Forty Years

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Kazzy

One man. Two boys. Twelve kids.

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180 Responses

  1. Avatar Pinky says:

    If I read that map correctly, abortion clinics have better coverage than Verizon.Report

  2. Avatar damon says:

    40 years of pointless division and arguments. Sad.Report

  3. Avatar KatherineMW says:

    Four years after Roe v. Wade, liberals think that the big problem with abortions is that there still aren’t enough of them.Report

    • Avatar KatherineMW in reply to KatherineMW says:

      Forty. Dammit.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to KatherineMW says:

        Katherine,

        Do you see anyone here making the argument that there should be more abortions?Report

        • Avatar KatherineMW in reply to Kazzy says:

          The basic claim is that there’s not enough abortion clinics, which makes it harder for people to have abortions, and that if you create more clinics and make it easier, people will be more able to get them, which is presented as a good thing.Report

          • Avatar Kazzy in reply to KatherineMW says:

            I disagree. I think both the link and my post are pretty objectively offering data on current abortion access. Show me where either say, “There should be more,” rather than simply saying, “This is what is.”Report

          • Avatar M.A. in reply to KatherineMW says:

            The basic claim is that:

            – If there is (and there is) a right to choose to abort:
            BUT
            – at the same time, no clinic can be found to provide the procedure safely and legally without an onerous (“undue burden” standard set by the Supreme Court) travel requirement or other restriction such as Texas Conservatives’ misogynist shaming wand “have the doctor rape the woman again before she can abort” bullcrap:

            THEN

            The GOP and conservatives have successfully made the right into not, in fact, a right.

            A right that cannot be exercised is not really a right. You claim liberals “want there to be more abortions”; not really the case. We want to make sure that the right of women to make a choice, informed by the totality of reasons unique to their own situation, is respected.

            And every time conservatives claim otherwise, we know how much of a lie that is.Report

    • Avatar Dan Miller in reply to KatherineMW says:

      This isn’t quite right. Instead, liberals want anyone who wants an abortion to be able to get one without unnecessary hassle (such as waiting periods, having to travel hundreds of miles because her county won’t let a clinic open, etc). This could lead to more abortions, compared to the status quo, but that’s not the goal. If the demand for abortion were to decline, due to fewer unintended pregnancies or even more pro-life attitudes, liberals would be fine with it as long as abortion access wasn’t unduly restricted.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Dan Miller says:

        While this echoes my basic feelings on the matter, I made an effort to offer a resource and a framing that were as neutral as possible. Now, if there is real bias here, either in my post or on the link itself, that I am not seeing, I’m all for having that pointed out for me. But I’m not getting it from what’s been offered thus far.Report

        • Avatar Dan Miller in reply to Kazzy says:

          It’s a useful and interesting resource, but I don’t know that I’d call it neutral. The author pretty clearly feels that access to abortion services is a good thing (eg, the coasts “benefit” from relatively few restrictions on access).Report

          • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Dan Miller says:

            Thanks, Dan. I’ll cop to not having read every tab/button, but that’s a fair critique. I still think Katherine is making a bit of a stretch to say the author or I simply want “more abortions”.

            In a nutshell, I’d say my position is that the ideal number of abortions is zero, but the ideal number of women seeking abortions who have reasonable access to them is all of them.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Dan Miller says:

        If the demand for abortion were to decline, due to fewer unintended pregnancies or even more pro-life attitudes, liberals would be fine with it as long as abortion access wasn’t unduly restricted.

        Liberals would be ecstatic with it. The idea that liberals are pro abortion is a confusion. Like you said, they’re in favor of readily available, unhindered access to those services. But all things considered, I think most (if not all) liberals would like to see a reduction in the number of abortions. That’s one reason why sex-ed is such a big deal, as well as liberalizing attitudes and access to contraceptives and morning after pills. So that there are fewer unintended pregnancies.Report

    • Avatar Rod Engelsman in reply to KatherineMW says:

      See… this is what makes conversations with conservatives so difficult.

      Many (most?) conservatives seem to be absolutely convinced that liberals want more abortions for the sake of more abortions, and higher taxes for the sake of higher taxes, and bigger government for the sake of bigger government, gun control for the sake of gun control, etc.

      Catch a clue, please. The reality is much more complex. We support abortion rights because we value the autonomy of women. We (sometimes!) support gun control because we value human life. We sometimes advocate for government involvement in some area because we see that as the best way to meet genuine human needs. And we sometimes advocate for higher taxes to pay for that responsibly rather than sticking it to future generations. It’s rarely, if ever, wanting more X for the sake of more X qua X.

      But that doesn’t fit on a bumper sticker.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Rod Engelsman says:

        “We support abortion rights because we value the autonomy of women. We (sometimes!) support gun control because we value human life. We sometimes advocate for government involvement in some area because we see that as the best way to meet genuine human needs. And we sometimes advocate for higher taxes to pay for that responsibly rather than sticking it to future generations. It’s rarely, if ever, wanting more X for the sake of more X qua X.”

        I should add that, despite our best intentions, sometimes we are wrong. For instance, we might think that a particular gun control measure will protect human life, only to learn that it doesn’t. This does not mean that the intent was something other than the protection of human life. It also does not mean, as JB so often and rightly points out, that we should necessarily double-down on the measure.Report

      • “Many (most?) conservatives seem to be absolutely convinced that liberals want more abortions for the sake of more abortions… Catch a clue, please. We support abortion rights because we value the autonomy of women.”

        Perhaps you misunderstand (or forget) where pro-life people are coming from. This is not like talking to libertarians about taxes and regulation. Pro-lifers believe, to the core, that abortion is murder, and that Roe v. Wade unleashed a holocaust on America. Now, imagine going back a few hundred years and explaining to an abolitionist: “I don’t support slavery, I don’t see it as a good thing; I just support the right of every white man to decide whether or not he wants to buy slaves.” Not compelling.

        If liberals really felt that abortions were bad, they would be working to implement policies — policies consonant with allowing freedom of choice, like education and moral suasion and making adoptions easier, etc., etc. — to reduce the number of abortions. Where does this rank on the liberal agenda?Report

        • Avatar Dan Miller in reply to Major Zed says:

          The same could be said, of course, for conservatives and contraceptive distribution, sex ed, etc. True dedication to abortion reduction would involve condoms being available for free at every school, and kids being instructed in their use. Let’s face it, most conservatives aren’t only opposed to abortion; they’re opposed to the entire project of sexual modernity.Report

          • There is a degree of skepticism that condoms in schools would actually reduce the abortion rate. Particularly in comparison to other measures.Report

            • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Will Truman says:

              Condoms in schools ought to be considered obvious necessities, as obvious as toilet paper and feminine hygiene stuff.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to BlaiseP says:

                I’m personally glad that they weren’t so universally available when I was young. They likely would have put me at more risk rather than less for early fatherhood.

                From a parental standpoint, I’m not sure what sort of access we will give our children free condoms. They will certainly know how to use them, though, and we will be be on the aggressive side for the pill (which will hopefully be available for boys by then).Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Will Truman says:

                I’m not sure I follow your logic. Pregnancy isn’t the only problem prevented by the effective use of condoms. The epidemic of STDs, especially HPV, is another consideration.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to BlaiseP says:

                Good point about STD’s. Part of my logic is that condoms are something they can get without us, if they are so inclined. The pill is a different matter.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Will Truman says:

                Well, kids could also bring their own toilet paper and tampons to school, too, if they were so inclined. American kids are still a bit squeamish about going down to the drug store and getting a pack of condoms. Seems to me having a bowl of condoms on the school counsellor’s desk would prevent much heartache for everyone involved, parents, too.Report

            • Avatar Dan Miller in reply to Will Truman says:

              I think most of that skepticism comes from people who are uncomfortable with the very idea of premarital sex, so I wouldn’t put that much weight on it. It’s the equivalent of the Heritage Foundation finding that a big tax cut would help economic growth.Report

              • There isn’t much indication that it is actually effective in the way that proponents say it is (and the way that, intuitively, we would think it would be). If it is effective, I’m all for it. But I haven’t really been sold on it at this point, to be honest.

                If there is a way to really attack this through contraception, I think it would more likely involve something more enduring than rubber. Perhaps the pill, or more likely IUD’s.Report

              • Avatar Dan Miller in reply to Will Truman says:

                You’re right that those might be more effective, but I doubt you’ll find a lot of evangelical signoff for those options either.Report

              • On that, we agree. I just wanted to note that they might not be wrong on other contraception (and to state, more generally, that the liberal approach to abortion reduction – which I know is not necessarily what you are touting – has not actually proven to be that effective).Report

          • Avatar KatherineMW in reply to Dan Miller says:

            I. Am. Not. Opposed. To. Contraception.

            Would I be much happier with a culture in where sexuality was taken seriously rather than being seen as just a form of recreation, and where teenagers were encouraged to wait for it until they felt ready to commit to someone instead of being shamed for being virgins? Yes.

            But I still support contraception and sex ed. They just don’t have a track record of reducing abortion. Restrictions on abortion a general social attitude that it is a morally negative choice, and a choice that involves killing a person, rather than social attitudes that it’s the moral equivalent of clipping your toenails, do have a track record of reducing abortion. So until there’s convincing data otherwise, I’m going to opt for the latter.

            This debate would be much easier if people would respond to the argument I make, instead of assuming that everyone who is pro-life has uniformly conservative/Republican political preferences. On 90% of issues, I’m to the left of 90% of Americans.Report

            • Avatar zic in reply to KatherineMW says:

              Would I be much happier with a culture in where sexuality was taken seriously rather than being seen as just a form of recreation, and where teenagers were encouraged to wait for it until they felt ready to commit to someone instead of being shamed for being virgins?

              This sounds very nice. But I’m not sure that I agree with it. I think the notion that you have to be ready to commit to someone before you become sexually active disturbing; and think it may actually lead to more divorce. I suspect learning to understand your sexuality and being certain of sexual compatibility part and parcel of the things people need to know before the enter a long-term committed relationship.

              As to some other woman’s choices being your responsibility?

