OP starts judgements early September 11, 2006 10:12 AM   Subscribe

I'm taking myself to metatalk because I am honestly not sure what the best thing to do would be.

Here was a heartbreaking post from a grieving person who specifically asked people not to take their abortion debates into the thread. The Confessor posted what I thought was a completely uncalled for judgement on those who have abortions ("for convenience"-- a common anti-abortion term). I found it personally offensive and noted so in-thread, stating I didn't want to hijack (or debate) but that I found the judgement to be uncalled for. Now I am not sure if that was the right thing to do. Should I have called out here to begin with? Should I have ignored it?

And I want to apologize to anonymous for making a "thing" in his thread.
posted by miss tea to Etiquette/Policy at 10:12 AM (118 comments total)

I'm remove references to it.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:16 AM on September 11, 2006


Thanks, Matt. What would you say was the right thing to do, then? Just not say anything? Appreciate it.
posted by miss tea at 10:20 AM on September 11, 2006


For the curious:

First, your grief is entirely natural, nothing to be ashamed of, and deserving of counseling... even if you think you may not need it. There is a wide gulf between a convenience abortion and one motivated by mercy or perceived necessity; the difference between the death of a fetus and the death of a child.

On the proactive side, I hesitate to suggest the following, but...

Adoption?

Some people simply can't fathom forming an attachment to a child not their own; I'm ashamed to say that I am probably one of those people. But if you have the capacity to nurture across perceived genetic boundaries, there is no greater gift you could give to a child whose life would otherwise be very difficult.

As far as the $20,000 goes, your chances of saving that much money are directly linked to your capacity for sacrifice in other areas of your life. If you are still determined to have a natural child after you have dealt with the death of this one, make a budget and begin cutting costs. $20,000 only seems impossible because you haven't started saving yet.
posted by The Confessor at 8:43 AM EST on September 11


What a heartbreak. This is the flipside of genetic testing, isn't it? More tough decisions. I don't think I have much to add except that in other circumstances (family member with terminal cancer) a local nonprofit provides "buddies" in addition to support groups-- people who have been through a similar experience for you to use as sounding boards. Some people find the group dynamic very unhelpful, and this is a good alternative. If you do find that doctor who specializes in PGC they may be able to help.

And I REALLY don't want to hijack this thread, but Confessor, please keep your backhanded "well your abortion is OK but others' are lame" opinions to yourself. Seriously.
posted by miss tea at 8:59 AM EST on September 11


miss tea

And I REALLY don't want to hijack this thread

If you don't want to hijack the thread, don't hijack the thread, ma'am.

I can't fathom how you managed to take a statement of the essential difference between abortions of necessity and convenience as condemnation of either.

Nevertheless, I'd rather see that statement scrubbed than this thread devolve into a semantic argument. To that end, I'm marking my original comment and all responses as derails.
posted by The Confessor at 9:20 AM EST on September 11
posted by Skorgu at 10:21 AM on September 11, 2006


Ok, I took that out. For what it's worth, I think you totally mis-read the comment, miss tea.

There are vast differences between "I'm pregnant and too young to handle this" and "We are making the choice not to bring a severely disabled person into this world." Just because someone used the word "convenience" to describe the first statement doesn't mean they are trying to push rhetoric or an agenda. It's not a judgment to use a single word and if anything was uncalled for, it was your hijacking of the thread.

It's a very touchy subject and I was watching this thread from the get-go, but if you don't want to hijack something, you probably shouldn't mention it, especially on controversial topics.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:21 AM on September 11, 2006


Looks like everyone just needs to simmer down. I thought Confessor's answer, while slightly tinged with anti-abortion lingo as you point out, was at least a reasonable attempt at an answer to the question and not an abortion debate derail. You were offended, which is fine, but your response is the one that might have derailed the thread into an abortion debate, which isn't fine. You should have just ignored it, or taken it to metatalk if/when the thread actually was derailed by someone else's comment. But, Confessor tried to put the train back on the tracks by conceding and offering to flag, and it looks like he succeeded. Simmer down, simmer down now.

On preview, what #1 said.
posted by Kwine at 10:28 AM on September 11, 2006


I thought the OP's preemptive comment was unnecessary.
posted by cribcage at 10:39 AM on September 11, 2006


I think the Confessor's comment was insulting to the OP, and unnecessary. Fighting about it in the thread is no good, of course, but the comment was a direct challenge to exactly what the OP said he didn't want -- a discussion about the pros and cons of abortion. The blame for this should not fall on miss tea; The Confessor was being an ass in exactly the manner the OP said he didn't want.
posted by occhiblu at 10:49 AM on September 11, 2006


Actually, change that to "is being an ass" since his comment still stands, unchallenged.
posted by occhiblu at 10:52 AM on September 11, 2006


Again, not that I think challenging is particularly appropriate in the thread, but it's a provocative statement expressly against the wishes of the poster that deserves some degree of disapproval.

So... there, I guess.
posted by occhiblu at 10:56 AM on September 11, 2006


It's a very touchy subject and I was watching this thread from the get-go, but if you don't want to hijack something, you probably shouldn't mention it, especially on controversial topics.

Thanks, Matt. Appreciate your guidance on that. And everyone else's. Peace to you all.
posted by miss tea at 11:06 AM on September 11, 2006


Seems a lot of people are misreading Confessor's comments. I don't seem them as antiabortion or insulting to the poster; in fact he/she pretty clear says that the poster's choice was not an abortion of convenience and that the poster shouldn't feel that it was. Good advice.

Those who would like to imply that even mentioning abortion as convenience - which is certainly something that happens and unfortunately so and should be discouraged (and I am as pro-choice as they come) is somehow an anti-abortion sentiment are being a little too willfully ignorant.
posted by xmutex at 11:11 AM on September 11, 2006


No matter how much you disagree with something, remember, nobody has the ability to go back and edit their posts or comments (except through divine intervention aka: admins). What they might not thought was offensive may have offended someone, and we can't change what anyone sees. I think it's best to give people the benefit of the doubt, and assume they meant well in most cases.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:14 AM on September 11, 2006


The OP specifically says:

This is posted anonymously because I do not feel like being judged and criticized by religious zealots who want to take away our right to choose abortion. No, not in this time of personal and tragic loss. Take your fight somewhere else, please.

Where in there do you see concern that choosing "an abortion of convenience" is the issue at hand?
posted by occhiblu at 11:15 AM on September 11, 2006


Also, if you spend any time reading about the country's abortion debates, you will see person after person after person make the argument that the "real" problem is women who choose abortion for selfish reasons, like wanting to have their own lives. These anti-choice commenters consistently try to shame women who choose abortion by positing that their reasons aren't good enough.

