion Rights

Ally Boguhn

Trump’s murky position on abortion has caused an uproar this election season as conservatives grapple with a Republican nominee whose stance on the issue has varied over time. Join Rewire for a look back at the business mogul's changing views on abortion.

For much of the 2016 election cycle, Donald Trump’s seemingly ever-changing position on reproductive health care and abortion rights has continued to draw scrutiny.

Trump was “totally pro-choice” in 1999, but “pro-life” by 2011. He wanted to shut down the government to defund Planned Parenthood in August 2015, but claimed “you can’t go around and say that” about such measures two months later. He thinks Planned Parenthood does “very good work” but wants to see it lose all of its funding as long as it offers abortion care. And, perhaps most notoriously, in late March of this year Trump took multiple stances over the course of just a few hours on whether those who have abortions should be punished if it became illegal.

With the hesitancy of anti-choice groups to fully embrace Trump—and with pro-choice organizations like Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and EMILY’s List all backing his opponent, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton—it is likely his stance on abortion will remain a key election issue moving into November.

Join Rewire for a look back at the business mogul’s changing views on abortion.

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Culture & Conversation Media

Filmmaker Tracy Droz Tragos Centers Abortion Stories in New Documentary

Renee Bracey Sherman

The film arrives at a time when personal stories are center stage in the national conversation about abortion, including in the most recent Supreme Court decision, and rightly so. The people who actually have and provide abortions should be driving the narrative, not misinformation and political rhetoric.

This piece is published in collaboration with Echoing Ida, a Forward Together project.

A new film by producer and director Tracy Droz Tragos, Abortion: Stories Women Tell, profiles several Missouri residents who are forced to drive across the Mississippi River into Illinois for abortion care.

The 93-minute film features interviews with over 20 women who have had or are having abortions, most of whom are Missouri residents traveling to the Hope Clinic in Granite City, Illinois, which is located about 15 minutes from downtown St. Louis.

Like Mississippi, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming, Missouri has only one abortion clinic in the entire state.

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The women share their experiences, painting a more nuanced picture that shows why one in three women of reproductive age often seek abortion care in the United States.

The film arrives at a time when personal stories are center stage in the national conversation about abortion, including in the most recent U.S. Supreme Court decision, and rightly so. The people who actually have and provide abortions should be driving the narrative, not misinformation and political rhetoric. But while I commend recent efforts by filmmakers like Droz Tragos and others to center abortion stories in their projects, these creators still have far to go when it comes to presenting a truly diverse cadre of storytellers if they really want to shift the conversation around abortion and break down reproductive stigma.

In the wake of Texas’ omnibus anti-abortion law, which was at the heart of the Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt Supreme Court case, Droz Tragos, a Missouri native, said in a press statement she felt compelled to document how her home state has been eroding access to reproductive health care. In total, Droz Tragos interviewed 81 people with a spectrum of experiences to show viewers a fuller picture of the barriersincluding legislation and stigmathat affect people seeking abortion care.

Similar to HBO documentaries about abortion that have come before it—including 12th & Delaware and Abortion: Desperate ChoicesAbortion: Stories Women Tell involves short interviews with women who are having and have had abortions, conversations with the staff of the Hope Clinic about why they do the work they do, interviews with local anti-choice organizers, and footage of anti-choice protesters shouting at patients, along with beautiful shots of the Midwest landscape and the Mississippi River as patients make road trips to appointments. There are scenes of clinic escorts holding their ground as anti-choice protesters yell Bible passages and obscenities at them. One older clinic escort carries a copy of Living in the Crosshairs as a protester follows her to her car, shouting. The escort later shares her abortion story.

One of the main storytellers, Amie, is a white 30-year-old divorced mother of two living in Boonville, Missouri. She travels over 100 miles each way to the Hope Clinic, and the film chronicles her experience in getting an abortion and follow-up care. Almost two-thirds of people seeking abortions, like Amie, are already a parent. Amie says that the economic challenges of raising her other children make continuing the pregnancy nearly impossible. She describes being physically unable to carry a baby and work her 70 to 90 hours a week. Like many of the storytellers in the film, Amie talks about the internalized stigma she’s feeling, the lack of support she has from loved ones, and the fear of family members finding out. She’s resilient and determined; a powerful voice.

The film also follows Kathy, an anti-choice activist from Bloomfield, Missouri, who says she was “almost aborted,” and that she found her calling in the anti-choice movement when she noticed “Anne” in the middle of the name “Planned Parenthood.” Anne is Kathy’s middle name.

“OK Lord, are you telling me that I need to get in the middle of this?” she recalls thinking.

The filmmakers interview the staff of the Hope Clinic, including Dr. Erin King, a pregnant abortion provider who moved from Chicago to Granite City to provide care and who deals with the all-too-common protesting of her home and workplace. They speak to Barb, a talkative nurse who had an abortion 40 years earlier because her nursing school wouldn’t have let her finish her degree while she was pregnant. And Chi Chi, a security guard at the Hope Clinic who is shown talking back to the protesters judging patients as they walk into the clinic, also shares her abortion story later in the film. These stories remind us that people who have abortions are on the frontlines of this work, fighting to defend access to care.

