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66%

I just found out today that 66% of abortions are sought by women that are already mothers. This is a strong indication to me that many of the women are making the best choices they can for the children they already have.

It kind of meshes with a few stories I've heard the past couple of weeks as I conversed with people over this ridiculous abortion ban bill (HB235 S1).

There were two stories I heard this week about women who were married with children but at the end of their capabilities when they found out they were pregnant unexpectedly -- I think at least one was failed birth control. They got abortions and were happy with their decision.

I heard another story this week about a woman who had raised most of her 8 kids to adulthood when she found out she was pregnant near 50 years old. She had the child because this was pre-Roe v. Wade. She apparently went a little nuts (no indication if child raising was the reason, but if I had to raise 8 kids and was just about done and found out that I had to start all over again at 50 I would go insane myself -- heck, it would take a lot fewer kids to drive me insane) and his mother's emotional state while raising him had a very negative affect on that 9th child.

Another story I heard this week: a friend told me that her mother-in-law admitted to her that if she had been a young woman these days rather than her own, she would not have had children; she said that even though she loved her children, she never enjoyed being a mom.

These stories are hard to hear -- we want to picture mothers as unconditionally loving and self-sacrificing. Many women have a difficult time coming out of the "I don't like being a mommy" closet because they do love their kids and it's a taboo in our society for a woman, much less a mother, not to be a "kid person".

Just because we are all born with the physical equipment to have children and sexual drives, doesn't mean we are all meant to be mothers.

Comments

( 26 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Feb. 7th, 2007 06:59 pm (UTC)
I'm trying to be sympathetic, but...
I still can't agree with abortion. It's sad that the 9th kid had a rough life because his mom went nuts, but do you honestly believe that the solution or better path to have taken was to abort that child out of existence??

Aren't there other more humane solutions, like adoption for example? Maybe it's cause I got a fighting spirit but I'd rather be given a crappy chance in a crappy adoption home than be aborted and given NO chance at all.

I don't necessarily think that this bill is the way to go right now, but it hurts me to think of how we have rationalized abortion as being a humane way to end human suffering. It sickly reminds me a bit of the Nazi's rationalization of their eugenics program.

Anyway, I've probably said enough.
green_jenni
Feb. 7th, 2007 08:39 pm (UTC)
Re: I'm trying to be sympathetic, but...
It's not a eugenics discussion -- but it is illustrative of a point -- not all women who seek abortions are the right-wing stereotype of a cavalier, sexually promiscuous woman that doesn't bother to take birth control and uses abortions as such.

Making a choice is a lot more nuanced than pro-lifers give credit for. There are so many variables, so many different reasons that someone must have an abortion.

(continued in next comment since there is a space limit)
green_jenni
Feb. 7th, 2007 08:41 pm (UTC)
Re: I'm trying to be sympathetic, but...
For those pro-lifers who are moms, I'd be curious as to how much was too much for you to make a decision other than raising a child. Just as an exercise -- this is something I've done myself:

Suppose you were to have more kids than you planned, wanted or could afford. For the sake of argument, lets say that your ideal number of kid is 2 -- you'd have a 3rd if it were an accident, maybe even stretch that to 4 even if it means you will spend more than half of your adult life as a child raiser. So what happens if there is a 5th pregnancy?

The reasons could be various for you exceeding your limit: you have birth control failure; maybe you can't take hormonal birth control for health reasons and your husband won't get a vasectomy or wear a condom. Life is not black and white and very messy sometimes and an unplanned pregnancy could happen in lots of ways you don't forsee.

Okay -- you may be willing to have a child or two past your ideal if an accident happens, but what about after that? As a married person, are you willing to go through 9 months of pregnancy for the 5th time with all the additional toll on your body, to give up your child for adoption and deal with the emotional fall out from your family and the guilt of giving up your child -- or are you going to attempt to absorb yet another child into your already maxed out life (assuming that 2 was ideal and 3 was a stretch)? What about a 6th, 7th and 8th?

Why is a fertilized egg more important than your own life and health? Why is the potential for life more important than the lives of your already existing children?
green_jenni
Feb. 7th, 2007 08:42 pm (UTC)
Re: I'm trying to be sympathetic, but...
If you can happily raise as many children as you are comfortable bearing, you are a rare woman. Many of us are not child-oriented, and some of us who may be fond of children still may have limits far, far below that. So are we to join nuneries, get major surgery or should we be punished for having sex by being forced to raise children against our will for most of our lives?

