Show Notes - Episode 80
Reasons why women get abortions
The reasons that people with uteruses get abortions are widespread, encompassing a number of situations. There have been studies done that have monitored those various reasons that are outside of medical issues. The Guttmacher study of 2005 and the BMC study of 2013 show a lot of the same types of reasons. I will quote the BMC 2013 study down below:
“Women’s reasons for seeking an abortion fell into 11 broad themes. The predominant themes identified as reasons for seeking abortion included financial reasons (40%), timing (36%), partner related reasons (31%), and the need to focus on other children (29%). Most women reported multiple reasons for seeking an abortion crossing over several themes (64%).” Some of these other themes could include being in an abusive relationship, their own drug or alcohol use, or other health concerns such as being on certain prescription drugs, for instance blood thinners or antibiotics. For some people, the suitability of the father, or the desire to give a child a better life than the one they could currently provide was the main reason. The 2013 study also showed that 'medical reasons' tended to increase with later gestational age; as the common tests later in pregnancy are likely to show birth defects and how severe they might or might not be.
It's clear by these studies that the reasons for someone to have an abortion are complex, even if there is not a fetal medical issue or the child is a result of rape or incest.
Let's also remember that the risk of maternal or fetal death (or both) is not at all uncommon in these United States, even if the child is wanted and the parents or parent are ready to have a family.
“Among 11 developed countries, the United States has the highest maternal mortality rate, a relative undersupply of maternity care providers, and is the only country not to guarantee access to provider home visits or paid parental leave in the postpartum period, a recent report from The Commonwealth Fund concluded. Compared with any other wealthy nation, the United States also spends the highest percentage of its gross domestic product on health care.”
When abortion is safe and legal, it is less dangerous than pregnancy and childbirth, for all of the above reasons.
“When performed legally by skilled practitioners, abortion is a safe medical procedure with a low complication rate. The risk of major complications – such as hospitalization, infection, blood transfusion or surgery – in first-trimester procedures is less than 0.5 percent.The risk of dying in childbirth is 14 times higher than the risk of dying from safe abortion.
Studies show that abortion is not linked to long-term health complications, including breast cancer, infertility, miscarriage or psychiatric disorders. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the nation’s leading professional organization of obstetricians and gynecologists, has reaffirmed the safety of abortion. Conversely, the negative impacts from abortion restrictions are well-documented. Women unable to obtain abortions are more likely live in poverty or depend on cash assistance, and less likely to work full-time.”
According to Gallup, even if they might not agree with abortion, most Americans, 58%, want Roe vs. Wade to stay exactly how it is.
Another reason for Roe vs. Wade to stand as is—medical issues.
Severe pregnancy complications are making it impossible for you to continue with the pregnancy
You need a treatment such as chemotherapy or medication that you can’t have while you’re pregnant
The pregnancy is putting your health or life at risk
Giving birth would put your health or life at risk
You are at high risk of a miscarriage or stillbirth, so it is safer for you to have an abortion
A serious or fatal fetal abnormality was found during your antenatal tests
The pregnancy isn’t viable, for example if you have an ectopic pregnancy (an ectopic pregnancy is one that fertilizes outside of the womb and can cause death for the mother – an emergency condition)
In many cases, it's best to have the abortion as soon as an abnormality is found. It's a terrible and difficult decision to have to make.
All of these decisions are decisions that are best left to the pregnant person and their doctor. The consequences of illegal abortion are serious and dangerous. I was reading an NPR interview with Karissa Haugeberg, assistant professor of history at Tulane University, about what it was like to get abortions before Roe vs. Wade. Here is a quote from her about that time:
“Immediately before Roe v. Wade, officially approximately 200 women died per year. Historically, the most commonplace method that women have used when they haven't been able to obtain legal abortions is self-induction. Those are the horror stories that you hear of women trying to fall down stairs or ingesting poisons or using instruments to try to induce an abortion.
Another method that women commonly used was turning to the unregulated market. And some women were able to find providers who were willing to perform abortions safely but criminally at great risk to their professional careers and at risk of being imprisoned themselves.
So one thing that's kind of interesting is that throughout the period when abortion was criminalized beginning in the mid-19th century - for the most part, physicians were the people who were providing it as well as midwives. And as long as a physician was offering the service, until about the 1930s, they were less vulnerable to being prosecuted or having a police raid their practice. And so there was a vibrant word-of-mouth network that enabled many women to find safe providers. But again, they were always operating in a gray area.”
