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July 19, 2004

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» Recommended Reading from annika's journal
i'm trying to be a responsible employee and stay off MT this morning. So, i'll just recommend two very interesting takes by two very interesting liberal bloggers who can sometimes throw a curveball. Hugo Schwyzer on the Amy Richards abortions.... [Read More]

» When Is An Abortion Okay, and Who Gets To Decide? from Trish Wilson's Blog
I generally don't let to get involved in abortion debates because they tend to devolve into pissing matches between people who throw terms like "baby-killer" and "save-the-fetus Nazi" at each other. However, Amy Richards' story caught my attention. Ric... [Read More]

» When Is An Abortion Okay, and Who Gets To Decide? from Trish Wilson's Blog
I generally don't let to get involved in abortion debates because they tend to devolve into pissing matches between people who throw terms like "baby-killer" and "save-the-fetus Nazi" at each other. However, Amy Richards' story caught my attention. Ric... [Read More]

» amy richards, and being pro-choice from No Fancy Name
I've had this story nagging at me for the last week or so, because it raised all sorts of issues that, to be honest, I never have to deal with....but I couldn't get it out of my head. [Read More]

Comments

Brian

I believe we men that oppose abortion need to convince other men that being "supportive" does not mean paying for the abortion. That is not "being responsible." I'm not sure how to do it though...

Xrlq

I don't know what increased male responsibility would be. If Amy the Killer had wanted to keep all three kids while her boyfriend wanted 2 of the snuffed to keep his child support payments down, he'd have had no say in the matter whatsoever. Nor should he, for that matter.

blackkoffeeblues

Just a quick question, Hugo...so do you mean to say that the teaching of women to not "rely on a man" is negative thing? I'm not challenging you, I'm must asking for a little more Hugo-thought on the statement.

DJW

Hugo, agreed wholeheartedly on the male responsibility problem, but I think we need to clearly distinguish between actual male irresponsibility like Amy's father's abandonment, and what Peter does in this story. If you are committed to seeing both sides, here, you need to think about the nasty insinuations you direct toward Peter. The fact is, for many of us on the pro-choice side of things, abortion is not the moral equivalent of ending a human life. I've no intention of getting into the scientific/theological debates about that, but that's where I stand. I am entirely commited to doing my part, should the situation arise, to not contribute to the male irresponsibility that has manifested itself in numerous ways in our society. But to people with my views on abortion, that is largely irrelevent to the question at hand. Depending on your views on abortion, one thing doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the other.

It's a huge, huge gap that separates us on this issue and I appreciate your effort to see both sides.

Hugo

Dear Black Coffee:

I did post a bit about that in my "I'm Going to Lose my Feminist Credentials Again" post on the right side of the page... I will post more about it soon.

elizabeth

Hugo - I found both posts interesting, although I don't necessarily agree with you on either of them. I was extremely disturbed by the article, as I cannot imagine being in such a situation. I would try to stick it out, I guess. But I do believe that it was her choice. She is the one who is going to raise the kid. How she is going to be able to tell her child what she did to his siblings, I don't know.

The lack of a father didn't really strike me as a reason for her choosing to do as she did, although she did seem to make this decision on her own, without her boyfriend's real input.

I just don't know.

d-rod

This story reminded me of a once beautiful woman I knew.

About ten years ago, this friend and co-worker (who wanted a baby very badly) finally got prego. She was in a relationship with the father for over a year but they were not planning to marry anytime soon. Anyway, she found out that they were going to have twins and freaked out a bit. With the high cost of living in SF and all, they mutually decided on this selective abortion procedure to keep only one. Well, she ended up losing both and was so distraught went into a major depression. Then the Doc told her she would never again be able to conceive.

I have pretty much lost touch with her, but I hear she is still not doing too well. Very sad.

elizabeth

wow, d-rod, that's extremely sad. Thanks for sharing.

Michelle

It strikes me that this is also very much as class issue, as opposed to strictly a gender one. We should challenge ourselves as a society to question why it is considered "lowbrow" to have more than one or two kiddos in some circles.

