man silent

Abortion: men, you have a say

In May of 2010, during the proposal of a Florida bill requiring pregnant women to obtain an ultrasound before having an abortion, Democrat Representative Janet Long impudently instructed her male Republican opponents, “Stand down if you don’t have ovaries.”

This statement accurately depicts the general attitude of pro-choice women towards men who voice their opinion in the abortion debate. Abortion has been clearly defined by the left as a women’s issue, rendering men’s opinions meaningless in the debate. Yet, to the chagrin of feminist women everywhere, many men on the opposite side of the debate are very vocal about their pro-life convictions. Why do these conflicting views regarding men’s role in the abortion debate exist? The reason centers on a crucial question: is the abortion debate an issue of women’s rights or an issue of morality?

For pro-choicers, the abortion debate is about women’s rights. And, because the feminist movement proudly asserts the self-sufficiency of women, they have no desire for men to assist them in their fight for “choice.” Men, they want to fight this battle alone.

For pro-lifers, the abortion debate is an issue of morality. It’s about the life – or death – of an innocent human being. Therefore, we believe that men carry an equal responsibility to protect the unborn children of America. Men, we want you to join the fight.

Although some people might protest that feminists welcome pro-choice men into their movement (while simultaneously discrediting any pro-life man who dares speak his mind), I would argue that the nature of feminism by necessity excludes males. Let’s turn to pro-feminist men’s website XY to prove my point. Subtitled “Men, Masculinities, and Gender Politics,” this website is intended “to advance feminist goals of gender equality … [and] to encourage men to involve themselves in personal and social change towards gender equality.”

What role do men play specifically in the issue of abortion? XY blogger Bill Patrick bluntly answers this question:

No matter what we men feel about abortion, our voices on the issue of women’s reproductive choice should sound a lot like this:


And there you have it, from the mouth of a pro-feminist men’s organization. Pro-choice men have one responsibility in the debate over abortion: to remain silent.

However, this “anti-men” feminist philosophy severely cripples the pro-choice movement. Pro-choice blogger Amanda Marcotte explains the problem:

When the anti-choice side pulls energy from both men and women who are eager to halt sexual liberation and control female bodies, and pro-choicers can only look to women, we’re already running at half capacity.

While the feminists attempt to resolve the conundrum that results from insisting that women can carry the pro-choice movement alone while being forced to acknowledge that this automatically reduces their numbers, pro-life men need to join our ranks and raise their voices in support of life.

Men, I know the pro-life issue can be an uncomfortable matter to be outspoken about. Feminists will claim that the abortion debate is about a woman’s body and her “personal choice,” and therefore you have no say in the matter. You will most likely encounter raging feminists who are infuriated at your audacity to take a stance on the abortion issue and will spew hostile charges to weaken your resolve and silence your voice. While these spiteful statements can feel intimidating, the light of reason reveals them to be little more than hollow threats. Let’s give you men a boost of confidence and examine one of these irrational accusations now.

While attacking Republican men for vocally joining the national debate over birth control, pro-choice journalist Daniella Gibbs Leger writes, “The last time I checked, men cannot give birth… they don’t get to speak with absolute authority about something they never personally experience.”

While the average pro-choice woman would emphatically affirm this statement, a closer examination proves it to be nothing short of absurdity. I am quite sure that Ms. Leger opposes murder. (Although she apparently finds murder in the womb acceptable, but I will resist going down that trail.) Yet I am equally sure Ms. Leger has not personally experienced murder, as she is alive enough to spew senseless accusations against Republican males. By her own logic, then, Ms. Leger has no right to authoritatively speak against murder, because of her obvious lack of personal experience in the area.

Ms. Leger also conveniently estranged every woman in the pro-choice movement who hasn’t been pregnant with this statement. You believe in “choice,” but haven’t been pregnant? Well, your opinion has been officially discredited. Thankfully, the rest of the world does not operate on Ms. Leger’s absurd criterion for credibility.

Men, I know it’s not easy to be an outspoken pro-life male in our society. The response you receive from feminists is far more hostile than the response we pro-life women receive. Our culture screams at you to stay outof the abortion debate; pro-choice feminists insist you have no right to an opinion because abortion is about a woman’s choice. But you know better. You know that abortion is about a vulnerable child hidden inside a womb. You know that abortion is about the shedding of innocent blood. And you know that you have a right – a responsibility – to defend the weakest among us. Be bold. Be courageous. Be men. Defend the innocent children of America.

  • Brent

    Uh, I’m a pro-choice man and I don’t feel excluded from feminist circles. In fact, I consider myself a feminist. And I don’t feel excluded from feminist circles. In fact, I find that feminist circles are more than happy to welcome men who are willing to join them in the fight for equality.

    • Shelley

      Thanks for your support, Brent! As a female feminist, I’ve never tried to silence men who speak up for women’s rights. I find it admirable. I don’t find it admirable when a man tries to control a woman’s body and force her to do something she doesn’t want to do. 

      • In other words, you’ve never tried so silence men when they’re saying things you agree with anyway? Wow, how noble of you….

        If you want to be really impressive, try breaking the habit of using dishonest talking points like “control a woman’s body.”

        • Shelley

          Dishonest? What do you call it when you tell a woman she has to endure an unwanted pregnancy because you say so?

          • Yes. What you said is dishonest. And I think you know it.

          • Mark Koppenhoefer

            Are you suggesting it is the woman’s sole responsibility to prevent unwanted pregnancies?  That is the way your comment reads.  Also, contraception measures sometimes fail.  And the ‘abstinence-only’ education popular in the south (along with the terribly irresponsible anti-sex edicts coming from the Vatican) often leads to the non-use of contraception.

          • notimportant

            No, it isn’t the woman’s sole responsibility to provide contraception. However, since it is her body that could be impregnated, she should be the most concerned about contraception. We all know that no contraception is 100% effective, therefore women really need to stop and consider BEFORE they have sex, if this man they are about to engage in sex with is someone they would be willing to bear a child with. Of course, I am only referring to consensual sex.

          •  No, I’m just making the manifestly-true point that actions have consequences. A woman has the freedom to take whatever risks she wants. But if her actions create someone else, she bears part of the responsibility.

          • Sharon Rose

            And if some man’s actions, aka rape, force a pregnancy, she’s stuck with it? 

            You’re a typical “prolife” male. You have zero stake in any of this, but you’re a pig and a bully when it comes to shoving women around. Basically, you act like a rapist every time you open your mouth. 

          • “And if some man’s actions, aka rape, force a pregnancy, she’s stuck with it”

            In that case, she’s perfectly free to give the baby up for adoption or leave it at a hospital/firehouse/etc. If someday we’re able to end pregnancies early by safely transferring embryos to artificial wombs, then that would be great too. But as long as the only alternative to delivery is the death of an innocent, then justice gives us no choice.

            “you’re a pig and a bully when it comes to shoving women around. Basically, you act like a rapist every time you open your mouth.”

            Please seek psychiatric help.

          • Sharon Rose

            Calvin, just speaking to you in the language you like to use with those who don’t agree with you, so I guess that “psyciatric help” thing was meant for yourself, LOL!

            Nope, she’s still stuck with the forced pregnancy. Adoption doesn’t solve that. We already had that conversation and you lost. 

            So men can still forcibly impregnate women via violence and women have no say, as far as you’re concerned, over whether or not she must be forced to undergo the pregnancy. That’s what I thought you meant. Good to know. You would force pregnancy on women. Not a surprise given your usual nasty, bullying rhetoric. 

          •  Sharon, someday I hope you find a way to heal the sickness in your soul.

          • Sharon Rose

            HAHA, that’s all you’ve got once you’ve been shown up for the little tool you are. 

          • No, that’s all discourse with you warrants.

          • Sharon Rose

            Oh, and you seem to be fine with the death of innocents when it comes to war, so you’re pretty much a total hypocrite, too. 

          • Wow, Sharon, thanks for proving that you’re not even pretending to be honest or thoughtful. That saves me the trouble of wasting any more time with you.

          • Sharon Rose

            You’re incapable of “thought”. All you can do is spout rhetoric while bragging about how you have no need to think.  

            You previously told me that collateral damage is regrettable, but perfectly okay. Killing babies in the name of oil rights is fine. Especially since they’re not white Christian babies, right?

            Dude, you tip your hand every time you turn around, LOL!

          • So now you’re alleging racism, too.

            The jig’s up, liar.

          • Shelley

            No, it’s perfectly honest to say that pregnancy takes place inside a woman’s body. I don’t understand how you fail to recognize that fact and call it “dishonest”. If you’re strongly against abortion, at least have the guts to admit that you’re trying to tell a woman what to do with her own body. You’re just under the impression that you have a good reason to do so.

          •  Goalpost-moving alert!

            I suspect these are premeditated falsehoods you’re pushing, and therefore no amount of my explaining will get you to admit your intentional deceit. But I’ll explain anyway, not for your benefit but for the audience’s.

            I didn’t object to you saying “pregnancy takes place inside a woman’s body.” I objected to your rhetoric denying that there’s ANOTHER BODY we’re trying to protect.

          • Shelley

            I don’t know why you keep saying nonsensical things…how is anything I’ve said a “falsehood”? Pregnancy happens inside a woman’s body, therefore she has every right to control it. Do you have any idea how awful pregnancy can be? If a woman wants that baby and wants to put her mind and body through that, then she can. If she doesn’t want to, she has every right not to as well. And no man has the right to force her, which is where this whole thing started.