              I don’t want to go there too much but: your body is your responsibility. Her body is hers. Not yours. If you think it a sin, and she sins, then that’s between her and her God. But you are not the one who determines sin. Last I checked, Jesus commended you to provide for the least, the lowest; not to judge them. And by my belief, having an unwanted child is a sin.Report

        • Avatar M.A. in reply to Major Zed says:

          You mean policies like forcing raped women (or any other woman) to endure a 10-inch camera shoved up someplace uncomfortable before they can abort, as has been done in several states?

          You mean policies like forcing doctors to tell women medically and psychologically incorrect things, violating 1st amendment freedom of speech of the doctors AND medical ethics by forcing the doctor to lie to the patient?

          You mean policies like deliberately making it more difficult for well-off single people or gay/lesbian couples to adopt children, thus overburdening the foster care system and making it harder for a woman to choose to give her child up for adoption confident that everything will be done to find the child a good home?

          Is that what you mean?

          Because from where I’m standing, it’s just more evidence that the “pro-life” crowd are several cards short of playing with a full deck.Report

          • Avatar Major Zed in reply to M.A. says:

            No, of course that’s not what I mean. And I will not dispute your last paragraph, either, because your third paragraph points to a contradiction in conservative strategy for abortion reduction. But I hope you can appreciate the abolitionist analogy as to why pro-lifers consider any means necessary as appropriate to prevent more. My point was to address “why do they think we like abortion?” The answer is, because they feel you really aren’t doing much to stop it.Report

            • Avatar Dan Miller in reply to Major Zed says:

              But per will’s point about IUDs for teens, neither are the vast majority of pro lifers.Report

            • Avatar trumwill mobile in reply to Major Zed says:

              Zed, he was responding to me, not you. (I have chosen not to respond to him.)Report

              • Avatar M.A. in reply to trumwill mobile says:

                I wasn’t responding to you. I was responding directly to Major Zed’s comment, to wit: If liberals really felt that abortions were bad, they would be working to implement policies — policies consonant with allowing freedom of choice, like education and moral suasion and making adoptions easier, etc., etc. — to reduce the number of abortions. Where does this rank on the liberal agenda?

                I was pointing out there ARE policies like that on the liberal agenda that don’t cross the line but are intended to reduce abortions, that conservatives nonetheless oppose. And some of them, such as adoption rights for gays and lesbians, go hand-in-hand with recognition of marriage equality and are pretty damn high up the agenda thereby.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to M.A. says:

                My bad. I hope the League reinstitutes the automatic referencer thingiebob again at some point.Report

            • Avatar M.A. in reply to Major Zed says:

              My point was to address “why do they think we like abortion?” The answer is, because they feel you really aren’t doing much to stop it.

              The answer is that, if they claim we want to have millions on millions of abortions a year, it’s that much easier to justify gunning people down in cold blood in churches.

              Never that the rights of people to their own, individual procreative decisions ought to be respected.
              Never that a right that can’t be exercised is, ipso facto, a right denied or destroyed.
              Never that we’d prefer abortion be legal, safe, and available for those who in the total examination of their complete circumstances find it a necessity, while at the same time would prefer to expand all other realm of possibilities (easy access to birth control options to prevent unwanted pregnancy in the first place, sane adoption laws to make putting a baby up for adoption an actual and viable choice).

              Because those things don’t make it easy to shoot George Tiller in his church’s pew in cold blood, or David Gunn, or John Britton, or Barnett Slepian, or Emily Lyons, or Shannon Lowney, Lee Anne Nichols. Those things don’t make it easy for a “god-fearing pro-life christian” brainwashed thug to bomb a clinic.Report

        • Avatar Rod Engelsman in reply to Major Zed says:

          If liberals really felt that abortions were bad, they would be working to implement policies — policies consonant with allowing freedom of choice, like education and moral suasion and making adoptions easier, etc., etc. — to reduce the number of abortions. Where does this rank on the liberal agenda?

          Pretty damn high. Example: Education. Comprehensive Sex-Ed is a liberal agenda item. Has been for as long as I can remember and has been opposed by the same moralistic, pro-life crowd for just as long. Abstinence-only is not comprehensive and results in higher teenage pregnancy rates.

          Access to contraceptives, likewise. Or maybe you haven’t been paying attention to all the sturm-und-drang surrounding the contraceptive requirement in the PPACA? And as M.A. points out elsewhere, expanding the pool of eligible adoptive parents has long been a liberal agenda item and, again, has consistently been opposed by the moralistic, pro-life crowd.

          You can add to that list a great deal of the standard social welfare agenda–healthcare, housing, nutrition, etc.–that would make the prospect of raising an unexpected child less onerous. And, again, these are policies that are consistently opposed by the moralistic, pro-life, right-wing.

          You see, by the time a woman is faced with the choice to abort, or not, an unplanned and unwanted pregnancy, she’s already experienced an upstream failure. Restricting her options at that point doesn’t really solve anything. At that point, it’s really just about beating her with the morality stick. (And a particular, religiously-inspired, version of morality at that.)Report

          • Hi Rod –

            Thanks for your cogent reply. (Note to M.A.: study his example.) You have convinced me that there is enough in the liberal agenda to successfully defend against a claim that liberals don’t care about abortions. Also, as a nice side benefit, this thread has given me another “If you… then do you…?” policy consistency test to add to my collection: “If you believe abortion is bad then do you support widespread availability of and education about contraception?” I am definitely going to try that on next time I talk to a pro-lifer about the subject.

            And yet… the conservative/pro-lifer I am simulating in my head (because there does not appear to be the real thing around here) is not entirely convinced. There’s much to squabble over in the details, but that’s unimportant. The biggest thing is probably the absolutism granted to a woman’s right to choose. As you yourself noted We (sometimes!) support gun control because we value human life. Based upon what I read on this blog, I daresay there are quite a few rights that liberals regard as being subject to “pragmatic limits” for the greater good.

            Yet who can imagine President Obama saying: “Look folks, we all know abortions are to be avoided. We’re going to do all we can to prevent women from getting into the situation where they have to choose. But when they do get to the point of choosing, we want to try to persuade them to choose to bear the child.” It doesn’t matter what such “persuasion” would consist of; such a statement would be political suicide for anyone who wants to maintain liberal credibility and support. No? Am I wrong?

            p.s. I’m about done defending a position I don’t hold, and going AFK for a while, so don’t read anything into it if I don’t post any more on this thread.Report

            • Avatar Rod Engelsman in reply to Major Zed says:

              Yet who can imagine President Obama saying: “Look folks, we all know abortions are to be avoided. We’re going to do all we can to prevent women from getting into the situation where they have to choose. But when they do get to the point of choosing, we want to try to persuade them to choose to bear the child.” It doesn’t matter what such “persuasion” would consist of; such a statement would be political suicide for anyone who wants to maintain liberal credibility and support. No? Am I wrong?

              President Clinton famously said something along the lines of ‘Keeping abortion legal, safe, and rare,’ which would come pretty close to the imagined quote from Obama, with the word “rare” doing the heavy lifting here. So, no, I don’t think Obama would lose his political street cred for saying that. In fact, I believe it could even further strengthen his support (if that’s even possible) in the black and hispanic communities which tends toward the religious and socially conservative by disposition.

              Any discussion of abortion has to start with the bare fact that the biological relationship between a woman and a fetus is parasitical. That’s why, for instance, fetal personhood initiatives are so onerous. It puts the woman in the legal position of a kind of slavery, where she could be held liable for actions which would normally fall under the rubric of personal liberty due to possible negative consequences for the fetus.

              As I noted in a comment to Kazzy’s post about teen sex and the “wonder pill”, pregnancy should be the result of a deliberate, positive, conscious decision to have a child. Unless and/or until we have the technological means to make that a living reality (and even then you have to convince the anti-contraception crowd), and there simply is no such thing as an unwanted or unplanned pregnancy, abortion will be a contentious political topic. There’s simply no way around the fact that opinions will legitimately vary on the moral status of fetuses, particularly early in pregnancy, and the relative weight that we place on the personal autonomy of women versus her moral obligations, if any, to that entity.

              Right now, the upshot is that most people in the U.S. support a woman’s right to abortion in either some or all circumstances. I believe the plurality opinion actually hovers pretty close to the current balance struck by Roe and subsequent court opinion. Personally I’m satisfied with it, but don’t ask me to provide an airtight justification for my views, because I can’t give you that.Report

            • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Major Zed says:

              I think one thing that would need to be addressed is what Canada isn’t doing, as far as contraception goes. Their abortion rate does not appear to be noticeably different from ours.

              There are some things on the liberal agenda that I support in its own right. With the possible exception of evangelizing IUD’s, though, I am not actually seeing much that I believe would reduce the abortion rate.

              As far as reducing abortion goes, the blue state record doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence. (Which is not to say I support all red state policies – my anti-abortion cred is pretty shoddy – but their numbers are better.)Report

              • Avatar Rod Engelsman in reply to Will Truman says:

                To be honest, I don’t really care that much about the numbers. I don’t have any particular moral qualms about the abortions that are actually performed given the existing legal strictures (early ok, late not, middle depending). And I don’t necessarily see a red state with fewer abortions but more teenage mothers as a win.

                As I said above, I see an abortion as an indicator of a failure upstream. Either education, access to contraceptives, socio-economic situation, or even sexual mores… whatever. There’s been a failure a month or two back that put the woman in that situation. And that failure is what needs to be addressed.

                I would be more sympathetic to the conservative view on abortion if pregnancy was reliably the result of a conscious, deliberate choice. But given the rape-y comments emanating from the right-wing of late I’m not holding my breath on squaring that particular political circle.Report

              • Avatar M.A. in reply to Rod Engelsman says:

                Teen pregnancy does seem a great way for ultra-conservatives to keep their teenage daughters away from those pesky “education” and especially “college” notions.Report

              • Rod, I find that liberals run the gamut between seeing abortion as a tragedy to really shrugging it off.

                Rapes are the motivation behind very few abortions (roughly 1%). But it’s one percent of a very large number. The rape quandary is one of the reasons that I can’t support a legal ban on abortion.Report

              • Avatar Rod Engelsman in reply to Will Truman says:

                Yes. All else aside, the rape quandary, as you put it, would be enough for me to support legal abortion as well. Especially when you consider the number of rapes that go unreported for whatever reason.

