You know who agrees with them? That's right, our Princess of Painful Penetration, our Pro-Vaginal Violation Virago, our Libertarian Lemming, Megan McArdle.
In the comments of McArdle's post Why Did Susan G. Komen Pull the Plug on Planned Parenthood? I and others pointed out the incoherency of her irresponsible abortion "moderation."
John Dolan 2 weeks ago
When will Megan move to Fox? Because this "I'm a moderate" thing is a joke. Every column has the same structure: "Although I'm a reasonable, moderate person, I just happen, by chance as it were, to agree with the far right on this issue." It's as if the weather reporter in Bangkok started every broadcast by saying, "Oddly enough, by pure chance, it was hot again today."
McMegan 2 weeks ago
So the only way I'm allowed to be pro choice is to think that PEOPLE WHO ARE PRO-LIFE HATE WOMEN AND ARE EVIL!!!, is that it?
Being pro-choice is not being "moderate" as you put it. I think I'm an abortion moderate, because I'm in between the "always legal" and "always illegal" poles that dominate the respective movements. As it happens, the majority of Americans seem to share my squishiness. So I'd say the moderate opinion is the one that I've outlined: Susan G. Komen has a right to do this, and people who support Planned Parenthood have a right to open their wallets to the organization.
susanoftexas 2 weeks agoin reply to McMegan
You are pro-choice. You think women should be able to kill their babies. How is that moderate? The child will not be half dead, or kind of dead, or moderately dead. Just like abortion in the case of rape (dead baby) or incest (another dead baby).
There is no moderate here. This isn't tax policy. Either it's murder and should be outlawed or we pass a law saying that abortion is a private matter of individual conscience, which we did. The middle ground is not "abortion should be legal but the mother should feel really really bad about it."
McArdle:" I think that abortion should be legal, but I also think that it should be a last resort, and I'm all for the government using any non-coercive methods it can to encourage women to carry their pregnancy to term, including things that will make them feel bad about aborting. I think, for example, that sonograms should be mandatory before termination, I'm in favor of waiting periods and parental notification laws, and I'm agnostic on spousal notification."
McMegan2 weeks agoin reply to susanoftexas
I think there's a gray area, that almost no one on either end of the spectrum actually believes what they claim to (that fetuses somehow become babies at the will of the mother, or, alternatively, that abortion is actually morally equivalent to murder.) I'm sorry that makes you uncomfortable, but there you are; it's an uncomfortable topic, on which there is never a happy answer.
just julie2 weeks agoin reply to McMegan
Seriously, you think that women are so stupid about what is in their wombs that they should be forced to have an invasive vaginal ultrasound before they can get their legal abortion?
Ever had one?
I have, 19 years ago, worst experience in an OBs office I ever had. Think sex toy but of terrifying proportions.
SPQR92 weeks agoin reply to just julie
Where the heck did you get that from her comment?
McMegan2 weeks agoin reply to just julie
Ever had an abortion? Considerably more invasive than a trans-vaginal ultrasound. In fact, there are lots of worse things that happen in women's health clinics; be glad you haven't experienced any of them.
moonshadowkati2 weeks agoin reply to McMegan
I'm sorry Megan, but making someone feel bad about getting an abortion is not the answer. You should be fully supported no matter what you choose. Making a patient wait and trying to rob her of the ownership of her decision is a firm step backwards in any situation.
jackson932 weeks agoin reply to McMegan
I think it's interesting that you don't think the government should require Catholic hospitals to buy health insurance that covers contraception, but you do think the government should be allowed to require women to pay for and submit to any number of procedures or counseling to discourage them from having an abortion.
Also, are you okay with making a rape "feel bad" about aborting? What about a woman whose life or health is threatened by the pregnancy?
I am pro-choice, but I would like to see as few abortions as possible. I just have concerns that a legally mandated "guilt" approach to discouraging abortion could be quite damaging to some women who are already in a very difficult and heartbreaking situation.
ajwpip2 weeks agoin reply to just julie
For most people who have had kids and are under 50 they or their spouse have. My wife didn't enjoy it but it looked more pleasant than a colonoscopy.