            But I’ll play along–if a fetus were truly a whole, separate body, it would be fine on its own. But it’s part of a woman’s body, and if she doesn’t want something in her body, she has every right to remove it. Like I said above, If the unwanted intruder “dies” as a result of this, it only goes to show that. It’s like an appendix that “dies” after it’s disconnected from the rest of the body, or a parasite that dies when removed from its host. After all, when most abortions take place, it has about the same ability to think and feel pain as an appendix or parasite (maybe less than the parasite; I’m not sure about the nervous systems of different parasitic species).

          • “how is anything I’ve said a ‘falsehood’?”

            In the way I clearly explained it multiple times. Read it.

            “Pregnancy happens inside a woman’s body, therefore she has every right to control it.”

            Why? By what standard or principle?

            “Do you have any idea how awful pregnancy can be?”

            Do you have any idea how awful being killed by vacuum aspiration, dilation & evacuation, or saline injection can be?

            “if a fetus were truly a whole, separate body, it would be fine on its own.”

            What does being “fine on its own” have to do with anything? Most people wouldn’t consider infants or the disabled “fine on their own,” either.

            “when most abortions take place, it has about the same ability to think and feel pain as an appendix or parasite”

            Why are rights contingent upon thinking and feeling pain? By your logic, lots of adults should be killable, too.

          • Shelley

            Oh boy, here we go. Okay, no, you haven’t actually pointed out any factual errors in what I’ve said. You just don’t like it. Pregnancy happens inside a woman’s body. That’s what I said. 

            And as for that second question…have you ever heard of a little thing called bodily autonomy? The right to decide what happens to one’s own body? I think that applies to women as well as men. 

            Answering a question with a question–classic avoidance tactic. But no one can say how it feels to be aborted because like I said, fetuses don’t actually feel anything at the time of most abortions.

            I don’t mean “fine on its own” in that it can be ignored; I mean it as in, it can survive without being physically connected to someone else’s body. This is why the nonsense about  how abortion is infanticide is just that. An infant needs help to survive, just like a disabled person does. But someone who chooses to take care of them can do it, no one is being forced.

            And finally, which adults would those be? Brain-dead ones? Because I think the “dead” part kind of means they can’t be killed. Even mentally-challenged adults can think to some degree and they can feel. By YOUR logic, plants, fungi, and bacteria deserve rights as well by virtue of the fact that they’re alive. 


            you ever heard of a little thing called bodily autonomy? The right to decide what
            happens to one’s own body?”


            for not only answering your own objection, but reiterating the same dishonesty
            I called you out on before. You’re claiming the right to control one’s own body
            also entails the right to destroy someone else’s body.


            no one can say how it feels to be aborted because like I said, fetuses don’t
            actually feel anything at the time of most abortions.”


            what? You still haven’t explained why feeling defines human rights.


            mean it as in, it can survive without being physically connected to someone
            else’s body. This is why the nonsense about  how abortion is infanticide
            is just that. An infant needs help to survive, just like a disabled person




            someone who chooses to take care of them can do it, no one is being forced.”


            Are we reading the same child neglect and child support laws?


            YOUR logic, plants, fungi, and bacteria deserve rights as well by virtue of the
            fact that they’re alive.”


            Just…wow. I think we’re done here….

          • Shelley

            I think so, too–you keep calling me dishonest for pointing out that pregnancy is something that occurs inside a woman’s body, and is therefore  under her control. Typical of you people–don’t like the facts? Pretend they don’t exist!

            I don’t understandhow you keep disregarding the importanceof feeling and thinking either–if that isn’t relelvent to who has rights, then what is? Human DNA? It’s a darn shame then that I throw out the hair that collects in the shower drain. I forgot it had human rights! Silly me!

          • “for pointing out that pregnancy is something that occurs
            inside a woman’s body”


            This isn’t any more accurate a spin on your original
            dishonesty than it was the first half-dozen or so times you spouted it. Give it
            a rest already.


            “the hair that collects in the shower drain. I forgot it had
            human rights!”


            Thanks for revealing that you don’t even grasp the biology
            of the issue at a high-school level.

          • Shelley

            For someone who claims I don’t understand biology, you have an awfully difficult time comprehending what pregnancy actually is…

            I’m only using your logic, here. I didn’t say hair has rights, you did. It doesn’t feel or think, but it does have human DNA!

          • kong

            I haven’t heard of an abortion survivor that is “pro-choice.” Google Gianna Jessen and you can see wha the damage it has caused her…

          • Sorites Paradox

            Calvin STILL doesn’t understand bodily autonomy (as evidenced by this absurd post that I’m responding to down here because your site’s comment feature is so poor), despite all the reading material I gave him during our last exchange!  You’d think someone who does nothing but debate abortion online (maybe I’m wrong?) would know more about his own arguments than I do. 

            Caveat- I’m an attorney, so I know the law I’m talking about. Calvin has no legal training. 

            (a) the baby has bodily autonomy too

            Irrelevant.  The only bodily autonomy that matters in this case is the donating body- the woman.  She is the one who makes decisions about who will use her body.  No one else.  The fetus’s “bodily autonomy” (debatable), just like any other born human’s, gives it no claim to the use of another person’s bodily resources.  Your bodily autonomy does not give you the right to claim my bodily resources, or remain in my body against my will.   

            (b) the
            baby’s mere existence or presence doesn’t constitute any sort of intent toviolate, 

            Also irrelevant.  And the real argument is that LAWS that mandate gestation violate bodily autonomy, not so much the fetus itself, per se.  Just the laws that force a woman to gestate against her will.  And lookie there- those were past with intent. 

            (c) permanent death is not a proportional means of “defense” againsttemporary pregnancy,

            IRRELEVANT.  Organ (say blood) donation is temporary.  It’s a short process, blood regenerates.  Do we, as a society, force donation of a pint of blood to a car accident victim who will die with out it? NO! It doesn’t MATTER that it’s temporary, vs. another’s permanent death.  We, as a society, never force someone to donate blood, tissue, organs, or use of the body.

            Plus, the side effects of pregnancy can be and often are permanent.  We know you don’t care.

            (d) in most cases, the mother herself knowingly createdthat baby, thereby “violating” HER OWN autonomy, or 

            You don’t understand legal concepts of scienter (ie, intent).  First, I don’t buy your argument that any person is “knowingly” responsible for biological processes that happen within them.  Did I knowingly cause my stomach to secrete acid when I ate today? Questionable, but irrelevant.  You’re basically saying that a woman “knowingly” had sex, which introduced one of many necessary but not sufficient conditions for pregnancy to result, and this this translates into her knowingly making herself pregnant.  It doesn’t fly. 

            Semen and egg have to be present. She might have acted intentionally to thwart both processes. 

            Semen and egg have to meet.  She has no control over that. 

            Egg must be fertilized.  She has no control over that.

            Blastocyst/ zygote must continue to grow and divide. She has no control over that.

            Blastocyst must implant into uterine lining.  She has no control over that.

            In order for an result to be intentional under the law, it must be done intentionally (which rules out unwanted pregnancy, duh), or the act (sex) must be done with substantial certainty that the result (pregnancy) would occur.  As a woman who has been having sex for about a decade, and who has never been pregnant, I hardly think that count’s as substantial certainty.  With birth control that’s 99% effective, how can that be substantial certainty? 
            As described above, there are simply too many intervening factors that must occur before she becomes pregnant.  Simply stating that by acting in a manner that MAY cause ONE of at least 5 necessary but not sufficient conditions to occur equates to acting “knowingly” under the law is inaccurate.  It’s called “proximate cause.”

            e) the baby isn’t aforeign entity, but the natural, result of her body

            There’s no argument attached here, so I’m not addressing it.   Plus, I’m bored.  You’re not going to respond intelligently to this anyway, but maybe Sharon or Shelly can find it helpful 
            functioning CORRECTLY.

          • Hannah Mallery

             Guess what? If you were left stark naked in the arctic, you wouldn’t be so fine on your own either. You would die. Does that mean you don’t have the right to personhood?

          • Shelley

            Haha, what on earth does that have to do with anything? Seriously? I’m talking about being able to survive outside someone else’s body. 

          • And we’re pointing out that “outside or in” is not a meaningful moral distinction.

          • Shelley

            I thought we were “done”? But you still want to defend completelyirrelevent, random, hypothetical questions?

             I think whether something needs to be violating  someone else’s bodily autonomy to “live” is quite a big moral consideration,actually.

          • Re: Shelly,

            Your interpretation of “bodily autonomy” (something you
            haven’t given us a compelling reason to consider authoritative anyway) apparently
            can’t comprehend the facts that (a) the baby has bodily autonomy too, (b) the
            baby’s mere existence or presence doesn’t constitute any sort of intent to
            violate, (c) permanent death is not a proportional means of “defense” against
            temporary pregnancy, (d) in most cases, the mother herself knowingly created
            that baby, thereby “violating” HER OWN autonomy, or (e) the baby isn’t a
            foreign entity, but the natural, result of her body functioning CORRECTLY.

          • Sorites Paradox

             Yes it is.  A man’s penis is inside my body.  He has no right to be there.  He is committing a morally wrong act, he is violating my rights. I can act in self-defense to stop him. 

            A man’s penis is outside my body. He is committing no moral wrong, he is violating no rights of mine. I can do nothing. 

            Idiot.  Only someone who had no respect for a woman’s agency, bodily autonomy, or consent (like a rapist) would think that in or out of SOMEONE ELSES BODY was in irrelevant moral consideration. 

