Health experts challenge coerced-abortion laws
On a Friday morning in September 2005, 22-year-old Brittany Wilson sat in a Planned Parenthood clinic a mile away from her home in Sioux Falls, S.D., and bawled her eyes out.
Ten days before, she had called the clinic to schedule an abortion. Three days before her appointment, she had called back to listen to some state-mandated information about the risks of abortion and her legal rights. And moments before, she had driven to the clinic alone and paid $447. But she was crying, she would later say, because she did not want this abortion.
The Planned Parenthood staffer whose job it was to make sure this abortion was voluntary and informed noticed Brittany’s distress and asked her if she had considered adoption. Brittany said she did not “want to do that.”
Through the staffer, the doctor told Brittany she didn’t have to have the abortion that day. Brittany said, “I’m alright,” and went out to lunch.
Later that day, a doctor vacuumed out her 7-week-old embryo*.
In the months and years that followed, Brittany would say in federal court that her boyfriend had forced her to have an abortion she didn’t want. She blamed Planned Parenthood for letting it happen. Brittany did not sue the abortion provider, but testified in defense of a 2005 state law requiring abortion providers to inform clients of certain state-determined risks of abortion — some of which are disputed by mainstream scientific organizations — including the claim that abortion puts women at higher risk for depression and suicide. (The legal challenge over the 2005 law was finally resolved this year, with all of the controversial provisions being upheld on appeal.)
In her testimony – given during a deposition under oath and later in a handwritten declaration – Brittany asserted that Planned Parenthood had not given her enough information to help her make an informed decision. She also said that after her abortion, she had an emotional breakdown and started drinking heavily; she indicated that she had already been taking medicine to treat depression before the abortion.
Brittany’s story is again being used in federal court — this time to defend a South Dakota law that addresses the issue of coerced abortion. Anti-abortion advocates have claimed that coerced abortion has reached crisis levels in the United States, despite a lack of scientific evidence showing that to be the case. The law – pieces of which went into effect in July – is part of a national legislative trend pushed by anti-abortion leaders, which in large part relies on the testimony of women who regret their abortions.
This year alone, at least 11 states have considered abortion bills that deal with coercion, according to Americans United for Life, an anti-abortion policy group in Washington, D.C. AUL specializes in anti-abortion model legislation and has developed an anti-coercion bill, titled “Coercive Abuse Against Mothers Prevention Act.”
Often, anti-coercion policies are introduced as part of a package of restrictions and regulations and either dictate that an abortion provider must screen women for coercion, as in the case of a recently passed law in Wisconsin, or that an abortion provider must post signs in abortion clinic waiting rooms saying that it is illegal for anyone to pressure a woman into having an abortion, as in the case of a new law in Arizona. An omnibus anti-abortion bill in Michigan, which would enact similar coercion-related policies, passed the state House earlier this year and is now being considered by the state Senate.
South Dakota’s new law, which was passed last year and modified this year, goes far beyond simply mandating that the abortion doctor screen for coercion. If the law survives the legal challenge, women will have to wait 72 hours after they schedule the abortion, meaning they will have to make two trips to the state’s only abortion clinic in Sioux Falls, which provides abortions once a week on average. During that waiting period, women will have to submit to an interview at one of three state-sanctioned “pregnancy help centers,” all of which are faith-based and are vocally opposed to abortion. The point of this interview, as stated in the bill, is so the pregnancy help center can “discuss [the pregnant woman’s] circumstances that may subject her to coercion.” Additionally, the pregnancy help centers can use the interview as an opportunity to “inform the pregnant mother … what counseling, education, and assistance that is available to the pregnant mother to help her maintain her relationship with her unborn child.”
Some of these new anti-coercion laws, including South Dakota’s, contain provisions making it easier to sue abortion doctors for failing to adequately screen for coercion.
Supporters of anti-coercion abortion bills argue that these policies are meant to protect women. But critics claim that – like laws that single out abortion clinics by imposing difficult-to-meet construction requirements – anti-coercion policies are really meant to make accessing abortion more complicated in the short term, and illegal in the long term.
The South Dakota lawmaker behind the state’s new anti-coercion abortion law and the 2005 informed-consent abortion law told The American Independent that the underlying intention of these bills was to create a legal framework for more abortion restrictions.
“This law, and even the 2005 law, basically legally speaking, this doesn’t deal with the same legal theories that Roe v. Wade dealt with,” Rep. Roger Hunt (R-Brandon) said. “This presents brand-new legal arguments … relative to abortions. The basic idea is that these laws would allow the Supreme Court to give states the right to adopt similar legislation.”
Legal scholars, such as Yale University law professor Reva Siegel, have described the rationale underpinning these types of laws as the “woman-protective” anti-abortion argument. Siegel, who has written extensively about anti-coercion efforts in South Dakota and elsewhere, observed in a 2008 Duke Law Journal article that the anti-abortion movement has begun to “supplant the constitutional argument ‘Abortion kills a baby’ with a new claim ‘Abortion hurts women.’”
Anti-coercion or anti-abortion?
Many public-health professionals who support abortion rights oppose these types of abortion laws because they say anti-coercion policies that single out abortion sidestep the broader issue of domestic and sexual violence, which many believe is the root of coercion.
Dr. Elizabeth Miller, a medical doctor and associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh, has been researching domestic and sexual violence issues for more than 20 years. She told TAI that while her research has uncovered some evidence of coerced abortion, there is not enough data to show it being a pervasive problem.
What the data shows, she said, is that sexual coercion – women being forced into sexual activity – is a pervasive problem. She said that sexual coercion often leads to unwanted pregnancies, followed by abusive partners trying to control the outcome of the pregnancy, be it by trying to force the woman to continue with the pregnancy or to abort. Reproductive coercion can take the form of men sabotaging their partners’ birth control methods or otherwise forcibly impregnating them.
Very little research has been done exclusively on coerced abortions, and Miller told TAI there is not enough data to compare the rates of forced pregnancies and forced abortions.
A 2010 study co-authored by Miller surveyed approximately 1,300 men recruited from three community health centers in lower-income Boston-area neighborhoods. About 32 percent of participants reported having perpetrated physical or sexual violence against a female partner; 33 percent reported having been involved in a pregnancy that ended in abortion; 8 percent reported having at one point sought to prevent a female partner from seeking abortion; and 4 percent reported having at one point “sought to compel” a female partner to seek an abortion.
“Coerced abortion is a very small piece of the puzzle of a much larger problem, which is violence against women and the impact it has on her health,” Miller said. “To focus on the minutia of coerced abortion really takes away from the really broad problem of domestic violence.”
Jay Silverman, a professor of medicine and global health at the University of California at San Diego, told TAI that recent laws addressing coerced abortion are nothing more than anti-abortion laws that have been “barely dressed up” as public-health policies intended to protect women.
“It’s not that [coerced abortions] could not exist,” said Silverman, who frequently collaborates with Miller and coauthored the 2010 study. “It’s that the issue is to assist women by working to help identify instances of domestic violence. … In the climate where there is so much political hostility related to women’s reproductive rights, [singling out abortion] really inhibits a comprehensive agenda from being established.”