I know that you keep referring to adoption. This issue gets a bit sticky -- besides the emotional trauma of the child learning that they are not wanted, we get into the fact that why should fertile women become baby making factories for unfertile ones? This is icky shades of "A Handmaid's Tale" and a bit of a slippery slope if women are restricted from the option of abortion. And then there's the fact that there are so many children in need of adoption already, do we need to add more to the system? Because most people that want to adopt want to adopt white babies -- not too many will adopt ethnic children or children that are older.

How can you be sure that your children won't be molested, abused by their adoptive family? Can you live with wondering about that for the rest of your life?
green_jenni
Feb. 7th, 2007 08:43 pm (UTC)
Re: I'm trying to be sympathetic, but...
Is it because if an egg is fertilized that means God has meant for you to have more children? Beside being unprovable by doctrine it sets a weird precedent -- do you get you tumor removed if you get cancer and try to live, or is it God's will that you should have cancer and it's your time to go. Do you get treatment for diabetes, or do you accept God's will and hope for the best? Maybe it's your fault that you got cancer eating a meat-heavy diet and spraying your house with pesticides. Maybe it's your fault that you got diabetes by drink soda and eating candy, but most people would say their lives are more important and will do what they can to fix their lives rather than take the natural punishment of their actions with good grace.

Would you declare celibacy until after menopause, because the consequences of the fairly regular sex that one can expect in a marriage is that you have to create child after child? Should you get major surgery adding more toll to your body to prevent children? Can you afford that major surgery? Can you afford not to?
(Anonymous)
Feb. 7th, 2007 09:43 pm (UTC)
Re: I'm trying to be sympathetic, but...
A Slippery-Slope argument: could surgery on your reproductive system eventually be considered a form of abortion? Maybe that's a bit radical, but you never know.

My thoughts are that I would never get an abortion myself, but I will never tell another woman what choice she should make...that's between her and her conscience and no one else...particularly not the Utah legislature.
green_jenni
Feb. 8th, 2007 07:27 pm (UTC)
Re: I'm trying to be sympathetic, but...
"My thoughts are that I would never get an abortion myself, but I will never tell another woman what choice she should make...that's between her and her conscience and no one else...particularly not the Utah legislature."

Thank you -- this is what pro-choice means. The choice can be to raise a child -- it's one of the 3.
(Anonymous)
Feb. 7th, 2007 08:25 pm (UTC)
Education
I agree that some women really feel like the best and possibly only option for them is abortion.

That's one of the reasons I think we need to be doing a lot more (since currently nothing is really being done) to educate women on their choices both before and after they become pregnant, and improve access to health care.

(do I sound like a broken record yet- so far, one on my state reps agree with me, so it's progress)

-Allie
green_jenni
Feb. 7th, 2007 08:46 pm (UTC)
Re: Education
Allie,

Thanks for signing your name to your posts. LiveJournal doesn't have a very good system for comments if you aren't a member.

That said, the above is meant as a discussion to pro-life married women in general-- some of your comments brought up questions for me and I really wanted to address it in this discussion.
(Anonymous)
Feb. 8th, 2007 12:09 am (UTC)
cross posted
I posted my last comment before I saw all of yours.

I'm married, and have two kids, and one more due in april. I don't know how many kids I could "handle" but I know that there is a limit. I could handle one "oops" I think.

After one oops though, I think I have the education and awareness to make sure that future "oops" didn't become a recurring pattern.

Personally, if my husband wouldn't use a condom or get a vasectomy he'd be out of luck (if for some reason I couldn't use birth control pills or get an IUD)- which brings up a whole new empowerment issue (which education would help with).

I still think we need to focus more on reducing the need for abortions. Wouldn't it be better to avoid getting pregnant in the first place then to have to go through the trauma of choosing and then having an abortion?

I did read something interesting today, just a comment from a friend of my mom's who said that their reason for wanting Roe vs. Wade overturned is that abortion and other family related issues should be decided at the state level, not federally.

-Allie
(Anonymous)
Feb. 8th, 2007 12:18 am (UTC)
http://www.johnstonsarchive.net/policy/abortion/abreasons.html

4-8% of abortions are performed because the mother "has enough children already."

0.2% are done because the life of the mother is at risk.

1% are done because the physical health of the mother is at risk.