          • Wow. The intentional dishonesty with which you took that completely out of context is shameful, even by your astonishingly low standards.

          • mythought

            You miss the point that we are discussing a person, not a body part.  A person’s environment – in or out of a house, in or out of the womb, in or out of a car – should never determine their worth, value, or right to live.  Try sticking to the point, though I know that can be hard for lawyers =)

          • girlplz

            Actually, they didn’t. Sorites Paradox wrote one of the most intelligent and well-thought arguments in favor of a woman’s right to choose that I have ever read (which was 100% on-topic), and you’re choosing to bypass it entirely to comment on a response below that. I also like how you’ve digressed to slinging juvenile remarks about someone’s livelihood as a means to make a commentary on the person’s credibility–what do you do that makes you so superior?

            You’re also missing the point that YOU’RE debating content pertaining protecting a baby, while most pro-choice people do not recognize a clump of cells (google image ‘morula’ and then tell me that’s more of a human being than a skin culture. I’d also like you to explain -why- you believe it is) as the equivalent of a baby.

          • MoonChild02

            Unwanted intruder? In 99.99% of the cases, the woman put that child there of her own volition. Actions have effects. The effects of sex are pregnancy and STDs. The
            biological reason for sex is procreation. Therefore, people need to take
            into consideration what the effects of their choosing to have sex will
            be. Therefore, in choosing to have sex, the woman (and her partner)
            chose to chance becoming pregnant. Being an adult means taking
            responsibility for our actions, and the effects that our actions may
            have on others. In having sex, and creating a new life, one takes on the
            responsibility of caring for that new life. If one doesn’t want to take
            responsibility, then one shouldn’t engage in adult activities.

            Therefore, the child obviously was not intruding. S/he was forced into that position by the woman and her partner. Abortion is forcing a living human being into a position and then killing that child because s/he was forced into that position, neither of which s/he had any choice in. It’s being uncaring about the effects one’s choices have on others, and shirking the responsibilities that one’s actions put upon one.

          • peach

             Calvin’s go-to retort is calling people dishonest. I don’t know what he means by it half the time either.

          • “I don’t know what he means by it half the time either.”

            That I’m starting to believe……………

          • Sharon Rose

            I know — once he’s lost the point, he resorts to ad hominems. 

          •  Evidence, Sharon?

          • Sharon Rose

            Um….are you serious…? LOL! Every other post of yours. Dude, you’ve so blown your credibility, people just post stuff to MOCK you…do you not get this by now? 

          • ….says a raving lunatic who thinks we’re part of some grand “adoption industry” conspiracy.

          • Sharon Rose

            Hey, you’re the one who just wrote that women should be forced to carry their rapist’s babies to term and then put them up for adoption. 

            Every time you’re asked to man up and take a real stand, you start with the “everyone’s crazy, everyone’s dishonest” routine. 
            Grow some hair on those teeny widdle balls of yours, boy, and get back to us when you’re a real man. 
            The mindless, parroted rhetoric of little virgin boys is useless in the real world. 

          • I know it’s a waste of time to argue with likely psych ward escapees (especially ones reduced to crude sexual rantings), but I’m really curious to know where I called for forced adoptions.

          • Sharon Rose

            Still all you got? You said the answer to rape was forcing the woman to carry the pregnancy to term and then putting the baby up for adoption. 
            See, you spout all this mindless drivel without even stopping to think what it actually means. 

          • Translation: you can’t back up your lies when asked.

            Game, set, match.

          • Rmankersen

            I guess the answer would depend on whether the woman in that case is a born or unborn woman wouldn’t it?

          • Shelley

            Huh? Tell you what, next time a female fetus gets pregnant itself, I’ll get back to you on that.

        • Mark Koppenhoefer

          It’s also dishonest to identify as ‘pro-life’ while behaving as ‘anti-choice’.  [Refer to my recent comment (above) about the distinction between the two labels.]

          • Sorry Mark, but that’s an incredibly weak argument even by pro-“choice” standards. The truth:

          • Mark Koppenhoefer

            This seems like an incredibly biased place from which to get your definitions…

            [“Pro-life,” on the other hand, specifically denotes a concrete principle: the sanctity of all human life, which entitles every human being to equal protection from fertilization onward.]I have explained elsewhere in this thread that I don’t believe it’s a ‘human life’ until (a) the mother wants it to be or (b) it has something like ‘subjective experience’.

          •  Calling my article “incredibly biased” is no substitute for explaining how.

            And you do realize you basically just admitted you don’t know the meaning of the words “human” or “life,” right? Completely undermining all your other claims to believe in science, evidence, and reason?

          • Kremlon

             Calvin, keep fighting the good fight.  Remember that it’s hard to argue with anyone who could refer to a baby as a “parasite” or an “unwanted intruder”. 

          • Sharon Rose

            A woman who has been forcibly impregnated by a rapist has every right to call the subsequent child an unwanted intruder. 

          • Kremlon

            So what is the percentage, Sharon, for abortions due to rape, eh?  So IF I were to concede, that abortions for rape would be ok, would you concede all others are selfish?  Yea, I doubt you would.  Either way… rape is a horrible thing, I think rapists are the lowest of the low.  However, it doesn’t change the fact that life is life.  The rape argument is pathetic… by using rape in your argument (when the percentage of abortions due to rape is low) you actually exploit raped woman for your own cause. 

          • Sharon Rose

            What difference does the percentage make? Is it less “life” if there aren’t a certain percentage of children conceived that way?   

            I don’t exploit raped women at all. By that logic, you exploit all pregnant women who are unsure about their futures.

            I wouldn’t concede that all abortions other than those obtained in cases of rape/incest are selfish because life is far more complicated than that. 

            Man up and answer the question — you’re a man, you want a say, so say it — tell us whether or not you believe a rape victim should be forced to carry her rapist’s child? 
            Funny how everyone wants a say until it gets haaaard, wahwahwah…

          • Kremlon

            yea, not sure where you got the impression i was afraid to say I am always against abortion… but sure… I’m always against abortion. Now that we got that attempt to demean me out of the way… yes it is exploitation to use the rape argument (which every pro choice person jumps to) to argue why abortion is ok. Although a travesty, rape is such a small percentage (1% by most accounts) the overall majority of abortions are done for convenience. SO… let’s argue the real point, not a hypothetical minority. I am a man, i have two beautfiul kids living, and one whom we lost in the womb. I believe that life begins at conception, therefore life should be protected. If you are right and I am wrong…. then I’ll have to stad before God and admit that I argued that people would have to go through pregnancies when they didn’t have to. If I am right and you are wrong (ill leave God out of this part since I don’t know where you stand on this matter) then you are arguing to kill a baby, and will have to make amends to that.

          •  Sharon eems to be a troll  consumed by deep prejudices and mental issues. Don’t waste time with her.

          • Sharon Rose

            To Kremlon: 

            Yes, dear. I have five of my own children, and you “God” people showed me what you really thought of “life” when you tried to force me into adoption. So glad I didn’t, so the heck with all that “God” stuff. I  know what that’s all about. 

            So you would work to create a law forcing a rape victim to carry the child of her rapist to term? You’d rape her all over again. 
            You’re using women who’ve aborted or who may abort for your purposes, so don’t whine about exploitation. 

            At least I know you’re someone who would force a woman to carry a child against her will. You’re basically a rapist. All I need to know. 

          • Kremlon

            There is much more you need to know. Anyways, I think you speak more from anger than logic, sorry someone hurt you. I’m done arguing because there isn’t anything to discuss further until wounds have healed. God does love you whether you believe it or not. Congrats on the 5 kids, they are blessings.

          • I hate to point out the obvious (okay, no I don’t), but an “intruder” is someone who, well, intrudes…not someone who was unknowingly and unintentionally placed somewhere by somebody else, through no fault of his or her own.

          • Sharon Rose

            An intruder is an unwelcome presence, regardless of its trajectory. Whether that presence got their of its own volition, or was put there by someone else, its still an unwelcome presence and therefore an intruder. 

            Fortunately, women have every right to reject pregnancies they did not voluntarily enter into. This is especially important to point out when there are clearly far too many men in this world who, like you, have no problem forcing themselves upon women’s bodies, whether by rape or by forced pregnancies and deliveries.

      • Rebecca Downs

        Men who are pro-life are not trying to control a woman’s body. I’m sorry, but did you even read the article? It’s about fighting for and protecting the unborn children, whom these men contributed 50% to help create. Besides, the unborn child has its own body separate of his or her mother. 

        • Shelley

          I did read the column, but I disagree with it. If the fetus really were separate from a woman, then it would be fine not being inside her. It’s not up to anyone else to tell a woman that she has no right to remove something from her body that she doesn’t want there. If some guy shoots a woman, does she need his permission to remove the bullet?

          • Mark Koppenhoefer

            Exactly.  [Even a better analogy (than the bullet) is if the woman were to get an intestinal parasite.]  If the woman wants the baby, it’s a ‘person’ and protected by the constitution.  If she doesn’t want it, it’s not.  Depending on the circumstances, it may be appropriate for the biological father to try to persuade her to keep it…but ultimately it is her decision as the one whose uterus the zygote has attached itself.

          • Shelley

            Yep, I totally agree with what you’re saying. And the parasite definitely is a better analogy since it’s another living thing that’s being deprived of sustenance by being removed from the body…I was just trying to think of something that a man was “responsible” for putting in her body, haha. 

