Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Wait, and they say liberals have no sense of humor?

In case you've been hiding under a rock for the past couple of days, here's one of the funnier moments brought to us by the wonder of the internet: Pete, who thought the Onion article "I'm totally psyched about this abortion!" was for real. Yep, he thinks "Miss Weber" is a real person, who is indeed psyched about her abortion. He somehow took these passages literally, and then blogged about the article:

So, to all of you pro-lifers who are trying to rain on my parade, keep it to yourself, because I don't have the time for that kind of negativity. I've got an abortion to plan, and I just know it's going to be the best non-anesthetized invasive uterine surgery ever!

...I wouldn't be looking forward to induced dilation of my cervical opening and suctioning of my uterus, either. And I sure as heck wouldn't get the chance to have a doctor insert a metal instrument into my womb to dislodge tissue from my uterine wall!

...I seriously cannot wait for all the hemorrhaging and the uterine contractions. This abortion is going to be so amazing. I'm definitely taking lots of pictures so I can remember every last detail of the whole experience for years to come and share my great memories with all of my friends, family and co-workers. What an easy decision this was!

I realize there are people who will criticize me, calling me selfish and immature because I took "the easy way out." I realize there are those who will condemn me to hell for what I'm about to do. Well, I don't care what they say: It's worth it for all the fun and laughs I'm going to have at the clinic. So listen up, world: I'm pro-abortion... and I love it! See you at my post-abortion party, everybody!

Wow, right? The stupidity boggles the mind. How could you think this was real? Although it's hilarious, it also points to a real problem within such extreme pro-life groups as that which Pete apparently belongs to: they're totally out of touch with the real world. Not getting such obvious satire suggests one is working with an intellect a few steps below your average bear. And to think that any woman is this flippant about getting an abortion, would seek out an unintended pregnancy (wait, that wouldn't be unintentional), and would then have a party... well, it speaks volumes about his stereotypes of women and particularly of women who choose abortions. He's all about saving babies, but doesn't seem to distinguish between a zygote and a 6 year old child, nor can he fathom that women might want to have a say over how they use their bodies and resources. And despite all the rhetoric about doing something, I don't see Petey pushing for better healthcare for impoverished women, or advocating for better access to birth control, or adopting the babies of these women that he's trying to convince to carry to term.

I checked out some of his other posts, including a particularly disturbing one on Plan B. I've got to quote, because :

This is what we are talking about. 100 million dollars and counting. Planned Parenthood is in it for the money & doesn't care about the health of women in America. The American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists said "the FDA is wrong, motivated by politics" & added a comment about "the despicable treatment of women at the hands of the FDA over this issue".

Um, so, Pete doesn't seem to understand this very simple news story that he saw on TV. See, first he goes after PP for wanting money (which is ridiculous here, as their aim is to offer family planning services, including making sure that poor women have access to birth control). But then he says they don't care about the health of American women, despite then quoting experts and doctors who say that the FDA's politically motivated decision was wrong. So... what?? PP is in it for the money, but they also are carrying through the wishes of those who care about women's health. By stringing these sentences together into a single paragraph, Pete seems to suggest that PP and the FDA are in league on this decision (they're not). Someone has missed the boat.

Accident? She was referring to "accidents" like broken condoms & forgotten birth control pills. The last time I checked, sex wasn't an "accident". I think it falls into the category of "on purpose".

In Pete's imaginary world, people only have sex when they want to reproduce. And he can't seem to empathize with a situation in which one might want to prevent pregnancy (a mistake of impaired judgment, a rape, a simple "equipment failure" with a condom, etc.). Nope, if you have sex, you're clearly a slut (because he's really talking to women here, right? Despite the fact that he can't get pregnant and clearly can't imagine being in that situation), and you should therefore be "punished" with an unwanted pregnancy.

The problem is that people just don't get what sex is for. Okay, so millions of people are calling me an old fuddy duddy right now! In my opinion, the contraceptive mentality is damaging & is what causes our inability to deal with sex and procreation. Everyone is constantly trying to figure out how to have sex without having babies...until they're "ready" for them.