Pip

While this story doesn't make me waver in my support for abortion rights, it does make me want to reconsider the label "pro-choice". The values that are important to me as a progressive (and that make me pro-abortion-as-an-option) are things like justice, equality, empowerment, and respect. "Choice," on the other hand, is a word most at home in the mouths of neo-liberals and free market visionaries -- those who offer us (in global terms, the tiny, fortunate minority) the vision of leading entirely self-fashioned, customized lives. Everything, from the coffee we drink and the cars we buy, to the schools we send our children to and the truths that are taught in those schools, is supposed to be a matter of individual choice. (Here in the UK, Labour and the Tories are both pushing versions of "school choice", as opposed to the more just but obviously far more expensive policy of making sure that all local schools are good.) "Choice," understood in these terms, is not the key to justice, but an evasion of what justice demands.

So, on the whole, I'm not pro-choice. And what saddens me so much about the Richards story is that it reveals an individual utterly seduced and morally degraded by the promise of the customizable life. Something needs to change so that things like this don't happen. But that "something" is both different from and deeper than the debate over abortion rights.

Robert McClelland

Fuck her! If she didn't want offspring she should have taken it up the ass!

Hank

I am a father of 2 sons. I am divorced and work 50-70 hours of overtime a week to make sure that my children and their mother have the nicest things possible. I keep myself a dead last, not necessarily liking it, but because THAT is what parents do: they take care of the family, at any personal cost. If I could afford 3 children, I would do it in a heartbeat, understanding that having even ONE child irrevocably changes your "lifestyle". Amy sickens me, showing us how jaded our society has become, where the choice to abort hinges on the amount of discomfort one is afforded by the number of offspring. I am pro-choice, and believe abortion is the decision of the person having the children. I respect her right to choose the way she did, but I DO NOT have to agree with her morally bankrupt choice. Becoming a parent IS giving up your freedom AND lifestyle..... but in a GOOD way. I see my kids 6-7 days a week and count myself lucky to do so..... so I guess I'm just not the same kind of person she is. Choice based on level of discomfort is completely ridiculous, to me. Amy, previously, had been a person who seemed semi-competent and level-headed, but she will forever (in my mind) be "the dumb bitch who aborted 2 of her kids because they would have cramped her style".

H-

Ashley

Bravo Hank....

But how can you be so passionate about those 2 murdered babies but yet be pro choice. The story of Ms Richards is chilling. Hearing what she was taught by her mother and having no father and her own words about never missing a father tells it ALL. If she had a loving set of parents and a father that loved her she would never have murdered those two babies.

Why in this country does a dog have more rights and protections then a unborn baby???? Abortion doesnt advance women in this country it only hurts it.

Ms. Richards needs prayer and when her child grows up and she learns her 2 siblings were brutally nmurdered by there mother what will that child think.

Chris

The horrifying aspect of this event is the precision brought to bear in making the decision. This was a business decision, pure and simple. Ms. Richards need not rationalize that decision to others. The State has already sanctioned it. The problem is that she articulated a level of emotion approaching zero--maybe more than deciding between wheat or rye, but certainly less than which carpet color for the living room. This for a process that--left to itself--
results in a human being. Some in this society are worried about this clinical detachment--the pros and cons--when discussing human life. Other States, at other times, have used this same "cost (or trouble, or annoyance) to society" in deciding who lives and dies. And this is not a slippery slope down--it is a slippery slope up. We need not search far to find State (or religious)-sanctioned disposal before. And, considering that 70% (and rapidly increasing) of the Federal budget is dedicated to Welfare, Social Security, and Healthcare; is it difficult to imagine that those with the same clinical view of life might soon make a business decision to stop supporting those that no longer provide a "positive" benefit to their society?

Dave

Amy Richards' story, "When One is Enough" (7/18/2004), about the "selective reduction" of her pregnancy with triplets, made my skin crawl. This couple didn't want to have to "start shopping only at Costco and buying big jars of mayonnaise," so they simply killed two of their three babies, to make their lives easier.

They knew exactly what they were doing. "Oh, my gosh, there are three heartbeats," she wrote. "I can't believe we're about to make two disappear." Then "a shot of potassium chloride to the hearts of" two of the three babies, administered by "the specialist" (Dr. Mengele?), and, presto change-o, the problem of triplets is solved.

This is narcissism carried to a murderous extreme: killing your own babies because they would be too much trouble to raise. To this mom, "it's all about me." More than 10% of the words in her article are "I," "me," and "my." Nothing in the world is more important to her than her own comfort and convenience, not even the lives of her own children.

Scripture says that the prince of this earth is Satan, but some Christians don't want to believe it. After reading this story, how can they not? If our society condones this, why are we shocked at middle class "prom moms" who drown their inconvenient newborns in toilets or toss them in dumpsters? Why are we shocked at anything at all?

-Dave

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