            Maybe if he gave her gonorrhea? I mean, the bacteria needs her body to survive, and the guy was responsible for putting it there, so maybe he should be able to tell her that she’s not allowed to kill his bacteria…

          • Rebecca Downs

            But the bullet and gonorrhea argument are completely different from a pre-born child because this pre-born child is another human person. Life begins at conception, and we all start out this way. We all may start off as ‘inconvenient’ but it’s how we all come to be, there’s no getting around it. I’m sorry, but those other comparisons are pretty non-sensical to me. Also, I don’t know if you were being serious or not, but you say that if a woman wants a baby it is a ‘person’ (Idk why you had to use quotation marks…) but if she doesn’t it’s not? That makes *no* sense. All pre-born babies are people, since life begins at conception, and thus should all have that right to life and protection… 

            Yes, it may be the woman’s body, but there is very much another separate, human person there as well. A person’s place of inhabitance should not mean that it is any less entitled to the right to life as you or I… 

          • Shelley

            But it’s not a “place of inhabitance”, it’s someone else’s body! That’s the fundamental difference. 

            Okay, so say a woman doesn’t have the right to outright kill a fetus just because she wants to. If it were independent of her, she would be able to leave it alone. But she does have the right to rid her body of an unwanted intruder. The “death” of said intruder only occurs because it can’t survive outside of another person. If someone can’t survive without a kidney transplant, and you’re a match, should you be forced to donate the kidney? Just like pregnancy, kidney donation does have risks and possible long-term complications, but why should you have a right to both of your organs when you can survive with just one and someone else needs it to stay alive?

            And the bullet, parasite, and gonorrhea comparisons were only made to point out how ridiculous it is to say that a man should have a say in what does and does not remain in a woman’s body (whether or not she wants it there) simply because he had a part in putting it there. Those scenarios make as much sense to me as a man saying “I made part of that embryo, and I say you have to sacrifice your health, comfort, body, education, career, etc. to carry it and give birth to it!”

          • Rebecca Downs

            Yes, the unborn child may be growing and developing in someone else’s body, but if we leave out babies growing in petri dishes for instance, we all grow inside our mother’s body, we all start developing this way! 

            And I’m sorry, but this is why abortion seems selfish to me. You don’t have to donate your kidney, but there is another defenseless human being in a womb without fault or intent and you want to just kill it and dispose of it all in the name of independence? Unborn children don’t pick a time to ‘screw you over’ when they start to develop in the womb. And please, do not talk to me about risk! If you’re talking only about the risk of pregnancy and giving birth, then you must know nothing about abortion. Because abortion has a whole host of problems and risks. Permanence and lifelong regret being one.

            Again, those comparisons still are quite silly to me. Babies come from when you have sex, why are you acting like you don’t know this? Now, for the intent of this conversation, let’s talk about consensual sex. When you have sex, protected or not, you have to understand that a baby may very well result from this. You don’t choose to get shot or sick, thus the person who shoots you or the bacteria that invades you contributes pretty much 100%. Unless the woman is raped (that’s about 1% of abortions, btw), she agreed to the sex as well. If she understands basic biology, she should know that there may be a baby growing inside of her soon as a result. So the man helped make the child, so he should have a say if his child gets to be born, but if the woman consented to sex, she should know better too. I’m sorry, but to say that I’m going to kill an unborn child because I don’t feel like owning up to the fact that I had sex when I wasn’t ready for a child, and I’d rather do this or that with my life and I don’t care about making my own sacrifices or putting a child up for adoption is selfish to me. So it’s not that the child is so much a child is a burdensome intruder, it’s that people are selfish and want to do what they want to do with their own lives rather than consider others… 

          • Shelley

            Um, I don’t really know what you’re trying to do besides put words in my mouth. When did I say a fetus made a decision to screw anyone over? You put that in quotes like I’d said it, when I would never say that since it’s incapable of thinking anyway. 

            As for risks, I’m afraid science is on my side here: someone else posted a link to this article earlier: 
   A woman is fourteen times more likely to die completing a pregnancy and giving birth than getting an abortion. And I personally know at least two women who have had abortions and don’t regret them because it was right for them at the time.

            And of course I know that pregnancy can result from sex, but saying “don’t have sex unless you want a baby” is quite unrealistic, I’m afraid. As has been demonstrated by the ineffectiveness of abstinence-only education.

            But this is all off-topic–my point here is that men don’t have the right to tell women what to do with their bodies. That’s what it all comes down to.

          • Rebecca Downs

            I was not putting it in quotes to put words in your mouth, I was just saying it as a phrase here. 

            And that article may say that, but that doesn’t mean that it is unbiased or even correct. Abortions have become *very* unsafe lately. Also, I don’t know how really “safe” they can be when at least one person dies as a result. Unfortunately the abortion industry may claim to be wanting to make women safe, but they care more about making money to stay open rather than following health codes that may seem burdensome to their business,You don’t know that those people don’t regret it. In years, they may very likely… 

            I don’t think it’s unrealistic, although unfortunately the rest of the world feels that it is. That being said though, it really should come as no shock when pregnancy results from sex, and people should have to take responsibility for their actions, *especially* when another innocent life is involved. 

            You may keep to this men don’t have a right to tell women what to do with their bodies argument, but it is not just the woman’s body, it’s another body and another whole human life involved. Men *should* have a say to tell a woman no, they do not have a right to kill another human being for their convenience, just as anyone does. I’m a woman, with a vagina that has the ability to birth children and I say the same thing as any man who says you should not have the right to have an abortion. If we want to go round in circles here, I think it’s more your doing, I’m afraid. 

          • Shelley

            We definitely are going in circles…what it comes down to is this: I will never understandplacing the alleged “rights” of something that doesn’t have the ability to feel or think over those of an adult woman. 

            Besides, as I said, the death of the fetus isn’t the primary goal, but it happens in the process of a woman removing from her body something she doesn’t want there.

          • Rebecca Downs

            Here’s why your point is something so disagreeable though. By your logic, if people who can’t think for themselves don’t have rights, then people who are in a coma or are severely disabled and/or mentally retarded don’t have rights either. And I’m not placing the rights of the unborn above the mother, I’m placing them in equal standing of the mother!
            And I’m sorry, but abortion is the direct killing of an unborn child inside of you, most likely for convenience sake. If you’re emptying the contents of your uterus, what do you think you’re doing? You’re killing something and taking his or her life away because it’s not convenient for you and (in the case of consensual sex) you can’t live up to your actions. An unborn child does not deserve the death penalty for any reason, but certainly not because people made a mistake. People make mistakes all the time, I get it. When someone else’s life is at stake here though, you have less options of what you can do to just get rid of that mistake. Again, when it comes to abortion, there is a whole lot of permanence to do with a decision that many, many women come to regret and suffer for down the road. Now, I will say that there are cases where the death of the fetus is something that just “happens in the process;” it’s called an ectopic pregnancy or having an abortion in the rare cases to save the life of the mother. 

          • Shelley

            I do have more to say on the subject (particularly about the fact that no matter how disabled, an actual person can still feel pain and think to some extent, unless they are brain dead), but considering how difficult this is getting to read, I think we’ll have to agree to disagree. Of course, I’m not trying to force anyone else to adhere to my beliefs…

          • Sorites Paradox

             They last man who told me what to do with my body- against my will- was my rapist.

            I’ve said it before to Calvin and I’ll say it to you.   

            You want to tell women who gets to use their bodies without their consent? Own up to the fact that that’s what rapists do too.

          • Sharon Rose

            We, as a nation, have no problem carpet bombing thousands of people, including innocent children when it comes to, ah, “places of inhabitance”. Yet when a man forces a pregnancy on a woman via rape, you claim she has no right to remove that alien invader from her body. 

          • Demagogic sophist confirmed.

          • Sharon Rose

            Still all you got, babyboy? 

            The only thing your answer shows is that you don’t really consider ALL life equal at all. You think it’s okay to destroy some innocent life under some circumstances. You’re pro-some-life-depending-on-the-circumstances, aka “prochoice”. 

          • Rebecca Downs

            All right, some of the conversation here is really getting ridiculous. And I don’t mean valid point making, I mean the way we speak to each other. Sharon, I can’t speak for you, but I do think the way you’re responding to Calvin is less than nice or mature, I’m sorry, but I just do.

            Now, to refer to the issue of rape. Rape is a horrible, traumatic experience that I would never wish on anyone. The child conceived, if there is one, did not choose to be conceived. He or she should in no way be made to pay for the crimes of his or her father. Sure, he or she may be far from wanted, but that does not make it anymore or less of an alien invader than the rest of us who were conceived, developed in the womb and were born. Babies conceived out of rape grow and develop the same way as other babies do. 

            Also, I would like to point out that having an abortion because you were raped may be a “quick fix” to the problem, but it won’t necessarily make you feel better, and in fact is one more traumatic experience for a woman to have to endure. It also unfortunately covers up the crime of the rapist.

          • Sharon Rose

            I respond to Calvin in the same way he responds to others. 

            And if you don’t think a child forced into a woman against her will by rape is an intruder, an alien invader, then you’re no better than the rapist himself. 

            Women who’ve been raped are the ones who decide whether or not they will continue with a forced pregnancy. 

            That you’re advocatingfor forced pregnancy shows you’re no different than those who forced adoptions or forced abortions. 

            It’s the force, stupid. Get it now?

          • Sharon: “Whaa! Everyone who disagrees with me is a rapist!”

            Grow. Up.

