"...it's not the training to be mean but the training to be kind that is used to keep us leashed best." ~ Black Dog Red

"In case you haven't recognized the trend: it proceeds action, dissent, speech." ~ davidly, on how wars get done

"...What sort of meager, unerotic existence must a man live to find himself moved to such ecstatic heights by the mundane sniping of a congressional budget fight. The fate of human existence does not hang in the balance. The gods are not arrayed on either side. Poseiden, earth-shaker, has regrettably set his sights on the poor fishermen of northern Japan and not on Washington, D.C. where his ire might do some good--I can think of no better spot for a little wetland reclamation project, if you know what I mean. The fight is neither revolution nor apocalypse; it is hardly even a fight. A lot of apparatchiks are moving a lot of phony numbers with more zeros than a century of soccer scores around, weaving a brittle chrysalis around a gross worm that, some time hence, will emerge, untransformed, still a worm." ~ IOZ

Apr 14, 2011

Abortion Post

In a report which swoons very little, and is far more serious than its usual fashion liberal fare:

"...This is a big jump, and it says that anti-abortion legislators want to be very active on this issue and they have some momentum,' Elizabeth Nash, a public policy associate at the Guttmacher Institute, told HuffPost. 'They used to chip away at Roe v. Wade, and now they're hacking away at it with a cleaver.'

More than 120 bills limiting abortion rights have been approved by at least one chamber of the legislature so far, and the 15 bills that enacted into law include a bill in Utah that limits abortion coverage in all private health plans and laws in Utah and Virginia that require their health departments to develop new regulations governing abortion clinics.

Some states are making it exponentially more difficult, both financially and psychologically, for a woman to have an abortion. In South Dakota, a woman now has to wait at least 72 hours after seeking an abortion to have the actual procedure and is legally required to obtain counseling from a 'crisis pregnancy center' -- which are unregulated by the state and have the explicit goal of talking women out of abortions -- before having the procedure.

South Dakota has also mandated that the physician performing the abortion counsel the patient in person about the health risk factors relating to abortion prior to her 72-hour waiting period. This limitation, in a rural state like South Dakota with very few abortion providers, can put an unnecessary burden on low-income women trying to balance work and childcare.

'In South Dakota, there's one provider and he flies in once a week, so in practice what would happen is that a woman would go on a Saturday or a Friday, get the counseling, and then have to wait at least a week for the provider to come back,' said Nash. 'They're saying the three day waiting period is no big deal, but it is, particularly for women who aren't well off and can't take off work and have to deal with childcare. A lot of burdens are placed on a woman when she has to make these two trips.'

In addition to imposing pre-abortion waiting periods, legislators in 13 states have introduced laws forcing women to obtain an ultrasound procedure before having an abortion. Bills in seven of those states -- Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky, Montana, Ohio, Rhode Island and Texas -- would require the woman view the fetus and hear a detailed verbal description of it before undergoing the mandatory waiting period.

'This bill just allows them to see the child inside of them, so it's not just out of sight, out of mind,' said Alabama State Sen. Clay Scofield (R-Albertville). 'It's critical in their decision-making process.'

Conservatives are also trying to impose gestational limits on abortions at an unprecedented rate, according to the Guttmacher report. Legislators in 17 states have introduced 35 measures patterned on a 2010 Nebraska law that bans abortion at 20 weeks, based on the presumption that a fetus feels pain at that point. Two of those measures would ban abortions beginning at 18 weeks..."

As this process accelerates, and as more and more legislatures are captured by zealots masquerading as small or responsible government activists, it will be just, moral and right to provide cheap, reliable, safe and secret abortions to any woman who wants one, for whatever reason, and for no other reason than she wants one. Especially if it breaks a law to do so.

These laws can only be enforced on women. Granted, some men who help them might be charged and prosecuted as conspirators or abettors, but the law is written deliberately to create a legal category of punishment and constraint for only one kind of person. For women.

As I wrote a year or so ago:

No woman exists with exact identity to any other woman. Not one. Not every woman possesses a uterus. No woman occupies the exact space, time or personhood of any other. The category "woman," like any other fiction, serves a communicative need, but does not express a [perfectly applicable]* universal condition. But, enough women have a uterus, that the possession of one (if we can really treat any organ as a "possession") approaches the norm.