You don't have to make everything associated with pregnancy scary and fearful to defend pro-choice positions.
susanoftexas2 weeks agoin reply to McMegan
Isn't the definition of an extremist his depth of belief? Do any people believe fetuses become babies at the will of the mother? And yes, many many people sincerely believe that ending a fetus's life is killing a child. The extremities of the spectrum are extreme because of what they are driven to do by those beliefs.
I am not at all uncomfortable with others' decisions and beliefs because I believe that each person has the right to freely make her own choices rather than having them imposed on her by government or religion.
McMegan2 weeks agoin reply to susanoftexas
Well, I don't think it's precisely the same as killing a baby; if I did, then I'd be pro-life, obviously. I also don't think it's the same thing as removing a melanoma.
When my pro-choice friend lost her pregnancy at 5 months, she didn't say, "the fetus spontaneously aborted", she sobbed "I lost the baby". Similarly, any of my pro-choice friends would be extra-horrified if a pregnant woman they knew was mugged and beaten in a way that caused her to lose the pregnancy--horrified over and above the fact of the beating.
Yet all also support the right to have an abortion at 5 months. What that implies is that you think it is a baby only as long as the mother wants it to be a baby. I don't think that they actually think this--I think that they resolve the contradictions by not thinking about them, just as pro-lifers who allegedly believe that abortion is murder to not, in general, actually support jailing the mothers.
moronuki2 weeks agoin reply to McMegan
Well, once I was having this argument with a staunch pro-choicer (I am much of a mind on this topic with you), and I brought up these same kinds of examples (I miscarried once at 8 weeks, and I still said, "I lost my baby" and grieved about it), and she said, "well, that's because you felt like it was a baby, but if other mothers don't, then it isn't." So, at least one person literally thinks this and yet sees no need to resolve that issue in her mind.
Did I mention she was a vegan, too? I have never figured out how pro-choice vegans reconcile what, to me, seems like an awful lot of cognitive dissonance, but I guess they manage somehow.
moonshadowkati2 weeks agoin reply to moronuki
The difference here is that we are sad because the woman wanted to give birth, have a baby, become a mother. In that situation, when someone is in grief, they say they have lost their baby because they have just lost their chance of successfully having a baby, that growing sperm-egg combo that would have developed into the baby they already knew they wanted. When a woman wants an abortion, it's because she doesn't want to give birth, have a baby, and become a mother. In that situation, it is comforting to know that the lump of sex cells which has been steadily dividing and growing is not yet at a stage where it contains the essentials of what we would call human life, and that in getting the abortion they were able to prevent said lump from growing into a baby that would be born into a world they did not intend for them. There is a time for both sentiments, they are not mutually exclusive.
SPQR92 weeks agoin reply to McMegan
There is an extraordinary amount of depth in the way you've expressed that dichotomy. One of the reasons you are a better writer than I.
JoshINHB2 weeks agoin reply to McMegan
That's about how I see this issue too.
susanoftexas2 weeks agoin reply to McMegan
Well, I don't think it's precisely the same as killing a baby; if I did, then I'd be pro-life, obviously.
Not necessarily. Some people realize abortion is ending a life but choose to leave that decision to the individual instead of the government or religion. I thought some of these people were called libertarians.
What this implies is that we have agreed to not prosecute abortions no matter what we personally feel about abortions, not that "a baby is a baby only as long as the mother wants it to be a baby."
texan991 week agoin reply to susanoftexas
Even libertarians don't necessarily advocate leaving it to a murderer to make the personal decision whether to murder someone else. A libertarian who believes a fetus is a person may well oppose abortion as vehemently as she opposes any other kind of murder. A libertarian who believes a fetus is an unimportant clump of cells probably will object to the government getting involved in the issue. Someone who believes it's scarcely possible to resolve the issue whether a fetus is a person or a clump of cells may think the best response is to let each person deal with his own conscience on the issue, and therefore perhaps be labeled a libertarian.
susanoftexas1 week agoin reply to texan99
Megan McArdle: "Abortion is something done for the benefit of the mother, for which the child who will not be born pays the ultimate price. Trying to elide, sugarcoat, or invert this is morally bankrupt. It seems to me not only reasonable, but fundamentally right that society should force women to confront the tragic cost they are asking someone else (even if only a legally hypothetical someone) to pay for their freedom, and evaluate whether the benefit they are gaining is really worth that cost."
So she does think that abortion is murder. But she has also said that one can't tell if it's a fetus or clump of cells. But she is pro-choice. So she thinks that abortion is a matter of individual conscience. But she wants the mother to feel bad about having an abortion, which is not leaving it up to the individual conscience. You can't make sense out of incoherence, or someone who tries to take both positions at the same time.
texan991 week agoin reply to susanoftexas
Your point seemed to be that it was a failure of libertarian principles not to leave the decision whether to end a life via abortion to the individual instead of to government or religion. My response is that a libertarian will approach the appropriate role of government in this issue differently depending on whether she believes a fetus is a human being, because if so, abortion appears to be murder, and libertarians often are quite comfortable with government intervention to prevent or punish murder. Megan is unsure enough of the answer that she will decide only for herself and not interfere in the decision of others. That is an equally libertarian stance.
Your quoted passage doesn't suggest to me that Megan believes abortion is murder. I'm considerably more anti-abortion than she is, and even I am not sure abortion is murder. I do believe it's wrong, and that approaches to abortion that attempts to sugarcoat the reality of the life that's being ended are adding cowardice to wrongness. I don't believe there's any inconsistency between obligating people to face facts, on the one hand, and leaving issues up to the individual conscience, on the other. In fact, I have great difficulty understanding why drawing attention to facts that other people consider to be morally neutral can in any way be construed as interfering with their individual conscience. If it's jump a clump of cells, why wince and shy at pictures of it? How is that "trying to make people feel bad"? That's where I believe the real incoherence lies. "It's meaningless! Don't make me look!"
What really amazes me is doctors who believe that being required to show women ultrasounds of their fetuses is a violation of their free speech. It's a picture. Where's the speech? The doctor isn't being required to interpret the picture as a person. The mother isn't being required to interpret the picture as a person. They can both gaze at it and tell each other, "What an unimportant clump of cells; this is going to be the moral equivalent of blowing my nose," and the law will be fully satisfied. And yet there's an explosion of outrage over this attempted mind control, as if the only way to preserve the opinion that a fetus is a clump of cells were never, on any account, actually to look at it. [my bold]
This woman is not pro-choice. She doesn't have the faintest idea of the meaning of consent. Authoritarian children seldom do. They were forced to obey then and they are still obeying now. All these libertarian children play at politics, telling themselves that they are principled, that they are socialy liberal but fiscally conservative. They are neither; they are obedient children who refuse to accept repsonsibility for their own choices. They will elect leaders who destroy the economy they so cherish and take away all the freedoms they constantly demand. They are frightened, angry and resentful, and they are determined to make others suffer as they think they suffer.
The sight of someone free to make his or her own choice makes them livid. How dare the left reject the one true God, the absolute authority of the father, the social mores imposed by the priests! Liberals are bad, bad people--we read it over and over in rightwing sites. Liberals do not respect the authority of God or men. They are all weak women whether male or female, they are bad and dirty and they must be punished. So while we try to defend individual freedom they try to eliminate it--and us. God is love, obedience is freedom, dogma is truth. Megan McArdle, a supposed libertarian, believer in absolute personal freedom, cannot even begin to understand the concepts of choice and consent. She is a child and should be treated as one; patted on the head and sent home to Mother.
By showing libertarians and conservatives respect we are only encouraging them. They think they are winning the battle for control over the disobedient because we give in, submit to their authority. Every time anyone accomadates the right they give them hope and encouragement and support, spurring them on even harder than before.
ADDED (via Charles Pierce):
Virginia Democrat Del. David Englin, who opposes the bill, has said Gilbert's statement "is in line with previous Republican comments on the issue," recalling one conversation with a GOP lawmaker who told him that women had already made the decision to be "vaginally penetrated when they got pregnant." (I confirmed with Englin that this quote was accurate.)
Therefore any man who's ever had a rectal exam has agreed to be raped.