‘Abortion is not an option’
In the years since her abortion, Brittany Weston (she has since married) has given birth to a child and now lives in Yankton, S.D. Weston says it was her former boyfriend, Joe (an alias), who, in her words, “pressured” her into having the abortion seven years ago. In a declaration dated July 1, 2011, Weston wrote, “If the Planned Parenthood counselors had any interest in determining that I was being forced to have an abortion, I would not have had an abortion and would have my child today.” And when she testified in favor of South Dakota’s new coercion law at a state House Judiciary Committee hearing (minute 22:13) in February 2011, she said: “I wanted Planned Parenthood to rescue me from the man who was forcing me to have an abortion. All they did was his bidding.”
Weston has said that from February to May 2006, she attended a post-abortion therapy program at the Alpha Center, a crisis pregnancy center in Sioux Falls. In April 2006, about a year after Planned Parenthood’s South Dakota affiliate filed a lawsuit against the state’s just-passed informed-consent abortion law, Weston was called as a witness by the counsel representing two CPCs (known in South Dakota as “pregnancy help centers”). The Alpha Center and Care Net Pregnancy Resource Center in Rapid City had entered the case as “intervenors” – meaning that alongside the defendants, these centers could take discovery and question witnesses. Those very same centers are once again intervenors in the current lawsuit.
Based on the two sworn affidavits Weston submitted in both lawsuits and a deposition she gave in the first lawsuit, this is what Weston says happened:
In July 2005, Weston had nearly completed her college degree and had started dating Joe, who was 41 years old, had two kids, and worked as a therapist counseling adolescent children. Two months later, when she was about to start a new full-time job, Weston discovered she was pregnant. The way she tells it, “I quickly told the nurse [at a local health clinic] in a forceful manner that ‘abortion is not an option.’”
When she later asked Joe for his emotional and financial support, she says he told her, “We can’t have a kid.” He said he didn’t want to pay child support for a third child, and for reasons that are not explained in Weston’s testimony, she says Joe told her that if she had the baby and it became known that he was the father, he would lose his job.
“At no time did I ever want an abortion,” she wrote in her initial affidavit, dated May 16, 2006. “Joe wanted me to have one. When I agreed to get an appointment for an abortion at Planned Parenthood, I scheduled the abortion for Joe, not for me.”
In that affidavit, she also said that when she reviewed her medical records related to the abortion, she was “surprised – even dismayed” to learn that the abortion doctor had certified that Weston had “given informed consent freely and without coercion to this abortion.”
“In fact, whatever consent, if any, was given at all, it was under pressure, against what I wanted, and it was not informed in any meaningful way,” Weston wrote.
Weston’s explanation of how Joe pressured her into having an abortion is essentially that he persuaded her, and told her to keep the pregnancy a secret. “I was very emotionally dependant on Joe and I thought I needed his approval,” she wrote.
Nowhere in either of her declarations does she allege she told any staff at Planned Parenthood that she did not want to have an abortion.
“I suspect it must be hard for others to understand this phenomenon about how I was pressured into going to Planned Parenthood’s clinic against my desires, because I struggle to understand it myself,” Weston wrote. “But my experience should be understood, not dismissed, because I am now certain it is a common experience for women. I now understand that it is common for women to have abortions they don’t want, especially when the father of their child wants it for himself.”
Is it coercion?
The original version of South Dakota’s 2011 anti-coercion law defined “coercion” very broadly.
In full, the definition read:
“Coercion,” exists if the pregnant mother has a desire to carry her unborn child and give birth, but is induced, influenced, or persuaded to submit to an abortion by another person or persons against her desire. Such inducement, influence, or persuasion may be by use of, or threat of, force, or may be by pressure or intimidation effected through psychological means, particularly by a person who has a relationship with the pregnant mother that gives that person influence over the pregnant mother.
In its initial suit against the law, South Dakota’s Planned Parenthood affiliate argued that this definition was unconstitutionally vague, and the court agreed. So in early 2012, the legislature narrowed that definition. The most controversial provisions of this law – a 72-hour pre-abortion waiting period and a mandatory interview at a state-sanctioned pregnancy help center to screen for coercion – are still blocked and under litigation, but other provisions detailing how abortion providers must now screen for coercion went into effect last month.
The state’s definition of “coercion” is now closer to the universal understanding of that word:
“Coercion,” exists if the pregnant mother is induced to consent to an abortion by any other person under circumstances, or in such a manner, which deprives her from making a free decision or exercising her free will.
But when Hunt introduced the revised bill (minute 38:55) to the state House Judiciary Committee earlier this year, he was still vague on the notion of coerced abortions, stating, “When the husband or the boyfriend or the father is sitting in the outer waiting room of the Planned Parenthood clinic, that in and of itself can easily be construed as coercion.”
Aspen Baker, the executive director of Exhale, a California-based support hotline for women who have had abortions, told TAI that she thinks there is a distinct difference between pressure and coercion when it comes to women’s decisions to abort.
“In life we feel pressure,” said Baker, who founded Exhale in 2000, a year after having an abortion and being unable to find an organization to help her deal with her sadness afterward.
“I feel pressure to eat healthy and go to the gym. Pressure is part of life and part of our work relationships and family relationships. I think of coercion as being more sinister and intentional and controlling or abusive.”
“If you’re pregnant and you don’t want to be, you feel pressured really fast to find out what you are going to do about it,” Baker continued. “There is pressure to make that decision, and not everyone navigates that pressure well. Coercion is related to violence and abuse.”
Baker’s own abortion story is in some ways similar to Weston’s, but unlike Weston, she ultimately views her abortion as a voluntary decision, albeit a difficult one.
In an interview that was uploaded to YouTube in 2009, Baker says that when she got pregnant at 23, she immediately wanted the baby, but the man who impregnated her wanted her to abort.
“It felt like one thing to become a mom, and then it was another thing to be really clear that it was going to be as a single mom,” Baker says in the video. “I decided that’s not actually what I wanted to do and not the way I wanted to become a parent and not the sort of ticket that I wanted to write to myself for the rest of my life.”
Baker, who favors abortion rights, said that Exhale’s hotline receives about 650 calls each month but that only a minority of the callers talk about coercion. More often, she said, women talk about economic pressures to abort and not having support from their partner or family to continue the pregnancy.
Asked if coerced abortion appears to be a widespread problem among the women she has talked to at Exhale, Baker said, “I would say that domestic abuse is a widespread social problem.”
For more than a year, lawmakers in South Dakota have been arguing that coerced abortions are widespread in the state. TAI reached out to several domestic violence advocates in the state, who told us that coerced abortion was not an issue they were aware of.
“In 25 years, I don’t know that I have ever heard it being reported that someone was forced to abort,” said Krista Heeren-Graber, director of the South Dakota Network Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault, based in Sioux Falls.
She said that within her network of domestic-violence counselors and shelter directors, the issue of reproductive coercion – women being coerced into having babies – has come up sometimes.
Mary Corbine, the executive director at a Rapid City women’s shelter called Working Against Violence Inc., told TAI in an email: “We serve many women whose partners do not allow them to be on birth control. I have not heard much if anything about forced abortions.”