I realize that if you're not often in the midst of that debate, you might not read The Confessor's comment as an immediately recognizable anti-choice rhetorical strategy, but... it is.
posted by occhiblu at 11:18 AM on September 11, 2006


Well, by the same token, occhiblu, since Confessor is pointing out that the OP's abortion is not one of convenience, where in there do you see judging or criticizing of the OP? Confessor may be judging and criticising others, but not the OP, and that's in line with the OP's request.
posted by Bugbread at 11:19 AM on September 11, 2006


I saw the thread this morning and wasn't sure at all what to do about it. I thought the Confessor's point was extraneous and off-topic and yet the rest of the advice was sound, so practically speaking it's hard to decide what to do in those situations. Remove the comment and tell the commenter to try again? I agree that the first comment seemed to have anti-abortion biases but without knowing a lot more about that poster, it seemed a little jump-to-conclusionish to assume the person was really pushing an agenda, but maybe I'm not in the trenches enough to notice.

In any case, thanks for your apology miss tea, I think generally speaking taking that stuff to MetaTalk [or email if possible] is the way to go.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:21 AM on September 11, 2006


Somebody's misreading the comment because I read Confessor's comment as being sympathetic. There seems to be a lot of anger over the two words "for convenience" when the whole message is one of sympathy and humane commiseration. Is "for convenience" really a wink-wink nod to anti-abortionists? It seems odd that it would be that way.
posted by boo_radley at 11:23 AM on September 11, 2006


I realize that if you're not often in the midst of that debate, you might not read The Confessor's comment as an immediately recognizable anti-choice rhetorical strategy, but... it is.

And this is part of the problem with the debate in this country: people are at extreme opposite sides of the issue, and generally unable to see that there might be a little more light in the middle than they thought. It seems clear that you're on one of those ends, and that you cannot admit there may be less than desirable uses of abortion in this country is an act of willful ignorance. The answer isn't legislation though, it's education.

This is all irrelevant, though, to the post, because like I said I felt Confessor was saying that the poster in no way chose an abortion of convenience.
posted by xmutex at 11:23 AM on September 11, 2006


I'm fervently pro-choice but I do think you were being overly sensitive, miss tea.

The grieving for this couple IS different than the grieving of couples who are infertile, and it will be different than the grieving of couples who choose to terminate for other reasons, even though they share some things in common with each group. I would not have chosen the wording that The Confessor did, but he's got a point. I understand why his wording bothered you, but it's besides the point of the thread.

Thank you to everyone in that thread for being careful and sensitive on this topic. Both The Confessor and miss tea were genuinely trying to be sensitive and not bicker-ey in the thread, so good on you both.
posted by raedyn at 11:25 AM on September 11, 2006


I'll restrain myself to: Yes, he very nicely pointed out that the OP was one of the *good* people who met the bar for an abortion and *therefore* was deserving of sympathy. CF? OK! Have a cookie!

The OP made it abundantly clear that he and his wife were not conflicted about the issue of abortion. The Confessor nevertheless made it his (ironical) job to absolve them of any sin that *he* saw as clinging to their choice. It's not his job to tell them what they did was OK, because that's specifically NOT what they're asking for. And encouraging the idea that someone outside the relationship has the authority to determine whether an abortion is "deserved" is *exactly* the strategy of the anti-choice movement -- remember Bill Napoli's disgusting statements about who should be allowed to get abortions?
posted by occhiblu at 11:31 AM on September 11, 2006


I just wanted to point out that I have known several people who chose abortion because they were not prepared to have a child, the so-called convenience abortion. They all grieved. Abortion is NEVER convenient.
posted by owhydididoit at 11:41 AM on September 11, 2006


occhiblu did a good job of explaining what it was about the post that sounded like anti-choice rhetoric. But I don't think The Confessor was trying to preach about abortion in-thread. I think it was an honest attempt to answer the question.

"There is a wide gulf between a convenience abortion and one motivated by mercy or perceived necessity" can be read 2 ways.

One: "The grieving for this couple is different than the grieving of couples who choose to terminate for other reasons, even though they share some things in common"

Two: "Some abortions are okay, like yours. Some are not okay." Throw in the word convience - a tactic of the anti-choice crusaders - and it sounds pretty judggemental.

I can see why it rankles. It bothered me, too. But I don't think it's entirely clear which way that poster meant it.
posted by raedyn at 11:44 AM on September 11, 2006


But even the first meaning is irrelevent to the question at hand. No one was suggesting that he go to post-abortion support groups, or even implying that tons of people get guilt-free abortions, so he shouldn't be grieving.

There was no reason I can see to make that distinction, other than to bring his own politics into it (possibly unconsciously).
posted by occhiblu at 11:47 AM on September 11, 2006


occhiblu, I'm with you on this one, with one question: If you think he may have brought his own politics into it subconsciously, why are you making a big deal about it now? The fact is you just acknowledged that it may have been an accident, so why rake the poor guy over the coals for what appears to be a Freudian slip?

I read his comment and felt it unnecessary as well. And if it weren't for this thread, I might continue to feel that way. But if there's a chance that he just made a slip of the tongue without knowing it, why give him hell and/or delete the comment?
posted by SeizeTheDay at 11:52 AM on September 11, 2006


Ditto. Unless The Confessor is known as an anti-abortion troll, I say we all just let it go.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:55 AM on September 11, 2006 [1 favorite]


I'm arguing because it severely bugged me that the first respondants in this thread were laying all the blame at miss tea's feet. I think The Confessor was in the wrong, or was at least being needlessly provocative about the exact thing the OP did not want anyone to be provocative about, and I think it was highly wrong that miss tea got told to "simmer down" even after she apologized for being provoked, as if she was some hysterical harpy for recognizing anti-choice rhetoric when she saw it.
posted by occhiblu at 12:00 PM on September 11, 2006


I read The Confessor's comment as an intentional backhanded slap at other people who have abortions. I thought it was out of line, given that the OP had specifically asked people to "take their fight elsewhere."

Good on you, miss tea, for showing humility and willingness to learn.
posted by ottereroticist at 12:05 PM on September 11, 2006


I think it was highly wrong that miss tea got told to "simmer down" even after she apologized for being provoked, as if she was some hysterical harpy for recognizing anti-choice rhetoric when she saw it.

occhiblu, I was obliquely quoting SNL. That was supposed to be funny, but perhaps it's a bit too obscure. I apologize if you were offended by it, miss tea. And if you read my comment a little more closely, occiblu, I also recognized the comment as anti-choice rhetoric, so it would be slightly ridiculous for me to imply that she was some sort of "hysterical harpy" for doing the same. In conclusion, SIMMA DOWN!
posted by Kwine at 12:10 PM on September 11, 2006


I read The Confessor's comment as an intentional backhanded slap at other people who have abortions. I thought it was out of line, given that the OP had specifically asked people to "take their fight elsewhere."