                I don’t have a large circle of friends but I’m close to at least two women (off the top of my head) that have been the victim of date rape. I’m also close to a woman that was in an abusive relationship and her boyfriend/abuser secretly poked a hole in her diaphragm so she would get pregnant.

                Sometimes I’m genuinely ashamed of my gender.Report

            • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to Major Zed says:

              Again, I’ll be the ass that says the non-nice thing.. Sometimes the best possible thing for a woman when she gets pregnant due to a mistake/condoms breaking/birth control failing is to have an abortion. Not keep the child. So yeah, I would be a little pissed if Obama said that. I’d understand why he would, but no, I don’t think it’s the right policy.Report

            • Avatar zic in reply to Major Zed says:

              But when they do get to the point of choosing, we want to try to persuade them to choose to bear the child.” It doesn’t matter what such “persuasion” would consist of; such a statement would be political suicide for anyone who wants to maintain liberal credibility and support. No? Am I wrong?

              In a world where men stood up and took responsibility for ending the staggering amount of violence other men heap upon women, I might think this a reasonable statement.

              But we don’t live in that world. Until that time, what you suggest, all to often, just ends up being another form of re-victimization.Report

              • Avatar Rod Engelsman in reply to zic says:

                In a world where men stood up and took responsibility for ending the staggering amount of violence other men heap upon women, I might think this a reasonable statement.

                How exactly am I, a) responsible for the amount of violence men heap upon women, and b) supposed to end it?

                I mean that question in all sincerity. I actually have no idea what I’m supposed to be doing that I’m not already doing.Report

              • Avatar zic in reply to Rod Engelsman says:

                I mean that question in all sincerity. I actually have no idea what I’m supposed to be doing that I’m not already doing.

                I don’t know. I wish I did. I believe that when it comes to family violence (and rape), men have to stop it, because the lion’s share of that violence comes at the hand of men, bestowed on the women in their lives.

                But the question is how. They could start by talking about it, about how the lion’s share of it’s a problem of some men’s behavior. And I don’t mean to all men; most are good and loving. But if you know ten women, there’s a pretty good chance you know a couple of woman who’ve been raped, sexually coerced, or beaten by a family member or boyfriend.

                Honestly, I don’t expect you to stop it; and I do believe that most men are not rapists or wife beaters, they’re good, decent people. But I don’t take lightly calls to to persuade women refrain from that abortion, for that violence in women’s lives is very real, and those calls may well lead down that path of more abuse, more shaming; the path of bringing a child into a home where they’ll witness and learn to be an abuser or be abused. Not always, but enough that, nice as persuasion sounds (because I really do wish there were fewer abortions) you simply cannot know what’s really behind this woman’s choice.

                As a liberal, I think another of the tools to help decrease abortion is decreasing the violence in women’s lives. And I think to achieve that decrease, men have to find a way to take the lead, for men commit most of that violence.Report

          • Avatar KatherineMW in reply to Rod Engelsman says:

            Look at the abortion rates in the conservative states vs the liberal states. Look at abortion rates in the US vs. Canada.

            The three things you note – sex ed, available contraception, and a robust social safety net – all have plenty of merits in and of themselves. Particularly the last of the three. And I have very serious issues with conservatives who call themselves pro-life but then turn around and oppose supports for single mothers.

            But those three things haven’t managed to have a significant impact in terms of reducing abortion rates.Report

            • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to KatherineMW says:

              OK, let’s compare some other abortion rates.

              http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_IAW.html

              “Highly restrictive abortion laws are not associated with lower abortion rates. For example, the abortion rate is 29 per 1,000 women of childbearing age in Africa and 32 per 1,000 in Latin America—regions in which abortion is illegal under most circumstances in the majority of countries. The rate is 12 per 1,000 in Western Europe, where abortion is generally permitted on broad grounds.”

              I’m pretty sure Latin America and Africa with their powerful Churches, both Catholic and otherwise sure as hell have a bigger ‘social attitude that it [abortion] is a morally negative choice, and a choice that involves killing a person, rather than social attitudes that it’s the moral equivalent of clipping your toenails.’

              OK, sure Africa and Latin America are two parts of the world where contraception isn’t highly available, lack of medical care, and so on. Not fair, right?

              Let’s go to Europe then. From the same link.

              “Both the lowest and highest subregional abortion rates are in Europe, where abortion is generally legal under broad grounds. In Western Europe, the rate is 12 per 1,000 women, while in Eastern Europe it is 43. The discrepancy in rates between the two regions reflects relatively low contraceptive use in Eastern Europe, as well as a high degree of reliance on methods with relatively high user failure rates, such as the condom, withdrawal and the rhythm method.”

              Again, I have zero doubts that ultra-Catholic Poland and other countries where the church has made a comeback post-Communism has a much better ‘social attitude’ in your view than godless France and Germany.

              The differemce? An actual “robust” welfare state, contraception, and everything you said. Truthfully, we barely have the things you mention. We have a barely existing welfare state compared to our population and other First World nations, in a lot of states, kids don’t learn about contraception to any real degree and learn a lot of ghost stories (you can’t get pregnant your first time!) along the way.

              As long as our poverty rate is a lot higher than the rest of the First World and as long as we allow states control over their own education policy, our abortion and teen pregnancy rate will continue to be above Western Europe. But, we still won’t have as abortion rates as high as in countries where they’ve legally limited access to abortion like Chile and El Salvador.Report

              • She was referring to rates within the United States and between the US and Canada. The latter of which has many of the things that liberals argue will reduce abortion. But they haven’t. And, of course, abortion rates in blue states are higher than those in red states.

                Which a lot of people are okay with. Not going to argue that. Just pointing out the limitations of liberalism in reducing abortion rates. In the US and Canada, anyway.Report

              • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to Will Truman says:

                Um, actual universal health care is one big damn difference between us and the Canucks. I’m going to say, just as a layman, I could see a decent chunk of the 25% difference between us and Canada being the idea of the costs and availability of pre-natal health care, post-natal health care, and child care, especially if you’re working or lower middle class, let along actually poor.

                If you look at the stats, most of the First World nations are between 10 and 15 abortions per 1,000, with some being way below (Germany) and some slightly above (the UK), but we’re above them all.

                But, I’ll happily say even if we have a full Denmark-sized welfare state and lowered poverty numbers, no, we’re not going to get much below 10 per 1,000. Which is fine to me.Report

              • I’m going to say, just as a layman, I could see a decent chunk of the 25% difference between us and Canada being the idea of the costs and availability of pre-natal health care, post-natal health care, and child care, especially if you’re working or lower middle class, let along actually poor.

                Then why do a greater percentage of pregnancies in Canada end in abortion in comparison to the United States?

                With regard to your second comment, the statistics I refer to track pregnancies and not procedure-to-population (I use that metric precisely because if I used the other, people would reasonably ask about interstate abortions).

                Guttmacher estimates one in three New York state pregnancies ends in abortion.Report

              • Avatar Rod Engelsman in reply to Will Truman says:

                Perhaps contra some of your earlier statements in this thread, I found the following interesting:

                Contraceptive use is a key predictor of women’s recourse to abortion. The very small group of American women who are at risk of experiencing an unintended pregnancy but are not using contraceptives account for almost half of all abortions. Many of these women did not think they would get pregnant or had concerns about contraceptive methods. The remainder of abortions occur among the much larger group of women who were using contraceptives in the month they became pregnant. Many of these women report difficulty using contraceptives consistently.

                I read that as education about contraceptive use being critical to reducing the abortion rate.

                Personal anecdote regarding the […] women [who] did not think they would get pregnant or had concerns about contraceptive methods: Soon after I started trucking my wife decided to quit oral contraceptives due to concerns about breast cancer. Soon thereafter she started experiencing early symptoms of menopause. So we used other methods… which proved ineffective, proof being our third-grader. She then returned to the oral contraceptives because a) she didn’t want another whoopsie-baby, and b) it helped with painful period cramps. Then she was diagnosed with early-stage ovarian cancer and it turns out that the OC’s likely retarded the growth and spread of the cancer. Upshot is it looks like she gets to torture me for another good long while.

                I don’t know what if anything that says about the larger issue of contraception and abortion except I would like to see more detailed studies taking account of individual circumstances. It seems at least possible that there are differing marriage rates between blue and red states as well as other relevant factors to consider beyond whether or not abortion is legally restricted.Report

              • Rod, I am perfectly willing to attribute the difference in abortion ratios between red states and blue states to culture. The problem is that when I try, I get a lot of pushback saying “Actually, that’s because those red states put up so many barriers to abortion.”

                It’s weird to have the arguments reversed in this case. (It’s not unlike how if I say “religious values keep marriages together” I get pushback, but if I say “fewer sexual partners leads to fewer divorces” I get pushback saying “You have to consider culture, like religion.”

                My main thing is this… Canada does a lot of things that liberals argue should lower the abortion ratio. But their abortion ratio is not appreciably lower than ours (it appears to be marginally higher). Progressive states do not appear to have lower abortion ratios than do conservative states, despite the fact that conservative policies ought to, in the minds of many, increase abortion rates due to shoddy health care and backwards attitudes towards contraception.

                On an individual level, I mean hey, contraception is great! What I haven’t seen is a whole lot of indication that we’re going to be able to lower the abortion ratio with more widely available contraception. Now, personally, I have a hard time believing that if we could get more don’t-want-to-get-pregnant women on IUD’s, that would have to lower the abortion ratio. Wouldn’t it? What I lack is much in the way of evidence, except what Zic provided the other day in a smallish pilot program.

                I think we should expand it. I would expect to find more support for the left than for the right in that initiative. But on a national level, within the United States, there is very little I can point to that says that it’s going to be of much help on a systemic level. And if I am wondering about this, someone who is skeptical about non-marital sex more generally is going to be a lot moreso.

                Anyway, contraception works on an individual level. You can bet any daughter of mine will be on the pill or something else. But I don’t know how scalable that is as a policy.Report

              • I should add that at least some of my pushback here is that I read, over and over again, that of course contraception will work as policy. I want it to work (especially since I am against banning abortion). But the American experience seems to be more complicated than that.