Whoa, not a fuddy-duddy, an authoritarian lunatic. If contraception is messing up how you deal with sex, then fine, good luck finding a woman with similar views. But don't go trying to fix how I deal with it (don't fix what ain't broken).

My favorite part, is that Pete seems to be advocating that people not want till they're "ready" for babies. Either that, or he's suggesting that people should have sex like, twice in their lifetimes (when they want to have children. Oh, and never mind the LGBT community, or those who don't want children, ever). Great idea! I can't wait to see what happens when society cranks out children that belong to unready parents. (Oh, Pete, that's sarcasm.)

Some say it causes abortions, others say it doesn't.

Oh, Pete. The only people who say it causes abortions are those who don't agree with the medical community and the government that pregnancy begins at implantation. Do you mourn for the 50% of fertilized eggs that fail to implant? Are you against douches because who knows, maybe those interfere with implantation? Stop obsessing over women's uteruses and use a little common sense. Your personal ramblings are not what good FDA policy should look like.

Who's right? Simple point for us to consider. People say it will guarantee the reduction of pregnancies. Okay, so why doesn't it eliminate them? So they mean that some women will still become pregnant?

Uh, I think that they mean it will reduce the number of unintended pregnancies OVERALL. They're not saying it doesn't always work. When it's possible to prevent the pregnancy, Plan B works quite effectively, by suppressing ovulation.

Can they guarantee that Plan B will not cause an abortion like the birth control pill? I doubt it. They say "scientifically" but offer no scientific fact that no child will ever be killed by Plan B.

OK, Pete, if you're this obsessed with uteruses, shouldn't you know how difficult it would be to figure out if Plan B might ever, ever, in .0001% of cases, cause a fertilized egg not to implant? It's rather difficult to figure this out, since, um, uteruses are inside of women and all, and 50% of fertilized eggs fail to implant even under normal circumstances. Next thing you know, Petey will be advocating that women avoid walking after sex, because wait, that might prevent implantation, and then you're a baby killer!!


And let's not even try to equate Plan B with the abortion pill -- these are two COMPLETELY different medications, that do COMPLETELY different things.

But my favorite part, which is so good it bears repeating:

They say "scientifically" but offer no scientific fact that no child will ever be killed by Plan B.

Isn't this perfect? How unhinged is this guy? So he admits that scientists say "scientifically" that it won't disturb an existing pregnancy. And then he says they "offer no scientific fact." What the hell do you want, Pete? A stone tablet from God assuring you that "Plan B does not harm existing pregnancies. Thou shalt relax, Pete, and let women make their own decisions!"? Scientists also don't go around saying that never, ever, in a million years, will any fetus be harmed by eating such and such, or taking such and such a medication. We deduce what we can "scientifically," and for those of us who believe that medical science is pretty reliable, we'll let that guide our decision making process over a too-thick-to-recognize-satire-or-construct-a-logical-argument blogger's ramblings.

You'd think that for someone so worried about preventing abortions, Pete would be MORE in favor of Plan B (even if in .0001% of cases it interfered with implantation -- although the science right now points to it not interfering at all), rather than in sitting back and watching as far more women became pregnant unintentionally and resorted to abortions. Overall, however you cut it, Plan B means fewer abortions. And even if you think that life begins when sperm gets into egg, regardless of whether or not it's viable to implant onto the uterus, I'd imagine you'd still be more in favor of a woman ending a pregnancy before implantation, rather than two months into fetal development.

But, as Pete demonstrates, such pro-lifers are more interested in debating the rare "what-if's?" than in actually supporting policies that reduce the number of abortions.


karuna said...

I actually did not find the onion article funny at all. I saw the intent of humor in it, but it was sad. I feel for women who have to put themselves through abortions. It is an emotionally and physically intrusive and painful experience. And I sincerely believe that any woman in her right mind would not want to endure it. I also believe that the overwhelming majority of people on the pro-life side also see the conflict that women in such difficult situations must go through.

I don't really know much about this Pete fellow, but I understand the pro-life side and agree with it. We believe that life begins at conception- not implantation, not birth, not the 1 year birthday of the kid. So...anything that stops implantation from occurring causes, in our minds, an abortion...or as many call it abortaficient. To us, this is wrong.