When TAI asked South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley’s office about the prevalence of coerced abortions – and ultimately, what the new law accomplishes – a spokesperson for the attorney general’s office told us to contact Harold Cassidy, a prominent pro-life lawyer from New Jersey. Cassidy has been representing the two pregnancy help centers in the recent lawsuits over the state’s abortion laws. If the rest of the anti-coercion law goes into effect, all women seeking abortions in the state will first have to be screened for coercion by a counselor at one of his clients’ centers or a third pregnancy help center in Spearfish.
“There is no question that women are being coerced [into having abortions],” Cassidy said.
While conceding that “there aren’t any detailed studies that have tracked women coerced into having abortions in South Dakota,” Cassidy told TAI that the incidence of coerced abortion in this state, and at the national level, has reached “crisis proportions.” As evidence, he said that the 3,000-some pregnancy help centers across the country have reported vast instances of women claiming to have been coerced into having abortions.
“Abortion clinics do not do post-abortion counseling,” Cassidy said. “They create a mess, and the pregnancy help centers are cleaning it up.”
He said that through depositions taken in the lawsuit over South Dakota’s informed-consent law, testimony from Planned Parenthood directors and staff showed that “patient educators” often were not licensed counselors, and they didn’t really counsel women on their decision but instead operated under the assumption that women’s minds are made up before they come to the clinic.
Profiling Cassidy in Mother Jones last year, writer Sarah Blustain reported that Cassidy first came up with the signature concept of South Dakota’s 2005 informed-consent statute, that “abortion will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being” and that abortion terminates a pregnant woman’s “existing relationship with that unborn human being.” It’s a concept Cassidy developed in the abortion-related cases he’s tried in the past two decades, including one where a teenaged girl said her parents had coerced her into having an abortion.
Cassidy told TAI that the environment at Planned Parenthood is geared toward terminating that relationship between the pregnant woman and her unborn child. The point of first sending women to a pregnancy help center, he said, is so the center can help them ask: “Can I and do I want to keep my relationship with my child?”
Jen Aulwes, spokesperson for Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, told TAI that, under her organization’s protocol, a doctor at Planned Parenthood could not perform an abortion if the woman says she’s being forced to abort. And Cassidy pointed out that, under state law, if a doctor were to perform an abortion despite a woman’s claim of coercion, that doctor would be guilty of malpractice.
What the new law does is create a new cause of action specific to coerced abortions.
Failure to comply with the provisions in this law creates “a rebuttable presumption” (meaning a claim that defense would have to disprove) that if the pregnant mother had been informed or assessed “in accordance with the requirements of this chapter,” she would not have aborted.
In this case, it would be up to the jury to “determine whether this particular mother, if she had been given all of the information a reasonably prudent patient in her circumstance would consider significant, as well as all information required by [the law]” … would have consented to the abortion “based upon her personal background and personality, her physical and psychological condition, and her personal philosophical, religious, ethical, and moral beliefs.”
But if it is determined that the abortion was the result of coercion and that the physician was negligent in failing to discover that coercion, “there is a nonrebuttable presumption [meaning it cannot be disproved] that the mother would not have consented to the abortion if the physician had complied with the provisions.”
“What the legislature did is very fascinating,” Cassidy told TAI. “Section 61 is very sophisticated to a trial lawyer like me. … I don’t think these kinds of presumptions have been passed in other states.”
Anti-abortion advocates who insist that coerced abortion is common in the U.S. often cite testimonies like Brittany Weston’s and news reports, like those about Kermit Gosnell, the Philadelphia abortion provider who last year was charged with the murder of seven babies and a woman and was subsequently accused of violently forcing a teenager to have an abortion against her will.
A major source behind the coercion claim is the nation’s large network of crisis pregnancy centers, many of which offer post-abortion counseling. This is has been true for South Dakota.
In 2005, a 17-member legislative committee called the Task Force to Study Abortion submitted a controversial report to the governor’s office claiming “that women are often subjected to coercion in the form of overt and subtle pressures from outside sources.” Rep. Roger Hunt, who served on the task force and sponsored the legislation that created it, told TAI that part of the state’s evidence that many women are pressured into having abortions comes from that report.
The report cited the testimony of CPC directors, such as Alpha Center co-founder Leslee Unruh, who “stated that among the post-abortive women seeking counseling … 75% to 85% in any given year report that they felt they were misled by the abortion clinics and that their decisions were uninformed and, in many ways, coerced.” Care Net Pregnancy Center director Stacey Wollman “testified that … almost 60% of the post-abortive women receiving counseling stated that their abortions were the result of some form of coercion.”
The task force also claimed to have received “powerful oral and written testimony from about 1,950 women who underwent abortions. Virtually all of them stated they thought their abortions were uninformed or coerced or both.” The bulk of those testimonies came from an anti-abortion legal nonprofit called the Justice Foundation, in the form of three volumes of 1,500 affidavits collected from women all over the country.
As Yale University law professor Reva Siegel uncovered, in 2000, the Justice Foundation, which is based in San Antonio, Texas, had started a project called Operation Outcry, which, according to Operation Outcry’s website, was set up to collect “legally admissible testimonies called ‘Declarations’ for submission to courts and legislatures in efforts to limit or ban abortion.” Shortly thereafter, a quarterly webzine called At the Center, which is published by a Christian-owned publishing company and distributed by crisis pregnancy centers across the country, included in one issue blank questionnaires that were meant to be filled out by women who have had abortions, signed by a notary public, and then mailed back to the Justice Foundation to be used in court cases. The affidavit included questions, such as: “Were you informed of any link between abortion and breast cancer?” “Did anyone pressure you into having an abortion?” “Based on your own experience, what would you tell a court that believes abortion should be legal?”
In the last decade, those affidavits have made their way across the country, influencing legislative debates on abortion restrictions. The Justice Foundation has claimed that affidavits and declarations from women have been submitted to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and state legislatures in Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Ohio, South Dakota, and Texas.
And though they are used in South Dakota as evidence of coercion, the questions in these declaration forms, slightly updated since 2001, never ask specifically about coercion. Nowhere is the word “coercion” even mentioned. Instead, respondents are asked: “Did anyone pressure you into having an abortion? If so, who?”
In one affidavit used by the task force, among several that were obtained by TAI, a woman from Alabama said she was pressured by her “mother’s only sister” to have an abortion. She is not asked to explain how her aunt pressured her, but when she is asked what she would tell a court that believes abortion should be legal, she writes: “I would have never considered abortion if it had not been legal. My aunt said abortion would not be legal if it was not OK. I was stupid to believe her.”
The Justice Foundation did not respond to repeated requests for comment. In a recent online newsletter, the organization claimed that Operation Outcry was approaching 5,000 “declarations,” which can be submitted using online form.
Any state can easily access a sample of these affidavits along with anti-coercion model legislation supplied by the Elliot Institute for Social Research, another source for evidence of the coerced abortion phenomenon.
The nonprofit, based in Springfield, Ill., was founded in the late 1980s by David Reardon, a prominent anti-abortion leader. A self-described “medical bioethicist,” Reardon is largely credited with encouraging the anti-abortion movement to embrace the “women-protective” argument.
Asked about the prevalence of coerced abortion in the United States, Reardon sent TAI a Wiki-style web page, which reads in part:
If a “coerced abortion” is understood in this context to mean one in which the woman feels pressured by others to have an abortion, the best range of estimates is that between 30 and 65 percent of abortions involve feelings of being pressured to have an abortion.
