Skepchick Quickies, 6.16


Jen is a writer and web designer/developer in Columbus, Ohio. She spends too much time on Twitter at @antiheroine.

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  1. The anti-choice folk always do seem to come up with such stupid shit to rationalize their bigotry.

    I’ve had a discussion with (among others) my sisters about miscarriages. It is a bit of a tricky thing, because from a legal aspects, it’s as if you’ve never been pregnant at all, even though you walked around with potential offspring for several months, you didn’t give birth, you didn’t become “a mother”. Etc…

    Even from a mere psychological point of view, you need a bit of time to recover from the loss of a child, even if it was never born. Or stillborn. It’s worse than having a baby die after it’s born, because then at least you get recognition that it truly existed, it gets a name and a SSN, a funeral, …

    You’d have to be a real sociopath to go through that for shits and giggles and a bit of vacation time and some cash …

  2. @exarch: You can’t really compare an abortion to a miscarriage, though, at least not always. For me, for example, if I found out I was pregnant I’d get an abortion, as soon as possible. I’d be on the phone with my awesome doctor as soon as I possibly could, and I would be like, “GET THIS OUT OF ME NOW, Doc! NOW! Yesterday, if possible!”

    I’d feel no sadness, and no regret. I don’t want to be pregnant, and I certainly don’t want a child. No, I wouldn’t go through an abortion just for shits and giggles or a bit of vacation time and some cash (it’s expensive, and not exactly a fun medical procedure, and not something I want to go through unless I have to), but it wouldn’t really bother me to get one, and I wouldn’t need “time to recover”. In fact, I’d probably be ecstatic and relieved — and I’m no sociopath. I just really, really don’t want children. This is something I’ve thought long and hard about.

    For many women who go through miscarriages, they are losing something they wanted. The emotions are going to be different for many women who go through miscarriages. It wasn’t a choice. It happened, likely out of the blue. It can be devastating for some. Though certainly, not all women who go through a miscarriage are going to feel the same.

    I just don’t like this misconception that every woman who goes through an abortion is sad or otherwise damaged and that they “need time to recover”. Of course, there are women for whom the decision is rather hard, even if they know it’s the right one, and I’m sure some women do/would need time to recover. But not all women are going to have the same emotions after an abortion, and that doesn’t mean they are cold-hearted or sociopathic. I’m probably the most sympathetic person I know, but I still wouldn’t feel sad that I rid myself of a fetus I didn’t want inside me to begin with.

    And honestly, I feel like a lot of the agony that some women go through before and after an abortion is because of social pressure, and not because they feel regret. They are expected to, but would they, if society wasn’t so harsh on those women who choose abortion? If you’ve ever been to an abortion clinic with protesters, I think you could easily understand why this might be so.

    The reasons why his comments are so disgusting isn’t because he implies women don’t care, but because he implies that women can’t be trusted. Which has always been the implication from the anti-choice/anti-women crowd.

  3. I really enjoyed that last article. I’m godless and I love religious art. It’s always the first thing I look for in museums. I also really like religious music. Mostly choral works written before 1800, especially Bach. I could eat Bach’s masses and cantatas with a spoon. I draw the line at religious books, though.

    As for Senator Fielding’s comments, that’s a pretty crass thing to say. Good thing he doesn’t have any female constituents, right? He sounds like the kind of person who, at every opportunity, likes to remind people of how evil he thinks abortion is and women are selfish for having them. Good for the other senators for firing back. If this happened in the US Senate, I have a feeling there would be a lot more agreement with that comment.

  4. So, if you had Big Foot in your backyard, apparently lingering long enough that you thought you should drive him off, wouldn’t you get your camera? Probably you have a cell phone in your pocket with a camera.
    Also, and again this could just be me, but I wouldn’t be in such a hurry to drive off one of the biggest discoveries of the last several centuries. I would be following it, calling for back up, taking pictures (as previously noted).
    Just me I guess.

  5. @marilove: You’ve completely missed the point I was making. Would you wait 20 weeks with your abortion (that’s more than halfway to full term) just so you could collect a paycheck and some vacation?

    It’s a serious medical procedure. Ergo: it’s not something you’d just do for shits and giggles. Not even close. And if you did, there’d be something seriously off in your head.

    An abortion is definitely not the same as a miscarriage, even by the wording of the law in question. But apparently Mr. anti-choice felt it an opportune moment to put in another jab towards abortion and drug addicts. At the expense of the very women who DO want to keep their kids but lose them along the way. So much for family first.

  6. @exarch: No, I wouldn’t, and I said as much. You just seemed to conflate abortion and miscarriage, much like Mr. Anti-choice did. When they are not the same thing. That was my point. Also, my point, is that not all women are going to feel horrible even after a miscarriage.

  7. @marilove: What you said. I’ve had 2 abortions, and I’ve never felt anything other than relief. I had one when I was 16, and the other when I was at university. I have no desire to have children, and I know that having both abortions was definitely the right decision for me. If anything, there was almost a vague sense of guilt because of my complete lack of sadness (damn you societal judginess).

  8. @marilove: Sure not all women feel the same about pregnancy termination in general but I am pretty sure that all women who have just had a post-20 week abortion feel pretty much the same thing and that thing is physical pain. What other reaction could there be to having your cervix cranked open with an expanding steel ring? I am sorry to say that I know this from personal experience. I don’t know the statistics, but I suspect that most post-20’s are terminations like mine – a wanted pregnancy that had no chance whatsoever of resulting in a live birth. I wish I could take a swing at senator steve, or at least, force him to listen while my husband describes what it was like to sit by my side while I went through 2 full days of physical and emotional torture.

  9. @marilove:
    You just seemed to conflate abortion and miscarriage, much like Mr. Anti-choice did.

    No, I was pointing out why Mr. anti-choice’s conflation of miscarriages and abortions were wrong. Because no way is anyone going to remain pregnant for 5 months just for some pregnancy leave. THAT IS WHAT HE WAS SAYING. That is what the article was about.
    5 months means you probably wanted to keep it, and that means the loss is going to have a serious emotional impact (apart from the obvious medical issues that go with it).

    If you choose to have an abortion in the first few weeks because you don’t want kids and don’t feel guilty about it, that’s fine, but you wouldn’t expect anything either, other than maybe a day or two off to recover from the physical side effects. This is totally not the same thing. You said as much yourself, but seem to insist on ignoring the fact that I never claimed otherwise.

  10. “Welfare cheats”? Apparently he missed the part about how the bill is for parental leave, something granted to people who are working. Despite what those who like to demonize the poor claim, in many states the majority of people receiving benefits are employed, they’re just not able to make enough money to support themselves and their families.

    Plus, if a woman wanted to use pregnancy for money, she’d make a lot more by going full term. Then she also gets money for the baby, even if she doesn’t take care of it herself (as long as she keeps custody.) Plus an abortion that far along isn’t cheap and takes time to recover from. She’d be spending a lot of money and suffering just to make a tiny profit and maybe have her last three weeks of leave in comfort.

    If a working woman were so dishonest that she wanted to game the system for money and time off, it’d make a lot more sense to use the tried and true method of faking an injury or illness. A false claim of job-induced carpal tunnel could fund a much more pleasant vacation than a second trimester abortion.

    More than anything I would love to get this man’s cell phone number and give it to every person I know who has suffered a stillbirth or late-term loss. Let him listen to the stories of anguish, despair, emotional and physical pain – then he gets to tell them himself why they don’t deserve paid time off of work lest some “drug addict” abuse the policy.

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