Same here. I'm all for giving people the benefit of the doubt, but to me The Confessor was very clearly bringing abortion politics in where it was specifically not wanted.

Imagine a thread about rape: "I'm so sorry you got raped: you're clearly not one of those sluts who were asking for it!" Sympathetic? Yes. Still badly wrong? You betcha.
posted by languagehat at 12:14 PM on September 11, 2006 [2 favorites]


Do people still seriously watch SNL?

SIMMA DOWN!

I will take the comment in the spirit in which it was intended (really, I'm grinning on the inside), but please do be aware that telling a woman to simmer down or otherwise stay quiet when she reacts to political or social statements that have traditionally been used to keep women away from economic or political power can be seen, by many, as frickin' annoying, given that "don't be angry; it's not feminine; go make me a sammich" seems to underlie that statement 90% of the time.

Because many of us are, in fact, humorless feminazis intent on destroying men by kicking them repeatedly in the balls as we abort their heirs, and it's hard to do so unless we get to yell sometimes when we chip our toenail polish.
posted by occhiblu at 12:20 PM on September 11, 2006 [4 favorites]


Do people still seriously watch SNL?

Certainly not! The very idea.
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:23 PM on September 11, 2006


What languagehat said.
posted by Skorgu at 1:14 PM on September 11, 2006


Ladies, stop being so hysterical...
posted by delmoi at 1:30 PM on September 11, 2006 [1 favorite]


delmoi didn't you listen to a word occhiblu said?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:42 PM on September 11, 2006


On first reading I thought that the Confessor's comment was fine. Looking again, this phrase is really a derail that begs for a response: "the difference between the death of a fetus and the death of a child." No, it's the difference between the death of one kind of fetus and another. IMO, the place to object is here in Metatalk (with a link in the original thread).

OTOH, this in the original post is really the same sort of thing: "religious zealots who want to take away our right to choose abortion." Understandable, given the situation, but really the request should go without saying, and would have been better left out in order not to encourage a response.
posted by Manjusri at 1:43 PM on September 11, 2006


(I figured delmoi was being tone-deaf but sarcastic.)
posted by occhiblu at 1:44 PM on September 11, 2006


occhiblu, it might be helpful for you to understand that the skit I'm referencing involves (well, involved, it was years ago) a character named Nadeen, played by Cheri Oteri, who goes around yelling SIMMA DOWN at everyone and everything in wildly inappropriate contexts, where everyone else is totally calm and rational. Here is a typical example. Channelling her properly, therefore, involves running around yelling SIMMA DOWN in wildly inappropriate contexts, where everyone else is totally calm and rational-like, say, this thread. So, I don't think I need the feminazi lecture. But it's stupid and it's hurting America and I'll stop.

Do people still seriously watch SNL?

Certainly not! The very idea.


I agree with the sentiment; I find that I enjoy the show much more if I watch it in an unserious manner.
posted by Kwine at 1:45 PM on September 11, 2006


Does your whole ability to communicate come through the TV?

Anyway, what occhiblu & the hat said over and over. I think Matt's response was particularly out of line: using that oarticular word does mean something.
posted by dame at 1:52 PM on September 11, 2006


The feminazi lecture was making fun of myself, as I feel half the time on this site that I'm wasting my time even trying to make these points. Sorry if it seemed like I was harassing you.

And yes, I got the reference after looking at the link, but like you said, it was rather obscure and my point is still that even jokingly saying things like that conveys the sentiment that you don't give a crap what women have to say. I have never seen your username before, I have no doubt that you are a fine upstanding citizen who would never say such a thing except in ironic air quotes or with a funny accent, but given that it's a tactic OFTEN used by those less enlightened, I still think it comes across as condescending, despite your intent.

Which again, is not to attack you, just saying that your intent, which I do believe was good, was in no way apparent, and therefore would tend to ally you with those whose intent is bad. Which I assume would be something you'd like to avoid.
posted by occhiblu at 1:53 PM on September 11, 2006


On yet my third rereading of Confessor's post, I realize I was misreading it, and it is completely sympathetic and fine. Stay tuned for more updates.

Exactly why it is best to keep the objections out of the original thread, and figure them out elsewhere.
posted by Manjusri at 2:03 PM on September 11, 2006


Yeah, making obscure SNL references that make you look like a dick to anyone who doesn't happen to share them is not a good idea in general, and in AskMe it's a particularly bad idea.
posted by languagehat at 2:04 PM on September 11, 2006


I'm sorry more occhiblu; I have trouble with lines and staying within them and I understand perfectly your complaint against me. Let's be friends!

Does your whole ability to communicate come through the TV?

I'm a graduate student in analytic philosophy. I'm going to print that out and post it in the office above my desk.
posted by Kwine at 2:09 PM on September 11, 2006


Obviously grad schools have low standards these days.
posted by dame at 2:11 PM on September 11, 2006


Hi. Me again.

My original, and still standing, take on the Confessor's original comment was that s/he was parroting an anti-choice trope unconsciously, but I did (do?) feel like it was still very offensive.

The implication being that everyone who has an abortion "for convenience," in other words because she got pregnant accidentally and can't take care of a child, or is a student or poor, or just plain doesn't think she wants to be a mom, simply writes off the whole experience without a second thought. Which, in my experience, is so ridiculously far from the truth that it can only be an anti-abortion talking point.

I still stand by my reading of the statement; I opened this thread more for a clarification of mefi policy. But I do appreciate all of your support, it's nice to know I'm not the only person who read his comment that way.
posted by miss tea at 2:15 PM on September 11, 2006


Obviously grad schools have low standards these days.

Ok, you're trying to hurt me. I'm very sorry; I was insensitive and over the top in a sensitive context. I pushed a lame joke that no one got too far, and angered some folks. I love Metafilter, I've lurked here since 9/11 and I want to be a responsible citizen. You've got your pound of flesh; I'm not going to flame out. What more can I do?
posted by Kwine at 2:17 PM on September 11, 2006


. But I do appreciate all of your support, it's nice to know I'm not the only person who read his comment that way.


Same way I read it as well. Thanks for being brave enough to say something.
posted by agregoli at 2:18 PM on September 11, 2006


I thought about this for a bit and my first reaction was that seeing this as an covert anti-abortion statement was an overreaction. It isn't and furthermore it's quite snide in tone. Maybe it wasn't meant to be, but that's how it reads...
posted by ob at 2:24 PM on September 11, 2006

Obviously grad schools have low standards these days.
Hell, grad schools have such low standards they might as well be open to any asshole with five dolla...hey, waitaminute.
posted by scrump at 2:28 PM on September 11, 2006


languagehat nails it.

IMNSHATBO, The Confessor (whose name is, in and of itself, somewhat provocative in this context) was way the hell out of line. I've read the comment again and again, and it comes off as, at best, patronizing.
posted by scrump at 2:38 PM on September 11, 2006


I think y'all are focusing way to much on each others actually-unknown-to-you personalities and having way too much fun over two words.