That figure, Reardon says, comes from an older study published by the Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion-rights organizations that specializes in abortion-related research and policy recommendations. He does not quote directly from the study but from a 1990 article authored by “pro-choice ethicist” Daniel Callahan: “Data reported by the Alan Gutmacher [sic] Institute indicate that some 30 percent of women have an abortion because someone else, not the woman, wants it.”
But Guttmacher spokesperson Rebecca Wind disputed that use of the groups’ research.
“Several anti abortion outlets have tried to make the claim that women obtain abortions because someone else wants them based on the [Guttmacher] Institute’s study of why women access abortion,” Wind said in an email.
Wind sent TAI a different Guttmacher publication from 2005 reporting that in 1987 and 2004, less than 2 percent of women surveyed reported that a partner or parent wanting them to abort was the most important reason they sought the abortion. The study also showed that 24 percent of women surveyed in 1987 and 14 percent surveyed in 2004 reported that husbands or partners wanting them to have an abortion was one of the reasons they decided to have an abortion. Eight percent in 1987 and 6 percent in 2004 listed parents wanting them to have an abortion as one of their reasons.
The larger 65 percent figure in Reardon’s notes comes from a 2004 study co-authored by Reardon and anti-abortion researchers Vincent Rue and Priscilla Coleman about abortion and traumatic stress. That study found that among America women who reported having an abortion, “64 percent ‘felt pressured by others’ to have the abortion.”
The Elliot Institute’s 22-page report, titled “Forced Abortion in America,” is filled with anecdotes about women being allegedly coerced into having abortions.
When Chief Judge Karen Schreier temporarily blocked key provisions of South Dakota’s anti-coerced-abortion law last year, she cited a different type of coercion.
“[I]t is generally accepted that women are often the victims of abuse,” Schreier wrote, referencing a sworn affidavit filed on Planned Parenthood’s behalf, by clinical psychologist and researcher Lenore E. Walker, who specializes in domestic and family violence. “And abusers often forcibly impregnate their partners to maintain control or increase their control over their women. … The abusers in such relationships closely monitor the women. … For example, the abuser will often keep track of the mileage on the car or remove the distributor cap on the car to prevent the woman from leaving the house. … For those women who are in such relationships, the 72-Hour Requirement creates an incredible obstacle because it requires them to make separate trips, which for many is effectively impossible to do because two trips doubles the chances of being ‘caught’ and punished by the abusive partner.”
Schreier’s comment that women are often the victims of abuse is backed by data. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s most recent National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, more than one in three women in the U.S. have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
Several studies in recent years have found a strong association between intimate partner violence and unintended pregnancies – that unplanned pregnancies are two to three times more likely than planned pregnancies to be associated with domestic violence. Qualitative and quantitative data have shown that the high associations between domestic violence and unplanned pregnancies are related to abusive men forcing their partners to have sexual intercourse, forcing their partners to have unprotected sex, and in some cases intentionally trying to impregnate their partners — a phenomenon dubbed “reproductive coercion.”
The CDC’s Sexual Violence Survey found that in 2010, about 9 percent of women in the U.S. reported at one time having an intimae partner who tried to get them pregnant against their will or who refused to use a condom.
Domestic violence researchers Dr. Elizabeth Miller and Jay Silverman, among others, have worked on numerous studies and research papers relating to this phenomenon. Reproductive coercion – which can be physical or verbal – can include sabotaging birth control (poking holes in condoms, flushing birth control pills, ripping out vaginal rings) or otherwise forcibly impregnating female partners.
A study published in the January 2010 issue of the journal Contraception and co-authored by several researchers including Miller and Silverman, found that approximately one in five among the approximately 1,300 young women surveyed at reproductive health clinics in Northern California said they had experienced said they had experienced pregnancy coercion; 15 percent of the women said they had experienced birth control sabotage.
At this point, a lot of the research done on reproductive coercion has been qualitative and based on interviews with women and men at abortion clinics and reproductive health clinics in specific communities. From those interviews, researchers have learned that sometimes men want their partners to have their baby to prove loyalty or love. Interviews have found that men about to go to prison will sometimes try to impregnate their partners before being locked up.
David Reardon doesn’t buy the theory that coerced abortion is merely a small subset of the broader issue of reproductive coercion.
“I am frankly surprised by the claim that abusive men are attempting to stop women from getting on birth control,” he told TAI in an email. “My impression is that abusive men are more likely to be so narcissistic that they would rather not have any children around laying claims on the their time, their money, or the time and affection of their women. … I support any reasonable laws that help to prevent abuse in any form, including this hypothetical problem. But I simply don’t have a pile of testimonies or statistics which indicated that there has ever been one case, much less many cases, of women being abused to prevent them from using birth control and I’m highly suspicious that this alleged problem is being raised as an artificial counterpoint to the very real problem of coerced abortions.”
But to researchers like Silverman and Miller, these two forms of abuse are related. What it’s mostly about, they say, is control.
“Violence and abuse is about power and control,” said Miller, who noted that research has found that abusive men who forcibly impregnate women tend to continue the abuse throughout the pregnancy.
Like Reardon, Miller also wants to reduce the rate of abortion, and both agree that intervention is key to helping women in abusive relationships get help. In fact, Miller and Silverman are currently working on an intervention project in Western Pennsylvania – similar to one they have done in California – to help reproductive-health workers recognize domestic and sexual violence.
“Given that about half of the pregnancies in this country are unintended, I think the key policy piece is recognizing that addressing violence against women will also ultimately help us to address this problem of unintended pregnancy,” Miller said. “To slice out coerced abortion as if it is an isolated phenomenon is wrong.”
*Correction: TAI previously mislabeled the stage of development as fetus, when it should be embryo.
I don’t regret my 3 abortions. I am so glad I was not bound to that woman beating creep. The next girl (now even younger than me) decided to have the baby. He kicked her in the stomach when she was pregnant and the baby was born with a dent in her head..
That stupid girl who above that consent to an abortion then cried didn’t realize that she was doing herself and the child a favor.
I now have 3 children whom I love and adore. I had them when the time was right and I was married to a good man. Shame on all of you for trying to take away a women’s rights!!!! Shame on you for making a woman think she has to deal with a bad man for the rest of her life!! Shame on you for thinking we need more unwanted children. Of course none of you want to stop there you also want to stop women from having access to birth control. And now pregnancy starts before you even have sex. I wonder what the ramifications for such absurdity. The only good thing I can find, is this, until the past 100 years. men thought they were the only givers of life and we lowly females were just here so they can plant their seed. But now, women don’t even need men to be pregnant, So there is a backhanded strike for feminism!
It is all about the right to make the “choice” for a woman to control her own body. Legislating ladies’ body parts is an insult to women and ultimate denegration to their personhood. Palin made her choice to bear a child with downs. she’s a hero for making the RIGHT CHOICE. The fact is, it was right for her, but not for the rest of us. Also, as an aside, Palin had rape victims in ALASKA pay for processing their raped kits or they didn’t get done.
