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Intro: "In states across the country, women are being arrested for the crime of ending their own pregnancies - though they have a constitutional right to do so in a doctor's office. Michelle Goldberg on a worrisome new trend."

Woman at window. (photo: Cultura/Corbis)
Woman at window. (photo: Cultura/Corbis)

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+42 # Barbara K 2011-06-05 09:13
Of course, that is what the Republibaggers want. They want women who have abortions to die, so they set it up so it will happen. They have no respect for life, it is just a control thing for them. They care not for the life of the woman. Yep, edging towards a Taliban Government. Pretty soon we won't be able to vote or drive a car or go shopping alone. Stop them now!
 
 
-27 # Kiwikid 2011-06-05 17:14
So 50 million potential American citizens since 1973 being denied the full rights you and I enjoy is simply to be dismissed as of no consequence. This is a profoundly moral issue for both sides of the debate, and to dismiss the opposing view with such simplistic 'straw man' logic is tragic. No wonder America is becoming increasingly polarised - there is no willingness to listen or properly engage with one another
 
 
+26 # Ken Hall 2011-06-05 23:52
Andrew: By "potential citizens", are you saying that 50 million fetuses were aborted in the US since 1973? If so, I think you stated it correctly; they might possibly have become human beings, but they were not human beings, they were fetuses, and not to be confused with viable infants. Life doesn't start at conception, the possibility of life starts at conception, and having lived on a farm, I can tell you that not every pregnancy results in a viable organism. Ergo, no, fetuses do not and should not have full rights as US citizens because they are not US citizens until they are born, and even then there are conditions (see Birther controversy). And while we're discussing rights, how about the right of a woman, with or without the compliance of her husband or mate, to control her own reproductivity? I'd say that's an important ingredient in one's "pursuit of happiness". It is the disrespect and stridency of conservatives that is polarizing this issue. It should be a simple choice. If you don't condone abortions, don't have one, but don't limit the decisions and rights of others to live by their own beliefs. The very first mentioned right in the Bill of Rights of the US Constitution is freedom of religious belief. You are welcome to yours but please don't force yours on me.
 
 
+9 # Dave W. 2011-06-07 09:26
Ken Hall, Excellent reply Ken! As we both know, it's women's ability to control their reproductive functions that have allowed them the ability to pursue that which they, like men, dream of. The elimination of reproductive rights simply make women what they were for centuries. Incubators designed to provide more incubators and sexual gratification devices or to produce bodies for low wage menial labor and human cannon fodder for the wars of empire man has fought since he's walked the Earth. You cover the "religious" and "rights" angle very well without my adding to it. Again, well done!
 
 
+29 # CTPatriot 2011-06-06 00:22
Speak for your own side. You are the ones who are imposing your ideology on the rest of us by force of law. When abortion is legal, you have the choice to decide what your morals are on the issue. When you make it illegal, the morals of one side are being imposed on the rest of us. So what is there to engage about? You can't engage or dialogue with the American Taliban. Keep dreaming.

As for your 50 Million potential American citizens, call me when you've found enough jobs, affordable housing and healthcare for the people who are already born and alive in this country. Only an ideological moron would suggest that this country would be better off with another 50 million people when we can't take care of the ones we already have.

The real moral issue here is that you fundamentalists only care about "life" before it is born. And you do everything in your power to make it impossible for us to care for life AFTER it is born. You have it completely ass-backwards. But that's what happens when your belief in a book of fairly tales takes precedence over the reality on the ground. And the reality on the ground is that people have sex, people make mistakes, some people can't afford to bring more children into the world, and society can't afford to bear the burden of those children.
 
 
+16 # Glen 2011-06-06 08:22
Andrew, when did you begin to think of abortion as a serious issue, with morality attached? Was it back in the era when republicans were actually in favor of abortion, including Reagan? Was it prior to that when women had their ways of deciding these things on their own or with a doctor? Was it after reading passages in the Bible? Did you miss the passage in which "quickening" (when the mother first felt the fetus move) was mentioned as the end of possible abortion?