0.33% are done because the mother was forced to be pregnant. ie rape or incest.

http://www.abortionfacts.com/statistics/us_stats_abortion.asp

About 80% of abortions are performed on unmarried women.

45% of women getting an abortion have never given birth.

http://www.abortionfacts.com/statistics/age.asp

68.9% of abortions are done on women between the ages of 20 and 34.

Cameron
www.magicvalleymormon.blogspot.com
green_jenni
Feb. 8th, 2007 07:15 pm (UTC)
Nice Spin Job part 1
"About 80% of abortions are performed on unmarried women.'

The 66% of women who are already mothers may not be married -- you don't have to be married to be a mother -- in fact, are you Repubs the ones that criticize women for continuing to produce children without a husband? Oh I forgot -- women should be celebate until menopause unless they can permenantly catch a man.

"68.9% of abortions are done on women between the ages of 20 and 34." -great statistic, yes it's true that the prime fertile years are 20 -34 years old. Fertility declines in the late 30s and menopause can happen as early as the early 40s. Men also decline in fertility as they age, and it's still not very common to see a lot of randy older women having unprotected sex with young guys, which is still kind of a rarity, there won't be as many unplanned pregnancies in the older category.
(Anonymous)
Feb. 8th, 2007 04:51 am (UTC)
I've stopped trying to be sympathetic
I think the real issue is this: when is a baby a baby? My wife is pregnant with our first child. At 12 weeks, we saw an ultrasound of our baby. It has arms, legs, a beating heart, and even fingernails (though you couldn't see the fingernails, I've read that they're there). It has brain waves, too. What else does it need to be considered life rather than just "potential life"?

And at 12 weeks, we could legally abort the baby that's in my wife's womb, and that thought disgusts me.

Though I am a religious person, I don't necessarily think that it's critical to discuss whether it's God's will for someone to have a child if they get pregnant because from my experience with making babies, it's a choice that you and your sex partner make. That's what sex is. It's the means to create babies, so every time you have sex, you could potentially make a baby. So if you don't want unwanted babies, don't choose to have sex.

Who cares whether or not it was God's will because it was definitely YOUR will to have sex. Yes, people CAN choose to overcome their sexual desires.

Now, what about the case of rape and incest. Well, that's why I believe in those cases it's appropriate for a woman to make that heavy decision on whether or not she wants to continue with the pregnancy. Why? Because she did not choose that path.




green_jenni
Feb. 8th, 2007 07:19 pm (UTC)
Nice Spin Job part 2
"It has arms, legs, a beating heart, and even fingernails (though you couldn't see the fingernails"

People who aren't alive also have fingernails, arms and legs.

Scientists can make a heart beat in a petrie dish.

I'd need to see more information on the brain waves, as without a fully function nervous system it seems unlikely to mean much.

"So if you don't want unwanted babies, don't choose to have sex."

How very archaic. Straight out of the dark ages.

green_jenni
Feb. 8th, 2007 07:25 pm (UTC)
You must be exausted from all the funerals
1/4 of all fertized eggs get washed out in the monthly period. And that doesn't even address the embryos that are further developed that go with the period as well and unbeknownst to the mother. All those poor babies that will never get a chance at life! That's a lot of dead fully living babies.

(Anonymous)
Feb. 8th, 2007 05:27 am (UTC)
More of my lack of sympathy
Now then, I don't think that sex is only for getting pregnant. I think it serves other purposes in a relationship as well, but I also believe that that's why only married couples or people who are committed to one another for the long term should have sex because otherwise, you're playing with fire.

Next point, I find most of your arguments for abortion to be selfish. The only way for your arguments to play out is for you to not consider any fetus a life. Otherwise you're simply justifying the death of any other life that gets in the way of your own comfort ("Why is a fertilized egg more important than your own life and health"?).

Going back to the whole life vs. potential life argument, where do we draw the line? I think the current line is way off simply because with modern medicine, a fetus in the end of the second trimester can be born prematurely and survive. And yet, it's legal to abort that fetus even though it's viable without the mother.

That to me shows that the real arguments for abortion have nothing to do with whether the fetus is a life or not. Instead, it seems to really be about whether the mother wants that baby.