Anyway what the jist of this one? Only non-biased people shall be permitted to offer answers to lifes hard questions on mefi? Heh, so who's that gonna leave to do the answering? Hands up now, who here is unbiased, other than me of course? Waiting, waiting,...
posted by scheptech at 3:48 PM on September 11, 2006


First, I apologize for taking so long to respond to this MeTa post.

When I saw that the thread had been edited with no corresponding MeTa link, I assumed that our trusty admins had simply scrubbed it with no community controversy, and sent them an e-mail thanking them for their discretion

I wrote the statement in question to hopefully push the anonymous poster and his wife to reconsider professional counseling. I was intentionally vague, since any attempt to illustrate my point would have risked causing them further anguish... and that was the last thing I wanted to do.

If you are the anonymous author of the AskMe question, I urge you to refrain from reading the following, as the imagery used may not be therapeutic.

I have this picture in my mind of a pregnant woman in bed, absent-mindedly rubbing her belly. She just learned the baby's gender a few hours ago, and now she's combing through her family tree for a name that will appease the grandparents and not get her baby teased out of kindergarten.

Or maybe she's walking through a department store. On a whim, she decides to browse the cradle and stroller aisle. She won't buy one yet, but she wants to have something picked out for when the baby comes.

For when the baby comes.

You see, just as couples who decide to abort for convenience often can't imagine their lives with a baby, those who lose their children via miscarriage, stillbirth, or necessary termination can't imagine their lives without one.

Why? Because for prospective parents, that little bump on the woman's abdomen unavoidably becomes the personification of incalculable investments of time, money, inconvenience, and most of all... love.

It may be possible to bury a fetus with no regret or remorse; fundamentalists and liberals will probably be arguing that point long after humans are concieved in test tubes and raised in stasis chambers...

But it is certainly not possible to bury a child - even an unborn one - without dramatic strain on both the mother and the father, as well as their relationship between them.
posted by The Confessor at 4:42 PM on September 11, 2006 [1 favorite]


And not a single person was disagreeing with that, or saying otherwise. What the hell does bringing in and denigrating other abortions have to do with your point?
posted by occhiblu at 4:45 PM on September 11, 2006


occhiblu, let it go. Just let it go. His point was valid, and not meant to offend. He's not hung up on this, miss tea's not hung up on it, and as far as we know, Anonymous isn't hung up on it. Just let it go.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:47 PM on September 11, 2006 [1 favorite]


He made an insulting comment, based on faulty assumptions, and is now using purple prose to imply that women who choose abortions for other reasons don't grieve the children or futures they're giving up.

Certainly some of them don't, some of them do, but none of it was relevant to the question at hand. It expressly went against what the OP asked for in the thread. I'm sure the assumption underlying The Confessor's comment are so ingrained and unexamined that he doesn't necessarily realize they're faulty, or even assumptions as opposed to facts, but that doesn't change the fact that what he said was inflammatory, intentional or not.
posted by occhiblu at 4:56 PM on September 11, 2006


fwiw, occhiblu, I'm with you 100%.
posted by scody at 5:23 PM on September 11, 2006


Thank you. If one more person tells me to simmer down, I will boil over.
posted by occhiblu at 5:26 PM on September 11, 2006


I'm with you too. That long "explanatory" comment didn't explain anything.
posted by languagehat at 5:45 PM on September 11, 2006


but if you boil over, you and languagehat and I can have a nice cup of tea. Earl Grey, darlings?
posted by scody at 5:47 PM on September 11, 2006


It expressly went against what the OP asked for in the thread.

Hmm, I wonder how much control a poster should have over the answers they get anyway.

"I'm dating three different guys, twin brothers and their father. All have promised to kill any other guy that messes with me and are unaware of my relationship with the others. So I kinda get off on it. Now, I don't want to hear anything about honesty here, but the scheduling situation's getting a little tricky - help me manage my life better - what works for you, daytimer or PDA?"
posted by scheptech at 5:54 PM on September 11, 2006


With sugar and cream, please.
posted by occhiblu at 6:03 PM on September 11, 2006


A word to the wise The Confessor, your comment comes across as assholish, condescending and irrational. You are, in a few dozen words, perpetrating a stereotype of the entire pro-life movement that does not reflect well upon you. If you wish to engage in the kabuki play that the abortion debate has become, it is would be wise to consider that your assumptions and preconceptions are neither valid nor shared by others.
posted by Skorgu at 6:21 PM on September 11, 2006


occhiblu

I'm sure the assumption underlying The Confessor's comment are so ingrained and unexamined...

I was mulling the composition of a lengthy response to your accusations in particular, occhiblu, but the paradox presented in your latest post made me recognize the futility of such an attempt.

If you're so certain in your assumptions about what you perceive as my assumptions, I need not burden myself with your education.

But before I wash my hands of you, I have one last request:

It expressly went against what the OP asked for in the thread.

Do not presume to put words in the mouth of the original poster.

The poster asked us to forego judgement or criticism of their actions; I offered neither.

He asked us to take fights elsewhere; my willingness to see the statement deleted rather than have it derail the question testifies to my adherence to this.

If my response was needlessly inflammatory; if it violated the OP's mandate, wouldn't the admins have seen to its deletion?

*Confessor sighs*

I'll put my participation in this thread to rest by reiterating and expanding upon my final response (since deleted) to the original question.

I'd rather see my contributions to both of these threads erased than cause the OP and his wife an iota of additional pain. If any or all of these comments disappear in the next few days, I will accept the judgement of the administration (and perhaps, by proxy, the OP) without question, as I have before and no doubt will again.
posted by The Confessor at 6:26 PM on September 11, 2006


This is the thread (and argument) that will never die.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:41 PM on September 11, 2006 [1 favorite]


He asked us not to bring the political fight into the thread. Offering yourself up as a martyr and offering to have your comments deleted as if the "fight" is simply people disagreeing with you, as opposed to the larger debate surrounding abortion rights, is disingenious.
posted by occhiblu at 6:42 PM on September 11, 2006


Confessor, it's true that you did not make a criticism of the OP, but the way the comment was posted implies that you were making a judgement. The judgement was a positive one about the OP, but may have had the unintentional effect of denigrating the decisions of other women to abort.

The word "convenience" in this debate (although you may not have meant it this way) is loaded and implies a sort of sacrifice of long-term good for short-term selfish benefit. For example, sometimes I pay more to get milk at the bodega instead of the grocery store because I'm lazy and it's more convenient.

I think it's safe to assume that many women who get abortions go through an agonizing period of decision-making, in which they're choosing between equally not-so-great options - and not choosing to terminate based on their short-term convenience.
posted by lalex at 6:42 PM on September 11, 2006


delmoi didn't you listen to a word occhiblu said?