There are a million miscarriages each year, who is going to be in charge of INVESTIGATINg the legitimacy of those claims? Criminalizing use of birth control is opening up a new kind of war on drugs, and like Prohibition, will lead to hundreds of death, illegal money flow and mobster warriors getting rich off desperate women. This whole idea of “life begins at conception” is ludicrous. An egg is not a person, an egg is not a fish and an egg is not a chicken. This is all about control of women. and divide and conquer. Keep women focused on their rts as humans, they take focus off of irregularities and injustices in the work place.
I know what you mean – a lot of modern feimnists think that being pro-abortion is a prerequisite to caring about women.Nevertheless, some 51% of women have strong pro-life views. The original feimnists were strongly pro-life, viewing abortion as child-murder that a just society should not tolerate. I’m not going to let a few crazies on the far left take away a term – and hijack a movement – that symbolises so much good. I’m doing my best to make the progressive left explain why someone like me – engineering degree, law degree, pro-life – is not a feminist. It is for them to explain why a third-trimester partial-birth abortion is a necessary good for women; it is not for me to back down on calling myself a feminist. It is for them to explain why they have done nothing to make colleges good places for pregnant and parenting students, rather than expecting women to be, biologically, men – unable to be burdened with pregnancy.One of the core principles of feminism is that our biological different-ness does not translate into political or social inequality. There is no biological test based on group membership before we give full rights to human beings. Let pro-abortion “feimnists” explain why our biological differences don’t mean that we should have lesser rights, but that those of unborn children – weaker, with no social or political power – do.Let them explain why feminism mandates those things… because I will keep calling myself a feminist.
For almost 3 years, I kept going to dtorcos who kept insisting that all I had was clinical depression and ADHD. For 3 years I kept taking elephant-sized dosages of anti-depressants and Ritalin. The symptoms kept getting worse. Finally got a job that provided health insurance, so the first time I had a seizure after that, i went straight to the ER. only then, after listening to me, the ER dtorcos ordered a CAT-Scan and a MRI. And what did they find? A big, honking brain tumor!!!! Big as 2 Altoids cans put side-by-side!!! Seems I was just a hair away from being dead!!!! And now, thanks to the dtorcos who wouldnt listen, I have had to deal with all manner of complications, seizures, a severe heart attack. My academic and career goals have gone to hell, and I am working a joe-job, that allows me the luxury of living below the poverty line!!!!! :( :(
I like the valuable info you pvoride on healingheartsradio.com . I will bookmark your blog and check again here regularly. I’m quite sure I will learn lots of new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next!
The point I was making was that the fnimeist movement has changed. It started out for good reason. It has encouraged good causes and good action. However, the word ‘feminist’ now means much more. It no longer makes one think of elevating women in the society, but of radical agendas that have no place in the thinking of many women, myself first in line. photog, about the changing the name at marriage. There are traditions in our society that are just that, traditions. I think American society is so wrapped up in PCness that they can’t let innocent things be just that. Some examples: Boy scouts only allowing boys, gender specific sports teams, and, changing a name at marriage. Since when does that have anything to do with feminism? I was excited to do so on my wedding day. It stood for many things, non of which made me feel like I was sacrificing my identity. I did then and do mow, love to be called Mrs. E. W. kw
you have low self esteem! NB: People with seoirus self-esteem problems would find such behavior to be acceptable because hey if the girl is hotter then you sort of feel this relief that ok that other women is just hotter than me and not better than me and maybe all he wanted was to have sex with a hot girl where as if he cheats with a girl who is below your standards you start to think that the other woman is somehow better than you (even though deep down you know she is not better than you) cause you feel that it wasn’t her beauty that attracted him its all the other important attributes be it personality etc she becomes your seoirus competition. Approving of a guy cheating on you with some girl that is hotter just shows the lack of respect you have for yourself and clearly you don’t feel beautiful in your own skin. < read thi part over and over until it sinks in!! It's like you have a mentality of a chick that will date other people's boyfriends or husbands! I'm sure you're a beautiful woman, just CHECK YOURSELF, properly and thoroughly Good luck with this exercise and hope you realise your worth after this! xoxo Another Beautiful Woman!
“During that waiting period, women will have to submit to an interview at one of three state-sanctioned “pregnancy help centers,” all of which are faith-based and are vocally opposed to abortion. ”
Perhaps the law makers in South Dakota have never heard of the first amendment to the US constitution. This repulsive law is 100% unconstitutional.
Hey Tara,Thank you for giving us your oipnion on abortion. We are always open to the oipnion of others; especially those such as yourself, who speak from experience. We are happy to hear that your abortion has not caused any of the symptoms others have relayed to us. At The Abortion Recovery Centre (ARC), we have seen hundreds of women come into our program experiencing the symptoms described in our article. This program is facilitated by women who have themselves experienced abortion and found it to be an event that caused them deep pain. While this program is accessed by women who feel the need to find healing for their abortion experience, we acknowledge that there are women who do not experience any negative response to their abortion decision. What we do see at ARC, are women who many years after their abortion, feel that it was a negative experience that they desire to find healing for. This program is not about judgment, but about supporting those who come to us for support. If you have any further comments or questions, you can always write back on this blog or email us at
Watch this video and you may not even think of abortion again.By the way a 24 week old baby looks like a baby just it’s unvdpeloeed. And I have heard it’s into the thousands in the later stages and performed in a day surgery who knows how long cause it’s very complex.Also the later you are the more like likely the baby needs to be euthanize and delivered naturally, then you may see your creation you have lost and it will be hard. I was in this situation and I’m glad I saw this video. No way will I abort! No way!
Walk in a punter. Walk out a cmiirnal Those trite little sentences reveal exactly what is corrupt and wrong with this legislation ( of the ) the client cannot properly walk in as a law abiding customer and walk out a cmiirnal because he will not have had a .Yet the law as currently enacted presumes with the exploitative person and convicts, not only without proof, but without the right to any trial at all, a travesty of justice if ever there were one.It is true that certain minor motoring offences are dealt with on a strict liability basis, but in those cases it has to be made absolutely clear in advance where and when the restriction begins and ends. That is exactly not the situation when a client meets a prostitute. The client will of course be led to believe that the prostitute is not being exploited whatever the actual circumstances are.Furthermore, the client is not even the person guilty of the primary wrongdoing, ie, the exploitation, but is in fact being automatically convicted, , because of the wrongdoing, of which he knows nothing, that has already been committed by someone else. And without the right to a fair trial, or in fact to any trial at all.That is like saying that if I stay too long at a parking meter and get a ticket, the next person who parks there must also pay a fine whether he is guilty of an offence or not.The right to a fair trial for any serious or contentious cmiirnal offence has been endemic in British law for hundreds of years. Very little legislation has ever dared to violate it like this. No doubt this legislation will receive extensive scrutiny from the when cases begin to be brought to law.
Hi Maria-Been meaning to cmmeont on this. Actually wrote on on my iPad and it disappeared. Fack.1) Sacrifice is part of anything worthwhile.2) Relationships. If self-publishing is a major part of who you are, then someone compatible will just have to get that. Or get kicked to the corner.3) Dealing with brands. I’ll get there when I get there.4) There are ways to sell out in a larger fashion and for more money. Take writing advertising for example. Yes it can be rewarding, but it’s the ultimate shilling! Making up stuff to directly broadcast for the brand. It is the exception when your “pure” creativity gets produced andd published just like you had t in your head.5) Hobby vs. work. If you didn’t notice, I don’t care what people think. And neither do you, I would imagine…~Mike
I think we are a society that has bmceoe too casual with sex -This is all a matter of personal opinion, of course. I see this society as being extremely uptight about sex and not anywhere near a healthy, casual attitude to it. This is why personal sexual and reproductive choices of adults should not be controlled by the state.
I think it’s absolutely depnrssieg that there are grounds on which cheating is considered to be okay. Hotter, fatter, nicer, etc. Who cares? If you don’t like the one you’re with, be a man (or a woman) and tell the person you are with that you no longer wish to be in a monogamous relationship. It’s one thing if you’re in a relationship where you say okay, we have an open relationship therefore, go ahead and be with who you want to be with whenever you want. But when the other person does their part in being faithful, it is unfair and disrespectful for the other to cheat. And women need to stop accepting cheating men and abusive significant others.By accepting it, we are saying to young girls everywhere that it is okay for them to be mistreated and lied to.Just because many men (and women) cheat, does not mean that it’s acceptable. If two people agree that they will be committed to each other, cheating is wrong it’s breaking promises and lying and engaging in behavior that may have consequences (children, STDs, etc) that the other, faithful person, will have to deal with.
the best gift South Dakota voters could give the rest of America is a pink slip to Roger Hunt. His stupid little anti-choice does absolutely NOTHING to stop the cycle of domestic violence. On top of that, there is zero protection for women who may be coerced into going to term.
Forcing women to go to CPCs (aka “phony clinics”, for that is what they are) is just the top of a tottering pile in insults to women. These centers are not staffed by either qualified medical personnal, nor actual counsellors. Maybe one of them had training in how to operate the ultrasound machine, but that is about it. This may sound harsh, but most CPC staffers are lying sacks of sh!t.
Hello, I came here looking for help and i beveile that i didnt need to look here after all. Im 20 years old, i have 2 children and ive been pregnant 6 times. I thought that i was havinga crisis pregnancy just now, but i dont think that i am. I need to just stand up for myself in this situation. My kids are mine alone, even if they have fathers biologically. Im sad to say that Ive had an abortion before when i was 16, and YES PTSD/ Post Abortion Disorders do exist. I was one of those girls who lost it right after. I was Young and the Choice that i was into when i was 16 haunts me for the rest of my life. The father of the Dead Baby and my oldest living Boy is just as responisble as i was at the time. But Truth is that Im a single Mom with 2 kids, and I have my life together, its going well I LOVE MY BABIES. I just need to stop listening to all the hatred directed at me when Im trying to recover from Bad choices. I love My children that Ive Had and Miss the ones I haven’t had the chance to Hold and sing to. I sang to a miscarried baby Months earlier, and IT BROKE MY HEART. That was Bad enough, Abortion is even worst , If you Believe Your Born and or UnBaby and You Deserve to Live a Life of Happyness, then Please dont have an abortion. It takes so much away from you As a woman, sister, Friend, Mother. If not now Later you will realise that.
Kudos for providing false inmofration to women seeking help!There is NO link between abortion and breast cancer, and post-abortion syndrome is a myth. YES, there are some women who feel guilt, remorse, etc, but I’m sure you’ve noticed that your 1/4th of women statistic would imply that 1/4th of women are all wallowing in pits of guilt and depression, borderline suicidal.You know what makes women guilty, suicidal, depressed, grief-stricken, angry and the list goes on? Adoption. Giving their fully-formed, born baby up. While the pro-choice movement doesn’t make up ridiculous terms like post-adoption syndrome or demonize women who choose to put their babies up for adoption, there are MANY women out there who regret it.There are efforts to make abortion part of normal conversation, and for many it already is. It’s people like you attaching a stigma to it, and fear baiting to push your anti-choice agenda that are holding us back.
Posted on Haha, Sarah, you’re hilarious and I love it! Honestly, it doesn’t even metatr that they leave my name out when all the cool kids on the internet mention me! We know who has more street cred!XOXOFelicia
I had an abortion at 6-7 weeks (my doc told me there was no cncahe to keep the child). They gave me a shot and I fell asleep, after 15 minutes woke up. No pains, no post-abortion problems. I think it depends on the organism a lot. Anyway, mini-abortions done by good docs are not painful. Cannot tell anything about bigger ones
Big up cuz. The fact that you didn’t act holy but used your experience made it that much betetr. Ladies don’t let some scum bag lower your self esteem. Justifying cheating makes every guy out there wonder whether you worth the effort. You selling yourself and your vagina very cheap. There’s a lot of decent guys out there. Peace
Abortion is so destructive. It murerds an innocent baby and can cause severe damage to the mother, especially if she ever does want a child. She can become infertile and it causes higher risk of complications. I am 17 years old, If i ever became pregnant i would never even consider abortion. One better option is adoption. There are so many couples out there incapable of having children, to throw away that life like it’s nothing would be so unfair when there are people who could love that child.
The one thing that separates women from men is their role in the cotuinned existence of the human race. Its what makes them unique, important, and necessary. I personally think that abortion suppresses this, and as a result, it also degrades women. Sure, perhaps there are some special exceptions, but these should be very few and rare. Intercourse does have a purpose, and its not purely for pleasure the pleasure is merely a side affect of something far greater.
The notion that this girl was “very emotionally dependent on Joe and I thought I needed his approval” smacks of an attempted excuse for now regretting HER choice. I’m a psychologist, and have heard countless attempts by patients to excuse the lack of self-control by claiming they “have” a dependency on someone, and therefore are unable to make their own decisions. Usually, this claim is very selective, depending on the consequence of the decision for the supposedly helpless individual. If “Joe” had wanted her to keep the baby, she would have been praised by the anti-choice activists for her strength. Grow up and take responsibility for your choices instead of blaming others, who did what YOU asked them to do!
I am so too praying for you and your fmaily during this most trying and difficult time . GOD will be victorious for you and build you up again . I know it is a common PSALM but the 23rd PSALM does speak volumes to me and I will pray it will find new deeper meaning in your life right now . I do not live near you but if there is anything I can do for you just e mail me .Rest well in the arms of your SAVIOUR .
You know we have the biggest mlartiiy budget in the world right? I mean.. even give the ratio of our size we spend many times more than countries we do business with and even when we weren’t at war more money went to the mlartiiy than any other one line item?. We aren’t suggesting the U.S. spend money it doesn’t have. We’re suggesting it slash the biggest source of money loss instead of one of the smallest and consider taxing corporations like GE (who paid nothing on their 14 billion dollars of profit for 2010).
leticia olalia morales of 15501 pasadena ave #h tustin ca 92780 submitted fake documents and 5000 dollars to a person name sandman at the US embassy in manila. she also submitted fake employment records to obtain a work visa. Her husband carlos b. morales also submitted fake documents (land titles and bank statements) to obtain a tourist visa. Her son carlo iii also used such and helped 2 other people to obtain a US tourist visa.
the woman drove to the Planned Parenthood Clinic of her own volition. She consented to the abortiona and she had time to consider the consequences of her actions. this is just an excuse for her not taking responsibility for her conduct. And it is faux ammunition for CUL to cookie cut legislation “to protect women from themselves”. It is another big LIE. It is another group denegrating women who they are selling an unable to make adult decisions about her own health care. This is just another way for dominators to subjugate women to the will of the STATE and to permit govt to intrude into the VAGINA of every woman in the country. CUL wants to criminalize Contraception: there are side effects to every med. Govt will have to criminally investigate every MISCARRIAGE (1 mn ea yr). I believe we need to demand that every RAPE KIT in each state is processed promptly. That no state govt can charge the VICTIM for processing the kit, as did SARAH PALIN in Alaska, women had to pay for processing their kits. Every woman who chooses to have the child, with govt interference, must be guaranteed FOLLOW UP mental health services (for her protection) and full state support for the first 6 years of child’s life. After all, if the state is assuming the responsibility of PARENTHOOD, it must also accept the fianancial obligations for such decisions.