                (Also, meant to add: I have an independent theory on at least part of the red/blue state divide. Cost of living. Red states tend to be more inexpensive, and so having children is less expensive even without large amounts of government assistance. I have absolutely no substantiation for this theory, but it’s something that came to mind when I made the abortion map for a Monday Trivia.)Report

              • Avatar Rod Engelsman in reply to Will Truman says:

                Will, I think the key statement from Guttmacher is this: The very small group of American women who are at risk of experiencing an unintended pregnancy but are not using contraceptives account for almost half of all abortions. It then goes on to state that the other half are women who use contraceptives but have difficulty using them consistently, which can mean different things depending on the method of contraception.

                The reason I’m pushing back against your red/blue state paradigm is that, at best, it’s only a proxy to the real determinant you’re claiming, which is restrictive abortion laws. How tight is that correlation? And how much difference could you really expect to make with something like parental notification, for instance? While states have more leeway than in the past there’s still limits to how far they can go down that path before running afoul of the Supremes.

                The reason that I’m talking culture is that I can think of any number of other factors that could influence the size of that first cohort mentioned in the quote above that accounts for half of all abortions as well as factors that could increase the likelihood of a woman choosing to abort an unplanned and inconvenient pregnancy. For instance, a greater density of young women not wanting to interfere with a career.

                I’d also like to see stats on unwed and teenage births placed next to the abortion stats. I’d like to see an analysis of sex ed policies and unwed, particularly teenage, mothers. Throw in divorce stats as well.

                Look, if you really wanted to seriously reduce the abortion rate in a true law ‘n order, conservative fashion, just make it a capital felony for both the woman and the doctor and get out the lethal injection drugs. The fact that very few abortion opponents actually call for that (at least for the woman) leads me to question their commitment to the idea that abortion=murder as opposed to political/cultural posturing.

                I mean… I wonder what that dog plans to do if it ever actually catches that particular car. For instance, would an inquest be required for any woman that has a miscarriage? Would there necessarily be an investigation in the case of birth defects to rule out the possibility that the mother did something that harmed the kid? Do you get an additional tax exemption for 2012 for any kid born in the first eight months of 2013? Do preggers get to drive in the HOV lane?Report

              • Avatar Rod Engelsman in reply to Will Truman says:

                Auggh.. munged the closing bold tag after “…half of all abortions.”

                A preview would be nice.Report

              • Avatar trumwill mobile in reply to Will Truman says:

                Rod, that statement is true on and individual level but not necessarily so a matter of policy. We can’t look at that and say that some sort of government policy is going to put the contraception in them or on them reliably. Some of the otherstatistics you ewant to look at May be interesting, and may demonstrate pro-contraception as good policy, but don’t help in the determination of whether or not an aggressive contraception policy reduced the percentage of pregnancies that end in abortion within the United States.

                I don’t know how much of an effect the conservative barriers have on reducing the number of fetuses that are aborted. My initial guess was that it was likely overstated. But somewhere in between laws and culture, one set of states is aborting a much higher percentage of their kids than another and if I am looking to reduce abortions and am comfortable with the means used, I am uncertain why I should go with the side that is having more of them.

                That, ultimately, is why I don’t fine assurances that if we just had more liberal policies or attitudes, we’d have fewer abortions.Report

              • Avatar trumwill mobile in reply to Will Truman says:

                Keeping in mind, this thread started out with comments saying that “if conservatives really wanted to reduce the abortion rate, they’d support (insert liberal policies)…” which, at best, assumes fscts not in evidence. This is where federalism can comein hhandy. I think an aggressive IUD program might work. If a blue state implements one, it’ll give me something to point to.Report

              • Avatar Rod Engelsman in reply to Will Truman says:

                Will,

                First, thanks for the discussion. This is the way conservatives and liberals should treat each other. That’s why I like it here.

                Second, point taken about a dearth of data to support the assertion that more liberal social policies would reduce abortion rates. BUT, I’m afraid the same has to be said for your assumption that more restrictive abortion laws are responsible for the lower rates in “red” states.

                There are several problems with your (tentative) thesis. I’m less than convinced that your red/blue state analysis yields good “independent variable” data. In the first place, how are you deciding which states are red and blue? The electoral map isn’t terribly good that way because there are several cases where states went to Obama in the last two elections but have Republican state governments. And the latter is what will determine abortion restrictions. I would much rather see something based on the actual laws in place rather than a questionable proxy.

                Then there’s the issue of interstate “commerce” for lack of a better term. Much of our population lives within striking distance of a state border including the residents of several cities that are near or even straddle a state line. Think Kansas City, Louisville, the Chicago metroplex, and almost anywhere in New England. That has to have some diluting effect on the impact of state-level abortion restrictions.

                The reason I’m interested in those other statistics is that, to my mind, abortion restrictions are a case of treating the symptom rather than the disease. If you subtract out the pregnancies that result from rape and those that occur for medical reasons (either the mother or fetus), what you’re left with are a bunch of “Oh, shit! I’m pregnant. Now what do I do?” situations. Abortion is the response to the actual problem which is unplanned/unwanted pregnancy. I just don’t see some 17-yr old girl marrying her 18-yr old boyfriend to raise a child in poverty and a divorce a few years later as much of win compared to a quick dose of Morning After (and hopefully a change in behavior subsequent to that scare).

                Earlier you said that “[you] find that liberals run the gamut between seeing abortion as a tragedy to really shrugging it off.” Personally, I see the unplanned/unwanted pregnancy as the tragedy but I don’t see much moral relevance to very early-stage abortion so, yes, I do sort of shrug that off. I understand if YMMV.Report

              • First, thanks for the discussion. This is the way conservatives and liberals should treat each other. That’s why I like it here.

                Agreed.

                BUT, I’m afraid the same has to be said for your assumption that more restrictive abortion laws are responsible for the lower rates in “red” states.

                Oh, I’m not sure that’s the case at all. My first instinct was to chalk it up mostly to culture. It was liberals that argued about the restrictive abortion laws, when I brought it up. The more I thought about it, the more I think that has *some* effect.

                That said, I don’t think we can chalk it up to “chance.”

                Then there’s the issue of interstate “commerce” for lack of a better term. Much of our population lives within striking distance of a state border including the residents of several cities that are near or even straddle a state line. Think Kansas City, Louisville, the Chicago metroplex, and almost anywhere in New England. That has to have some diluting effect on the impact of state-level abortion restrictions.

                The words used by Guttmacher suggest to me that they are tracking pregnancies and not simply abortions. At least in the abortion ratio (abortion-to-pregnancy) statistic, which I am looking at. In the abortion-to-population, it specifically mentions that the data might be shifted due to interstate abortions. No such mention is mentioned on the abortion-to-pregnancy statistic.

                But even if I am wrong about that, you don’t have to consider the individual states to start getting a picture. It’s region-by-region. Even if people in Idaho (where abortion laws are tight) are going to Montana (where abortion laws are not) or from Kansas to Colorado… the regional analysis still holds. Both Idaho and Montana are significantly below average. Both Kansas and Colorado are moderately below average (Missouri significantly so). States with low abortion ratios tend to be surrounded by other states with low abortion ratios. Ditto the other way around. I don’t think this is something that can be explained away by interstate anything, even if Guttmacher isn’t accounting for that.

                New York or Montana or some individual state may get a pass, but the general patterns hold. There is something going on to explain the very, very wide gulfs between regions. I don’t think it’s entirely laws (as mentioned, Montana is not restrictive), but I suspect that is at least a part of it. As is generally accessibility. As are circumstances (like my cost of living theory). As is culture.

                However you cut it, though, if you’re looking to reduce the percentage of pregnancies that end in abortion, the map does tell us something and it’s something that suggests that abortion rates are malleable to some extent that lower ratios favor parts of the country that are, generally speaking, more hostile towards it.

                Earlier you said that “[you] find that liberals run the gamut between seeing abortion as a tragedy to really shrugging it off.” Personally, I see the unplanned/unwanted pregnancy as the tragedy but I don’t see much moral relevance to very early-stage abortion so, yes, I do sort of shrug that off. I understand if YMMV.

                For the record, I’m not really trying to make judgments here. As far as Katherine or a pro-lifer is concerned, I myself am far too indifferent. I’m mostly trying to delve into why pro-lifers aren’t jumping onto the contraception-sex-ed bandwagon and it’s not entirely due to anti-sex attitudes. There are genuine questions about efficacy here. There are reasons to believe that abortion ratios can actually be more attributed to other factors than liberal attitudes towards sex and contraception.Report

              • Avatar zic in reply to Will Truman says:

                Will, I think you’re on the right track not just looking at #’s of abortions.

                But if you dig deeper, there’s also information like this,
                http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr61/nvsr61_01.pdf#table02

                tracking teenagers giving birth by state; and here’s a map:
                http://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/teenpregnancy/StateInfo.html

                If you compare this map to the map of access to abortion, you’ll also see a correlation.

                Lowering the rate of abortion, it seems to me, would require a number of efforts; first, education on reproductive health. Other then something like an IUD, contraception is of little value if the woman doesn’t understand how it works and her own reproductive cycle. Second, access to contraception without slut shaming. Having a family planning clinic an hour or two away doesn’t help a teen if there’s now way to get there or going there would cause ‘family honor’ problems. Third, and this is really not discussed enough, is decreasing the amount of violence against women.Report

              • Zic,

                I would consider lowering the number of unwanted pregnancies to be a laudable goal in its own right. But that doesn’t actually speak to abortion (and the decision to abort) itself. When talking about lowering the rate at which conceived children are aborted, it is the abortion ratio (or rate) that matters the most. It’s a question of what your aims are.

                (It is kind of counterintuitive that Americans have more unwanted pregnancies and fewer of those ending in abortion as other countries. I’m not sure what to make of that.)

                My views on sex ed tend to be liberal. My views on contraception are more nuanced, though I really would like it to reduce both unwanted pregnancies and abortions. I am a little mistrustful of contraception that is easy to get wrong. Which is why I turn to IUD’s. The challenge there not just being subsidizing them, but convincing women to go that route.