          • I’msorry,Sharon, butyour logic makes no sense. I amnotadvocatingfor forcing women to do anything, I amadvocatingthat an innocentchild neverbe killed in thewombbeforehe or she has thechance to be born. 

          • Sharon Rose

            For Calvin: For someone who keeps claiming he’s done, you sure have a lot to say to me, even when I’m not talking to you. 
            Piss off, Calvin. As you’ve said umpteen times, we are done. I have zero interest in you or anything you think, say or believe. 

          • Sorites Paradox

             You idiot. You and Calvin both.  When you tell a woman she has to carry her rapist’s baby against her will, you ARE FORCING HER TO GESTATE- to DO something with her body that she does not wish to do.  Specifically, her genitals.  That is what makes you analogous to a rapist. It doesn’t matter about “the innocent unborn.” No one can compel anyone to provide bodily aid to anyone else. You know this, you just want to make a special case for pregnant women, but you can’t.

             I’ve tried to explain this to Calvin but all he can say is “demagogic sophist,” which is tiring and not worth my effort.

             Sharon, and Shelly, and everyone else on here with two brain cells to rub together- at least take comfort in the fact that you’re not the only people who find him childish, like a rapist, and honestly- as a rape victim-  triggering. 

          • I see you still haven’t gotten the mental help you need. I’m sorry to hear that.

          • Shelley

            Thank you! :-)

          • mythought

            You don’t have your facts right.  The woman who was raped is already gestating.  Calvin and Rebecca aren’t forcing her to do anything that her body isn’t already doing.  Granted, they believe the baby should be allowed to continue to live.  But there’s a HUGE difference in forcing someone to start an action (i.e., the rapist who should be punished extensively) and not allowing them to stop an action that would kill an innocent person if they stopped.  If you’re an attorney like you claim, you should know this.  P.S.  The people who agree with you are not the only ones with brain cells, FYI.

          • Sharon Rose

            @Rebecca Downs — and there’s your problem — you’re forcing a rape victim to be the incubator for her rapist’s baby EVEN IF SHE SAYS NO. It’s every bit as much rape as the initial impregnation was. You become the rapist’s accomplice. That’s who you are. You pretend you’re all about the baby, but the only way you can do that is to diminish the woman and rape her all over again. You are a rapist, Rebecca. Same mentality — it’s about the outcome YOU want regardless of the woman involved. 

          • Rebecca Downs

            I have not now or in the past condoned rape, nor will I ever. I have never forced someone to have sex with me against his will, and nobody has accused me of such. Therefore, I do not think the law, or anyone else for that matter, would really consider me a rapist. 
            I am sorry that you disagree with me, but calling me a rapist or saying I condone rape will not help your argument. I do not see myself as condoning or being okay with rape, and I have nothing but compassion for people who have been victims of this terrible and traumatic crime. I simply wish to fight for the other victim as well though, the unborn. The unborn child is at no fault whatsoever for the rape, and as I just referred to him or her as such, is also the victim. Any children for that matter do not ask to be conceived. 
            And if you call me a rapist, well then I should be able to call you a murderer, since you condone the killing of innocent unborn children. I choose not to though because I choose to be better than that rather than stooping to that level. 
            Further, if someone has called me a rapist, which is a very serious, and also false allegation, then I choose to say my piece as I just did, and to say no more to you if you’re going to go about this debate in such a way in that you call me a rapist…

          • Pianomon

            Of course not all life is equal. All *human* life is equal. Only and all humans
            possess intrinsic value as opposed to extrinsic value. That is to say
            they are not means towards an end, but are ends in and of themselves. This
            intrinsic value forms the basis of natural rights as the founding
            fathers and their enlightenment counterparts understood them. So if a
            being is a member of the species of advanced primates called homo
            sapien, then such a being does posses the right to life until their life
            is taken away by the force that brought it about: nature (and/or God,
            as some–like myself–would prefer).

            So yes, anyone who supports war mongering or capital punishment but is
            opposed to abortion is being arbitrary and hypocritical. At the same
            time, let us not allow such a genetic fallacy of hypocrisy to overtake
            the logic of this debate.

            I, for one, am pro-life as I personally believe it is properly used: one who believes
            in the right to life for all members of the species homo sapien
            regardless of their age, sex, or anything factor that doesn’t significantly change their
            identity as a human being.

            Thank you for your time.

          • Ingrid P.

            And humans are so special why? Because they are the only species that will kill and torture others purely for pleasure? Because we are the species trying to destroy the only habitable planet we have? A truly “pro-life” person is not only against abortion, capital punishment, and war, but is also a vegan. 

          • mythought

            From what I’ve heard, most women don’t give consent to be shot, so your analogy is pretty silly. Sex, on the other hand, is usually consensual.  

            And, saying that a fetus is only separate if it’s “fine not being inside her” is also silly.  There are plenty of people who are not “fine not being inside” a hospital, or hooked up to a breathing machine, or inside a house during freezing weather.  I’m gonna guess that you wouldn’t advocate for small children who are dependent on their parents to be thrown out of the house their parents’ pay for into freezing weather.  But then, according to your logic, if the child was really separate from his parents, he’d be fine not being inside the house they own and have all the rights to.  Hmmm…

          • Shelley

            Oh, I promised myself I wouldn’t keep commenting, but that is just so ridiculous that I have to say something: houses, hospitals, and respirators do not have their own thoughts, goals, or rights. Women do. If parents don’t want to care for their small children, they don’t have to. They can give up their parental rights and put them up for adoption. Also significant is the fact that fetuses really aren’t the same as small children, especially early on in pregnancy when most abortions occur.

            And while sex may usually be consensual, it isn’t always. Are you okay with a rape victim getting an abortion?

          • mythought

            No, but the people who own the houses, hospitals, and respirators have their own thoughts, goals, and rights.  And we would not want them to kick people out based on their own judgement that they weren’t worth keeping alive.

            They are biologically the same as small children, actually.  They’re just smaller.  
            No, I do not agree with an exception for rape.  The father’s crime does not make that child any less human or valuable.  We should also work on getting greater punishments for rape.  It’s a horrible crime, but not one the child deserves to die for.

    • You answered your own question, Brent. Your opinion is tolerated because you make yourself useful to them by spouting gibberish about their cause being a “fight for equality.” But more often then not, we men who tell the truth about what the unborn are and stand up for their rights get told at the drop of a hat that our gender disqualifies us from the conversation.

      • Kd5673

        Calvin…You are not ‘dissqualified’so from the conversation then but you are disqualified from the decision.

    • Joy Miladin

       That was exactly my point, Brent. The pro-choice community is not accepting of men as a WHOLE (they discredit the opinion of any pro-life men, claiming abortion is a woman’s issue), but only
      men who AGREE with them (which can hardly be considered gracious – why
      would anyone silence someone who agrees with them?).

  • peach

    “is the abortion debate an issue of women’s rights or an issue of morality?” Can’t it be both? I don’t think it’s moral to make a woman have a baby she doesn’t want. I don’t think it’s moral to force a woman who’s been raped to carry that pregnancy.

    • Joy Miladin

      Yes, I realize individuals have different perceptions on the framing of the abortion debate. But when each side seeks to explain why they accept or discredit men’s opinions in the abortion debate, a primary perception surfaces. The pro-choice movement insists, “Abortion is a woman’s issue, and therefore men have no say.” The pro-life movement counters, “Abortion is a moral issue involving the life of an unborn child, and men have an equal right to an opinion.” These definitions explain the actions of each movement, and are the basis for my article.

      • peach

         I see what you mean. I certainly know some pro-choice individuals who have said that men need to stay out of the debate. I don’t think it’s fair to say that for the whole movement though. The problem, however, is that we’ve lived in a patriarchal society and men still have advantages today that women don’t. Many pro-choice people view abortion (or lack thereof) as being a sort of tool of the patriarch. If abortion is illegal that means more women who miss out on education, miss out of career advancements, single mothers who are stigmatized. It means women having power taken away from them. So it’s sort of natural to view men who are “pro-life” as really being “anti-woman.” I think if men can take on a woman’s perspective for the purposes of this debate, then I’d welcome that.

        • notimportant

          What needs to be changed are those limitations you mention (education, career promotions, stigmatization), not killing the kid. There should be no reason any woman should be reduced simply because she has children. Right now, all women are given is the choice to kill their kids and advance through life, or have their babies and sit stagnant in life. If we want true power, we should be able to have our kids…as well as our education and successful careers, without any stigmas attached.

          We sell ourselves short when we agree to abort.

        • Joy Miladin

          Does taking on a “woman’s perspective” mean being pro-choice? Because remember, there are millions of women who declare themselves pro-life (like myself) who DO see the abortion issue from a woman’s perspective, yet still believe abortion is wrong. We acknowledge a woman’s right to do what she wants with her body AND the fetus’ right to its own body, a right that is not nullified by place of residence (inside the women’s body). That is the perspective we pro-life women share with the men inside our movement. Also, I can assure you that the majority of pro-life men sincerely believe that abortion hurts women, physically and emotionally. They are fighting to abolish a procedure they believe is unnatural and demeaning to women. Which is pretty pro-woman to me! Remember, we’re currently discussing pro-life men’s motives, not actions. While I may not be able to convince you their actions are pro-woman, I hope you can acknowledge their motives are sincerely pro-woman.