Three years ago when I was 21 I made a life altering desciion to have an abortion. At the time I did not regret it. But I am pregnant for the second time and I have decided to go through with this one. I am now 24 weeks pregnant and I am not regretting it at all. Based on my desciions back than I thought there was no other way out, other than that to have an abortion. I had family that would have supported me no matter my desciion. But the only thing that was holding me back was am I ready for this? The answer at the time was no. I went to see my family physcian a month later and ended up with PID (pelvic inflammatory disease) Which had an affect on my pregnancy now. I do in someway regret terminating but it was a desciion I had to make. It is my body and my life, and I am the one that will be affected bye it forever. It is sad that women must be the ones to face this, and sometimes alone. There are men out there that are scarred by this too I’m sure, but it is us women who have to go through with it.My bf at the time was not supportive, the day I told him I was pregnant was the same day he magically disapearred. I saw him a couple years ago and didn’t have much to say him. But he tried to apologize up and down for what had happened and that he regrets it, but I am stronger now because of everything. In away I regret having the abortion now that I look at it, but in away I don’t. I don’t know what that child would have turned out like but it wasn’t meant to be. Again I made the desciion for me. Yes there are health risks but it is up to the woman that is pregnant and what she wants to do in my opinion. If you have a spouse that is supportive in this his opinion does matter in a small percentage but again it’s the women that make the final desciion .
in #57 sex education is theoefrre a more constructive way of reducing abortion rates, and if you oppose both you are self defeating. By sex education I mean as described in 57 not the view I hear from those who oppose it. Sex education is about building the self esteem of young women so that they choose if and when and with whom to have sex, as well as how not to get pregnant, until they want to.I haven’t lived in US for many years, is there still a jocks and cheerleaders culture- which would also seem to undermine the power of women to choose.In most countries abortion is a medical decision not a political one. America is the exception and I believe the position of the church and many of its members is a consequence of this culture. Strangeley whether a politician is pro or anti abortion does not seem to change the reality, though I believe a bill is going through the federal parliament making it very difficult. This raises another dilema of whether we have the moral right to impose our views (religious or political) on others.
Why am I pro-life? That is simple. I am NOT pro-death!(By the way, God is pro-life and pro-choice! He sets berfoe us LIFE and DEATH (for ourselves) and then implores us to choose life! He commands us not to shed innocent blood, and if you could tell my blood type from seven weeks after conception, abortion would have shed mine and my mother’s blood! Some people advocate Quality of life . I do too, but I need to have life berfoe I can enjoy quality of life! Check out David Pelzer who suffered at the hands of his mother (I mean REALLY SUFFERED) yet today is a motivational speaker. Mother, you did not, could not create the life that grew inside you! This quickening you feel, even in the denial of it, in a crisis pregnancy, is a sign of life, a gift from God to the earth. I thank God and your mother that you were born. Can you imagine what life would be like if we all made a choice’ to end the lives of all our children? I am pro-life because each of us is a unique representation of God in the earth never has been berfoe, never will be again, not one in a million but one of a kind. I am pro-life because in the death of one child there is the death of a whole bloodline, generations die, and mothers lose the joy of nurturing, caring, and all that goes with mothering. I have seen mothers no more mothers, children dead pained, after the fact, with a hurt that no-one but Jesus Christ can fix! I have seen sexual dysfunction at work as a woman purues her mate for sex around the clock, with a need to become pregnant again, to get back’ the aborted child and crying as each month’s cycle begins. I have seen women whose lives have changed drastically after an abortion: no zest for life, angry, depressed, refusing to take basic care of self , their environment, or their living children. I have seen enough hurting women and families to know that a choice for abortion is a bad choice even in cases of rape/incest. My friend shared her story of forgetting she had had an abortio as a teen until the Lord called her to accountability. She denied his allegations about her in connection to an abortion, until he took her down memory lane to bring her healing. Her abortion experience was so traumatic that her brain locked it in a dark box and stowed it away! Sixteen years after an abortion, she wakes up to her reality! Now she is married, having difficulty having children, and needing to tell her husband about this stashed record! Abortion affects families, ebven the men who were not the fathers of the dead babies and it affects the latter too. I have seen men hurting about their dead children. one man names his 6 dead babies and tells you how old they would now be, that he has nightmares about them. He still can’t understand why they are dead. Poet Laureate, Gwendoly Brooks, claims abortion does not make you forget! The reality is that every woman who has had an abortion, will one day remember it with regret even to the day she dies. The guilt of knowing she ended her child’s life can only be relieved by admitting to herself, and to God, that indeed, this was her child, and she decided under whatever constraints to end that life. Healing begins with admitting one’s missing the mark’, and asking pardon from the One who gives life, and who claims, and rightly so, to be the Father of the spirits of all mankind . I am pro-life because without life none of us could enjoy life moreover, Jesus Christ of Nazareth came that we might have life and have it more abundantly! I am so glad to be alive, despite the hardships that I have encountered! May it be that my life is a blessing to someone else!
Polly Why is the law assuming ‘common purpsoe’? The law as currently drafted is in effect doing so because otherwise it would be legal to pay for sex. Some degree of collusion between the client and the exploitative person must therefore become established before the payment for sex can become illegal.The current law does not seek to prove this connection in a fair trial, but simply presumes it on a strict liability basis without a trial. If I go and buy heroin, that’s a criminal offence I’ve committed myself, I don’t need to have ‘common purpsoe’ with the dealer Correct, because (a) the purchase of heroin is always illegal because it\’s a prohibited drug, and (b) in this case you would therefore be the primary defendant and not the secondary defendant as the unaware client of an exploited prostitute would be.Incidentally, if the drug had been smuggled, the prosecution would have to prove that the defendant had been knowingly concerned in the fraudulent evasion of the prohibition . If there were any excuse, defence or exceptions to certain types of offences successful prosecutions would be so difficult as to render the relevant law unworkable Correct, but that does not automatically mean that removing the mens rea element, and with it the right to a meaningful defence, is consistent with the Human Rights Act and with natural justice.I was interested to note in the link you posted that: Even where a statute is concerned with such an issue [social concern], the presumption of mens rea stands unless it can also be shown that the creation of strict liability will be effective to promote the objects of the statute by encouraging greater vigilance to prevent the commission of the prohibited act That is no doubt the argument being used by Baroness Scotland, Jack Straw, Vera Baird et al. But also that: The defence of honest mistake as to fact (in the sense of a belief in circumstances which, if true, would make the defendant\’s conduct innocent), will usually succeed in an allegation of strict liability Which appears to be saying that not knowing that the prostitute was coerced is a legitimate defence. An example is the offence of having a bald tyre on a motor vehicle. Any requirement for ‘knowingly’, ‘recklessly’ (etc) would give every motorist a ‘get out’, he/she could simply say, and “if I had known it was bald I would never have driven the car”. Again correct, but here again the driver of the car is the primary defendant, equivalent to the exploitative person in Section 14. Any passengers in the car would be secondary defendants, equivalent to the prostitute\’s clients, but the law does not prosecute the passengers for the tyre offence, least of all on a strict liability basis.Would prosecuting the passengers as well encourage greater vigilance to prevent the commission of the prohibited act ? Possibly, but the law does not extend strict liabilty to that degree, and neither should it in Section 14. Just as it is people’s responsibility to check the tread on their tyres before driving, it is the responsibility of those buying sex to ensure they are buying it legally But as the law currently stands, those buying sex cannot ensure that they are buying it legally, which is why Section 14 should be abolished. I doubt that this issue will be resolved until dealt with by the Court of Appeal.