                I still can’t find a good answer as to whether or not IUD’s are fully covered in Canada. And, if they are, why it isn’t reducing the abortion-to-birth ratio. And, for that matter, why the relationship seems to be “fewer pregnancies, higher percentage of those ending up in abortion” rather than the more logical conclusion (fewer unwanted pregnancies lowering the abortion ratio).

                I know that my daughter will have access to a prescription for the pill as soon as she turns 12 or so. I am hoping she will not be sexually active for a number of years after that, but I don’t want her to essentially have to tell us that she is about to be sexually active because… she might choose not to. I’ll give her an IUD if she wants. She’ll also get very liberal-y sex-ed (albeit with some conservative values thrown in there). The wife (who performs obstetrics) has the technical side covered. We’ll team up on the emotional ramifications of sex.

                At least, that’s my ideological holding-my-newborn-in-my-lap view. Who knows what’ll happen when the rubber hits the road.

                But anyway, I’m not sure how much of what we, as parents can do, would translate into good policy for the government to do. I hope that a state works on an IUD-for-all program. I’d like to see if the St. Louis experiment you pointed to the other day would actually scale. Or how we might get it to.Report

              • Avatar M.A. in reply to Will Truman says:

                It is kind of counterintuitive that Americans have more unwanted pregnancies and fewer of those ending in abortion as other countries. I’m not sure what to make of that.

                Not really when you count the religious puritanism streak. They’re trying to stop all teenage or non-marital sex in general, and they view teaching sex ed (with condoms, IUDs, honest but fair info on sexually transmitted diseases and other risks) as “encouraging” teens to have sex.

                I would consider lowering the number of unwanted pregnancies to be a laudable goal in its own right. But that doesn’t actually speak to abortion (and the decision to abort) itself. When talking about lowering the rate at which conceived children are aborted, it is the abortion ratio (or rate) that matters the most. It’s a question of what your aims are.

                I’m confused as to how to take this reading. I’m also confused as to how you’re arriving at the conclusion.

                Making contraception available helps with the “low hanging fruit” unwanted pregnancies. Teens who want to have (safer) sex, but don’t want to let their parents in on the secret by asking for the pill, IUD, condoms, or other means. But it also means that the teens have to make sure their parents don’t find used condoms, half-empty pill containers, or other evidence. So as long as you’ve got a culture that says “NO TEEN SEX (that the adults can’t plausibly deny is happening despite what they know full well they were up to when they were that same age)” then there’s trouble getting the teens to use it.

                I agree with you on trying to further “idiot proof” contraceptives so that user error is taken out of the equation.

                Also, the “abortion rate” you describe, a “rate of abortions to pregnancies”, is I think a bad metric. I’d rather see a measurement in rate of abortions to population. I have similar complaints with the methodology and terminology measuring “unwanted” versus “wanted” pregnancies; I think a better methodology would measure “planned” versus “unplanned.”

                The other thing I think you’re failing to consider is the differences between urban environments and rural with respect to population types. Get into a small enough town, everyone knows everybody, gossip spreads. The fact that the quarterback knocked up the head cheerleader is going to be known, whether they want it to be or not. The local pastor, the parents, are very likely to be on those two for a shotgun wedding pronto.

                Now contrast with an urban environment. More people, more places to get “privacy”, more potential partners. There’s a far lower opportunity cost to casual sex, for adults or teens alike. Moreover, there are more women in this environment who have their own careers, want to be independent, and feel they don’t have time for pregnancy or it’s “not the right time” for pregnancy (as opposed to the rural Quiverfull types). I can’t blame them for that decision, it’s their choice to make.Report

              • Not really when you count the religious puritanism streak. They’re trying to stop all teenage or non-marital sex in general, and they view teaching sex ed (with condoms, IUDs, honest but fair info on sexually transmitted diseases and other risks) as “encouraging” teens to have sex.

                Sure. But when mistakes happen, they carry their babies to term. You would think that the blue states, by virtue of avoiding unintended pregnancies in the first place, would have a lower abortion-to-birth ratio by virtue of the fact that there are fewer unwanted fetuses to discard.

                And yet, if the red state residents are having more unintended pregnancies, they’re more likely to carry them to term. Something is going on here. Something significant to opponents of abortion.

                Making contraception available helps with the “low hanging fruit” unwanted pregnancies. Teens who want to have (safer) sex, but don’t want to let their parents in on the secret by asking for the pill, IUD, condoms, or other means.

                Sure. But when the pregnancies do occur, residents of blue states are more likely to abort. The left likes to focus on cutting down on unintended pregnancies, which as mentioned I consider it a laudable goal. What that doesn’t tell us is what happens when these pregnancies occur. For abortion opponents, that matters.

                Also, the “abortion rate” you describe, a “rate of abortions to pregnancies”, is I think a bad metric. I’d rather see a measurement in rate of abortions to population.

                Within the United States, the numbers hold up. They don’t hold up internationally (Canadians have a higher abortion-to-birth ratio, but a lower abortion-to-population ratio). Which still brings to light the question of… if Canadians are having fewer unintended pregnancies, then why are they aborting more of them when they occur?

                Within the US, though, they hold up. Within the US, I tend to focus on abortion-to-birth partially for the above-mentioned reason (it matters a great deal what women do once a pregnancy has occurred, arguably more than whether they get pregnant in the first place, depending on one’s point of view), and partially because I believe the Guttmacher numbers I am using account for interstate abortions in the abortion-to-birth numbers but they specify that they do not in the abortion-to-population.

                The other thing I think you’re failing to consider is the differences between urban environments and rural with respect to population types.

                I’m not failing to consider it so much as I am filing it under “culture.” In addition to that, it is the case that an abortion is more likely to be frowned upon in a conservative part of the country than a liberal one. There are a lot of factors at play.

                (Interestingly enough, though, I live in a rural county. We have among the highest abortion rates in the country. So it’s quite possible that the small-town factor cuts the other way: if you can keep people from knowing, you can skip town, have the abortion, and come back and nobody knows that you did the dirty. Small-town judgmentalism can induce abortion. It’s also worth pointing out that even highly urban/suburban red states have lower abortion rates and ratios than their blue state counterparts.) [Ed note, underlined “lower” above was changed from “higher” because I goofed up.]Report

              • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to Will Truman says:

                Also, if the “abortion rate” is just determined by dividing the number of abortions by the number of births in each state, that’s not going to be a great number. Since, obviously, blue states will have people from close-by red states coming to have abortions due to money/time/etcetera. It’s where you get the line from some pro-lifers that 40% of all pregnancies or some insane number end in abortion when really, no, you have a lot of people from upstate New York or Pennsylvania likely coming to NYC.Report

              • Avatar Rod Engelsman in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

                That’s an incredibly important point when looking at the stats. As has been obliquely noted elsewhere here, Kansas is down to exactly one clinic that offers abortion. And I believe that’s in either Kansas City or Topeka. Wayyyy over on the eastern end of the state.

                I can easily see women from western KS going to somewhere like Denver instead just because it’s closer and the laws are likely less restrictive.Report

              • Kansas actually had one of the highest abortion ratios of any red state (though slightly lower than the national average).

                It’s also the case that high-ratio and low-ratio states tend to be located together, high-states with high and low-states with low. After New York was Delaware. Delaware is next to Maryland and New Jersey, both high-ratio states.

                Guttmacher’s language suggests that it’s counting pregnancies within states (“In Kansas, 61,900 of the 553,596 women of reproductive age became pregnant in 2008. 68% of these pregnancies resulted in live births and 17% in induced abortions.”). But even if that’s wrong, the differences between states are staggering but tend to go by region. So if Idahoans are pumping up Montana’s numbers (the latter having liberal abortion laws)… they’re both low. So even if the state numbers are inexact, the pattern still holds.Report

              • Avatar KatherineMW in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

                I would certainly expect higher abortion rates in poor countries, because there’s less economic capacity for women to care for their children. So higher rates in Africa, Latin America, and Eastern Europe as compared to Western Europe do not particularly surprise me. When you’re looking at the effect of restrictions, comparing US states or developed countries to each other makes much more sense to me, for this reason. (In regard to the developing world, reducing poverty and increasing female control over their sexual relationships would be my preferred primary methods for reducing abortion rates. I’m certainly a major proponent of poverty reduction in developed nations as well, I’m just less confident that, here, it will have a major effect on abortion rates: approximately 1 out of every 3-4 pregnancies in the US, Canada, and Europe end in abortion, and that strikes me as too high a number for poverty to be the sole factor. It also strikes me as a horrifically high number in general.)

                In China, getting rid of the one-child policy should definitely be priority one for abortion reduction.

                Canada has recently stopped keeping updated stats on abortion rates, so far as I can tell from the Stats Can website, but we have a social safety net (although not as thorough as I would like it to be), sex ed, and available contraception, and similar abortion rates to the US. And we have 1) zero restrictions on abortion and 2) minimal-to-no social stigma against it.

                Many Western European countries have stronger restrictions against abortion than the US or Canada do, which was a surprise to me when I first compared the laws between countries. So many people in the US assume abortion is unrestricted in liberal Western Europe. Far from it.

                The Guttmacher stats certainly suggest Europe did something very effective between 1995 and 2003.Report

        • Avatar KatherineMW in reply to Major Zed says:

          THANK YOU.

          The “if you don’t like it, don’t do it” argument doesn’t work for abortion, any more than saying “if you don’t support the Iraq War, don’t join the military” or “if you oppose torture, just don’t torture people” works.Report

      • Avatar KatherineMW in reply to Rod Engelsman says:

        And conservatives support non-restriction of guns because they value the autonomy of gun users, and support restriction of abortions because they value human life.

        I support both gun control and restriction of abortion because I consider human life the consideration of primary importance in both issues.

        But if your primary focus is doing as much as possible to make it as easy as possible to get an abortion, you are increasing the likelihood of people choosing that option. Look at the abortion rates between states if you don’t believe me.Report

        • Avatar Rod Engelsman in reply to KatherineMW says:

          The problem here is that you apparently don’t see any middle ground between “doing as much as possible to make it as easy as possible to get an abortion” and marching on Washington to make all abortions illegal.