          • peach

            Sorry, but I still doubt their motives are pro-woman. I think men should respect women enough to trust them to come to a moral decision on their own (and yes, abortion could be a moral decision in my opinion). Men can still have opinions on the matter and I’m sure in individual cases a woman might go to her boyfriend/husband/whatever for his thoughts, but I don’t want a group of stodgy old politicians making policies about this.

            I realize you’re a woman and you’re pro-life but even then I don’t think you’re pro-woman. That doesn’t necessarily mean you’re anti-woman. I’m sure you don’t want to see women being oppressed or anything. But your perspective is very-much that of the the fetus’s. You’re pro-fetus.

          • I am pro-life and think women should have equal educational and career opportunities. I like math and I am pretty good at i,t so I would be outraged if I were not allowed to take Calculus because I am female. However is it necessary for women to have the right to kill their unborn children to obtain those opportunities? I think not.

        • Joy Miladin

           Also, thank you for your courteous response. It’s refreshing to have a civil conversation with a pro-choice woman, and I respect your thoughtful position on this issue.

  • Rebecca Downs

    Thank you for standing up and saying exactly what I feel , Joy! I am so proud of the pro-life men that I know, especially my boyfriend who is a convert to the movement! You speak the truth, even if others don’t see it…

  • Mecha Velma

    If I have a say, then I want Bristol Palin to have her next 10 fetuses aborted.

  • Emilyhasbooks

    Men don’t have a right to control anything going on inside women’s bodies.

    • Except when the thing “going on inside women’s bodies” happens to be the destruction of SOMEBODY ELSE’S body. Then we absolutely do, and we’re not about to be intimidated by sexists into shutting up.

  • I bet you are pro-death penalty

    • Hannah Mallery

       Why would that have anything to do with it? Unborn children haven’t committed any crime worthy of death. Oh, except, of course, the crime of being unwanted.

  • mflood

    On the contrary, there are already men’s groups and networks working in support of pro-choice efforts, and they’re warmly welcomed by feminist women. See, and this eloquent article:
    Michael Flood.

    • It’s seriously mind-boggling that there have been three commenters who are so delusional as to think it’s a refutation to point out that pro-aborts are okay with men WHO AGREE WITH THEM.

      Geez, the Internet can be depressing sometimes……..

    • Joy Miladin

       Hi Michael,
      I’m afraid you missed my point. While I’m sure there are feminists who welcome the active support of pro-choice males, those same feminists would simultaneously discredit the opinion of any pro-life man who spoke out against abortion, insisting abortion is a woman’s issue and men don’t have a right to an opinion. Thus, pro-choice circles are not accepting of men as a WHOLE, but only men who AGREE with them (which can hardly be considered gracious – why would anyone silence someone who agrees with them?). And that was the point of my article: the pro-choice community discredits men (as a whole), while the pro-life community invites men to take an equal position alongside our female activists.

  • Mark Koppenhoefer

    I consider myself to be both pro-life and pro-choice.  I am pro-life in the sense that I personally would not choose to abort a fetus growing inside of me (and I like to think that I would feel the same way if I were a woman).  However, I am pro-choice in the sense that I would never tell someone else that she should make the same decision that I would make if I were in her situation.  For this reason, I think these two particular labels (pro-life and pro-choice) confuse matters by not being mutually exclusive (as I have demonstrated above by using myself as an example of both).  The ‘pro-choice’ label makes sense – the view that a woman has the ‘choice’ to make her own decision when she is faced with that situation.  The alternative viewpoint would be more properly termed ‘anti-choice’.  These two labels are properly mutually exclusive and therefore more meaningful in the debate.

    Joy – if you were merely ‘pro-life’ (in the way that I have defined it) I would applaud your decision and encourage you to never get an abortion.  The problem I have with you (and others like you) is that you are not merely ‘pro-life’ (as it relates to your own life decisions)…you are ‘anti-choice’ (as it relates to the life decisions of others).  You feel that your fantastical belief system gives you the right to impose your own sense of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ onto others.  The Bible is full of instances of infanticide, child rape, sexual slavery, and countless other atrocities.  Is this bronze / iron age book really a place to look for morality in our modern world?  Are you really claiming that Christianity holds the moral high ground despite its incredibly immoral history?  I’m not sure I would consider someone who does ‘good’ based on the hope of divine reward (or the fear of eternal punishment) to be particularly ‘moral’…

    There is a lot we do not know about this universe, but one thing that is becoming increasingly clear is that the human brain (by itself) is capable of constructing the ‘reality’ that each of us experiences.  In other words, the current state of neurological research suggests that there is no longer any reason to imagine the existence of a ‘soul’ or a ‘spirit’ (i.e. mind-brain unity).  This concept was understandably incomprehensible to the pre-scientific people of 2,000 years ago (when your particular brand of reality had its roots) but today it can be viewed as just one more example (among many) of religion losing its monopoly on truth.

    Your position on this matter relies on the presupposition that a ‘soul’ or ‘spirit’ is magically inserted by God into each and every human zygote at the moment of its conception.  As I have explained in the preceding paragraph, there is simply no reason to continue believing that this is actually happening.  You may respond that I can’t disprove that it’s happening…and you’d be right.  But I also can’t disprove the existence of invisible (and otherwise undetectable) pink unicorns running around South America.

    If your God doesn’t want unwanted pregnancies terminated, He would be well-advised to present us with evidence of this ‘soul’ or ‘spirit’ so that we can – based on actual evidence – declare personhood at the moment of conception.  (While He’s at it, perhaps He could also present us with actual evidence of His existence.)

    I hope that you will re-examine your position and come over to the side of evidence and reason.  In the meantime, your call to anti-choice men has inspired me to be more vocal about my views that women are perfectly capable of making their own life decisions without government intervention.

    • First, it’s curious that you rush to introduce religion and the soul into the discussion, even though Joy doesn’t mention either in her article. Can we infer from this that “the side of evidence and reason” is unfamiliar with the concept of the straw man and/or the secular case for life?

      Second, it never ceases to amaze me when people claim to respect evidence and reason, then turn around and pretend they can know the soul doesn’t exist with such a high degree of confidence that they’re willing to bet the lives of a million innocent babies per year on their fallible, limited perspective.

      • Mark Koppenhoefer

        First, you can infer that I believe the only rational grounds for legislating against termination of unwanted pregnancies is the sincere belief in a ‘soul’ or ‘spirit’ that is magically inserted into the zygote by God at the moment of conception (if you believe you have other rational grounds, my ears are open).  Therefore I don’t really think I ‘introduced’ religion…I think it was already there (albeit implicitly).

        Second, I think you are misunderstanding where the burden of proof lies…  It is the monotheistic religions making the claim that the ‘soul’ or ‘spirit’ IS magically inserted upon conception…the burden of proof lies with the claimant.

        In governance, as with anything, we need to defer to evidence.  I have read that fetuses start dreaming at like 32 weeks.  I would consider that to be evidence of ‘subjective experience’…and I therefore think an argument could be made that after 32 weeks it is a ‘person’ protected by the constitution.  But I think that timing correlates well with the protection the fetus already has thru the viability standard established by Roe v. Wade.

        • I think most people would say the entirety of human history and culture would offer more than enough reason to believe that mankind isn’t reducible to the sum of our biological parts, that there’s some sort of “ghost in the machine” that has caused mankind to be so vastly and fundamentally different from every other organism on the planet…..

          And I think when the potential for harm is concerned – particularly grievous harm, involving metaphysical forces the feeble human mind can only faintly glimpse, if at all – the burden of proof is the exact opposite. Generally, morality dictates that we err on the sides of caution and of doing the least damage. Yours is the side that wants to let people destroy live human beings for convenience, so you ought to prove your policy hasn’t been perpetrating one of the worst atrocity in American history.

          Lastly, it’s one thing to observe when “subjective experience” kicks in. That doesn’t tell us anything about whether subjective experience is something deserving of protection, or if that’s the only thing that defines personhood or defines moral worth.

      • Mark Koppenhoefer

        P.S.  I am familiar with the ‘straw man’ but I am admittedly not familiar with the ‘secular case for life’.  If you could point me in that direction, I’d appreciate it.

        •  Really? You’re really not aware that people assign basic rights to the status of being alive and human? I mean, geez, it’s right there in the name: “human rights.”

          Frankly, I think that’s a sign of someone who’s spent way, way too much of his tenure in the abortion debate inhabiting echo chambers and jousting with straw men.

          • Guest

            I don’t think attacking people who are genuinely interested in information about your case is going to help your “cause”. If I were new to this, and I saw one person putting forth a thoughtful argument and the other just making stuff up and being rude and vicious, guess which one I’d be more likely to believe…

          • I don’t believe in simply being “rude and vicious” to “thoughtful,” honest people who are “genuinely interested in information” either. I don’t think the comments I’m responding to fit that description, though.

    • Joy Miladin

       Hi Mark,
      I have to ask, did you even read my article? You certainly don’t address any of the arguments I presented. However, I will oblige and respond to a couple of your points.

      The pro-life position is quite simple: a fetus is a human being; abortion ends the life of a fetus; therefore abortion ends the life of an (innocent) human being. Ask anyone involved in the pro-life movement and this is the answer they will provide. If we believe abortion murders an innocent human being (and we do), how could we allow any person to commit such an injustice against another human being? If we did, we would be hypocrites of the worst kind. You assert the right to define the pro-life movement, yet you possess no such right. You don’t have to like it, but we are the pro-life movement and we get to define ourselves. And the above definition is the one we have chosen.