I'm pretty sure delmoi just reads delmoi's comments.

I just wanted to surf the wave of animosity that's surging through this thread without having to engage in another boring and ultimately futile 'discussion' about abortion.

/Continues to swing blindly.

posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:22 PM on September 11, 2006


so practically speaking it's hard to decide what to do in those situations. Remove the comment and tell the commenter to try again?

Yes.
posted by mediareport at 8:42 PM on September 11, 2006


Same way I read it as well. Thanks for being brave enough to say something.

So brave to... make... a post.. to MetaTalk.

Ah, what heroism.
posted by xmutex at 9:03 PM on September 11, 2006


Gee, I'm both saddened and disgusted. I kind of understand your decisoin, but a part o fme feels like you see your child as disposable because it wasn't perfect, like so many, er, all of us. Serious disease, but wow. Stop it.

posted by JamesMessick at 8:04 PM PST on September 11 [+fave] [!]


I don't think there's any question here. Please get rid of this. Please.
posted by moira at 9:28 PM on September 11, 2006


Please get rid of this. Please.

Done. I can get to this stuff a little more quickly (this is true for email too) if people link to the stuff they're referring to.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:24 AM on September 12, 2006


What the Confessor wrote makes sense and it's true. It's relevant. There is a difference between having an abortion as a fail-safe method of contraception and being forced to have an abortion because of birth defects when you were very much wanting to have a baby. That difference has a great deal to do with the context of grieving, if any. The Confessor was validating the questioner's grief in a context in which the questioner might have thought they weren't completely "entitled" to their grief.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:34 AM on September 12, 2006


IMHO, The Confessor was acting absolutely in good faith, trying to reflect on the fact that there are two distinct types of abortions, something coherently expounded upon in his first comment here.

miss tea and others who've painted him as an anti-abortion troll were being assholes, and in my opinion, the real trolls.
posted by blasdelf at 10:05 AM on September 12, 2006


There are also all sorts of types of grief. And parents. And relationships. And men. And women. And children. Do we need to qualify where we think the poster is coming from on every aspect of his belief about and expectations for those things, whether we think that direction fits the ideas we have about where he should be in relation to the rest of the population, and therefore what type of support he's allowed?

Languagehat's example in this thread was the most cogent. There's date rape, stranger rape, acquaintance rape, marital rape, gang rape, and on and on and on. If someone posts a question about what to do for support regarding her marital rape, do we get to post suggestions that she should seek support because she ws really raped, unlike those women who wear mini-skirts after dark? Bringing in that distinction, unless you're really prepared to discuss how it's even relevent, is bringing your politics into the thread. It may have been unconscious (which The Confessor seems to argue against), it may have been intentional (which seems to be the only option left), but in the end the effect is to stigmatize certain women who get abortions without even explaining why doing so helps the poster, who has already declared himself pro-choice.

Had someone said, "It may be hard to reconcile your pro-choice politics with your grief, and you may be trying to repress the grief a bit in order to fit what you think your feelings about abortion 'should' be. You might want to consider that seeing a counselor about this, or even just having grief about losing a baby, is still OK given your politics; don't let your politics get in the way of getting help," I would have zero problem with that. But if that's what The Confessor was trying to say, he did a piss-poor job of it, good faith or not.

Good intentions can get you only so far. You can offer people help, and tell them that what they're feeling is OK, without insulting legions of other people in the process. Really. I've seen it done.
posted by occhiblu at 10:25 AM on September 12, 2006


If you read his comment here, he mentioned the difference not out of any value judgement at all, but in mentioning that her case was entirely different from most abortions – she wanted to have the baby – she had been preparing for it, doing normal pre-birth things, stuff that will now haunt her.

He wasn't bringing his politics into this, YOU GUYS ARE.
posted by blasdelf at 11:13 AM on September 12, 2006


entirely different from most abortions
wanted to have the baby

In as loaded a subject as abortion, these are inescapably biased statements. They presume not only facts (most abortions) but imply a value judgement, regardless of how that judgement is disclaimed.

You can't say "no value judgement is meant, but unlike most eaters of white bread, you're only making a grilled cheese."
posted by Skorgu at 11:23 AM on September 12, 2006


SHOUTING doesn't make it true.
posted by languagehat at 11:24 AM on September 12, 2006


Probably obvious, but: that was directed at blasdelf.
posted by languagehat at 11:25 AM on September 12, 2006


>she wanted to have the baby

Yes, she did. That was immediately apparent from the post. We all got that. No one was assuming she didn't want the baby. Again, why was it necessary to point out that some women don't want babies? Do I need to go into threads about marriage and point out that some people don't want to get married, so the poster is obviously different from them? Do I need to go into threads about books and point out that some people don't like to read, so the poster should obviously pursue different avenues than those those people? Do I need to go into threads about cats and point out that some people like dogs? Don't you think that doing any of those things would indicate that I'm less interested in helping the poster than in making my own point?
posted by occhiblu at 11:38 AM on September 12, 2006

He wasn't bringing his politics into this, YOU GUYS ARE.
I have to say, I wasn't convinced by your argument until you put it in ALL CAPS.
posted by scrump at 11:41 AM on September 12, 2006 [1 favorite]


The Confessor was validating the questioner's grief in a context in which the questioner might have thought they weren't completely "entitled" to their grief.

EB, did you read the question? Here's the relevant snip:

I've been pretty strong over the past few days but noticed today that I have slipped into some depression. I know this is one of the stages of grieving, so am not worried. But I see myself also burying myself into my work and don't want to do that until both my wife and I have gotten past this.

We discussed seeing a grief counselor but now think we don't really need it. We're being very proactive about researching IVF and genetic screening of the resulting embryos to prevent raising a child with cystic fibrosis only to watch them suffer and eventually die.

My question is: What kinds of things can we do to get more closure on our sudden and tragic loss?


The OP then goes on to ask specific questions about IVF specialists and expenses.

Please point out the passage that indicates any search for validation for their decision, or any question that they might not be "entitled" to their grief. I can't see anything that even comes close. You and The Confessor both bring up issues that are, at best, tangential to the question, and your responses seem to be prompted by the keyword "abortion" instead of a desire to understand and help the OP and his wife.

As occhiblu and miss tea said, "convenience" is a very loaded term here, used to sort out "good" abortions and "bad" ones based on one's own opinions. Which would be fine, if this impulse weren't so strongly linked with the attempt to transform those opinions into law. I'm not saying that this is your motivation, or The Confessor's -- only that your terms and tropes are commonly used by those who do want to restrict access to abortion.