          The pro-choice crowd has been fighting a rear-guard action to just try and hold onto the availability that currently exists. Seriously, name me one state that has increased access or loosened restrictions in the last ten years or so.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Rod Engelsman says:

            From what I understand, the US has among the most liberal abortion access in the world.

            I mean, like, there are liberal Northern European countries that have more restrictive access than the US does.

            Is that a relevant data point?Report

            • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Jaybird says:

              Depends what you want to call Ireland.Report

            • Avatar North in reply to Jaybird says:

              It cuts both ways Jay. The US’s abortion laws are (federally) one of the least restrictive but the US also has one of the most vehement and activist anti-abortion movements. Other countries have compromised. The laws are less permissive but the abortion foes aren’t making much headway or trying very hard to get the abortions that are permitted banned.Report

              • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to North says:

                What North said. Most pro-choice people such as myself would be OK with a compromise where it were no limits to abortion for the first three to four months with things limited to rape, incest, life of the mother for the last five.

                The difference is, as North said, there is no serious move in those European countries to further limit abortion. The limit I just outline would just be a “first step” for the anti-abortion forces.Report

          • Avatar KatherineMW in reply to Rod Engelsman says:

            The pro-choice movement has shown zero interest in even considering that any measures whatsoever to restrict abortion might be legitimate. The pro-life movement has a very wide range of policy proposals short of absolute bans that they have been pursuing.

            My personal preference is for:
            – Increasing access to the morning-after pill, which I don’t regard as equivalent to abortion based on the fact that a large percentage of zygotes fail to implant naturally anyway, so the zygote pre-implantation doesn’t cross my threshold of “absent external action to kill it, this is going to develop and be born and is therefore, for practical purposes, a human life needing protection”)
            – Requiring a doctor’s certificate of physical danger to the mother in order to authorize abortion in the second and third trimesters. While I have moral issues with abortion at any time, it gets more troubling the later the developmental stage.
            – Requiring information and a waiting period for people seeking to obtain an abortion at any stage in the pregnancy
            – Increasing social recognition that this is, indeed, an issue of morality, and that procuring an abortion is, all else equal, a morally-negative act.

            Moves beyond that would depend on what effect the above measures had on the overall abortion rate.Report

            • Avatar Chris in reply to KatherineMW says:

              I doubt most pro-choice advocates would be averse to restrictions on 3rd trimester abortions. Of course, 3rd trimester abortions are incredibly rare, so such restrictions might be superfluous.

              I don’t know any pro-choicer who would be averse to increasing access to the morning after pill.

              Waiting periods are highly problematic, particularly in places where the distance needed to travel to get an abortion is a burden. If you have to travel 100 miles each way, then go home and wait 48 or 72 hours, and then drive 100 each way, you’re eliminating the possibility of abortion for a lot of people (particularly the working poor).

              Increasing social awareness of the moral issues of abortion is fine, as long as it’s done fairly. If it just means “presenting the pro-life position on abortion,” which, in my experience, is what pro-lifers mean when they talk about increasing social awareness, then it’s not OK.

              I think you should probably talk to some pro-choicers, because if these are your suggestions, and you think that pro-choicers don’t accept anything like any of them, then you’re wrong.Report

              • Avatar trumwill mobile in reply to Chris says:

                It seems to me the waiting period slash long distance issue can be mitigatedby not requiring the first visit to be in person . I don’t have any problem with waiting periods though understand the problem of two distant trips.Report

              • Avatar Rod Engelsman in reply to trumwill mobile says:

                Are you similarly okay with waiting periods for gun purchases? (I honestly don’t remember if you’ve stated a position on this or what it was.) Because the practical justification seems at least as strong, if not stronger, for that.Report

              • Avatar Chris in reply to trumwill mobile says:

                Will, I suppose that would be less odious. I’ve known women who’ve had abortions, and in my experience they’ve tended to make appointments, usually a few days in advance. I wonder, then, if such a waiting period would change the status quo all that much, and therefore whether it would be the sort of thing that would be acceptable to the pro-life folks who want waiting periods. My sense is it would not be, particularly when we look at the sorts of things that they tend to try to add to waiting periods (like ultrasounds or worse) that require the period begin after an in person visit.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to trumwill mobile says:

                if the first visit didn’t need to be in person, then I’m cool with it. You’ve minimized the hardship.Report

            • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to KatherineMW says:

              The difference is, they’re only doing these wide set of proposals because they can’t get what they really want, which is a total ban. Again, like I said above, if the pro-life movement said, “OK, let’s have European Countries X abortion laws which are more conservative than the United State’s and we’re done as a movement,” most pro-choice people would be all right with that.

              But, you know and I know that’s not going to happen. Every anti-abortion bill is just a first step to setting things up for when Roe v. Wade is finally shot down and limiting abortion to as few people as possible until that day happens.

              As for your prescriptions, again, no liberal I know is against more access to morning after pills. It’s the pro-life movement that calls it an aborifacent.

              For your second time, I find it odd that not so long after we just have literally a full week or two of stories about how important mental health is, you just throw it out because, ya know, it’s impossible that a pregnant woman could really have mental reasons for needing a late term abortion. That could never happen, especially when the number of second and third trimester abortions are so low at the moment anyway.

              I point to the argument Chris put forth about waiting periods. A waiting period is fine when you’re a middle-class women with health insurance, sick days, and a husband who can take care of the kids. Not so much when your a single Mom where missing one day of work can get you fired. As for the “information” part, not if it’s the same “information” that’s given out at crisis pregnancy centers.

              For the final part, why is it that your morality has to be the one that’s socially recognized? My morality says its perfectly fine and in many cases all things being equal, an abortion is the right thing for many women. As I think somebody linked on here or a past thread, contrary to popular opinion, the main feeling most women feel after an abortion is not depression, but relief, and the last thing we need in this nation is more women being made to feel guilty by culture while men get off scott free.Report

            • Avatar Rod Engelsman in reply to KatherineMW says:

              The pro-choice movement has shown zero interest in even considering that any measures whatsoever to restrict abortion might be legitimate. The pro-life movement has a very wide range of policy proposals short of absolute bans that they have been pursuing.

              First off, can we distinguish here between pro-life/choice movement people and just folks that hold pro-life/choice views? Because if you’re referring to the former then your first statement is true but your second is, if not false, very disingenuous. If you’re talking about the latter, then your first statement is false and the second is only trivially true.

              Your second statement there is disingenuous and seems to assume that we’re not really paying attention because it elides the actual history of the pro-life movement and statements made by movement leaders. You’re wanting us to believe that the pro-life movement is only interested in a few “commonsense” restrictions and when those have been achieved you’ll all go home, have a glass of wine and call it a day, never to return asking for more. Yeah, right. I can believe that you personally are in that space (though I have serious doubts about that based on your statements here) but the movement folks that hold rallies and pay for billboards and get elected to statehouses and actually propose legislation? No. The telos has always been an absolute ban, no exceptions allowed (See: Akin, Todd, et. al.), and the proposals that fall short of that are just steps in that direction.

              As for the rest of us, the rank and file that have opinions but don’t do much about them? Personally I support the general status quo, to whit: No late-term abortions absent compelling medical justification, state-level restrictions on mid-term abortions, and little, if any, restrictions on early (earlier the better) abortions. Jaybird’s stated position (no restrictions whatsoever) is held by very few and even most of the movement folks aren’t actually pushing for that.

              My personal preference is for:

              Yes, let’s talk about our personal positions rather than tar-brushing our opponents. We may find we actually agree more than we disagree. That’s worked for Will T. and I.

              – Increasing access to the morning-after pill, which I don’t regard as equivalent to abortion based on the fact that a large percentage of zygotes fail to implant naturally anyway, so the zygote pre-implantation doesn’t cross my threshold of “absent external action to kill it, this is going to develop and be born and is therefore, for practical purposes, a human life needing protection”)

              When I started reading your first sentence I thought you had seen the articles that came out last summer on research indicating that Plan-B works by delaying ovulation rather than preventing implantation. But reading further that doesn’t appear to be the case.

              Frankly, I find your position curious. The life-from-conception crowd has grounded their arguments on the creation of a unique biological entity with human DNA, which occurs at fertilization, calling that a human “life” worthy of moral considerations. You on the other hand, seem to be basing it on potentialities, giving special consideration to the fact of pregnancy which can fairly be said to commence at implantation. In particular, you’re basing drawing the line at that point “based on the fact that a large percentage of zygotes fail to implant naturally anyway.”

              Here’s the problem: You are aware, I hope, that a considerable number of pregnancies also spontaneously abort after initial implantation? I’ve seen estimates as high as 30-50%, although no one knows the exact number. This is generally thought to be due to some gross genetic problem with the zygote; sort of nature’s quality control. So it wouldn’t be unreasonable, by your own stated standards, to delay declaring the start of the (morally significant, by your standards) fact of pregnancy until after that initial quality inspection phase, a few weeks into the process.

              So by your own stated standard of moral significance commencing from the initiation of a viable pregnancy, rather than fertilization, I’m not sure how you can go all Moral Martha on very early stage abortions.

              And, BTW, Plan-B is currently available OTC for any woman over 17, so you can check it off your list. You just need to convince your movement buddies that this is OK.

              – Requiring a doctor’s certificate of physical danger to the mother in order to authorize abortion in the second and third trimesters. While I have moral issues with abortion at any time, it gets more troubling the later the developmental stage.

              Okay… maybe. To whom is she to present the certificate? Can the same doctor provide the certificate and the abortion as well? If not, who pays for the other doctor visit? And isn’t this really about making it more of a hassle simply for the sake of making it more of a hassle as well as more expensive?

              – Requiring information and a waiting period for people seeking to obtain an abortion at any stage in the pregnancy

              Waiting period = expensive hassle for the sake of expensive hassle. Can you point to any stats indicating that a significant number of women change their minds after the first visit (as opposed to not starting the process due to the expense)?

              And I’m really leery of the first requirement since, in actual proposed legislation, this has translated into one-sided misinformation and propaganda as well as seriously infringing on the First Amendment speech rights of the medical providers.

              – Increasing social recognition that this is, indeed, an issue of morality, and that procuring an abortion is, all else equal, a morally-negative act.