Not every man exists with exact identity...yadda yadda yadda. Most men get by without a uterus. Enough that any given man not having a uterus approaches the norm.

Women have wombs, men don't. Against some allegedly universal standard (person, human, citizen) women and men fail to measure up as functionally equal (or, identical, level). Women and men have different [generally physical]* genders.

(Caveat: I don't hold any position which follows from gender difference to subservience of one gender to another.)

A person enforcing a law defining how a woman "uses" her uterus cannot apply that force equally to both a man and a woman, cannot treat the law as a universal, because nearly one half of any group of subjects or citizens lacks the organ in question.

Because [this sort of law] applies only to women, [and] can only apply to women.

In applying the law, enforcement erases the presuppositions (any chance, really) of  "equality before the law." Or, in other words, any law requiring women to use their wombs in any manner at all necessarily treats with women as unequal to men, before the law. It isolates women as possessing generative organs in need of regulation, in relation to men who have generative organs which don't require regulation.

Let's repeat: it creates an enforceable inequity. Not the functional non-equality** of variation, such that men and women have physiological differences, discussed above.  A very different sort of inequality. One which sets up women as subjects of enforcement never applied to men.

* - as loosely defined by generative organs. This does not address, and is not intended to address, the feeling, experience of or identification with a gender, as a position on a range of possibilities of sexual and emotional self, nor the social construction of "gender norms."

** - or, less clumsily, non-identity...


Anonymous said...

It can only be enforced against women because of a fluke (?) of biology.

It's not unequal protection. Men do not have a uterus nor fallopian tubes and do not carry blastocysts, blastomeres, fetuses or little humans.

If you believe abortion approximates murder, then you seek to punish the murderer.

It's not about gender-control. It's about abortion, and whether it's considered a moral solution to unwanted (sic) pregnancies.

If you wanted to discuss the gender angle, you could approach the subject of why a woman can use a man's penis to impregnate herself, and then unilaterally dispose of the pregnancy.

Last I checked, a man had to be involved somewhere in the pregnancy. Humans aren't hermaphroditic, sexual reproduction wise.

Jack Crow said...


We will continue to disagree on this topic, because a law which criminalizes abortion does not criminalize the impregnation of a woman, it penalizes her decision to arrest that impregnation at an early state in order to terminate her pregnancy.

Abortion laws do not address copulation. They say nothing about how a woman comes to be pregnant.

They only address the condition of her uterus after she is pregnant. No man is pregnant for any woman. No man has a mystical attachment or claim to a pregnant woman's uterus, or the contents there within.

The act of copulation with a woman does not confer veto power over a woman's decision to possess her self, her uterus, or how she treats with her body. At no point during an act of copulation does a woman hand away any of her organs for the future dispensation or control of a man, or men.

In fact, the act of copulation confers exactly no rights to any man.

It provides him, generously, with a respite from masturbation.

Anonymous said...

Do you want laws regulating copulation?

If not, then why is the argument about copulation regulation not a red herring?

I don't know what you say you're disagreeing with me about. What have I said that is wrong? Disagreeable? Factually erroneous?

Anonymous said...


I think we already have laws regarding copulation... the "statutory rape" infraction is all about copulation.

Also it seems that the line on post-adulthood copulation regulation was crossed and then erased back during the SCOTUS's consideration of Loving v Virginia.


I think if you wish to stake out a position that paints me as immoral or sexist, you need to be more specific and less general... that is, if your plan is to be honest.

Jack Crow said...


Rape laws address copulation, but they do not specifically address the copulation which leads to each and every pregnancy. They address copulation which is proscribed, for reasons which have nothing to do with any impregnation that may or may not follow from forbidden or involuntary sex acts.

I'm not making a case for any law. In fact, I'm (as usual) arguing for the breaking of them.

That argument, in this instance, does depend upon the recognition that abortion laws criminalize the use of the uterus. Since only women have uteri, it criminalizes women. Abortion laws can only be enforced upon women.

I'm not making that argument to paint you as a sexist, Karl. I'm making that argument because abortion laws are sexist.

That you don't personally approve of abortion may give some indication of your opinion about the beginning of membership in the human race - but I don't conclude from it that you are a sexist.