Whether or not you want to give that impression is, of course, entirely up to you.
posted by vetiver at 11:46 AM on September 12, 2006


Everyone needs to go outside and play with the other kids, right now. Shut off the computer, get some fresh air, and have real threads... er, conversations.
posted by turducken at 11:49 AM on September 12, 2006


Simmer down!

(I'm going to have to apologize to Kwine. Yelling "simmer down!", while still problematic from a maintaining-the-status-quo-by-silencing-women point of view, is becoming a rather therapeutic release.)
posted by occhiblu at 11:53 AM on September 12, 2006


I love you, Hive Mind, but where do you get the time to do all this?
posted by DenOfSizer at 12:02 PM on September 12, 2006


In as loaded a subject as abortion, these are inescapably biased statements.

Skorgu nails it.

Dialog about any already-thoroughly-argued higly-polarized topic like abortion is near impossible without each side seeing bias in the other. One persons bias is anothers heartfelt and well considered position on this one.
posted by scheptech at 12:20 PM on September 12, 2006


"You and The Confessor both bring up issues that are, at best, tangential to the question, and your responses seem to be prompted by the keyword 'abortion' instead of a desire to understand and help the OP and his wife."

You're kidding, right? The questioner asked for help working through his grief. The Confessor validated that grief. That's one way to help people work through grief.

I'm not the person bringing my abortion politics into this discussion.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:37 PM on September 12, 2006


There's no need to validate someone's grief by, or while, denigrating the choices of others.
posted by casarkos at 12:59 PM on September 12, 2006


There was nothing in his comment which denigrated the choices of others.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:59 PM on September 12, 2006


EB, have you read anything having to do with the abortion debate? Claiming that women get abortions simply for convenience is a hugely common way of denigrating women who choose abortion. There's no definition of "abortion for convenience," the standard is completely subjective (and usually defined as "when I wouldn't have chosen one"), and it's just a way to portray women who have chosen to abort their pregnancies as frivolous bimbos who are too stupid to use birth control.
posted by occhiblu at 1:15 PM on September 12, 2006


I don't see how phrases like "abortion of convenience" and "the difference between the death of a fetus and the death of a child" can be anything but denigrating, trivializing, and dismissive of someone who's had an abortion for reasons that don't involve the health of the fetus. But languagehat's already made my point.
posted by casarkos at 1:33 PM on September 12, 2006


No, occhiblu, as a member of NARAL I'm entirely ignorant of the abortion debate.

That was facetious, of course. In deadly seriousness, then, I'll say that unlike you I'm not so familiar with pro-lifer literature that I've internalized their language and implicitly accepted their version of the proper emotional landscape within which it occurs. You and casarkos, obviously, have: "Such a tragedy every abortion must be!"

The worse insults are the condescending defense of the necessary truth of every woman's horrible grief after having an abortion and, even worse—so much more worse—the comparison of abortion to rape.

With friends like these, the pro-choice movement doesn't need enemies.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 1:49 PM on September 12, 2006


No, strangely, I like to give each woman the opportunity to make her own decisions, and have her own reactions, without dictating what those might be, whether or not they agree with my politics.
posted by occhiblu at 1:55 PM on September 12, 2006


occiblu - what's up here, you don't accept that abortions of convenience, just like marriages of convenience, exist?

People use 'convenient' to distinguish from the really huge problem situations, the life-threatening, or rape-related circumstances. They're referring to when the decision is made to manage away still big but somewhat lesser life-style changes like the need to put careers on hold, the desire to maintain a given standard of living for existing children and/or husband, to continue going to school, etc.

Of couse the term 'convenience' diminishes the import of all this but I dunno, what's an other way to say it? What terminology would be more fair assuming you accept that 'abortions of convenience' exist in the first place of course.
posted by scheptech at 2:07 PM on September 12, 2006


The worse insults are the condescending defense of the necessary truth of every woman's horrible grief after having an abortion and, even worse—so much more worse—the comparison of abortion to rape.

Straw man much? I don't think anyone in this thread has even come close to saying anything like this. Certainly each person who has an abortion will have her own response to it. Some women will not give a shit. Some will grieve and feel guilty for the rest of their lives. And everything in between.

It's none of your business, or mine, if we are truly pro-choice.
posted by miss tea at 2:12 PM on September 12, 2006


scheptech, the word is completely loaded. I'm not going to have an abortion because it's "convenient." No one wakes up and thinks, "Hey, going to the gyno for an invasive procedure today sounds like a good use of time -- how convenient!"

The word itself is the problem. The assumption that an outsider gets to decide whether a woman's choice is based on a "real" reason or a "convenient" one is the problem. The fact that I have only ever seen that term used by pro-lifers commenting on pro-choice sites is a problem. It's attempting to frame women's goals and priorities as frivolous afterthoughts to their ability to bear children.

I guess the issue is this: Can you define an "abortion fr convenience"? I see your examples, which are vague and very class-bound (they all seem to presuppose an educated well-off career woman). What about a mother on welfare who's not even above the poverty line? What about a woman whose job does not offer paid maternity leave or health insurance? What about a woman who must suspend her medication during the pregnancy, and may have health issues because of this? What about a women who may have a genetic disease that can't be tested for, but that she's not equipped to handle in a child?

And you may vary well have answers for all those things, but the thing is, others will define "convenience" differently. I just read an account from a (pro-life) woman whose fetus has its intestines growing outside its body, who was certainly not going to live much past birth, and people were saying that her ultimate decision to induce labor early was an abortion of convenience due to "phony medical reasons."

You say "Of couse the term 'convenience' diminishes the import of all" and that's exactly it. It's a term used by pro-life groups exactly intent on diminishing the importance of all of this, of diminishing the importance of women being able to choose their own lives.
posted by occhiblu at 2:28 PM on September 12, 2006


(Or, what about a woman with an abusive husband? Abusive parents?)
posted by occhiblu at 2:32 PM on September 12, 2006


With friends like these, the pro-choice movement doesn't need enemies.

Wow, EB, you remind me of those lefties I used to know who liked nothing better than expelling people from The Movement, or for that matter salafi jihadis who practise takfir on Muslims they don't like. "That person doesn't use the language I prefer, or objects to things I think are fine, so they're a disgrace to the pro-choice movement!" Right on, Captain Abortion Rights!
posted by languagehat at 2:34 PM on September 12, 2006


Having children, by the way, is the number-one risk factor for poverty for women. Dismissing any one woman's claim that having children is a bad economic decision, or simply "for convenience," is actually arguing against statistical reality. Even college-educated professional women with only one child will forfeit an average of $1,000,000 over the course of their lifetime due to mommy-tracking.
posted by occhiblu at 2:51 PM on September 12, 2006


My read of The Confessor's post is that he was saying, in essence... "Well, there are people who are really horrible awful folks, but, relax! Fortunately, you're not one of them, and thus I don't have to judge you."

miss tea and, later, occhiblu went off because they heard the message that he feels he has the right to do that in some cases, and are trying to point out (rightly, I think) that it's noxious and doesn't particularly belong in the thread. But the conflict didn't really belong there either.