              That’s your job and have at it. Don’t expect me to carry your torch for you. Besides, you know… something something free speech.

              Moves beyond that would depend on what effect the above measures had on the overall abortion rate.

              And here we circle back to the disingenuous “we just want this little bit, I promise” thingy. What do you consider a morally acceptable rate of abortions? Or is it just forever to be “less than now, whatever it takes”?Report

  4. Avatar Kolohe says:

    “We support abortion rights because we value the autonomy of women”

    Selectively.

    “We had a person that was doctor shopping and after we looking into it more we discovered she had 56 doctors, over 150 to 170 different scripts, and over 70 different pharmacies,” says Sgt. Debra Kaspar.
    Kasper says the person was able to obtain hundreds of pills and she may have been stopped if those doctors ran her name through the state run data base that monitors prescriptions being filled.

    Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Kolohe says:

      Kolohe,

      I think that is actually an extreme example of respecting the autonomy of the woman. You could hold that up as an example of neglect for her health and well-being, but not really as an example of devaluing her autonomy. If anything, they valued her autonomy over her health and well-being.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Kazzy says:

        “You could hold that up as an example of neglect for her health and well-being”

        And if one talks at all about the medical risks and downsides of abortion for a woman, one is instantly branded an anti-choice zealot.

        “If anything, they valued her autonomy over her health and well-being.”

        ?

        What she did was currently illegal and they caught her an arrested her. The State’s only regret is they didn’t catch her sooner.

        And so are asking for yet another database. Because since Bushhitler is no longer in office, Government Databases are like bowties, totally cool.Report

        • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Kolohe says:

          I misunderstood. I thought you were saying that the folks who gave her access to the drugs were selectively valuing autonomy.

          I think a database is a good idea for customers/patients who want it, who worry they might take contraindicated drugs from different doctors. I don’t think it should be mandatory. If you want to get hopped up on meds, even prescription meds, I think you should be able to.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kolohe says:

          My body, my choice.

          My Coca-cola.Report

        • Avatar Rod Engelsman in reply to Kolohe says:

          Kolohe,

          Your criticisms would sting a bit more if, in fact, these were all policies conceived and enacted from the Liberal wing. Perhaps the smart meter thingy, I would have to investigate more, I hope you realize that the WOD isn’t a particularly Liberal agenda item.

          Frankly, I don’t understand why you seem to believe that Liberals need to answer for any and every thing that any and all governments have ever done any and everywhere for the entire history of mankind regardless of the political philosophy which actually spawned the policy. Hell, we’re expected to answer for things that governments haven’t even actually done yet; just things that you imagine lie at the end of some high, steep, and slippery slope that a camel might slide down and get his nose lodged in the flap of a tent at the bottom.

          It’s more than a bit disingenuous.Report

          • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Rod Engelsman says:

            There ain’t no conservatives here, (anymore,) but Mr. Kowal. So I address them in accordance with their proportion.Report

            • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Kolohe says:

              Not a challenge, but more out of curiosity – you don’t consider Burt, Dennis, Will or Mike conservatives?Report

              • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Tod Kelly says:

                I vaguely remember from one of the Leaguecasts right after the election that there were a lot more Republicans here than I had realized, but aside (now that you remind me) from (maybe?) Mr. Dwyer, I didn’t think any of them self-identified as conservative (either big or little c) Republicans. But I could be (and probably am) wrong.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Kolohe says:

                The Leaguecast right after the election was all conservatives or conservative sympathetic people talking about the conservative politics and thought.Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Kolohe says:

                ” But I could be (and probably am) wrong.”

                Maybe or maybe not. I had thought of Tim, Tom and Mike as being the only *social* conservative (R)s on the masthead, but it’s possible Mike may not agree with that. Dennis may or may not be socially conservative; time will tell, I suppose. (He’s already proving to be a great addition, though.)Report

            • Avatar Rod Engelsman in reply to Kolohe says:

              So stop attacking liberals for Conservative-inspired bullshit, OK?Report

          • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Rod Engelsman says:

            Rod, we liberals, being the TotalStatists that we are, not only receive blame for the bad things LiberalStatism has produced but we can’t be praised for the for the good things either, since those goodies would have been supported by Libertarians in any event.

            TotalLiberalStatism, from a libertarians pov, is a fundamentally negative project. All the worlds problems fall on our shoulders.Report

            • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Stillwater says:

              Well, at least you’re not trying to bring back communism, like some are.

              You’re just constantly vexed when the best laid plans to tell people what to do for their own good wind of blowing up and, at best, do nothing, and quite frequently, make things worse.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Kolohe says:

                Sure. If it weren’t for liberals, we’d live in an economic and social paradise.Report

              • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Kolohe says:

                Shorter, better me – yes, the biggest obstacle to fighting the drug war is small c conservative intransigence (with some big C conservatism thrown in there), that ‘drugs are bad, mmm’kay’. But the second biggest obstacle is the liberal fear, that somebody, somewhere, will make a profit once drugs are legalized.

                Which is why you still can’t buy or sell marijuana on the open market in Colorado and Washington.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Kolohe says:

                Liberals in Colorado voted to legalize pot.

                What are you talking about?Report

              • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Stillwater says:

                I’m still not allowed to sell weed to a friend if I have some extra (or buy some off of her, if she has some extra).

                Not legally, at least.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Kolohe says:

                “But the second biggest obstacle is the liberal fear, that somebody, somewhere, will make a profit once drugs are legalized. ”
                Umm do you have proof for this assertion? Because i’m really doubting it is a major factor. Certainly some dealers in Cali were against greater legalization because it would cut into their profits, but as a general rule i’m not seeing this.Report

              • Avatar Kolohe in reply to greginak says:

                “Some medical marijuana clinics have been taken over by illegal for-profit businesses that sell recreational marijuana to healthy young adults and attract crime,” Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said in September.

                src

                Chief Beck was appointed to Chief of Police by current (liberal Democratic) Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in 2009.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Kolohe says:

                Wait..what??? Is that supposed to prove your assertion?? You got to be kidding.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Kolohe says:

                Wha-wha-what? Where have Liberals been fearmongerin’ and carrying on about someone, somewhere making a profit from weed? For crissakes, some of us were growing and selling Kind Bud Most Kushlike and our Profit Margins were most Capitalistic as we did so. Our customers were blissfully paralysed and returned, eager for Moah of Same. Market principles at work here, Kolohe. Why on earth would we care about profits, even the most Socialist Reptile periodically needs some of Nature’s Blessing and will part with good green cash for it.Report

              • Avatar Kolohe in reply to greginak says:

                Then in 2010 Colorado tightened the screws. New laws imposed tough and often expensive standards on how business could run. Suddenly owning a pot dispensary — officially called a Medical Marijuana Center, or MMC — became no more profitable than owning a liquor store.

                http://money.cnn.com/2011/03/29/smallbusiness/marijuana_millionaires/index.htm

                Separately:

                But to be fair, I’m glad that liberals are finally on the state’s rights bandwagon.Report

              • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Kolohe says:

                We’ll see, though, if new and improved 2nd term Liberal Hope Obama finally reins in the DEA, or still allows them to cast a pall over everything people are working toward in Colorado and Washington (state).Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Kolohe says:

                K- None of you links are remotely proving that liberals fearing profit are a major. Not even close.

                If you read your money.com link one thing you would have noted was that local towns could make their own rules which were often more arduous than the states…local control, i think i’ve read how great localism is.Report

              • Avatar Rod Engelsman in reply to Kolohe says:

                Washington and Colorado, as well as all the medical mj states, are walking a tightrope given that weed is still illegal at the federal level. Specifically, they have to go to great pains to ensure that it’s all both produced and consumed within their respective states to avoid federal prosecution for interstate trafficking.

                I know that some of Colorado’s licensing and fees may seem awfully stringent and expensive, but you can’t realistically expect them to just throw open the doors and go whole-hog libertarian in one fell swoop.

                Baby steps in the right direction.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Kolohe says:

                There is an argument for some market regulation: I don’t want to see that cheap Mexican ditch weed hopped up with PCP or other nasty ingredients.

                Lemme tell you, a liquor store is mighty profitable. Biggest problem with a liquor store is getting robbed. Otherwise, it’s a money machine. You know that joke about the Perfect Wife: a deaf-mute who owns a liquor store. Pot dealers have the same problem. It’s so profitable, so much cash crosses the counter so often, they become targets for bad guys.

                And that’s not the only problem dealers face. Soon enough, you become the target of gangs who will try to extort money or take over your operation entirely. It’s considerably easier to pay high taxes to the government than deal with the Crips in Chicago, believe me. I know dealers who fell into that predicament.

                But then I discovered software consulting, where I could make roughly as much money on a per-hour basis and claim damned near my entire life as a business expense. Better value for money.Report

              • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Kolohe says:

                Lemme tell you, a liquor store is mighty profitable.

                Depends on the particular state’s regs. In some states the person with the license to run the store doesn’t legally own the business; the state does (when they retire, they can’t sell their business, so that capital wealth is unavailable to them). And in some they have to buy their inventory from the state, and their hours and prices are determined by the state. There’s a lot less profit in running a liquor store in those states than in some others.Report

              • Nob Akimoto Nob Akimoto in reply to Kolohe says:

                The Texas Beer and Liquor Commission is one of the most autocratic, illiberal and byzantine institutions I’ve heard of existing in this world or any other.Report

              • Avatar Rod Engelsman in reply to Kolohe says:

                For the love of Atheist-Christ, I used to sell pot! (I assume the statute of limitations is up since that was over 30 years ago.)Report

        • Avatar Rod Engelsman in reply to Kolohe says:

          Again, Conservative moralistic bullshit. Most Liberals are pretty tolerant of sex workers, even supportive (although Republican pols reportedly spend more on them).

          You need to re-calibrate your political outrage-ometer.Report

          • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Rod Engelsman says:

            but in no way do liberals fight for any other aspect of personal autonomy than a woman’s right to an abortion.