To address the full spectrum of pregnancy experiences, the film also features the stories of a few who, for various reasons, placed their children for adoption or continued to parent. While the filmmakers interview Alexis, a pregnant Black high school student whose mother died when she was 8 years old, classmates can be heard in the distance tormenting her, asking if she’s on the MTV reality show 16 and Pregnant. She’s visibly distraught and crying, illustrating the “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” conundrum women of color experiencing unintended pregnancy often face.

Te’Aundra, another young Black woman, shares her story of becoming pregnant just as she received a college basketball scholarship. She was forced to turn down the scholarship and sought an adoption, but the adoption agency refused to help her since the child’s father wouldn’t agree to it. She says she would have had an abortion if she could start over again.

While anti-choice rhetoric has conflated adoption as the automatic abortion alternative, research has shown that most seeking adoption are personally debating between adoption and parenting. This is illustrated in Janet’s story, a woman with a drug addiction who was raising one child with her partner, but wasn’t able to raise a second, so she sought an adoption. These stories are examples of the many societal systems failing those who choose adoption or students raising families, in addition to those fighting barriers to abortion access.

At times, the film feels repetitive and disjointed, but the stories are powerful. The range of experiences and reasons for having an abortion (or seeking adoption) bring to life the data points too often ignored by politicians and the media: everything from economic instability and fetal health, to domestic violence and desire to finish an education. The majority of abortion stories featured were shared by those who already had children. Their stories had a recurring theme of loneliness and lack of support from their loved ones and friends at a time when they needed it. Research has shown that 66 percent of people who have abortions tend to only tell 1.24 people about their experience, leaving them keeping a secret for fear of judgment and shame.

While many cite financial issues when paying for abortions or as the reason for not continuing the pregnancy, the film doesn’t go in depth about how the patients come to pay for their abortions—which is something my employer, the National Network for Abortion Funds (NNAF), directly addresses—or the systemic issues that created their financial situations.

However, it brings to light the hypocrisy of our nation, where the invisible hand of our society’s lack of respect for pregnant people and working parents can force people to make pregnancy decisions based on economic situations rather than a desire to be pregnant or parent.

“I’m not just doing this for me” is a common phrase when citing having an abortion for existing or future children.

Overall, the film is moving simply because abortion stories are moving, especially for audiences who don’t have the opportunity to have someone share their abortion story with them personally. I have been sharing my abortion story for five years and hearing someone share their story with me always feels like a gift. I heard parts of my own story in those shared; however, I felt underrepresented in this film that took place partly in my home state of Illinois. While people of color are present in the film in different capacities, a racial analysis around the issues covered in the film is non-existent.

Race is a huge factor when it comes to access to contraception and reproductive health care; over 60 percent of people who have abortions are people of color. Yet, it took 40 minutes for a person of color to share an abortion story. It seemed that five people of color’s abortion stories were shown out of the over 20 stories, but without actual demographic data, I cannot confirm how all the film’s storytellers identify racially. (HBO was not able to provide the demographic data of the storytellers featured in the film by press time.)

It’s true that racism mixed with sexism and abortion stigma make it more difficult for people of color to speak openly about their abortion stories, but continued lack of visual representation perpetuates that cycle. At a time when abortion storytellers themselves, like those of NNAF’s We Testify program, are trying to make more visible a multitude of identities based on race, sexuality, immigration status, ability, and economic status, it’s difficult to give a ringing endorsement of a film that minimizes our stories and relegates us to the second half of a film, or in the cases of some of these identities, nowhere at all. When will we become the central characters that reality and data show that we are?

In July, at the progressive conference Netroots Nation, the film was screened followed by an all-white panel discussion. I remember feeling frustrated at the time, both because of the lack of people of color on the panel and because I had planned on seeing the film before learning about a march led by activists from Hands Up United and the Organization for Black Struggle. There was a moment in which I felt like I had to choose between my Blackness and my abortion experience. I chose my Black womanhood and marched with local activists, who under the Black Lives Matter banner have centered intersectionality. My hope is that soon I won’t have to make these decisions in the fight for abortion rights; a fight where people of color are the backbone whether we’re featured prominently in films or not.

The film highlights the violent rhetoric anti-choice protesters use to demean those seeking abortions, but doesn’t dissect the deeply racist and abhorrent comments, often hurled at patients of color by older white protesters. These racist and sexist comments are what fuel much of the stigma that allows discriminatory laws, such as those banning so-called race- and sex-selective abortions, to flourish.

As I finished the documentary, I remembered a quote Chelsea, a white Christian woman who chose an abortion when her baby’s skull stopped developing above the eyes, said: “Knowing you’re not alone is the most important thing.”

In her case, her pastor supported her and her husband’s decision and prayed over them at the church. She seemed at peace with her decision to seek abortion because she had the support system she desired. Perhaps upon seeing the film, some will realize that all pregnancy decisions can be quite isolating and lonely, and we should show each other a bit more compassion when making them.

My hope is that the film reaches others who’ve had abortions and reminds them that they aren’t alone, whether they see themselves truly represented or not. That we who choose abortion are normal, loved, and supported. And that’s the main point of the film, isn’t it?

Abortion: Stories Women Tell is available in theaters in select cities and will be available on HBO in 2017.

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