I stayed out of the original thread because I had nothing worthwhile to add, but it really is heartbreaking. I hope the poster and his wife recover and end up with a large, happy family.
posted by Malor at 2:52 PM on September 12, 2006


"No, strangely, I like to give each woman the opportunity to make her own decisions, and have her own reactions, without dictating what those might be, whether or not they agree with my politics."

If that's so, you're not acting in accordance with this. If that's so, then you should allow that some women may have abortions as a form of birth-control and that some women will have abortions without feeling grief. You're defending people who would have taken no offense and in doing so you're creating an offense that wouldn't have existed otherwise. You might as well be have said something like: "How dare you assert that any woman would have an abortion of convenience and, having done so, would feel no grief for the child! Women only [do such horrible things] because they have no choice and [having killed their child] they grieve as a result!" This is not a pro-choice defense, it's a pro-life capitulation. It's as wrong-headed as the oft-expressed supposed gay rights defense "Do you think anyone would ever choose to be gay?" It concedes far, far more territory than it defends. It, sometimes, reveals that a person is fighting for the cause out of desperation, not inspiration.

"It's none of your business, or mine, if we are truly pro-choice."

Yes it is when those who are attacking The Confessor are doing so in the name of defending the interests of the pro-choice movement. Then it's the business of everyone who is pro-choice.

LH, anyone who can comfortably compare abortion to rape is someone who should reconsider their affiliation with the pro-choice movement. This is not merely a matter of language.

Malor, you wrote: "'Well, there are people who are really horrible awful folks'..." The only thing that could make them "awful folks" is that they've had an abortion of convenience. But I don't think an "abortion of convenience" is an awful thing to do. Maybe The Confessor sees it as an awful thing. So? I know people who believe being a liberal is an awful thing. When they call me one, though, I'm not offended. And if, when someone does, a "friend" nearby rushes angrily to my defense quite offended on my behalf, well, I guess I know what he thinks about liberals, don't I?

The irony is that unless I've missed it, no one here has picked up on the one thing that very well may be such a pro-life accusation in The Confessor's comment: his use of the word "ashamed".
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 3:18 PM on September 12, 2006


LH, anyone who can comfortably compare abortion to rape is someone who should reconsider their affiliation with the pro-choice movement. This is not merely a matter of language. - Ethereal Bligh

He was not comparing abortion to rape. He was compaing the discussion of abortion to the discussion of rape. An important distinction. There are a lot of similarities between the way the two topics are discussed. In both cases there's a set of people who want to tell women what they're doing wrong.
posted by raedyn at 4:12 PM on September 12, 2006


Thank you, raedyn. And EB, I know you hate it when I say things like this, but it's true: you're too smart not to grasp a distinction like that.
posted by languagehat at 4:55 PM on September 12, 2006


You're kidding, right? The questioner asked for help working through his grief. The Confessor validated that grief. That's one way to help people work through grief.

EB, I can't see the post as a cry for validation or affirmation or "permission to feel" or any other bit of self-help self-parody. The OP and his wife seem to be pretty much underway with the grieving, thanks. They want to know how to grieve, and what to do next. So TC's first line seems, to me, pretty much like throat-clearing. Not terribly useful but not offensive. No big deal.

But then comes Sentence #2: There is a wide gulf between a convenience abortion and one motivated by mercy or perceived necessity; the difference between the death of a fetus and the death of a child.

Why even bring this up? What possible difference could this make to the OP and his wife? As others have pointed out, TC seems to "validate" their grief only because their abortion wasn't one of those vile "convenience" jobs.

If that isn't what TC meant, he should be aware of how loaded these terms and issues are and how easy it is to be misunderstood. If it is what he meant, then he's a jerk for trying to pick a fight the OP specifically asked everyone to avoid. In either case, miss tea was wrong to bring it up in that thread but I'm glad she posted it here.
posted by vetiver at 5:32 PM on September 12, 2006


No, strangely, I like to give each woman the opportunity to make her own decisions, and have her own reactions, without dictating what those might be, whether or not they agree with my politics.

Sure, I agree. But tolerance doesn't require acceptance, does it? I don't want to fan the flames, but reading this thread, it's as if some people think that pro-choicers can never disapprove of any abortions under any circumstances, otherwise they're not really pro-choice. I don't think that's a good way to approach the issue, if only because it'll alienate a lot of people.

Anyway, this whole thread is downright bizarre to my eyes. It was said way upthread but I'll quote it here:

I think it's best to give people the benefit of the doubt, and assume they meant well in most cases.
posted by smorange at 5:35 PM on September 12, 2006


MetaFilter: I think it's best to give people the benefit of the doubt, and- Hahahaha!... hah... heh... oh my.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 6:44 PM on September 12, 2006 [1 favorite]


But tolerance doesn't require acceptance, does it? I don't want to fan the flames, but reading this thread, it's as if some people think that pro-choicers can never disapprove of any abortions under any circumstances, otherwise they're not really pro-choice. I don't think that's a good way to approach the issue, if only because it'll alienate a lot of people.

smorange, think about your terms. Of course tolerance doesn't require acceptance. Acceptance is internal; tolerance is external. In a free democracy, I can't be legally forced to accept an abortion but I can be legally forced to tolerate abortions. That's pretty much the deal, right?

Lets say that there are women who schedule D&Cs like Brazilian waxes. You and I agree that these theoretical women are shallow and selfish and contemptible.

I'm grateful that these catastrophically unfit mothers actually manage to schedule those D&Cs.

What do you think?
posted by vetiver at 10:16 PM on September 12, 2006


One of the first lessons I learned about Internet discourse was the futility of argument in this medium. Even in face-to-face conversation debate tends to be a more viable means of intellectual showmanship than persuasion. When you combine this paradigm with the impersonal nature of the Internet, the chance of victory - provoking a change of mind or heart in your opponent - becomes even more remote.

Being a lazy bastard, my first instinct is to avoid such fruitless engagements. When this fails, my second instinct is to offer a cursory defense of my position before exiting the discussion in an orderly manner, beliefs intact. Two nights ago I spotted an extraordinarily simple means of egress, and fatigue and sloth convinced me to take it.

I regretted that decision almost immediately, for a few reasons.

First, I violated a community imperative roughly analogous to a familiar biblical admonition: I tested the administration. They gave my statement the benefit of the doubt, let it speak for itself when others were too ready to assign meanings to it that I did not intend. I took that trust, and instead of defending my statement misused it to close the circle and remove myself from the debate.

Second, by removing myself from the discussion, I ironically became as intractable as occhiblu, whose comment I maligned to facilitate my escape.