The situation before Roe vs. Wade was dire: it was shameful to be pregnant out of wedlock; and it was also shameful to seek an abortion. It was illegal but like most things that are illegal, if you had money, it could open doors. https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/03/before-roe-v-wade/607609/ I've included in the show notes, a link to one woman's story of an illegal abortion and how it was. Even though the story ends with her alive, it's truly harrowing but one that people should read, so that they know.
So, what, Texas? It isn't enough to be responsible for a third of all executions in the U.S.? Now you need to lead the nation in pointless deaths arising from pregnancy and childbirth because women who live there can't get abortions when they need them, too? That's very pro-life of you!
Tonight we're going to take a much bigger, much closer look at what is happening in Texas and also draw attention to some uncomfortable truths about what happens when you take away a woman's right to an abortion. But before we get into that... persecuted by bikinis and a situation that got a little “in tents” for one of YouTube's formerly craziest unhinged preachers, it's time for Christians behaving badly!
So we're talking tonight about S.B. 8 – the draconian, sexist, misogynistic, not by any definition “pro life” Texas law that has ostensibly banned most abortions outright in the state AND placed a bounty on the heads of any woman who has one, the doctors who perform them, and even the Uber driver who drives her to the clinic... almost 300 miles away in another state. Tonight, I want to focus on a couple things that I think people – especially ex-evangelicals who have spent years being fed pro-life propaganda need to start thinking about and understand when it comes to this issue. Specifically, we're going to talk about why women get abortions and what happens when they aren't allowed to.
My stance restated [ad lib]
"Laws that limit abortion access have a huge economic impact," said Kate Bahn, director of labor market policy at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth. "It's not just the year-over-year financial hardship associated with having children, but it also affects people's career trajectories."
Diana Greene Foster is a professor in obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at the University of California, San Francisco and leader of the Turnaway Study, a nationwide project that examined the long-term effects of either having an abortion or being turned away. The study found that people who were denied an abortion had almost four times greater odds of being below the federal poverty level.
“When individuals are blocked from obtaining care, she said, they are more likely to struggle to afford basic living expenses like food, housing and transportation.”
Unwanted pregnancies accounted for an average 78 percent spike in debt that was over a month past due after the time of birth
There was an 81 percent increase in bankruptcy filings, tax liens, and evictions, and tax liens after births in unwanted pregnancies over those who were able to obtain legal abortions on demand.
Individuals who are denied an abortion are also three times more likely to be unemployed than those who obtained one.
One more contribution from Kate Bahn: "If you don't have certainty over family planning, you're much less likely to move into a higher-paid occupation and complete education."
Effects on Health and Well-Being
Being denied an abortion can significantly increase mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and low self-esteem in the months after abortion denial and may cause life-threatening physical health outcomes that last years.
Before the law took effect, Dr. Bhavik Kumar, a staff physician at Planned Parenthood Center for Choice in Houston, typically saw 20 to 30 abortion care patients a day. On Sept. 1, he saw only six, and half were past the new legal limit and had to be turned away.
Kumar cautioned that the patients denied care could face "lifelong consequences."
"The folks that will suffer are going to be low-income folks that already have poor access to health care, and people of color, especially Black women," he said.
The Turnaway Study also revealed that over the course of five years after seeking an abortion, patients who gave birth that resulted from unwanted pregnancies were more likely to describe their overall health as "poor." Many also report higher rates of chronic pain.
Childbirth under any circumstance takes a physical and mental toll on the woman, often resulting in adverse health conditions and outcomes. Women who carry to term, whether the pregnancy is wanted or not face issues like excessive bleeding during delivery, postpartum depression, gestational diabetes and hypertension.
"When we're thinking about people's health care, their pregnancies and their lives, every person is different, and no law like [S.B. 8] can take each unique situation into account," - Dr. Nisha Verma said.
Carrying any pregnancy to term is riskier to the woman's physical health than having an abortion. Add to it the other health consequences (including mental health issues) and you get a situation that is far more dangerous than any abotion would ever be.
“About 700 people in the United States die each year as a result of pregnancy or delivery complications, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the maternal mortality rate is 20.1 deaths per 100,000 live births. The total abortion-related complication rate is estimated to be about 2 percent, and death occurs in less than 1 out of every 100,000 abortions.”