            Conservatives and Liberals switch sides in every one of their epistemological arguments on the issue of abortion – freedom, regulation, public interest, collective action, etc.Report

            • Avatar greginak in reply to Kolohe says:

              Well we like gay marriage to. The best of course is letting lesbians get legally married and then allowing them both to have abortions and have their health plans offer birth control.Report

            • Avatar Rod Engelsman in reply to Kolohe says:

              What the hell have we just been talking about for a couple dozen comments? The WOD I believe. There’s one at least so your first sentence is just flat out wrong. And most liberals would be happy to legalize/decriminalize sex work. So that’s two.

              Do some traditional liberal projects cross the line? Sure. I’ll cop to that. And I don’t personally support all those either. We’re not monolithic that way.

              But really you need to cut it out with these vague and general assertions and speak to particulars. Because specifics matter; one person’s personal freedom can often be another’s grievous negative externality.Report

              • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Rod Engelsman says:

                What the hell have we just been talking about for a couple dozen comments?

                Again, a different conversation in a different thread nest level.Report

              • Avatar Rod Engelsman in reply to Kolohe says:

                That doesn’t get you off the hook when you make a comment like but in no way do liberals fight for any other aspect of personal autonomy than a woman’s right to an abortion. when we’ve been discussing other aspects of personal autonomy mere inches in screen space away.

                I’m sorry, but I can’t compartmentalize that thoroughly (or conveniently for you).Report

            • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Kolohe says:

              but in no way do liberals fight for any other aspect of personal autonomy…

              You have a good grasp of the obvious. WE’RE NOT LIBERTARIANS!Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Stillwater says:

                OK. That was too quick. But really Kolohe, you’re criticizing liberals not because they don’t agree with your views, but that it’s somehow evidence of depravity to not agree with your views.Report

            • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Kolohe says:

              but in no way do liberals fight for any other aspect of personal autonomy than a woman’s right to an abortion.

              Really, Mr. K? Liberals never supported same-sex marriage, opposed imprisoning people for smoking pot, supported 4th Amendment rights, or fought for the religious rights of schoolkids?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to James Hanley says:

                I read it as him saying “they don’t fight for anything the way that they fight for X”. (It’s not to say that they don’t fight for Y, or Z, or Aleph… but they don’t fight for them with the same oomph that they fight for X.)

                Which is also not exactly true but it’s overstatement.

                Because as much as liberals care about same-sex marriage, imprisoning people for weed, the 4th Amendment (ha!), or religious rights in schools… the only thing they’ve fought for with the same gusto as abortion rights is probably the last of those (and, by the last of those, I assume you mean what right-wingers would call “getting prayer out of school”).Report

              • Avatar Dan Miller in reply to Jaybird says:

                You might be confusing gusto with success.Report

              • Avatar Chris in reply to Jaybird says:

                I suppose it goes without saying that the gusto with which group X fights for issue a is in large part determined by the gusto with which group Y fights against issue a. I also suppose that saying so is the opposite of scoring points the way Kolohe is obviously trying to do.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chris says:

                Doesn’t explain the Wo(s)D, the 4th Amendment, nor (until VERY recently) support for SSM.Report

              • Avatar Chris in reply to Jaybird says:

                Well, it explains the support for SSM pretty well, I think, though I’m not sure it explains weed or the 4th amendment. It probably goes without saying, however, that you everyday liberal’s interest in weed or the 4th amendment is pretty minimal, while abortion and SSM are right at the center of their political radar these days.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

                Not caring about stuff that isn’t on the radar seems to me to be begging the question.

                But, at the end of the day, we agree that they don’t care about those things anywhere near as much as they care about abortion rights and isn’t coming together on agreement the most important thing?Report

              • Avatar Chris in reply to Jaybird says:

                Jay, umm.. maybe my point wasn’t clear: liberals (and conservatives, and humans generally) tend to care more about stuff that their opponents are fighting hard against. I don’t see many conservatives all that worried about doing away with the 4th amendment (the police state that seems to be threatening it has less to do with conservatism and more to do with power), but I see a lot of conservatives freaking out over abortion and gay rights. It’s a dynamic thing, with each side contributing to how central an issue becomes in our political discourse.

                It’s not question begging, then, to say that liberals spend more time and energy on abortion because conservatives do, and vice versa, while neither side spends a whole lot of energy on the 4th amendment.

                Clear as mud? (If you still think that the fact that liberals don’t pay much attention to the 4th amendment is evidence against what I’m saying, then it’s not clear as mud, and I’ll try to state it some other way).Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

                “less to do with conservatism and more to do with power”

                Huh. I wonder if switching out “conservatism” with “liberalism” has any explanatory power for overall behaviors in any given arena…Report

              • Avatar Chris in reply to Jaybird says:

                Jay, what I mean in that phrase is that the erosion of 4th amendment rights have to do with power. Power is not a liberal or a conservative thing, it’s a human thing. Conservatives don’t seem to be pushing for such an erosion, so liberals, who comprise a political faction operating in a political climate that is defined largely by their interactions with the other major political faction operating in that climate, aren’t going to push back, because politically, there’s no one to push back against. It’s politically and cognitively unproductive, for most liberals (or conservatives).

                Stating again: where both parties are talking, the talking will tend to turn to yelling. Where only one party is talking, the talking will tend to turn to a whisper. All four examples — SSM and abortion on the yelling side, pot (though increasingly less so) and the 4th amendment on the whispering side — provide evidence for this view.Report

      • Avatar Rod Engelsman in reply to Kolohe says:

        Point one: You don’t actually own the electric meter on the side of your house. The electric utility (whether public or private) does, and has every legal right to do whatever the hell they want with it, including replacing it with an updated model. And utilities have always had the legal right (I believe it’s called an easement.) to enter your property to address concerns with their property.

        Second, the whole point of smart meters is to charge you less when demand is low and more when demand is high. It’s actually, you know… smart. And very free-markety.

        Third, the concerns over privacy and thieves being able to know when you’re not home or whatever, are just… dumb. The data goes to their billing system and is already as protected as any other financial data; which is, likely not perfectly because nothing is, but not just out in the open for anyone to see either. There’s a hell of a lot easier ways for burglars to figure out you’re not home than hacking into ConEd.

        Fourth, the health concerns are ginned up nonsense as well. It’s the same kind of RF as your cell phone and wireless routers. In fact, I would be surprised if it didn’t actually work over the cellular data network just like the Qualcomm unit in my truck. Unless these women are Amish or a similar breed of Luddites they’re voluntarily exposing themselves to many times the radiation that will come off these things every once in a while.

        The whole thing is just Alex Jones level conspiracy theory nonsense.Report

        • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Rod Engelsman says:

          Well, I know that. And you know that. But the whole point of freedom is for people to be able to make poor decisions.

          Otherwise, they’re just children to be taken care of.

          And disciplined.

          By any means necessary.Report

          • Avatar greginak in reply to Kolohe says:

            you forgot to yell WOLVERINES!!!!!Report

            • Avatar Kolohe in reply to greginak says:

              When black folks in the inner city get harrased and arrested by cops, nobody except Radley Balko, the ACLU, and some liberals get upset.

              When white folks get harassed and arrested, the liberals disappear.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Kolohe says:

                How right you are. Tell who does appear when white people get harassed, a well-heeled lawyer, who walks in the courthouse door and grabs a copy of a form with “Complaint-Petition” on the top of it and fills it in most careful-like. Thereafter, the brutal minions of the law, to wit, the sheriff, climbs his fat ass into his copmobile, summons in hand, and pays a visit to the harasser. Lots of copies get made of these documents and the bowels of the justice system rumble to life, fart prodigiously and Justice is Served.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Kolohe says:

                What would you have me do, Kolohe? Write a nasty letter? Stop voting for Democrats because they’re the cause of all this? Vote libertarian….?

                I don’t agree with those policies either. The difference is that for you, those examples are used as decisive evidence that government liberals statists anyone who isn’t a libertarian is morally complicit and a real fucking shithead. For me, they’re just real shitty policies.

                Do you really think that my political orientation has anything to do with the institutional structure of the inner city police state?

                {{Oops. I shouldn’t have asked. I just opened to the door to a really nasty first principle based a priori ideological critique of my mental and moral deficiencies, haven’t I?}}Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Kolohe says:

                Liberals are reverse racists? You’re really going there?Report

          • Avatar Rod Engelsman in reply to Kolohe says:

            And you know that. But the whole point of freedom is for people to be able to make poor decisions.

            Not with someone else’s property. Like the utility company’s meters.Report

        • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Rod Engelsman says:

          I mean, please, you’re telling me that that cop in the video was in the right?Report

          • Avatar Rod Engelsman in reply to Kolohe says:

            The utility company has an easement to service their property. Denying them access is tantamount to property theft.

            So, yes, arrest is warranted.Report

          • Avatar greginak in reply to Kolohe says:

            No i didn’t say he was correct. My original comment was that i found it wrong for you to assert that “But the second biggest obstacle is the liberal fear, that somebody, somewhere, will make a profit once drugs are legalized.” I asked for proof since i found that to be incorrect. One dufus cop doesn’t prove this assertion nor has anything else you have posted proved it. I said above that some of the big pot growers in Cali were against more open pot laws because it would take money out of their pockets. In fact i’m sure some liberals don’t want the cig companies to start selling pot since they are highly suspicious of big business and think Big Pot would ruin the unique niche pot market ( sort of like crap beers like Bud push out micro brews) Hell i’ve just done more to back your assertion then you have. But in the end i don’t see any evidence libs fearing profit is a problem with getting pot legalized.Report

  5. Avatar Roger says:

    It would be more revealing if they compared the geographic circles to something like Lasic surgery.Report

  6. Avatar North says:

    Kazzy @ 3. I think we jinxed it.Report

  7. Avatar Jesse Ewiak says:

    Not to bring this topic up again, but as a counter to the, “Hey, Norway and France limit abortions. Why not the US!”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/01/31/all-states-except-oregon-now-limit-abortion-access/

    All right there is a color coded chart in all the myriad ways all 49 states except for Oregon (damn hippies) all limit abortion in some way. As the resident male pro-choice extremist, I’ll happily trade all these wacky regulations for a standard, “abortion on demand in the first trimester, rape and incest or life of the mother in the final two trimesters” in a moment. Except of course, as anti-abortion activists admit, they wouldn’t be happy with that.Report

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