Please, friend, don't read me wrong here.

Anonymous said...

Okay, perhaps I did read you wrongly. Perhaps.

1) "My body, my rights" arguments make it all about the woman. Why wouldn't an abortion law therefore follow the same logic?

2) There's a difference between "sexist" with nefarious intent (to discriminate in areas where there ARE NO gender-based differences) and legitimate intent.

3) The reason it focuses on the uterus is because the uterus is where the baby resides! It's not because it's planning to control women's uteri. Jesus! How can you not see this? If it were about controlling the uterus it would be a blanket proscription for women to use their uteri in any way not approved by ...for example... Jerry Falwell. But that's not what abortion laws do, is it?

Inflaming "sexism" arguments where they really don't exist is no more genuine than Al Sharpton seeing racism where it doesn't exist. You cheapen the gender focus argument when you raise it in an area where the thing HAS TO BE gender-focused.

How else could it be? Assuming one wants to stop abortions, how else would one proceed?

I just don't see the argument being anything other than baiting the accusation of "SEXIST!" It reads and smells like something from Shakesville. Normally you're not that sloppy, so I assume you're either provoking intentionally, or ... confused? The latter isn't typical, so I go with the former.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

2) There's a difference between "sexist" with nefarious intent (to discriminate in areas where there ARE NO gender-based differences) and legitimate intent.

Did you you just say legitimate intent, Karl?

Where's your evidence for this?

Anonymous said...

Oh great. Now I'm being accused of saying what YOU wanted me to say, rather than what I said.

Did I say there is a SPECIFIC ABORTION LAW that has "legitimate intent"?


Please read clearly.

Anonymous said...

Let me be more clear, for those who are inclined to use their preconceptions and inherent bias to wrongly read my posts.

* There is legitimate intent to make a gender-based distinction, statutorily, when the gender is a real dividing point. This is a GENERAL STATEMENT about jurisprudence, and not a specific approval of any particular gender-oriented law or regulation.

* In the case of laws which aim to protect a fetus or developing human embryo, it makes sense to focus on the woman's uterus because THAT IS WHERE THE DEVELOPING EMBRYO IS LOCATED. Where else would you focus? On the garbage collector's discarded condom? The auto mechanic's underwear? The undertaker's kid gloves?

* If a law aims to prevent abortions then it must focus on the woman who would get the abortion.

* If one doesn't want laws then obviously the whole situation is moot. A fully voluntary society with no laws or regulations would never have this issue. It may, however, have a pile of fetal corpses that stink mightily.

Anonymous said...

clarifying one of the points above:

* If a law aims to prevent abortions because it is trying to protect the developing human embryo/fetus, then it must focus on the woman who would get the abortion.


Alternatively one could imagine a law that makes performing abortions, or participating in such procedures indirectly (assisting, enabling), a crime. Or in some really bizarre twist on (or perhaps inevitable outgrowth of) capitalism, a civil wrong that is somehow compensable with monetary damages.

Such a law would not be about protecting the fetal/embryonic human, but instead would be about the procedure.


Imagine a culture where female genitalia mutilation happens regularly because the men in the society want it to happen. The society changes to the point where a majority agree, women should not be subjected to genital mutilation.

If addressed by law or regulation, the law or regulation would have to focus on the woman's genitals in some way, at least as the object protected, if nothing else.

Would that be a "sexist" matter?

Would it be unfair gender discrimination?

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Did I say there is a SPECIFIC ABORTION LAW that has "legitimate intent"?


Thanks. What was your point, again?

Jack Crow said...


At the risk of opacity, I'm simply suggesting that abortion laws cannot be enforced against men because men don't have uteri. That seems fairly apparent to me. This doesn't have anything to do with apprehensions of sexism or your personally held conviction that abortion kills a human person (IIRC, that is what you elsewhere wrote. If I'm wrong, my apologies).

Since I see no particular reason to believe that a fetus is a person, I have no obligation to accept any framing of the abortion debate as a contest between competing persons, and their allegedly conflicting interests. The woman with the uterus is the only integral, actual, existential person as far as I see it.

I understand that others disagree, and they are at liberty to never, ever contract for abortion services.

Where they go wrong, in my humble opinion, is in inviting the state to pass laws which can only be enforced against women because only women have the ability to have the medical procedure in question.

Seen another way, if vasectomies were criminalized, out of some Restorationist Christer urge to beget more angry White Christians, then the enforcement of the related laws could only be applied to men, and would be in their construction and application utterly sexist.

The law which penalizes a woman for an abortion, or seeks to prevent or limit her ability to get one, discriminates exclusively upon the (criminalized) use of an organ men do not possess.

This has no analog with rape, or laws which prohibit or punish rape, because rape is a sexual act which does not require any specific gender or generative organ in order for it to be criminalized. A woman can rape another woman, a child, or a man - and be charged and prosecuted accordingly.

And while I don't believe law or prosecution are solutions, in the short or long terms, because of the consequences of the monopolization of punishment, there are nonetheless qualitative differences between laws which penalize rape and laws which penalize abortion, because laws which punish or limit abortion are written and constructed around the disposition of a particularly and exclusively female organ, the uterus.

Anonymous said...

Thanks. What was your point, again?

I bet that felt mighty superior.


Although, if I may be so bold as to make a suggestion: You should be a bit more courageous, and stop using snarky implication. Try speaking plainly about what you really think regarding my position. Spell it out, the whole caricature you've created and dismissed with Superior Progressive Haughtiness... please, please, please do that for me.




With all due respect -- which respect is withering to nil by this point, after reading your comments and original post -- you aren't making a single lick of sense.

You sound like JRB. You sound like an Attention Grabbing Woman-Defender.

And calling a human fetus not human, that's hilarious. What is it? A lizard? A bird? A dinosaur?

The number of bloggers who have a consistency of position is shrinking to a very small handful. The number appearing lately to be astroturfers is growing daily.

Nice work.

Jack Crow said...

I don't mind the animosity, Karl, but you are wrong about my consistency of position. This has been my position for much longer than I've written and published for the four people who regularly read my blegh. And for as long as I've been writing it, it's been the argument I've always made. I quoted the argument I made a year ago. The same argument I'm making today.

Abortion laws do not criminalize testicles. They criminalize uteri.

And for clarity's sake - I did not make an argument about the genetic species of a fetus. I stated that I don't believe it is a human person.

When my very first girlfriend had a miscarriage, she certainly miscarried genetically human material. It just wasn't a person. When my first son's mother got an abortion* (after losing almost thirty pounds in her first three months of pregnancy) at almost the same stage of pregnancy, she did not end a person's existence in order to literally save her own life. She ended a pregnancy.

* - at the abortion clinic Salvi shot up, just days before he shot it up.

Anonymous said...

I'm talking about consistency of moral position, Jack.

Not inconsistency in your position on abortion.

Which suggests a new point here: If you never have held firm beliefs on both sides of the equation, on what ground do you hold the present (always) belief? What basis?

On what ground do you say a human embryo is not human?

Quibbling over personhood is escapism, which you know, I'm sure. You sound like Holmes in Buck v Bell. Who made you the arbiter of human personhood? Why are you empowered to define it? Why can't you yield to the possibility that is indicated, on all 4 corners from biology, genetics and other scientific evidence, that the fetus is a human person?

What makes a person?

I don't think you're talking about that. Not even close. You're assuming it's done, a done deal.

I say you're wrong, and rather than show me you're right, you'll just say I'm wrong and you're right and we disagree.

Which isn't impressive, nor persuasive. And in some ways, it's disingenuine... or timid.

Because you know, there's no reason to be "polite" (euphemistic sense) with me.


The If Person,

You should try reading this, before you go off assuming idiotic things again:


Jack Crow said...

And astroturfing? Really? You think I'm being paid by some conglomerate of abortion providers?

I don't have enough snark left in me, tonight, to properly dismiss "Attention Grabbing Woman Defender."

I'm just pointing out that (a) abortion criminalizes uteri, not testicles and that (b) I think it is a moral right to break any and all abortion laws, especially in a climate of expanding Christer control of state legislatures.

When I made good money, I was relatively well known as a person who would help poor or abused women get abortions. People knew where my store was and that I could be counted on to raise the money for women who could not afford abortions. I never asked why, because it was never my business to know why.

I faced down one angry godfuck who, in a pique of ironic deliciosity, threatened to murder me where I stood because his punching bag wasn't going to be bringing into existence his future child support obligation, anymore.

A good day, that. He lost his punching bag and his reason to stay in town. Sadly, some poor girl in Arizona or Utah probably fell for his guise and ended up bearing him a reason to blame her for his impotency and failure as a man.

This has been what I believe and where I put my money for a very, very long time.

If NH's Christer shitheads ever pass laws restricting abortion again, I will find a way to make it my mission once more.


There's no right or wrong to personal opinions about abortion. If you don't like 'em, you never have to get one. That's not me being polite or wishy washy. That's me telling you what I feel, and with no particular urge or need to be a douche about it.

If someone thinks abortion is evil, that someone never has to be involved in the process in any way, if he or she doesn't want to.

It is wrong, on the other hand, to pass laws which force women to use their uteri under compulsion or threat of punishment. And I've been saying that for the entirety of this discussion.


I absolutely am at liberty to decide that I don't think a blastocyst is a person. I have the absolute freedom to decide for myself that a fetus is not a person. I'm not the arbiter of anything, nonetheless. I'm not swinging a gavel, sitting a bench, filing a brief, wielding a baton, making an arrest or writing legislation which will please shit bum Christofascist asshats.

They're the arbiters.

Mandos said...

The whole line of argument is designed to separate the fetus from the context of the woman, but if it were so, it would not be a fetus...

That line of argument against abortion is pretty ahistorical, for one thing.

Anonymous said...

Ah yes. So I'm a Christofascist, and the only way to see a human fetus as a human being is to be a Christofascist.

That's some nifty thinking right there.

All life is sacred, unless the woman regrets the fuck and the pregnancy, in which case it's not a life... it's just a tumor that needs to be cut out.


Got it.

Let's go kill some ragheads, because I want some fucking OIL, dude. They're expendable because they inconvenience me! That makes them NOT HUMAN!

Semper fidelis!

(but fidelity to... what, exactly?)

Abortion is a swell form of birth control. It almost makes it fun to skip the condom, spermicide, IUD, diaphragm, withdrawal, etc. Let's be spontaneous and skin-raw! We can always scrape the little bugger from the cave walls!

Anonymous said...

PS: re astroturfing:

the equation of favoring prohibition on abortion with Christofascism...

pure partisan pissery.

Tony Podesta says thank you.

Jack Crow said...

Since you are not a Christofascist elected to the NH state house, I could not possibly have been referring to you.

Nor did I argue that "every person who disagrees with abortion" = "Christofascist."

I very clearly referenced people with the ability to make law.

Please, Oxtrot, try to argue this in good faith. I've given you that benefit, from day one.


As for convenience and inconvenience, I don't care why a woman wants an abortion. I do think "convenient" or "inconvenient" have fuck all to do with it. She can have a different lover ever hour of the day for a whole week; or she can decide that she doesn't want to give birth because her husband was just diagnosed with potentially fatal cancer. The reason does not matter.

In fact, the "convenience" argument smacks of sex shaming, as if lovers have any moral obligations to society beyond those they offer to each other.

I don't believe they do, and it would follow then that I'm not likely to draw any conclusions about "convenience" as compared to the alleged rectitude of imaginary women and men who do the right thing because social mores compel them to be upright abstainers from reprobate ease and pleasure.

As casual birth control or a painful decision, it does not matter to me.

It matters that abortion law punishes the use of a uterus outside of proscribed limits, proscriptions almost exclusively written (in our age) by hypocritical Christer closet cases, cheaters, wife beaters and gropers.

As it equally matters that this is what all law does - compel the constraining use of self to the advantage of those who run the show. Drug laws. Sex laws. Property laws. Marriage laws. Abortion laws.

Jack Crow said...


Post that again, and I will delete it again. Which will make it only the second time I've ever deleted something from my blog that wasn't an advert for clothing or jewelry.

davidly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Karl Franz Ochstradt said...

"Thanks. What was your point, again?"

I bet that felt mighty superior.


No, Karl, I meant that I don't understand your point.

If I had to guess:

There is some validity to focusing on ladyparts, if one were to assume that said abortion-hating focusers were not a pack of Christopath mysogynists or users of same.