(19 times less risk for a woman to have an abortion than to have a baby under NORMAL circumstances)
Domestic violence is also common among people seeking abortions and probably for very good reasons. It is a smart choice for women who are stuck in abusive relationships because guess what... when you live below the poverty line, leaving isn't always a viable option. Those who are turned away for an abortion are more likely to stay with or in contact with an abusive domestic partner. They are also much more likely to wind up raising the child alone.
"These are personal, intimate decisions, and if the government interferes, it changes people's ability to take care of themselves, their children and even to have future children under better circumstances," "It's not just political maneuvering; this is real people's lives." -Diana Greene Foster
Abortion Can Be Medically Necessary
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and Physicians for Reproductive Health released the following joint statement:
“The science of medicine is not subjective, and a strongly held personal belief should never outweigh scientific evidence, override standards of medical care, or drive policy that puts a person’s health and life at risk.
“Pregnancy imposes significant physiological changes on a person’s body. These changes can exacerbate underlying or preexisting conditions, like renal or cardiac disease, and can severely compromise health or even cause death. Determining the appropriate medical intervention depends on a patient’s specific condition. There are situations where pregnancy termination in the form of an abortion is the only medical intervention that can preserve a patient’s health or save their life.
“As physicians, we are focused on protecting the health and lives of the patients for whom we provide care. Without question, abortion can be medically necessary.” Source: https://www.acog.org/news/news-releases/2019/09/abortion-can-be-medically-necessary
Medical necessity is a very broad term with wildly broad application... [ad lib]
Legit medical necessities:
Detectible birth defects
Cancer and the need for chemotherapy
Interference with taking other medications
High-risk for renal problems or total renal failure
Women who terminate for medical reasons are more likely to suffer mental health issues and issues with prolonged grief than women who terminate for other reasons. [ad lib]
A large number of pregnancies occur unintentionally and this is and will always be the #1 reason why women have abortions. So... Is it wrong? Isn't the whole point of this conversation that no one should be allowed to make that determination? Then why even ask the question? [ad lib]
Texas and Its Misogynistic History
Texas is one of a small number of states that has a traceable history of ostensibly waging war on women over this issue.
“Texas has enacted 26 abortion restrictions in the past decade, including this year’s six-week abortion ban and a ban on abortion that would go into effect if Roe v. Wade were overturned. During this time, the number of abortion clinics in the state has been reduced from 46 clinics in 2011 to only 21 clinics in 2017.
Texas has an enormous list of abortion bans and restrictions actively on the books.
Let's look at a few...
Furthermore, there are facility requirements that make abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy difficult to obtain. The state also requires abortion clinics to meet unnecessary and burdensome standards related to their physical building, equipment and staffing.”
And what is the legit medical reasoning for any of this? That's right. There isn't any. Oh, they offer reasons, but none of them line up with anything that remotely resembles logic, reason, or – most importantly – medical fact. But my oh my is there a lot of THAT going on right now, particularly in the Supreme Court where evangelical rhetoric is going to prevail over facts for the next generation or longer. “These people say it's a heartbeat so it must be a heartbeat. Proceed.”
Texas: The “Pro Life Police State”
Texas, as a state has always been VERY pro-life. One of the clearest indicators of this, in my opinion is their insanely bloodthirsty capital punishment law.
Texas alone is responsible for one in every three executions in the United States.
“Texas is seeking to speed up executions with a renewed request to "opt in" to a federal law that would shorten the legal process and limit appeals options for death-sentenced prisoners.” - Houston Chronicle, 2018
Oh, and... In September 2019, Governor Greg Abbott tweeted that “expedited executions” for mass shooters would make a “nice addition” to the package of policy proposals he was assembling in the wake of massacres in El Paso and Midland-Odessa.
Defense attorneys worry it would lead to the execution of innocent people and — if it's applied retroactively, as Texas is requesting — it could end ongoing appeals for a number of death row prisoners and make them eligible for execution dates.
“Nice addition?” Sounds like the sort of thing Joffrey Lannister would say.
What kind of pro-life state tries to kill more people? Granted, mass shootings are awful, but what about all the other cases that they just want to take away the rights of the convicted to appeal? Because you have to know that more than a few innocent people – mostly black males – are going to be tortured to death in a procedure that gets botched in an alarming number of cases. Texas doesn't care about anyone's life. Their government, as a collective seems far more interested in controlling who lives and who dies. No pro-life state attempts to relieve people of their rights so the state can kill them quicker.