M I agree that most pro-forced-birth people are ineded hypocrites. They’re against abortion, but in favor of the death penalty and the war. It shows how little they actually value life.One thing: many, many pregnancies happen in spite of birth control. No method (even sterilization!) is completely guaranteed. I hope you don’t think folks who don’t want kids shouldn’t be allowed to have sex!No one NO ONE should ever be forced to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term.Which is what pro-life folks are actually advocating: forcing women to carry unwanted pregnancies to term. Not valuing life.The choice of whether to abort or carry to term is up to the mother. She may take input from folks whose opinions she values, but the choice must always, ALWAYS, be hers. Nobody should be forced either way.
If you look at culture in some bradteh, including male initiation rituals, it is certainly possible to conclude that the formation of a productive male is both a demanding and necessary enterprise. Sumorunner is right that it doesn’t depend on a college education. But in this culture I imagine that problems with admission, perseverance, success, etc. at college are negative markers of male progress into whatever the culture calls adulthood. It may also be a marker of the increasingly-perceived expensive counter-utility of submitting oneself or one’s children to degraded educational institutions, especially males for whom there is a good blue-collar job option.
And I’m replying again! Hehe.I think this is why I am so pro-birth cotornl. If there is always enough birth cotornl used (whatever method people want to use) then abortion becomes something that should (in theory) be done less often. Abortion should be a last resort in my opinion. (And goodness knows if that was the diagnosis my baby was given, I would be getting a second opinion, and a third and a fourth. And even then I think I would choose to continue the pregnancy. But, that is just me)
TAI, “This law, and even the 2005 law, basically legally speaking, this doesn’t deal with the same legal theories that Roe v. Wade dealt with,” Rep. Roger Hunt (R-Brandon) said. “This presents brand-new legal arguments … relative to abortions. The basic idea is that these laws would allow the Supreme Court to give states the right to adopt similar legislation.”
There is nothing in the Article I, powers of the Congress, OR Article III, powers of the Judiciary, OR in the Bill of Rights that suggest a constitutional authority to determine a direct process involving human life and death except the interstate commerce clause. How is it that considering human life a commercial activity isn’t MORE morally offensive than an individual act of desperation involving life and death, especially when ‘rights’ concerning life are assumed rather than defined constitutionally?
“One, you have established the FACT that there was wlaeth generated from the trade of people, and wlaeth generated from that labor force.” (DJBA)<<There STILL IS "wealth" being generated by TODAY'S ongoing slave trade.Let's agree that Western Europe (Britain ended chattel slavery in 1825) and America (which abolished slavery in 1863) were ahead of over 70% of the world's population TODAY.Again, the problem with looking for some kind of recompense for that past trnsgression is that there exists NO existing legal precedent for making legal transactions illegal and retroactively compensatory centuries later.<<"I don't think that the Black Africans who were enslaved nor their ancestors need be "thankful" or "grateful" for that dehumanizing and IMMORAL (legal or not) enterprise of slavery." (DJBA)<<You won't find that argument among ANY of my posts.People today, from EVERY ethnic group can decide for themselves if they feel fortunate to have been born here rather than elsewhere, or not.Those who do not feel fortunate are certainly free to find another locale that beter suits them.<<"Four, the fact of the legality of slavery in some places does not change my overall presupposition or argument, nor can slavery be legal when it is clearly illegal under agreed upon law and treaty within the charter of the United Nations, though logistically not enforceable just because we politically look away doesn't make it right." (DJBA)<<Sharia law codifies chattel slavery as legal under that system.Moreover chattel slavery is legal in large tracts of Asia and most of sub-Saharan Africa as well.In a global democracy, which we should ALL be thankful we don't have, OVER 70% of the world's governments SUPPORT some forms of chattel slavery.One thing the adherants of Sharia Law and strict Constituional Originalists, such as myself have in common is a disdain for and a disregard for any kind of "international law" authorized by that malignant body known as the UN.<<"Five, this savage status you attribute to sub-Saharan African culture pre-colonialism I find problematic, so pleas define Savage and explain how the Ghanaian Kingdom or that of the Kingdom of Axum (where which I have ancestry from) were Savage ." (DJBA)<<Since you're far more thoughful than UTS, I'll ask you honestly, is that misrepresentation on your part due to skimming what I wrote, or is it more deliberate?I do think I was pretty clear about the focus of that remark – the predominantly (over 90%) of the cutures in those places that were agrarian. Agrarian societies are virtually all predicated on chattel slavery, the subjugation of women and the maintainance of tribal customs by all manner of cruel an unusual punishments, often for relatively minor infractions. THAT is what makes the agrarian societies of pre-Colonial sub-Saharan Africa, the pre-European America and Medieval Europe "savage". I merely stated that as honetly as I could, "Honesty dictates that we look at such things honestly, DJ. The cultures of sub-Saharan Africa and the pre-USA Americas were predominantly agrarian societies predicated on chattel slavery. They were, for the most part, extremely cruel and arbitrary societies steeped in all manner of superstitions. The sad fact is that there was never any such thing as "the noble savage," just the savage savage."And yes, even the trading societies of both pre-Colonial sub-Saharan Africa and the ones in the Americas did have chattel slavery, the subjugation of women and a wide variety of cruel and unusual punishments….often for petty offenses.That's fact should be no more "offensive" than the FACT that Medieval Europe was equally savage and equally ignoble.
If only things worekd out in real life like pro’life’rs pretend it does in their heads. I’m still pro-choice. I had an abortion, and it saved my life in so many ways.. and all anyone can say back.. is just to insult me, call me a whore, a liar, selfish, say I’m racist or hate babies, or tell me I’m secretly sad about it, or claim I have no emotions or education.. but pro’life’rs have a very limited view of things.. why can’t they mind their own business? If you’re against abortion, then you -c
Are women who cannot come up with $400 rellay continuing ..pregnancies or are they doing something dangerous to end the pregnancy?If the former..this is support for the anti-women voice , ie; give birth and give your baby to a frigid evangelical Christian woman (as long as your baby is pretty and white), if the latter, we need to provide safe alternatives.