      You write, “Your position on this matter relies on the presupposition that a ‘soul’
      or ‘spirit’ is magically inserted by God into each and every human
      zygote at the moment of its conception.” Where in my article did I state this? Your entire religious argument is irrelevant, for the simple reason that nowhere in this article did I appeal to religion to support my arguments. I used evidence and reason, just as you prefer. Unfortunately for you, the pro-life position is not only religious, but logical.

      And finally, as a pro-life woman I believe that ALL men have a right to an opinion in the abortion debate (not just men who agree with me), so go ahead and vocalize your support for pro-choice women. But remember, your opinion only counts because you agree with them. If you should ever change your mind, your right to an opinion will be promptly stripped away.

      • Mark Koppenhoefer

        Of-course I read your article (why else would I have commented on it?).  I disagree with your entire premise…I don’t think misogynistic men need any encouragement from you to continue to treat women as cattle as they have for thousands of years (via religion).  I doubt such men will allow feminists to stand in their way.

        But I respect your opinion on that matter and did not feel the need to vocalize my disagreement.  Instead I wanted to point out what I think is a fundamental problem with the labels we use to describe ourselves and each-other (i.e. that they are not mutually exclusive).  You are free to disagree with me on that (and it seems that you do).I don’t recall seeing any logical arguments from you about why the fetus should be deemed to be a ‘person’ protected by the constitution beginning at the moment of conception.  You made that statement…but did not provide your reasoning behind it.  For that reason, I inferred the religious argument.  If that was not the basis for your argument, then I apologize for the inadvertent straw man.As I mentioned to Calvin, I am unfamiliar with the ‘secular case for life’.  I will check it out when I get a chance.  (But, as an atheist who identifies as ‘pro-life’, I expect to not have any quarrel with such case.  The larger issue / difference is that I do not try to impose my own sense of morality onto others whereas it seems that you do.)

        • Joy Miladin

           Unfortunately, I do not have the time or space to begin every article I write with evidence of the humanity of the unborn and their right to life. This is a pro-life website, which allows me to take the liberty of writing on other culture issues surrounding abortion. However, if you would take the time to look at the articles specifically addressing the fetus’ right to life, you will find the vast majority of them present a secular, not spiritual, case for life. I would encourage you to not make assumptions based on cultural stereotypes, and remain open-minded to the logic we Christian pro-lifers use.

          You are correct in stating that I am not a moral relativist. I believe that certain actions – like murder, rape, and abortion – are intrinsically wrong and should be illegal, despite the fact that there will always be individuals who commit these actions (believing them to be acceptable).

      • Mark Koppenhoefer

        P.S.  I just wanted to point out that I have been told by someone that I shouldn’t even have a position in the debate (even though I don’t think we had any fundamental disagreement with each-other) on the grounds that I lack the requisite anatomy.  (It was shortly after she said this to me that I came across your blog, obviously intrigued by the title…)  So at-least in her case there is no cherry-picking of men who agree with her vs. men who don’t.  And, while I appreciate you welcoming me to the discussion, I find myself agreeing more with her – that the balance between morality and women’s reproductive rights can be determined by women.  To think otherwise is to think that women are immoral or otherwise incapable of arriving at moral decisions without men.  This notion has thousands of years of precedent in the Abrahamic traditions, but I think (hope) we are past that point in human history.

      • Sharon Rose

        The only way you can justify any of this is if you’re equally and as vehemently against war, against the death penalty, against killing of any kind. If this is not the case, then you are raising the life of an unborn child over the life of an already born child. The innocent children who become just so much “collateral damage” in wars your tax dollars support are justifiably killed, while the unborn child of a rapist who is aborted by the rape victim is somehow unjustifiably killed. 

  • The problem isn’t that men have opinions on the matter; the problem is that men make up most of the policy-makers across the country. By the last count women account for 16.9% of national legislators. This puts us behind China (21.3%), Pakistan (22.5%), Austria (27.9%), Spain (36%), Nicaragua (40.2%), Iceland (39.7%) and Rwanda (56.3%). That puts us 78th in the world.

    So, Ms. Long’s lament doesn’t seem, to me, to be about men expressing their views; it’s that those views have an outsized influence once inside the halls of government.

    • MoonChild02

      That’s the fault of everyone in this country, not just the fault of the men. That’s also an issue for women looking to get into politics, and deciding just how far they want to take their political careers. Most of them obviously don’t want to get into the federal government – at least not the executive or legislative branches. Fifty-one of the 166 active judges currently sitting on the thirteen federal courts of appeal are female (about 31%). Women make up about 30% of active United States district (or trial) court judges. Women also make up about 23.6% of state legislatures. I can’t find any figures for local legislature, but I did find a link stating that women make up about 60% of all state and local government employees, which includes teachers.

      • Anonymous

        I agree of course that it’s everyone’s fault, but I have to ask: what on earth does the percentage of women who are state and local employees have to do with anything? Last time I checked, teachers don’t have anything to do with making policy…

        • MoonChild02

          You said that men are the ones who make up most of the policy makers. My rebuttal is that maybe in the Legislative Branch of the federal government they do, but not in the Judicial Branch, the States, or the local governments.

          • That’s totally unfounded information. The 16.9% in Congress closely matches legislatures in state houses, which I believe is around 17% also. If you have statistics that point to larger numbers in municipalities, please post it. But municipalities aren’t pushing these retrograde policies, it’s mostly on the state level.

          • grdawg

            For 2011, the percentage of women in State Legislatures was actually 23.6%.  Certainly not a majority, but quite a bit higher than your 17%.  

          • Anonymous

            First of all, I said nothing about it; I’m not the OP here. However, the vast majority of “state and local employees” are just that–employees who have virtually no say in policy, not legislators. 

  • Kd5673

    Men can, and are welcome to their opinion on the abortion issue. But it is just that -. An opinion. Real men are not scared of a woman’s independence and feel no need to attempt to control her. Many men….and the numbers are growing rapidly …..are all for equal rights. They want a true equal partner in life, not a dependent wimp.

    •  Man, was there a blow-out sale on straw-man arguments this weekend that I missed?

      • Said by the guy who plucked an obscure writer out of a magazine no one reads (circulation 10,000!) so that he could beat him up and prove to himself he wasn’t “extreme”.

        •  Which post are you referring to?

          • Your piece on the Washington Monthly’s Ed Kilgore. His article wasn’t even that interesting or well written, and the magazine has a pathetic circulation, but he made a pretty good straw man for your particular purposes nonetheless.

          • In a development that I’m sure shocks nobody, it seems you don’t even understand what a straw-man is. Not only was his argument made in earnest, but it was a pretty straightforward example of an argument that is common on the pro-choice side.

            But whatever. If in the future I decide to to try to appeal to Astraspider’s sensibilities, I’ll be sure to look up the circulation of everything before commenting on it.

    • Rebecca Downs

      Again though, being pro-life does not mean we all want to control women. Also, if we’re talking about equal rights, what about equal rights the unborn then?

    • Billy

      That argument is completely on a false premise. The main reason for abortions of a baby of teen pregnancy is not because the young mother wanted to abort her baby but because she was coerced into doing it by her parents and, more commonly, by her boyfriend. If you ask me, Bristol Palin should be a hero to feminists because she made her own choice instead of her boyfriend’s yet she is ridiculed and beguiled for making her own choice and having her baby. Can we say H-Y-P-R-O-C-R-I-S-Y?

    • mythought

      A woman who gives a man a voice where it concerns his child is not a “dependent wimp.” A man who wants a voice is not “scared of a woman’s independence” and he is not after control.  I say this as a woman.  It’s pretty interesting to me that society thinks men have a whole lot more than an “opinion” (i.e., a responsibility) when it comes to child support and all that, but when it concerns the life or death of their child, they are relegated to their own thoughts and only that.  Totally unfair.

  • Earltmorgan

    So women can kill a mans offspring if she wants or have the option of making him pay child support. Great for women!

  • <!–
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    @page Section1
    {size:8.5in 11.0in;
    margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in;
    {page:Section1;} Let’s
    see how well Sorties Paradox’s smack talk about understanding and
    qualifications withstands logical scrutiny.


    only bodily autonomy that matters in this case is the donating body- the

    Why? You keep making grand proclamations like this as if they’re supposed to
    shut everyone else up, but you still haven’t offered a coherent moral or
    philosophical argument for why they extends to killing a baby. None of us want
    your bodily resources; we just want you to show a little humanity in recognizing
    this isn’t a property dispute, and SOMEONE WILL DIE as a result of what you’re
    trying to pass off as a mere eviction. You can’t expect anyone to take your
    condescension or moral grandstanding seriously while simultaneously being so
    unapologetically heartless toward the child.


    mere existence or presence doesn’t constitute any sort of intent
    toviolate, Also irrelevant.” 


    it’s relevant when people speak as if the baby is who committed the offense
    against the woman. Which they do.


    death is not a proportional means of “defense” againsttemporary pregnancy,



    I’m frankly kind of amazed that someone who claims to hold the law and justice
    in such high esteem is completely dismissing the concept of proportionality. Second
    as I seem to recall explaining to you before, the causal relationship between a
    mother’s pregnancy and her child’s death is FAR more direct than that between a
    random person and a accident victim. Bob Smith’s decision not to donate blood
    is not CAUSING Tom Jones’ death. Third, you speak as if the mother is simply
    having the baby removed, his/her death being an unfortunate, unintentional side
    effect. Obviously, that’s not true. You are having lethal drugs administered (or
    even more ghastly procedures later on) with the express purpose of destroying
    that child.


    the side effects of pregnancy can be and often are permanent.  We know you
    don't care.”


    do care. I just care about her son or daughter equally.


    don't understand legal concepts of scienter (ie, intent).”


    didn’t say anything about intent. I was discussing culpability. Aren’t lawyers
    supposed to know their opponents’ arguments before attacking them?


    saying that a woman ‘knowingly’ had sex, which introduced one of many necessary
    but not sufficient conditions for pregnancy to result, and this this translates
    into her knowingly making herself pregnant.  It doesn't fly.”


    you serious? It’s THE condition that makes it possible. It’s THE part of the
    process she has absolute control over. Of course it speaks to whether she has
    any responsibility to the baby she created!


    lawyers wonder why there are so many jokes about them…


    order for an result to be intentional under the law, it must be done
    intentionally (which rules out unwanted pregnancy, duh), or the act (sex) must
    be done with substantial certainty that the result (pregnancy) would occur.”


    That’s like saying I’d only be culpable in a car wreck if I was “substantially
    certain” someone else was about to cross at the red light I blew past. But
    obviously, we punish all sorts of recklessness and neglect-based offenses. And your
    argument is questionable anyway because we’re not even discussing the level of
    responsibility to assign legal punishment, merely the level of responsibility
    necessary to not kill someone’s son or daughter.


    a woman who has been having sex for about a decade, and who has never been
    pregnant, I hardly think that count's as substantial certainty.  With
    birth control that's 99% effective, how can that be substantial certainty?”


    because you still know about that 1% chance? You did take health class, right?

    “Simply stating that by acting in a manner that MAY cause ONE of at least 5
    necessary but not sufficient conditions to occur equates to acting
    "knowingly" under the law is inaccurate.  It's called
    "proximate cause.”


    might be a good time to point out a recurring fallacy in your arguments: the
    way you seemingly expect people to blindly worship at the altar of legality.
    But this fundamentally is not a legal argument. It’s a philosophical/moral one.
    It’s about what the law should say, not what the law currently says. You wouldn’t
    seriously suggest that whatever the current legal precedent happens to be on a
    given issue should dictate how we vote all the time, would you?

    • Sorites Paradox

      Like I told you on the last thread where you started triggering flash backs to posters’ rape experiences with your sexist and abusive language, I’m not engaging with you because this blog is not a safe space for rape survivors.  I’ve already addressed these arguments with you on the other thread, and I’m not doing it again because I actually bill hours.  I didn’t post this for your benefit, I posted it for other people’s.  I also gave you a LIST of reading materials and sources by actual philosophers (as well as case law) that back up my points in more detail that you obviously haven’t investigated, so why am I going to waste my time?  Some of those sources even have advantageous arguments for your side!

      I don’t have time or the willingness to explain basic tort law/constitutional law to an angry kid with a blog who doesn’t seem willing or capable of trying to understand. 

      Like I said, maybe other posters or readers will find find this useful.  Don’t bother responding, I don’t plan on coming back to even look through the enormous comment thread.

      • I see. You get to say anything you want about anyone you want, no matter how vicious and dishonest. But whenever someone responds to your arguments with substance, you lie about them being “sexist” and accuse them of”triggering rape flashbacks.” Got it.

        I’ll be waiting when you’re ready to apologize.

      • grdawg

        Sorites, you’re not the only attorney on here.  It seems to me (an attorney) that you’d rather just not admit where Calvin is right.  It’s not that you don’t have time to explain law to him; it’s that you don’t like that a non-attorney proved you wrong on some points.  That can be hard for us to admit sometimes.  That aside, from what I’ve seen, he certainly does not use sexist or abusive language, and you need to stop accusing him of triggering flash backs.  That’s just using an easy excuse against him.  (And I’m a woman…I certainly sympathize with your experience.)  But he’s not downplaying it – it just doesn’t apply in every circumstance.

        • Sorites Paradox

           “Sorites, you’re not the only attorney on here.  It seems to me (an
          attorney) that you’d rather just not admit where Calvin is right.  It’s
          not that you don’t have time to explain law to him; it’s that you don’t
          like that a non-attorney proved you wrong on some points.” 

          No, it’s really that I don’t have the time.  I’m not sure why you seem to think you know what my schedule is like better than I do. As an attorney, you should realize what an undertaking it would be to adequately explain the legal foundations of the tort law, bodily integrity/ sovereignty law, and constitutional law that underlie the abortion debate to someone with no legal training.  Calvin and I have been through this before- we’ve had previous conversations on the same -and different -subjects that have gone no where.  It won’t be productive or interesting for either of us to do it again.  Calvin is not enough of a challenge for me to waste my time- I’ve debated actual lawyers and philosophers on these points- he presents nothing new or different.

          “That can be
          hard for us to admit sometimes.”

          I’ll admit when I’m wrong. But he didn’t prove me wrong.

          “That aside, from what I’ve seen, he
          certainly does not use sexist or abusive language, and you need to stop
          accusing him of triggering flash backs.”

          I do not NEED to stop telling him anything.  Who the fuck do you think you are? I have every right to tell him that.  I pointed out that his language that he used several months ago with me triggered flashbacks.  He should be aware of how his language impacts people. 

          “That’s just using an easy
          excuse against him.  (And I’m a woman…I certainly sympathize with your

          I don’t want or need your sympathy.  Additionally, being a woman doesn’t mean you can sympathize with a rape victim.  Quit with the condescension.

  • Tbmasi884

    man deserve a voice for one reason…it is their child too…in recent years more and more men are coming forward who are suffering because of loosing a child to abortion. They have every right to speak out…we need to not by into the pro choice rhetoric and the lie that it is just a woman’s issue.

  • im4jesus_ru

    Her male Republican opponents should have said: “There is only one instance in history that the ovaries you mention produced a child without male input, we have an equal say in the reproductive rights of every man, woman, and child in this nation.”
    It may not have helped, but that’s what they should’ve said.

  • It comes down, quite simply, to whether or not you recognize the humanity of the unborn child.  If the unborn child is a human being, at any stage of its development, then all other human beings have a legitimate voice, as individuals and collectively through the vehicle of our government, in protecting and advocating for the basic civil liberties (which begin with LIFE) of that fellow human being.  Simple as that.  If the unborn child is a human being, it is among the most defenseless in our society–giving a voice to the voiceless, defending those who cannot defend themselves, protecting those who would be subject to harm, even if by their own parent, is not just the right, but the obligation of any civil society.  While many people who are pro-life are also religious, one should not have to be a person of faith to see that protecting unborn children from harm (i.e., dismemberment and death) is indeed “their business.”  It’s for this reason that, of course, a man can have an opinion.  It’s also for this reason that a libertarian can be pro-life.  Because that “do your own thing” bit only extends to the place where your actions do not harm another person, which, if an unborn child is human, abortion quite obviously does.

    If the child is not fully human as the pro-choice crew argues, then it is not entitled to rights, or protection and consideration under the law.  If the child is not fully human, then the question is exclusively about a woman, her body, her doctor, and the government, and any other person’s opinion would be burdensome “interference” in a personal choice not much different from whether or not to remove a mole or a third nipple.  (This view, by the way–that that state has zero interest in protecting the unborn, and the woman’s right to make her own choice is absolute–was presented to the SCOTUS in amici briefs during Roe v. Wade and was summarily rejected by the court who determined that the state has a “legitimate and compelling” interest in protecting the unborn.)

  • Mark

    So…you welcomed me to the debate and then deleted all my comments?  Classy.

    • liveaction

      Comments that are not made for the purpose of actual debate but instead, are continually rude and demeaning without purpose are not permitted on this site.

  • Frankly the way i feel on the matter is this, unless a woman was Raped, that is the only time that a woman can have sole authority to abort a child. All I hear is how men dont have to experience child birth “oh woe is me” says the femenist ,protect us say the mighty femenist. How convienent , well they’re right i will never experience child birth, but you better believe if the woman decided to keep the child who is fitting the bill for that child for the next 18 years , WE MEN ARE. Yes thats right where do OUR rights go when the child is not aborted and we didnt want it ???. So if the woman has sole right to abort a child that means i have the sole right to not pay child support, If each partner is consententual in a sexual act both parties must be held accountable, so if a woman wants an abbortion thats fine but she needs the other partners consent, and if a woman does so without the consent of her partner then she should be held accountable for her acctions through a hefty lawsuit.. Its her body but its my child, 9 months is nothing compared to the lifetime it takes to raise a child, so if the woman cant suffer her pretty little head through a 9 month ordeal, then she shouldnt play the victim when the man wants nothing to do with her or the child.

    • Kristiburtonbrown

      You make some great points, Michael. I’d like to add, though, as a woman that I don’t think a baby deserves to be aborted because of rape. Just because the baby’s father did something horrible never means that the baby should be punished. After all, we don’t give the death penalty for rape to the man, so why should we to the baby? But I agree with you that the issues of abortion and child support are definitely lopsided and unfair for guys…

  • Keith Branson

    Joy, I am just finding your post and am very glad to know of your passion and your ability to speak to the issue of abortion. I am motivated too. Actually again. I have stepped away from the conversation for many years but now I am committed to re-engage. I am approaching it first to try to give men a voice and a way to move past the things that have them shut down. If you want to post sometime on the new FB page I created, please do so. Remember, I hope to open men up to dialogue about how they are and what to do to be healthy first. We will be more action oriented for legal change as the army is healed from the wounds that keep them from the fight for life. Thanks, Keith