Dad gummit, boys, dint cher mama ever teach you that two wrongs don't make a right? You don't send the message that killing someone is wrong by killing someone for killing someone else. That's just plain foolish in a civilized society. And you also don't get to call yourselves pro-life by forcing women to endure ectopic pregnancies, suffer embolisms, heart attacks, complications from diabetes and more from unwanted pregnancies, all of which can and do kill women every year.
Keep it up Texas. Pretty soon your head count will be 1 in 3 in two categories: death sentences on alleged criminals and on women who get pregnant when they don't want to. How proud you'll be when THAT happens...
The Department of Justice Strikes Back
In a CBS news article on Sept. 15 (that's yesterday for us – 9/15/21) it says...
The Department of Justice filed an emergency order late Tuesday, asking for a temporary halt to the new Texas law that bans abortions past six weeks. The department said in its filing that the new law, also known as S.B. 8, prevents "women from exercising their constitutional rights."
"The United States seeks a temporary restraining order or a preliminary injunction enjoining the enforcement of S.B. 8," the department said. "This relief is necessary to protect the constitutional rights of women in Texas and the sovereign interest of the United States in ensuring that its States respect the terms of the national compact. It is also necessary to protect federal agencies, employees, and contractors whose lawful actions S.B. 8 purports to prohibit."
The department claims the law, which went into effect two weeks ago, violates the 14th Amendment.
Gee... ya THINK??
I can't wait to see how the Supreme Court manages to weasel out of this because they're going to. And if anything is going to deal a death blow to our Constitution it'll be HOW they get around this. They already shat on it once to pander to Hobby Lobby. And can I just say that there is something wrong with a legal system that purports to be democratic but leaves it to a single person to appoint people to the highest court in the land? Granted, there's an approval process but it starts with one person. And then we have to rely on our REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT to decide for us if the candidate is a good match for the job.
Well, we've seen how well that works...
There will never be fair and balanced rulings that come from a system that guarantees that balance never exists. I'm not a lawyer so maybe one can explain this to me but how do you derive equality from a system with an odd number of seats and no restrictions on who fills them. We could have nine republican justices. It could happen. Why is that even a thing that could happen? I love how the symbol of our justice system is balanced scales. Where is that balance in the Supreme Court? The answer is simple: it doesn't exist. The side with the most seats has all the power. Is it wrong? You bet. What's the better system? I don't know.
What I do know is that there is no Constitutional way to justify S.B. 8 but just you wait until the Supreme Court comes back with its ruling based on “alternate facts.”
I don't even know what the solution is here. And I wish I had better advice than “vote” and “call your congressmen” because when 9 people in black robes are the ones making the final decisions on these kinds of matters, what is our recourse? And how many steps closer did we just come to watching a true Margaret Atwood dystopia play out before our eyes?
Is Texas the new Gilead? Only time will tell. And only time will tell precisely how strong our constitution really is and whether or not it can continue standing up to the tyrannies of a Supreme Court whose majority seats are clearly more concerned with the musings of a fictional, blood-thirsty deity than they are with the safety, well-being, and freedom of the people over whom they lord their power. Will that document vanish into obsolescence and take the American experiment with it?
Or will it be the thing that moves us past religiosity and allows for a renewed sense of security in the continuance of our way of life. Because right now, that document, and those who are willing to fight for its application in the best interests of all Americans is the only thing that can stop the war on women in Texas. Stand in solidarity. Use your voice where and when you can. It still matters. And support those in our government who see this law for what it is and are making it their primary focus to get the women of Texas unbound from the tyranny of SB8.
The word of the day, folks, is: PERSECUTION.
The phrase of the day is: “I do not think it means what Christians think it means.”
first up: man on beach finds girls in bikinis, preaches at them because “freedumb of speech.”
Logan Dorn, a man who thinks he's the freakin 'beach police' has come into the news lately after a tiktok of him harassing girls on the beach about what they're wearing. And the tiktok should embarrass him. But of course.....it doesn't.