Or did you make your decisions after the extremely radical religious folks began their campaign, even with the help of democrats, against abortion. Was it when George H.W.'s administration began an earnest effort to divide citizens - abortion being an easy one to manipulate. Or once the extremes began getting elected and entering school boards? Or was it when George W. jumped in with a message from god?

Whenever it was, you took the bait and joined the effort to run it into the rest of us. See? A LOT of us know your side of the argument.
 
 
+14 # swamp yankee 2011-06-06 09:32
You speak as if no "potential American citizens" were aborted before 1973. Why start counting with Roe v. Wade? Because you like to pretend that when abortion is illegal that it doesn't happen, at virtually the same rate as when it's legal? Because you like to pretend that making abortion illegal actually stops abortion, that it accomplishes anything other than the underground, sexualized, vigilante punishment of women and girls?
 
 
+2 # Patch 2011-06-07 22:29
What no one addresses is the forcing of a child to be born to a mother who does not want it. An unwanted child is an abused child. Expanding on that premise is the fact that many children forced into this world will be physically, sexually and mentally abused. From that it is a simple step to see that those who oppose the legalization of abortion as supporting child abuse.
 
 
+2 # michelle 2011-06-08 08:57
Andrew I just bet you are unhappy with 'anchor babies' so listen to your own position. Stating that 'potential American citizens' are denied full rights implies life and citizenship begin at conception. Good golly, think of all the tourists who come on vacation and conceive a 'potential' American citizen. Does that embryo have citizenship if it is conceived in the USA?
Look, the issue is about choice and clearly it is't a choice for you but it is for others. We live in a diverse society and need to trust people to make responsible choices that work in their life. If you really want to provide an element of choice why not work for fully funding social programs such as welfare and food stamps. Why not work for healthcare and housing. You want to provide people with a choice then give them the support they need to make it. I am biased and see this as a woman's issue. Sorry, but your body is not on the line with this issue.
 
 
-7 # Kiwikid 2011-06-07 15:35
Well it sounds like you boys have it all sown up! I've been slam dunked, eh. All this does is goes to illustrate the point I'm making - you're not willing to listen. I thought I was progressive. Apparently not. I'm increasingly discovering that I'm part of a group who are basically no different from the other lot - just as ideologically driven and all operating with the same demonising spirit.
 
 
+1 # Ken Hall 2011-06-10 07:12
Andrew: I have listened for at least thirty years to the anti-abortion arguments of conservatives. That is time enough to understand their message, and I don't agree with it. Limiting others' choices and injecting religious dogma into politics is neither democratic nor tolerant (a trait of progressives). It's worth adding that, in a time when population numbers are stressing the earth's capacity to support life, it is also unwise.
 
 
+54 # DaveM 2011-06-05 09:19
And once again, the terrorists are winning, only in this case, the terrorists are our own home-grown variety.

We are rightly outraged by the Taliban "morality police". Sadly, we remain silent when it comes to our own.
 
 
+40 # Realist 2011-06-05 09:30
We need to develop a procedure for "fetal transplants" which would allow a fetus to be transplanted from the body of a woman who doesn't want her fetus to the body of a woman who is opposed to abortions. The men who are opposed to abortions should supply the money for research into developing this procedure. That would be a win-win solution for all. Women who are opposed to abortions should put their bodies where there mouths are, and volunteer for these transplants, and the men who are opposed should pay for the development of and the application of the procedure.
 
 
+10 # wanda 2011-06-05 10:39
The demand for fetal implants will never keep pace with the number of unexpected pregnancies. That's not to say the idea has no merit. What about the economics of that idea in a society that requires health care based on ability to pay?
 
 
+6 # maveet 2011-06-05 13:45
Then this would become the new rule, Forcing women to undergo surgery they don't want to transplant an unwanted fetus.
 
 
+35 # wanda 2011-06-05 10:32
This is scary beyond scary. It's not about abortion. It's about the idea that any form of birth control is abortion and that copulation is for reproduction only...no matter how that copulation takes place.
What makes this really bad it that the men don't have to take responsibility personally or under the law.
 