However, Karl will not make this assumption.

That is why I asked, "What is your point?"

Gabriel said...

Mr. Crow,
Like Mr. Ochstradt, I believe that a fetus has a right to live. I understand that not everyone in shares this opinion, and so there will be disagreement. What he objects to, rightly, is the implication that we hold our opinion due to base motives.

I think he's off base equating support for abortion with militarism, not because I think abortion is less evil, but because of the accusation of inconsistency presumes shared beliefs about the unborn.

However, your gleeful bragging about assisting women in getting abortions is nauseating, and your anecdote about the would be father whose unborn child you helped abort is in striking bad taste. The broad brush strokes used to paint a caricature of an individual that it sounds like you had one fleeting encounter with shows a smallness of mind and character that makes me question the sincerity behind some of the moving things I've read by you in the past. The lack of empathy betrayed by that comment shows volumes.

I'm grateful for alot of the writing you and this little community does. Your work is important, and much of your message has value. But I believe you are wrong on this one.

Jack Crow said...


"Would be father"? That's what you got from that anecdote?

The shitbum was beating his girlfriend. She didn't want to give birth to her own leash.

That's not a caricature. That's a dude who punched his girlfriend in the face because she wouldn't give him a blowjob. What she should have done was stab him dead. Anything short of that was an act of generosity to which he was not entitled. Up to and most certainly including aborting "his kid."

Your nausea has nothing to do with it. Nor does my statement about the absolute self-possession of a uterus make my (admittedly limited) opinions otherwise suspect.

I will "gleefully" help any woman terminate any pregnancy for any reason, or no reason, on principle alone.

If that nauseates or frustrates a man who thinks that an organ he does not have ought to be regulated for the sake of imaginary creatures and imaginary gods, all the better.

As Mandos wrote, and aptly, treating the contents of the uterus as separate from the woman to whom that uterus belongs ignores the woman entirely.

Jack Crow said...

What he objects to, rightly, is the implication that we hold our opinion due to base motives.

Nope. What you're doing is taking a comment about Christer lawmakers and acting as it applies to you.

Gabriel said...

I'll grant that it sounds like you knew more about the situation of the guy than I took from the comment. I may have been distracted by the glee.

What is interesting is that you so decisively reject any argument about the humanity of the unborn. In your world, where does authority come from if not from social convention, general humanity? And make no mistake, in your world there is authority. Right? Rape is still wrong. Wage slavery is wrong. Is your world governed by your personal preference?

If you base your argument on the impossibility of inconveniencing both sexes equally with a law, your fight is not with anything man made but with biology. It is a mighty adversary you strive against, and I wish you well.

Cüneyt said...

Mr. Crow, I agree with you practically, though on your principle I may disagree. Anti-abortion laws are not wrong because they target women rather than men because of uteri etc... I say that they are wrong because they limit a woman's choice, but they are no more woman-specific than speed limits are car-owner-specific or laws against abandonment are parent-and-guardian-specific.

I agree that anti-abortion laws are often motivated by, or embody, misogyny etc., but anyway, that's my nitpick.

Jack Crow said...

Can an anti-abortion law be enforced on a man?


Therefore, they are woman-specific.

Cüneyt said...

Can a crime against murder be enforced on an invalid?


d.mantis said...

The snark and the straying from good faith arguments aside, I value this discussion between u and Karl immensely. You are two bloggers out of the dwindling circle that i follow dogmatically.

Unfortunately for Karl, biology, genetics, morphogenics and developmental biology are severly silent on the subject. They deal with chemical and cellular processes, not when and if "life" begins. So that argument is moot.

There are theories for the emergence of complex neural networks developing naturally from the state of reaction within a chaotic set. However, this is far from an answer as to when the collection of cells responding to the local environment of a uterus crosses a threshold into a cognitively seperate entity.

IMO therefore, the criminalization of abortion must then concentrate on intent. As the only actor in the 'crime', I have found discussions against abortion cneter on the woman's intent being always assumed to be flippant, negligent or downright insidious.

This is what I find so sexist about the discussion.

Let me again say that the discussion has been great!

d.mantis said...

*morphogenetics...(Sorry, thinking more quickly than typing.)