And if that's not a horrible slippery slope, then I don't know what is. If it's just about whether or not the mother wants the baby, then why not let mothers abort 1 month old babies? Cause after all of the crying and feeding parents have to put up with in that first month, they might realize that this isn't the right path for them (think of the pain of only getting a few hours a sleep every night). I'm sure doctors have some painless way to euthenize newborns. And what's the harm done? They're just as unaware of their surroundings as a fetus and just as dependent on others to keep them alive. The only reason you can hear them cry when they're upset vs. when they're in the womb is because they have air surrounding their vocal chords instead of amniotic fluid.

Sorry to be so graphic, but I find abortions to be cruel, and I have pity for those who feel like the "must have an abortion."
green_jenni
Feb. 8th, 2007 07:52 pm (UTC)
Re: I'm trying to be sympathetic, but...
Your religiosity is showing through.

"I find most of your arguments for abortion to be selfish. "

Ooops, guess I must have been born without the selfless gene. As a woman, I should gladly sacrifice my life in service to others -- it's what being a woman is all about.

In reality I'm probably no more or less selfish than the average human being. I do go out of my way to help those who are already living and breathing. I volunteer my time in the community and I'm dedicated to leaving the planet better than I found it. I also have self-love, which means that my own dreams and aspirations are a priority and should not be subverted for some superstitious/religious belief that says that my eternal destiny is mothering and taking care of others. I'm already dedicating what will end up being 27 years of my life (most of it youth) to child rearing, but I won't condem someone who doesn't want to spend that much of their life force for others.

"If it's just about whether or not the mother wants the baby, then why not let mothers abort 1 month old babies?"

Oh yes, the old black and white argument. Only works if you believe that a fertilized egg is a fully living human being, in which case you might want to arrest women for having periods that sweep out those 1/4 of all fertilized eggs before they've even had a chance to implant.

"I suggest to you that this means that the beginning of life is not a single specific event , but rather a process that desrves increasing respect as it continues toward birth -- precisely the tripartite system set up under Roe v. Wade" - Molly Ivins

"don't think that sex is only for getting pregnant. I think it serves other purposes in a relationship as well, but I also believe that that's why only married couples or people who are committed to one another for the long term should have sex"

They thought this in the dark ages, too. Reality check -- we all have hormones, sex is as nearly a powerful drive as is the drive to eat, and you can't tell women that if they don't want children they must remain celebate (celibate?)until after menopause and expect that to work. Furthermore, if all the women who didn't want kids or didn't want any more kids were able to manage celibacy until after menopause, we'd have a lot of frustrated men. What would you proose then? More brothels? Polyandry for the women who will take perpetual pregnancy and child rearing in return for being able to have sex before the age of 50?

Not every man wants to be married. Not every woman wants to have children. We all have sex drives.
(Anonymous)
Feb. 8th, 2007 08:53 pm (UTC)
the pill
It isn't the dark ages, and if women want to have sex but don't want children, there are fairly effective ways of preventing pregnancy. Accidents happen, but this discussion is making it sound like women should be able to have sex with no thought to the consequences.

We all have sex drives, but we also all must learn to be responsible for our choices and not let our sex drives control our lives.

-Allie
green_jenni
Feb. 8th, 2007 09:08 pm (UTC)
Re: the pill
Not all woman can take the pill -- the hormones can cause certain health problems and in very rare cases death.

We have a "permanent" solution for birth control in our marriage, but there is still a slight possibility that things could grow back together, as it were.

Agreed about not letting our sex drives control our lives. We shouldn't let any of our drives control our lives. But we shouldn't live in denial of and suppress them either -- suppressed drives tend to cause a lot more trouble than healthily indulged ones do.
(Anonymous)
Feb. 9th, 2007 12:16 am (UTC)
Sarcasm and contempt don't become you. Nor does it help this discussion.

You tried to paint a picture of abortion as women simply already having too many kids to care for. The facts show that that is the case in as few as 4% of the abortions performed in this country.

You have argued that abortion is necessary for the sake of the mother's health or even life. The facts show that that is the case in as few as 1% of the abortions in the US.

You have attempted to show that abortion is for the slight chance that contraceptives don't work. The facts show that 46% of abortions are the result of not using contraceptives.

You argue that it is Talibanish to expect people to control their desires, when the truth is that our society demands that all the time, in many circumstances.

You (and others) argue that the real problem is that we need additional awareness and use of contraceptives, but the facts show that 17% of abortions are the result of failed contraceptives.

Some argue that it is our young girls that need abortions, but the fact is that 68% of abortions are for women 20-34 years old.

You have tried to argue that science proves that life does not begin before birth, but the facts show that a fetus has many of the physical characterstics you do, has unique human DNA as you do, and is responsive to its environment as you are.

It is clear that a pregnant woman has a human life inside of her. An important philosopher stated: "if you are conceived by human parents, you are human." To argue otherwise is to deny humanity from many who are obviously human beings.
green_jenni
Feb. 9th, 2007 04:15 am (UTC)
Authoritarian patriarical control doesn't become you, dear anon.

I question your statistics because I've seen far different statistics -- we could probably both find statistics that contradict the others.

"fetus has many of the physical characterstics you do, has unique human DNA "

Ever single skin cell that sheds and becomes dust has DNA -- this is not sarcasm, I'm not buying the DNA prsent means there's a fully formed life -- DNA does not prove there is a soul, fully functioning nervous system, fully developed brain -- there is only the potential for these things until a certain point in the pregnancy, after which a fetus is protected under Roe v. Wade .
(Anonymous)
Feb. 9th, 2007 08:54 pm (UTC)
Oh good, more name calling. Why is it that if I disagree with you I must be "authoritarian" and "patriarical"?

I gave you the sources of my statistics. They are based on the CDC and the Alan Guttmacher Institute, which is the research branch of Planned Parenthood. Feel free to share your statistics with their sources so we can better understand any discrepancies that may exist.

A dead skin cell is far different biologically than a fertilized egg. My source for that is my old high school biology textbook.

DNA does not prove there is a fully functioning brain. It does not even prove there are fully functioning limbs. But the lack of those things doesn't deny humanity to my uncle, who was born with many impairments that prevent him from ever walking, seeing, fully communicating, or using the left side of his body.

So far your arguments in favor of abortion also advocate giving my grandparents the "choice" to terminate his life.

Cameron
magicvalleymormon.blogspot.com
green_jenni
Feb. 9th, 2007 11:27 pm (UTC)
Cameron--

You have probably received the brunt of my frustration as you are the umpteenth person to use the same arguments against choice that I've heard ad nauseum, which I have had to argue as to why you have no right to dictate laws about by body. I'm getting very tired of the debate.

I'm getting very tired of being told that I shouldn't have sex unless I'm married and fully prepared to raise a child for 20 years in exchange for the 20 minutes or so of fun. I'm tired of being told that I'm selfish because I don't fit some outdated idealized version of womanhood circa 1950.

You picture a sweet little baby being murdered, I picture women's and children's lives destroyed, poverty and long-term suffering. Our life experiences have given us completely different ways to view the same thing.

(to be continued)
green_jenni
Feb. 9th, 2007 11:28 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure why you want to continue this debate -- you are so very sure that life begins at conception; I'm very sure that I won't cede my rights over my body and life to religious/superstitious beliefs that I don't share. Neither of us will convince the other.

Your comments on The World According to me:

"But let's be clear as to what the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints stance is on abortion:

Human life is a sacred gift from God. Elective abortion for personal or social convenience is contrary to the will and the commandments of God. Church members who submit to, perform, encourage, pay for, or arrange for such abortions may lose their membership in the Church.

In today's society, abortion has become a common practice, defended by deceptive arguments. Latter-day prophets have denounced abortion, referring to the Lord's declaration, "Thou shalt not . . . kill, nor do anything like unto it" (D&C 59:6). Their counsel on the matter is clear: Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints must not submit to, perform, encourage, pay for, or arrange for an abortion. Church members who encourage an abortion in any way may be subject to Church discipline. "

Having spent the first 19 years of my life as an active Mormon, I'm well aware how difficult it is to convince them of anything different than what the "church" says. They drill into your head every week that you belong to the only true church (and several times on fast Sunday). If you belong to the only true church, then the logic follows that anything said by the leaders of the only true church is the ultimate truth of the Universe. I don't have the debating skills to compete with your certainty based on this -- which having had it once myself, I've come to realize takes a lot of different life experiences to wake you up.

Since your religion believes that gender is an eternal experience and that the ultimate destiny for women who make it to the top of the Celestial Kingdom and the production of spirit babies, it would come as no surprise that one who follows your religion would believe that women who don't want "God's plan" for them would be unnatural and "selfish". This would further be confirmed if most of the women you know really enjoyed their roles as mothers, as many -- but far from all -- women do. And how many would dare "come out of the not-wanting-to-center-life-around-children closet" if they don't with such beliefs?

When I try to view what I've said about abortion from my 19 year-old active-Mormon perspective, I'm aware that I'm wasting my time in arguing. And while you are not me at 19, you probably see it close enough to that perspective to make all this considerable time I'm spending on this one subject a waste.

So lets agree to disagree, shall we?
(Anonymous)
Feb. 12th, 2007 02:59 pm (UTC)
I have continued this debate because I enjoy rational exchange of ideas, and I find that exchange to be valuable. I can empathize with your frustration at responding to various commentors on various posts. However, I think you'll find that I have not used any of the arguments you've listed as being so frustrating to you. I have structured my arguments factually, cited my sources, and responded to each of your arguments.

Your final response to me implies that I am "just" a Mormon, and so cannot think for myself. You say that you used to be a Mormon, but that your life experience, including raising two children at a young age, is what caused you to "wake up."

Though I have yet to awaken from my Mormon-induced stupor, I will share some of my own life experiences with you. My wife and I had three children before our 28th birthday, two of whom were conceived despite our use of birth control (so much for sex education). During this time I worked full time, went to University full time, and never made more than $10 an hour. At one point I was waking up at 5am so I could catch the train at 6, and didn't return home until 8 that night, only to have to do homework once I got there. It was hard. My own life experiences have taught me quite well what it means to raise a child at a young age. In fact, I raised three.

That being said, I think most of the excuses for wanting an abortion depend on one very important thing: is the fetus a human. No matter how hard to raise or how inconvenient the baby may be, abortion is still not an option if she is indeed a human. My positive argument is borrowed from John Noonan: If you are conceived by human parents, you are human. I wrote a quite extensive post on this not too long ago.

In reading through all of your posts on the subject, your argument seems to grant humanity only to those with a "fully developed brain and fully developed nervous system." My complaint with that definition of humanity is that it denies personhood to many born people lacking those things, including my uncle who was born with many handicaps, such as blindness, inability to walk or say more than a few words, and a complete lack of use of the left side of his body. His brain is far from being fully developed, and while he lives it never will be. He does not even possess the "potential" to be fully developed.

Although there are a few people out there that disagree, I don't think that terminating the lives of premies, newborns, the elderly, or people like my uncle is justified.

Cameron
magicvalleymormon.blogspot.com
green_jenni
Feb. 12th, 2007 04:32 pm (UTC)
"premies, newborns, the elderly, or people like my uncle is justified."

This is about embryos and fetuses, 90% of which are at 12 weeks gestation or less. This is not about premies, newborns, the elderly or people like your uncle. Abortion is not allowed under Roe v. Wade after a fetus becomes viable -- which eliminates all those that you mention above from being "terminated".

The "just a Mormon" thing: I have been fortunate to get to know a lot of Mormons who are liberal on a lot of subjects in the last few years, which has been a surprise to me because I certainly didn't know any during my days as a Mormon, and some of it contradicts what I know of Mormonism from all those years of sunday school, primary, young women's plus the 4 years of seminary I had. I'm aware that not all Mormons believe alike.

From the quote that you posted on "The World According To Me" from your church leaders:

"Human life is a sacred gift from God. Elective abortion for personal or social convenience is contrary to the will and the commandments of God. Church members who submit to, perform, encourage, pay for, or arrange for such abortions may lose their membership in the Church.

In today's society, abortion has become a common practice, defended by deceptive arguments. Latter-day prophets have denounced abortion, referring to the Lord's declaration, "Thou shalt not . . . kill, nor do anything like unto it" (D&C 59:6). Their counsel on the matter is clear: Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints must not submit to, perform, encourage, pay for, or arrange for an abortion. Church members who encourage an abortion in any way may be subject to Church discipline. "

I bolded the parts which I think apply to our arguments here which show a religious bias to the discussion. How can you have a rational debate with me when I, according to your leaders, am "using deceptive arguments?" If you believe this quote there can be no rational debate -- I will always be using "deceptive arguments". My experience as a Mormon had given me an insight into how hard it is to break through that kind of moral certainty with anything that contradicts it.

Thank you for sharing your story with me. I'm glad that you and your partner made the choice that best fit you.

I have shared some of my story of raising my first daughter as a single parent. I was one of the lucky ones -- I did get a lot of support from friends and a little from family, but even as one of the lucky ones I wouldn't wish some of the hell that I experienced on anyone. Had I been forced to into that and not chosen it for myself, it would have been far worse for both my daughter and myself.
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