 
+30 # Lulie 2011-06-05 10:52
What century are we living in?
 
 
+5 # Terre 2011-06-05 17:45
I'd bet, as far as the right to lifers are concerned, maybe the 1st to 20th century.
 
 
+24 # GeeRob 2011-06-05 10:54
This scenario is going exactly as planned by the Republicans/Tea Party/Right to Lifers. An alarming number of states have passed the 24 hour waiting period. In Texas, my backwards state, legislators have just passed a law requiring a sonogram in conjunction with the waiting period. These groups will chip away at Roe v Wade until only the wealthiest, aka Republicans, will be able to obtain a legal abortion. My fear is that the young women in America, who weren't alive prior to Roe, have no idea what lies ahead for them. Will it then be too late?
Intrusive government is not the domain of Democrats. It is solely the device of the Republican Party. And they are peering more and more into the lives of women.
 
 
-2 # CTPatriot 2011-06-06 00:25
Let's not get carried away. Ya, the Republicans are more apt to intrude into our sex lives and our bedrooms. But the Democrats renewed the PATRIOT Act and Obama is prosecuting more whistle blowers than every other president combined, not to mention claiming the right to assassinate American citizens without charge or trial. Republicans are far from alone when it comes to intrusive behavior.
 
 
+3 # Glen 2011-06-06 07:53
Thank you Patriot. The offenses are growing on both sides. Trouble is, most citizens are closer to sex and reproduction than they are to the dictates of the Patriot Act. Therefore, biology rules in these arguments. Of course, the emotion and reaction to these abortion policies do keep people distracted from possibly reading the PA.
 
 
+13 # abby in N.H. 2011-06-05 12:04
Just what this world needs...more unwanted humans to dispise.
 
 
+6 # giraffee2012 2011-06-05 22:12
Quoting abby in N.H.:
Just what this world needs...more unwanted humans to dispise.

I's ok the GOP/TP will take care of overpopulation with "vouchers" - and if you've had a kid - you have a pre-existing condition.

I Hate the STupremes who gave big corporations first amendment rights to "buy our government" --- Scalia/Thomas slept with Koch brothers b4 that 2010 decision and now should resign (No Supreme should make a decisonj by $$ or political influence.

VOTE 2012 -- register now and request a "mail-in" ballot (in case the repugs move your polling place) -- get granny to vote too
 
 
+18 # J.Lindsley 2011-06-05 12:49
We are one sick nation!
we are saddled with a Republican party cum TeaBag Stupidity party that are so caughtup in their own filthy minds they are willing to create this kind of horror as an ordinary way of dealing with "their" problems, not ours.

If they take the Senate in 2012 you can be sure we will be well on our way to the Dictatorship the George W Bush claimed would have made his job as president so much easier.

That is where we are headed.

You have choices!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!
 
 
-25 # BBFmail 2011-06-05 13:08
http://www.blackgenocide.org/sanger.html

How Planned Parenthood Duped America

Sanger's other colleagues included avowed and sophisticated racists. One, Lothrop Stoddard, was a Harvard graduate and the author of The Rising Tide of Color against White Supremacy. Stoddard was something of a Nazi enthusiast who described the eugenic practices of the Third Reich as "scientific" and "humanitarian." And Dr. Harry Laughlin, another Sanger associate and board member for her group, spoke of purifying America's human "breeding stock" and purging America's "bad strains." These "strains" included the "shiftless, ignorant, and worthless class of antisocial whites of the South."

Not to be outdone by her followers, Margaret Sanger spoke of sterilizing those she designated as "unfit," a plan she said would be the "salvation of American civilization.: And she also spike of those who were "irresponsible and reckless," among whom she included those " whose religious scruples prevent their exercising control over their numbers." She further contended that "there is no doubt in the minds of all thinking people that the procreation of this group should be stopped." That many Americans of African origin constituted a segment of Sanger considered "unfit" cannot be easily refuted.
 
 
+11 # swamp yankee 2011-06-05 15:53
What does this have to do with women being arrested for self-inflicted abortions?
 
 
+18 # historywriter 2011-06-05 17:33
Margaret Sanger, like a great many people famous are not, had many contradictions. She did get caught up in this eugenics argument. But that does not cancel out the great work she did in providing women with birth control. In my view, despite her flaws, she is a saint.
And Planned Parenthood, which I used years ago, is one of the best things that has happened to America. Women for the first time were able to get some control over their own bodies. Exactly what the repugs do not want.
 
 
+10 # Dave W. 2011-06-05 21:44
BBFmail, 3% of Planned Parenthood's functions involve abortion. Margaret Sanger was a brave and tireless advocate for women's reproductive rights. She was supported by W.E.B Dubois and Martin Luther King Jr. just to name a few of the "black" luminaries who endorsed her work. She saw the great hardship and brutality endured by women of color as they were often left to fend for themselves after "the father" headed for greener pastures. It wasn't "eugenics" as much as it was "common decency" to give these women the "option" of not having to have one child after another of which they would ultimately be responsible for. She stood up to pseudo pious "Christian men" who'd never been in the situation that they now proposed to dictate to those who had. Women are NOT incubators. Their bodies, and the functions inherent to them, belong to them! As for "These "strains" included the "shiftless, ignorant, and worthless class of anti-social whites of the South." That's essentially what we have today. They've proved those accusations for over 300 years. The problem: it's spreading. Stupid people are easily manipulated by avaricious corporations and their political acolytes. And there ARE a lot of stupid people living in the land of Dixie. Their voting records are a clear indication of the overall level of mentality.
 
 
-5 # Jonathan Gerard 2011-06-05 13:14
How much sympathy are we supposed to have for women who voted for John Cain and Sarah Palin? What did they think the Republicans would do to abortion rights? It's very difficult to feel badly for people in red states.
 
 
+8 # GeeRob 2011-06-05 13:43
Jonathan, I live in Texas, a red state. But I live in a county that voted blue in 08. Even in Utah, the reddest state around, there's bound to be some liberals.
 
 
+12 # historywriter 2011-06-05 17:30
Do you somehow think everyone should be punished for the bad choices of some people? That it is OK to say you deserve what you got? I lived for 8 horrible years under gov. Tim Pawlenty. I voted for his opponent every time--and even worked for them. So I should shut up and not complain?
 
 
0 # boudreaux 2011-06-06 11:31
Speak your mind!
 
 
+19 # Regina 2011-06-05 13:16
It's the new Salem, or Shariah Law, American style. Shall we also return to the rack, or the pillory, or the scarlet A? Since women's only purpose is the incubation of fetuses, shall we once again limit the education of girls to age 14 -- if any? Shall we repeal the amendment that gave women the right to vote? Actually, this is all a Republican hoax -- they're rattling the cages about abortion because it keeps Congress from debating and enacting employment-savi ng legislation, so that for 2012 they can go super-nuts screaming that Obama has failed. They have already announced his failure as their goal, no matter the misery they generate or the national and international harm. That's patriotism, Greedy Old Party style.
 
 
+33 # Lee Black 2011-06-05 13:24
The people who are campaigning against abortions are the same ones who want to cut care for those who are born - Medicaid, WIC, Health Care for All.

It's simple, if you don't believe in abortions don't have one. If you want to make the decision for someone else - support that child yourself.
 
 
+11 # Monica Ackerman 2011-06-05 19:53
This is just the first step, people. Catholic hospitals not performing abortions even to save the life of the mother will soon be the only healthcare facility in some areas. Pharmacists have the legal right in some states to refuse filling certain prescriptions they consider immoral. Take it from there. Go vote appropriately.
 
 
+14 # angelfish 2011-06-05 20:43
Does anyone else find it more than a little strange that these Fanatics care more for a collection of cells than for a Post-Born Human Being? There are so many children in this Country and the World, that desperately need someone's care and concern, yet these American equivalents of Al Queda and the Taliban would rather be the arbiters of what's best for STRANGERS! Never mind what she might think or want! They pretend to want "Less Government" yet they are more and more intrusive into people's PRIVATE business. Why are they attacking Contraception and putting up inane roadblocks to make it impossible for a woman to access the Reproductive Health-care and Treatment she needs and deserves? They won't take care of the children that are ALREADY here and scream about the high cost of Health-care. They might better look to establishing viable Industry in this Country to provide well paying jobs to people who want to competently care for their children. At the rate they are going now, we will enter another Great Depression that will CERTAINLY decrease the "Surplus Population" without involving contraception OR abortion. THEY won't have to worry, considering that more than half the Congress are Millionaires, the women in THEIR families can be seen privately. Why are they so against Family Planning? Prevention is better than Abortion, isn't it? Sounds like Class warfare to me!
 
 
+3 # boudreaux 2011-06-06 11:29
I agree with you but think that the pope carries some of this blame too.
 
 
+6 # giraffee2012 2011-06-05 22:07
Abortions reduce overpopulation but the Repugnuts/TP will take care of overpopulation with the Ryan bill - when everybody is given a ~ $17K in a voucher to try to get insurance. But if you ever were pregnant - you have a pre-existing condition so you'll not even get the voucher.

Vote 2012 -- register now. Get granny + old man down street registered now (post office) and request a "mail-in" ballot - deadline is about a week before voing date.

Look at who is contributing to the GOP/TPer if you're considering voting for one of them - it will be big corporations bc in 2010 the Stupremes gave big $ "first amendment rights" -- an UNCONSTITUTIONA L decision.

Scalia/Thomas were wined/dined with Koch brothers before that decision. LAW states that a Stupreme who makes a decision based on $$ or politics -- MUST BE impeached. So you 2 should resign to save us $$.

VOTE 2012 -- no more Repubs -- There are a few really GOOD Dems but I see NOT one decent GOP/TP in Congress -- do you? (and this is my opinion)
 
 
+10 # NanFan 2011-06-06 02:35
This is appalling, to say the least!

I was young and pregnant when abortion was made illegal by the US government that these idiots claim to HATE. It was a nightmare for those who decided to go to "the back alley" for abortions or just did it on their own with a coat hanger. But there were NO arrests for self-inducement that I was aware of.

I, instead, had a child and because I was too young and poor to raise it on my own, gave it up for adoption...anot her nightmare...too long of a story.

Suffice it to say, this is certainly going to be the icing on the cake for a failing, imploding America that sees family planning as wrong and equal only to abortion.

Get a grip, America; you're on the downward slide, and it's your greatest treasure that will suffer most: ALL people.

Stop the madness!
 
 
+3 # boudreaux 2011-06-06 09:56
All of the Repugs want us dead that is why all of this kind of shit is going on, vouchers for Medicare, not caring for our elders,keeping the war going and on and on. They don't give a shit about us all they care about are their rich buddies....
 
 
+2 # boudreaux 2011-06-06 11:33
We haven't thrown around the idea of stem cell's here, we now that goverment does not want to save lives and we know that stem cells will do that but big brother is opposed to that too...
 
 
+6 # Robyn 2011-06-06 14:31
Reading articles like this makes me realise how very lucky I am to live in a country that has subsidised health care and free facilities to women's healthcare. Here in Australia, if we want to terminate a pregnancy, we can do so in a safe clean environment, free from fear of prosecution or persecution. Sure we have the right to lifers here, but we also have choice. The people living in America need to fight back and reclaim their rights once and for all. Good luck and I wish you all the best.
 
 
-1 # jgmurphy 2011-06-10 09:49
I am very sorry but when I first clicked on this link I was expecting a totally different kind of story! The intro makes it seems as though women were being arrested for going to clinics or doctors for abortions even though it is legal. Although I sympathize with the plight of any woman who, for whatever reason,f elt compelled to end a pregnancy herself, of course you have to see that this CANNOT be allowed, can't you? I mean, people could do serious harm to themselves by trying to perform surgery on themselves. What if people tried to take out their own appendix or their own gall bladder? It is practicing medicine without a license; it would be the same thing. Unless you are some kind of wacky libertarian type who thinks that the government should have nothing to say about protecting people, you would have to see that there have to be constraints put on this kind of activity!
 

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