Beyond that, many of us realize that even if Roe is overturned and even if abortion is banned in all 50 states, that will not necessarily change society. Now, I personally believe that abortion is wrong. But I believe that society does not currently foster life or responsibility. It fosters a "me" culture, where people are encouraged to follow their emotions and feelings rather than viewing things in terms of reprecussions and responsibility. Abortion is simply a symptom of this culture.
Fact: The natural result of sex, whether you like it or not, is pregnancy. It was intended to feel good so that people could and would procreate. Does that mean that sex is only for procreation? In my opinion, no. But, it is the natural result. Our society has decided to forget about the natural results of sexual intercourse, and this is a product of the "me" culture.

As conservatives, we view this progression of selfishness and irresponsibility as something that should be reversed. But of course we debate on how it should be accomplished. One can view the contraceptive mentality (the idea that sex is only for pleasure and not for procreation) as a product of the degenerative aspect of our culture.

Does this mean that contraception is wrong? In my mind, no. It means that we have to change our mind sets away from "kids are bad" and "pregnancy is bad" to "kids are a wonderful gift, a natural product of love that should be embraced."

What role does the government have in this? Well, first of all, I don't think most conservatives want the government stepping into the whole contraception deal. Overwhelmingly, Christians, even evangelical christians (one of the fastest growing groups in this country) are in favor of birth control. Plan B is another discussion all together if it has abortaficient tendencies (as was mentioned above). Should the government ban sex outside of marriage or enforce responsibility? I don't think anyone would agree with that. Keep in mind that most conservatives are not in favor of more governemnt intervention in our private lives.

That being said, abortion, we see as a different matter since it is the actual destruction of life. And for us, that means the government should take every step possible to protect the living, especially the most helpless among us.

Becky said...

I agree that it's a rather sad article, and even sadder that some people think that women actually have this attitude toward abortion (Pete goes on to defend himself, claiming to have met many such women "in the field." I think he's just trying to justify his prior demonstration of stupidity). But the satire really was to comment upon erroneous visions, mainly from people such as Pete, of how women react to abortions. And in that, I think they were frighteningly effective (at least one person fell for it, eek!)

As far as the "me" culture: I agree that individualism in this country has taken the focus off the community and family to a great extent. But I don't understand why conservatives target sex. What about mass consumerism? Buying huge cars that burn oil and make our country dependent on unstable regions? White-collar crime? Not donating time to make our communities better? Etc. I *don't* think that the government needs to regulate my attitude toward sex.

And as for sex: I sympathize with the varying beliefs as to when life begins. But since we don't really know, I don't see why the government should be involved with regulating early abortions. And we definitely should make Plan B available more easily, as it basically works like the pill. Studies have confirmed that it does *not* work as an abortificent (there's no chance of it ending an already implanted pregnancy, implantation being, as our government and the medical community agree, the beginning of a pregnancy). And I've seen two very recent studies, which were supposed to be as impartial as possible, which further confirmed that Plan B's only documented effect is to prevent ovulation. It has LESS of an effect on the uterine lining than does the birth control pill. And although I can recognize the inclination to label a fertilized egg as the beginning of life, it begs the question: is the egg just as much a person, just waiting for some genetic material? How far can we trace it? After all, only 50% of fertilized eggs actually implant: are we seriously supposed to see this as morally equivalent to a five year old child dying by natural causes? So I completely disagree with the way in which religious ideology has made its way into the FDA's decision around Plan B (e.g., Dr. Hager, a christian fundamentalist, basically causing the scientific advisory board's decision to be overturned).

And in conclusion: if we aren't going to easily overturn the "me" culture, do we really want the extreme "it's all about me" sorts having children as a result of accidents during sex? I'd rather they have the choice to take Plan B and prevent an unwanted pregnancy.

Also: countries with abortion bans (South America has copious examples) have higher abortion rates than many European countries in which abortionis really are "safe, legal, and rare."

Gef said...

In the day and age where people are so secretive I really appreciate you sharing your true thoughts.

Sean Cody