Mia and eight other friends headed down to the water in Fort Collins, Colorado, when they were approached by a man, later identified as Logan Dorn. The 18-year-old captures Dorn confronting the women over their outfits, saying: "Why do you dress this way?" before labeling their bikinis: "That's a thong and that's a bra."
The girls react in the way you'd expect, mostly telling him to 'fuck off' and 'please go away' and the girls nervously laughing.
“During the interaction there's a chorus of "please go away," "why are you looking at me. Close your eyes," "I'm not flaunting anything, don't look at me," "please go," and "get the f*** away," from the group of women.
Dorn continues, adding "take young eyes into consideration they don't need to see pornography," before uttering: "If men of God don't stand up then our society's going to go down the drain because there's no morality."
They are girls. On the beach. Wearing bathing suits. Almost as soon as the video starts, you can hear the girls saying, “you don't have to look” and “leave us alone.” But of course he's a “Christian man,” so clearly their requests don't count.
After the video went viral, Dorn posted a tiktok of his own, defending his actions.
“He explains he was at the beach with family members of "all different ages," including young children. Dorn claims someone in his party said their group had to move as there were "college-age women here that are showing too much."
He says in that moment: "I just had a righteous anger come over me and also just emboldened by the Holy Spirit to go and to confront these ladies and to speak truth, that hey what you're wearing is not okay for a 9-year-old boy or a 6-year-old boy." Dorn said in that moment a "righteous anger to defend and protect young eyes came over me." “
Dude, I don't know about you but I sure as hell don't want any man, christian or not, walk up to me in “righteous anger.” that way lies assault charges.
Because of the publicity the video has gotten, the construction company Dorn worked for, Mighty Hand Construction, has terminated his employment. Dorn has gotten nothing from his publicity except derision, which I'm sure he feels is 'persecution'. Nope, only the consequences of your own actions, dickweed.
Next up: Rage-pastor no likey criticism. Twitter no likey rage-pastor. Rage-pastor has an angry.
“Pastor” Greg Locke, our least favorite tent-preacher, has taken his congregation to task for 'criticising' him behind his back calling them hypocrites for complaining that he uses his sermons to rant about politics and spread conspiracy theories: "You can leave any time you want to."
"We've got some people under the tent right now. You have the hardest time keeping your mouth shut about your church, so I'm going to sit here for about 15 seconds and just give you a chance to leave anytime you want to, because we need your seat anyhow, you complaining judgmental pharisee," he said.
"If you can call me out behind closed doors, why don't you be man enough to put on your big boy pants, stand up and walk out right now in front of everybody, you coward!" He then hoots. "Whoo! I'm about fired up this morning!"
"If you think I'm going to stop just because you want me to, you've lost your mind," he said. "I'm just getting started. I'm just now calling out Joe Biden. I'm just now preaching against the LGBTQ community. I'm just now calling out abortion. I'm just now talking about election fraud. I'm just talking about Antifa and Black Lives Matter. I'm just now calling out this wicked nonsense."
I really hope it's true that people have gotten fed up with his bullshit. I wouldn't blame them for not making themselves known. I'm sure they don't want their teeth kicked in by rage-pastor.
And to cap that off, Twitter has permanently suspended his account, in possibly the wisest move since they banned 45 off the platform. I'm honestly surprised it didn't happen sooner after all the misinformation he's peddled about the pandemic, masking and vaccination.
"The account referenced was permanently suspended for repeated violations of our COVID-19 misleading information policy," a Twitter spokesperson said in an email to Newsweek.
But Locke has a Big Angry and he's gonna sic the LAW on them! He took to YouTube to whine about being persecuted.
“Locke, whose Twitter bio identified him as an "Outspoken Pastor that is unashamed of the Gospel of Jesus, who refuses to bow to the politically correct idols of our culture," claimed in the video that he is "the first pastor with a verified platform" to be permanently banned from Twitter, and lamented the loss of "almost 114,000 followers."
Locke announced that in response to Twitter's ban, he has already taken legal action against the social media giant, saying "We've already had our wonderful lawyer for our ministry file, and we have just entered into the class action lawsuit against Twitter and all of these censorship Nazis."
But, as Hemant Mehta at the Friendly Atheist says, “He can die mad about it. He brought it on himself.” As for the lawsuit, I'm certain it will go the way of the threatened lawsuits he proclaimed he'd bring to CNN and Newsweek...and nothing will happen. These are the consequences for living in a society. No one needs to give you a platform.