Third, removing myself in that manner seemed a more cowardly than strategic maneuver because it forestalled the expression of genuine doubts on my part, doubts about whether remnants of my fundamentalist upbringing might still cloud my perception of key social issues.

The prejudices of fundamentalism outlived my apostasy by several years, even as I consciously tried to rid myself of value judgments - such as a reflexive disgust for homosexual behavior - which made no sense in a secular context.

Abortion? I retained some of those judgments; the ones which continued to make ethical sense even when divorced from religion.

I never understood, for example, how the difference between a potential child and disposable flesh could possibly reside only in the perception of the child's mother. I never understood how liberal intellectuals could maintain such an obvious convenient fiction, and I never understood how the Democratic party, pledged to assist the disadvantaged, could willfully ignore the wholesale slaughter of innocent life.

Is it because fate is more capricious still? Because far more fertilized embryos than are aborted simply never implant, or are naturally reabsorbed into women’s bodies? If so, is the prevalence of death via natural causes adequate justification for murder?

So yes, I admit that I had these biases, but I buried them because I understood that if there ever was a valid justification for abortion it would be to spare a child from a joyless life and an early death. I felt sympathy... and sympathy is something I seldom feel.

I wanted to help.

To my mind, the most conspicuous statement in the anonymous poster's account was how quickly he and his wife disclaimed the need for counseling, less than a week after the end of a four-month pregnancy. Yet the husband was battling depression and emotional withdrawal, and the wife was compiling a lasting memorial to the pregnancy - a makeshift gravestone, if you will.

The scale of their grief and means of addressing it paralleled what I had witnessed from expectant parents who experienced late-term miscarriages or stillbirths. Simply put, they seemed to be coping with the loss of a child rather than the expulsion of a fetus, and I did not want them to dismiss counseling as an option.

So I searched for an antiseptic way to highlight the essential difference, which I still believe exists, between abortion as a contraceptive fail-safe (thanks to Ethereal Bligh for his eloquent restatement) and the tragic decision forced upon this couple.

I'd like to think that I pulled the term 'convenience abortion' from the ether, but I must concede that it may have been a subconscious product of the conservative periodicals I devoured in my youth. Ignorant of the divisive non-literal definitions already attached to the term, I used 'perceived necessity' as a catch-all for financial and social considerations and assumed the result was sufficiently innocuous to post in a sensitive thread.

Doubly innocuous because I believed (and still do believe) that what was left was essentially a statement of fact: Sex is good. War is bad. The sky is blue. And all things being equal, the expulsion of a fetus that was supposed to become a child is far more traumatic than the expulsion of a fetus that wasn’t supposed to happen.

So, in conclusion, mea culpa.

It was my ignorance which provoked miss tea's response and led to the subsequent debate, and my slothful nature which failed to extinguish the debate when I had the chance fifty comments back.

I hope that the OP and his wife took my statement as I intended it be taken: as a validation of the extent of their grief and gentle guidance to reconsider counseling, and not, in itself, a condemnation or denigration of any woman's decision to have an abortion.

Postscript:

Two caveats regarding my opposition to abortion

First, I believe that reality-based sex education and low-cost chemical birth control are the most effective means of reducing unplanned pregnancies, and thus unnecessary abortions, among teenagers and young adults.

Also, I do not support banning or placing burdensome restrictions on the practice of abortion in the United States, since history and logic suggest that women will continue to seek abortion when they consider it necessary. Those who cannot afford the cost of a properly regulated procedure in a foreign country may resort to care in illegal clinics, dangerous folk remedies, or even abandonment of the delivered child.
posted by The Confessor at 4:42 AM on September 14, 2006 [1 favorite]


Well done, The Confessor. It's not easy to step back and analyze yourself and your comment that way, and I find it all quite believable. Sorry it all turned into a mass Confessor-bashing, but you clearly understand why that happened. Thanks for taking the trouble to clear it up, even though not many people are likely to visit this moribund thread.
posted by languagehat at 6:57 AM on September 14, 2006


vetiver, for the most part, I agree with you, except in some circumstances, late in the pregnancy, where I'd say abortion is morally equivalent to infanticide. But I think reasonable people can disagree about these things.
posted by smorange at 7:22 AM on September 14, 2006


languagehat

The bashing was precipitated by my ignorance and extended by my idiocy. I don't believe that anyone other than myself has anything substantial to apologize for.

Furthermore, this episode gave me an opportunity to reevaluate and reaffirm the validity of long-held beliefs while solidifying their independence from dogma.

I'm actually quite grateful for that.
posted by The Confessor at 7:52 AM on September 14, 2006


The Confessor very well said. I thought that your original use of loaded language seemed disconnected from your otherwise sane prose and your latest post has reinforced that.

We all slip up and put feet and other appendages in our mouths; few have the testicular fortitude to examine so closely their own actions. Yours has not gone unnoticed and it is this willingness to compromise and admit correction that makes MeFi so unique. Thank you.

In retrospect, my own comments were harsher than they needed to be and for that I apologize.

We may disagree but we can agree that those differences need not reduce our interactions to combat.
posted by Skorgu at 8:45 AM on September 14, 2006


Well, congrats boys. Glad you solved that.
posted by occhiblu at 8:49 AM on September 14, 2006


*makes tea for everyone!*
posted by scody at 10:44 AM on September 14, 2006


That you're somewhat ambivalent and a reformed fundamentalist explains the things about your comment that confused me. I did see the hints of a pro-life viewpoint in the same places that others did, but the core assertion we were arguing about seemed to me to be extreme pro-choice, if anything. A pro-lifer isn't going to think an "abortion of convenience" is any less cause for grief than any other abortion.

"Well, congrats boys. Glad you solved that."

That was inappropriate.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:02 PM on September 14, 2006


Same way I read it as well. Thanks for being brave enough to say something.

So brave to... make... a post.. to MetaTalk.

Ah, what heroism.
posted by xmutex


When the boy's club makes a snarky comment to anything you post - yeah, sometimes you do have to be brave to post.
posted by agregoli at 1:43 PM on September 14, 2006


"Well, congrats boys. Glad you solved that."
That was inappropriate.


Personally, I thought it was hilarious. But then, I'm a card-carrying disgrace to the pro-choice movement.
posted by languagehat at 1:55 PM on September 14, 2006


!

Wait a minute!

mea culpa means "my fault?"

I thought it was latin for "simmer down!"
posted by The Confessor at 4:46 PM on September 14, 2006


They issue cards for that?
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 4:55 PM on September 14, 2006

Personally, I thought it was hilarious. But then, I'm a card-carrying disgrace to the pro-choice movement.
You too?

*secret handshake*
posted by scrump at 5:27 PM on September 14, 2006


« Older jonmc and pips getting married in Las Vegas.   |   Can we link the FAQ from the header? Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments