Collection of articles, statistics, opinions

From: (Melody Eidbo)
Subject: Post-abortion trauma is a myth

In article <9788@dasys1.UUCP> aj-mberg@dasys1.UUCP (Micha Berger) writes:
>I would like to see statistics comparing death and long-term medical
>problems caused by birth and by abortion. Personal experience (anicdotal
>proof) makes it seem that abortion is a much riskier prospect.
>... Get me the statistics, then we'll talk.

  OK, Micha, let's talk.  Nan Ellman published a very comprehensive set
of statistics on the relative risks of pregnancy vs abortion, in message-id
<>.  I will be happy to e-mail you the posting. Your
"anecdotal proof" simply proves that isolated cases prove nothing.

  In reality, birth (full-term pregnancy) is MUCH riskier than an early
abortion.  As Nan wrote, the chance of death for full-term pregnancy is
1 in 10,000.  The chance of death from an abortion before 9 weeks (92% of
abortions are performed before 8 weeks - ref below) is 1 in 400,000.

  Therefore, a woman is 40 TIMES MORE LIKELY TO DIE from pregnancy as
from a safe, legal abortion performed before 9 weeks.

>... You seem to ignore the fact that abortion is not the answer to avoiding
>long term burden. It is a traumatic experience. Both abortion and adoption
>require long term counceling to avoid severe depression in the mother.

  This is not true about abortion, but CAN be true about pregnancy. See below.

In Message-ID: <>, bverreau@mipos2.UUCP (stargazer) writes:
>  Even the hypothesis that abortion is psychologically more
> damaging than pregnancy is unproven.  A definitive study of the subject
> has yet to be done.

  Actually, there HAS been a definitive study done in Denmark, where medicine
is socialized and all pregnancies and abortions are registered. (The reason
such a study has not been adequately performed in the United States is the
difficulty of tracking the patients.)

  This information is from an article, "Post-abortion and post-partum
psychiatric hospitalization", found in _Abortion: Medical Progress and
Social Implications_, Ciba Foundation Symposium 115, Pitman, London, 1985:

  This study measured admissions to psychiatric hospitals for a three-month
period after either delivery or abortion for ALL Danish women under age 50,
and compared the rate to the average psychiatric admission rate for that
age group.

  The overall finding of this study was that "Most investigations of first-
trimester legal abortions have noted that the predominant psychological
response immediately after abortion is relief. Negative effects can occur
shortly after termination, especially in situations where considerable
ambivalence surrounded the decision on pregnancy resolution, but these
effects tend to be mild, diminishing over time. ... research findings
suggest that abortion is as likely to ALLEVIATE as to precipitate psychiatric

  "Apparently, large numbers of health professionals still perceive the
post-abortion psychological risk to be far greater than actual experience
documents."  This is attributed to studies on trauma resulting from
ILLEGAL abortions in the period between World War II and the 1960's, because
of the complexity of obtaining pregnancy terminations.

  The psychiatric risk of pregnancy (remember, this includes ALL pregnant
women, so most of these are WANTED pregnancies) is post-partum depression.
According to the study, post-partum blues affects 50-80% of women, lasting
between 24 - 48 hours. Moderate post-partum clinical depression lasting
six to eight weeks affects 20% of new mothers. Post-partum psychosis, a
very severe mental disorder requiring admission to a psychiatric hospital,
range from 10 to 20 per 10,000 deliveries.

  Therefore, carrying ANY (wanted or unwanted) pregnancy to term actually
presents a higher risk of psychological problems than abortion.  The study
did not address carrying a child to term and then giving it up for adoption,
but I would wager the psychological cost would be MUCH higher than for

  Does this answer your question, Micha?  I would welcome any findings
about the trauma of giving up a child for adoption. The abundance of groups
that exist to reunite birth mothers with adopted children suggests that the
trauma lasts a lifetime.

                            - Melody Moore Eidbo


I recently got this in the mail and the sender asked me to keep her name
out of it.  I thought it was pertinant to the discussion.

Exactly six days before I was married, I had a positive pregnancy test.
This was probably the last thing in the world I wanted to happen.  I was
a full-time student, my husband did not make a lot of money, we didn't
have the resources to care for another human, especially an infant, and
we didn't feel ready to take responsibility for a child.  (In short, we
didn't feel that we could provide a decent life for a baby.  We also had
somewhat selfish motives: both of us were looking forward to fairly
promising careers.  Having a child would have most likely destroyed mine,
and possibly his too.)

The emotional problems of putting a child up for adoption are exponentiated
when the father is your chosen partner-for-life.  Neither one of us felt
capable of doing that.  It probably would have destroyed our relationship
in the long run.

The only choice that we had was to have an abortion.  So we did.  (Notice
the use of "we" instead of "I".  It was something that we went through
together as much as possible.  A very few of our friends knew about it;
none of our family did.  I come from a very strong religious background,
and I'm not sure they could have dealt with it objectively.

Neither of us has any regrets.  For about a week afterward, and around the
time that the baby would have been born, I went through an expected bout of
depression.  I kept thinking, "I would be nursing right now."  Or "I would
either have a little boy or a little girl."  But then I started thinking
about what that child's life would be like, growing up in a family in which
he/she was very much loved, but could possibly also be resented.  In the
long run, I felt that what happened was for the best.  I don't feel like
I killed a human being.  I might have felt more guilt if we hadn't been
using contraceptives at the time, but I don't know for sure.

When we're ready, we'll have children.  And those children will come into
the world feeling wanted and loved.  It's not that we wouldn't have loved
the other, but I think a child can feel that he wasn't born because his
parents wanted a baby.  And I don't want that to happen.

In the end, I'm still pro-choice.  I won't ever have another abortion, and
I really don't approve of people who have several, and who use abortion as
a solitary birth control device.  But I don't feel like I can make their
choices for them.  (I WOULD like to educate them, however.)


From: (Gary M. Gere)
Newsgroups: talk.abortion
Subject: Abortion in Mexico
Message-ID: <>
Date: 4 Feb 91 16:26:57 GMT

An article on abortion in Mexico appeared in todays San Jose
Mercury News. Several thoughts come to mind:

1. In spite of being illegal, between 500,000 and 2,000,000
abortions are performed in Mexico each YEAR. In addition,
hundreds of women die or are injuried by botched illegal

2. The growing population in Mexico is of such a concern that the
President of Mexico is attempting to liberalize abortion law in Mexico.

3. Religion (fundamentalists and the Catholic Church) is largely
responsible for this sorry state of affairs.

I think those who are opposed to abortion should consider the
real consequences should abortion be outlawed in this country.

Will abortion rates decline dramatically or simply go underground?

Will the number of unwanted pregnancies decrease, or will there
be a sharp rise in children given up for adoption, and if so,
will there be enough willing homes for these children, or will
both the children and the parents become an increased burden on
our already overburdened welfare system?


"MEXICO CITY - An incipient national debate over whether abortion
should be legalized has been stifled, at least temporarily, by
the vehement opposition of conservative politicians and Mexico's
powerful Roman Catholic Church.

The debate began in December, after the Chiapas state legislature
quietly approved a measure extending the circumstances under
which women may receive legal abortions.

Abortion is a crime, according to Mexico's federal criminal code,
except in proven rapes or threats to the pregnant woman's life.
The Chiapas law, proposed by Gov. Patrocino Gonzalez Garrido,
also would have allowed abortions for family planning or by
common agreement of the couple, within three months of

Once publicized, however, the law drew a storm of criticism from
Catholic and fundamentalist Protestant officials. Some Catholic
leaders reportedly threatened to excommunicate lawmakes who voted
for the measure.

Within days, the state legislature suspended the new law, while
requesting intercession from the National Human Rights Commission
in Mexico City. The commission, in turn, has asked its chairman
for a study on whether it has the authority to issue an opinion.

The illegal status of abortion has tremendous implications in
Mexico, where estimate are that every year at least 500,000 and
possibly as many as 2,000,000 abort their pregnancies.

Sources at the Ministry of Family Planning say that at least 100
and likely many more women also die each year, while at least
several hundred more are injured or made ill by botched, illegal

Until now, the Catholic Church, through its political affiliate
ProVida, has managed to keep most abortions illegal. Yet Mexico's
burgeoning population is a growing concern for the federal
government - so much so that some analyst believe President
Carlos Salinas de Gortari may have requested the Chiapas law as a
test to see if national abortion reform is possible.

If so, the controversy may be just beginning."

Gupta Technologies Inc, Unix Products Group,  
1040 Marsh Road, Menlo Park, CA USA 94025                   415/321-9599 x243


From: (Judy Leedom Tyrer)
Newsgroups: talk.abortion
Subject: Re: A case for unborn babies
Message-ID: <>
Date: 23 Mar 90 20:28:48 GMT
Organization: Locus Computing Corporation, Inglewood, CA

In article <> (Chima Echeruo) writes:

>6) An newborn infant is completely helpless and absolutely dependent on it's
>   mother or any other caretaker. The infant requires constant care by it's
>   parents while the fetus does not make claims on it's mother.
Hee Hee Hee... let me guess, you've never been pregnant and you have
never cared for a newborn.

Not that this is terribly relevant to your original posting, but I just cannot
help myself.

1) Newborns are not completely helpless.  They can bat things away from their
faces.  They can communicate to others around them.  They can root for the
breast to obtain food.  And they can survive a surprisingly long time in
garbage cans (there are a number who have been found up to 24 hours after
birth which have been thrown away by their parents).  Now, they are dependent
on having someone provide them with food and sustenance.  But I'll take
caring for a one day old baby over a 39 1/2 week old fetus any day of the

2) The fetus ABSOLUTELY makes claims on it's mother.  During the first 3 months
of development, the change in hormones causes the mother's breasts to swell
(painfully, I might add).  It causes, over 50% of the time, severe nausea and
vomiting.  It causes fatigue beyond belief.  (I personally found that less
than 20 hours sleep a day was insufficient).

THe fetus depletes the mother of iron, calcium, protein, vitamins, and minerals.
In the event the mother does not have enough of any of these, the fetus gets
first dubs and the mother's health is at risk.

During the first trimester, the fetus is also growing low within the mother's
abdoment causing the mother to frequent the bathroom at least every hour, if
not more so.  This is very disruptive to the mother's sleep.  This cycle begins
again at about 8 1/2 months when the fetus' head drops back down into the
abdomen.  Only then the mother cannot get out of bed by herself and so this
also disrupts the father's sleep.

Throughout the pregnancy the hormones cause significant changes to the mothers
emotional stability, making her weepy, irrational, and often quite crazed.

As the fetus grows, the mothers body changes for birth.  These changes include
the loosening of all ligaments within the body making the mother more prone
to fall and more prone to injury during a fall.

The fetus requires the mother's heart to pump 50% more blood and for the
mother's lungs to take in 50% more oxygen.  The hormonal changes of pregnancy
effect the production of insulin and many women get gestational diabetes which
will permanently affect the woman's ability to keep her blood sugar stable.
A woman's blood pressure increases and her body retains large amounts of water
which can lead to a syndrom called eclampsia.  THe result of eclampsia is coma
and death.

The growth of the fetus causes a woman's center of balance to be altered
often causing injury to the lower back.  The mother's internal organs are
compressed, this includes the heart, liver, lungs, and digestive tract.  The
compression of the digestive tract causes constipation which, in turn, causes
hemmeroids.  The urinary tract is taxed by removing wastes from the additional
50% blood the woman is pumping.

The skin covering the abdomen is stretched and often tears painfully in what
are commonly called "stretch marks".  These are permanent and while they no
longer are painful after birth, they represent permanent disfigurement.

The breasts begin to secrete colostrum in about the 8th to 9th month of
pregnancy.  They are usually two to three times as large as normal when
the milk comes in.  THe ligaments supporting the breast are stretched and
the breast will never recover its original shape.

During labor, women can have strokes, heart attacks, and seizures brought on
by the stress caused to the body.  If the placenta is placed incorrectly within
the uterus, a condition called placenta previa can occur and the woman can
bleed to death.  During delivery, tears in the vaginal wall can be deep
enough to enter the anus causing infection of the vagina from fecal bacteria.

In the event that the baby is unable to come through the birth canal, the woman
must undergo major abdominal surgery.  This involves permanent scarring,
risk from anasthesia, risk of major infection, and risk from blood loss.

Now I'm sure I missed something, but I hope I have dispelled the myth that
pregnancy is benign and doesn't cost the woman anything.  It has a very real
detriment to the woman's health and ability to function and poses a very real
risk to the woman's life.

Please continue with the rest of your argument....



From: dnjdb@dcatla.UUCP (Jennifer D. Brindle)
Newsgroups: talk.abortion
Subject: Re: Hypocrit
Message-ID: <38144@dcatla.UUCP>
Date: 24 Apr 90 19:15:25 GMT
Organization: DCA Inc., Alpharetta, GA

In article <>, writes:

[abortion stories deleted from the person who won't sign their name]

If you want to hear stories, how about this one?

From _Sex_and_Birth_Control_ (I forgot who authored and published).
Reprinted in full without permission.

This is the story of a girl who lived in Wisconsin.  In 1971
she was pregnant.  The laws of her state were restrictive
toward abortion.  She cannot tell her own story, so it is told
by someone else:  Mrs Anne Gaylor, a counselor who testified
before the Judiciary Committee of the Wisconsin Assembly after
a Madison, Wisconsin, abortion clinic had been 'raided' (illegally,
it turned out) and closed.

"What happens when an abortion clinic closes?" Mrs Gaylor began
before the Assembly. "When the Midwest Medical Center of Madison
was ruthlessly closed...a tragic chain of events began whose total
effect may never be known.  Lawmakers, so prone to investigate
everything, could be investigating these tragedies, but of course
they are not.  At least they can listen:  they can listen to what
happened to one Wisconsin girl.

"This girl had an appointment at the Midwest Medical Center the
week it was closed.  She and her boyfriend had read about the clinic
in the papers, and although they had only a little money they were
able to arrange an appointment for a partial fee.  When the clinic
was raided, they were all but paralyzed because they had no
knowledge of where else to turn.  At first they procastinated, then
the boy made several calls to hospitals and doctors, but they were
all abrupt with him.  Those who talked to him at all talked about
the high cost of a hospital abortion, the need for parental consent,
the legal uncertainties.  They suggested no other alternatives of
places to go, and the young couple's despair deepened.

"The boy and girl had ocme to each other from backgrounds of parental
rejection; the girl had run away from her home.  They had both been
hurt, they had been unhappy in their home life.  In each other they
seemed to find some measure of security and acceptance, of uncritical
love, something they had never had.

"Although the boy had no thought of abandoning the girl, she became
terribly depressed.  She could only think that each day she was getting
farther and farther along into this unwanted pregnance and what a
terrible burden she was becoming to the boy.  He was the only one she
had to cling to and she was afraid.

"So...without the boy's knowledge, she took a last desperate way out
of her problem.  She tool a coat hanger and jabbed it into her uterus.
Toward morning, when the pain became too much to bear, she told the
boy what she had done and he went to get help for her.

"Now because he was very young and frightened, he did not call the logical
people to call in an emergency - a doctor or a hospital.  You will
remember they had rejected him before.  He did not call the police because
he actually feared he and his girl would be arrested.  He phoned collect
to a clergyman in a town one hundred miles away who was the only person
he felt he could trust, and this man put him in touch with a
counselor in his own city.

"The counselor came out and convinced the boy that his fears of legal
retribution were overblown, and that the girl was in very serious condition.
She helped him take her to a hospital.

"But they were too late.  The girl had punctured her uterus with the
hanger, she had bled excessively, and she died in the hospital a few hours

"Last night I talked to that counselor who was with the girl when she
died, and she asked me to convey a message to you.

"'Tell the legislators,' she said, 'that it is a terrible thing to watch
a young girl die, and to know that her death was unnecessary, a total
waste.  Tell them how terrible it is that anyone should have to lose her
life because of fear, because everyone who could help her was too
intimidated by our law to give her the help she needed.  Let them know about
this girl's family who last say her warm and alive and now will see her
always as something dead to be carried out and disposed of.  Tell them
about the boy who had to be physically restrained from destroying himself
when he realized his girl was dying.  Don't let them sit there and
debate abortion without knowing the tragedies that occur with abortion
is not available.  Let them know about this girl.  One girl's death is
one too many...'"

When it gets right down to it, that is why I am pro-choice.
I don't to ever, ever, ever, EVER let that happen again.



From: (Russell Turpin)
Newsgroups: talk.religion.misc
Subject: Re: Bible bowdlerizations
Summary: Ex 21:22-24: "premature birth" for "miscarriage".
Message-ID: <>
Date: 5 Sep 90 16:48:15 GMT
Organization: U. Texas CS Dept., Austin, Texas

Translating the Bible can become a very political act.  One
passage that shows this well is Ex 21:22-24.  This part of
Levitical law deals with how one should deal with a man who
accidentally strikes a pregnant woman, causing her to miscarry.
It says that the man must pay a fine to the father, determined by
the father and judges.  It goes on to say that if the woman
suffers further harm from the miscarriage, then the standard lex
talonis applies -- an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a life
for a life.

The political importance of this verse today is clear.  It is the
*only* verse in the entire Bible that explicitly considers the
termination of pregnancy by human act.  It is law, not poetry,
and it clearly distinguishes between the life of a pregnant
woman, which this law says is like anyone else's life, and the
life of the fetus, which is treated as an economic value to the

That pregnant women receive the same treatment before the law as
everyone else is important, because someone who accidentally
strikes a pregnant woman might argue that she would not have
suffered such great injury if she had not been pregnant,
something over which he had no control.  This is an interesting
issue to see in ancient law, the drawing of a line between harm
that is the fault of someone who caused the event and harm that
is attributable to nature or preventable condition of the person
harmed.  For example, many people today argue that in an accident
between an automobile and motorcyclist who was not wearing a
helmet, the car driver's liability for the motorcyclist's head
injuries should be limited to what they would have been had he
been wearing a helmet.  This ancient law says that pregnancy is
NOT like a failure to wear a motorcycle helmet, and puts the
burden on people in general to take care not to harm a pregnant
woman, even through acts that might not harm others.  It is worth
mentioning that this law is almost a straight copy of an older
Assyrian law.

So what goes wrong in translation?  Mostly that pro-lifers want
their vision of a fetus as a person deserving full protection of
the law -- an idea that did not develop until the 19th century --
read back into ancient Hebrew law.  The King James Version
translates the Hebrew phrase meaning miscarriage as the woman's
fruit leaving her.  This is almost transliteration, since similar
Hebrew words are the root of the phrase.  The meaning is still
clear in English.  (Was the English word miscarriage used in this
way in the 17th century?)  Most English Bibles either stick with
this translation or simply say miscarriage.

But I have seen one version that translates the phrase as
"premature birth".  Puzzled when I saw this very different
translation, I asked a professor of Hebrew and Middle Eastern
history about this verse.  According to him, "premature birth was
simply a mistranslation.  There are several problems with it.

  o  The Hebrew phrase in this context clearly means miscarriage,
     not premature birth.

  o  This translation is not consistent with Hebrew tradition.
     Ultimately, one understands what a phrase in a language
     means by observing how the language speakers and listeners
     use it.  If the ancient Hebrews understood this phrase to
     mean miscarriage, then in ancient Hebrew that is what the
     phrase meant.

  o  The law then makes no sense.  If a pregnant woman was struck
     and then went into labor, how would the ancient Hebrews
     determine whether (a) the birth was premature or (b) that
     the labor was caused by the jostling?  Further, where is the
     harm to the father?  A woman delivering a healthy baby is a
     normal event.  A woman delivering a stillbirth is not.

The professor was surprised when I informed him that I had found
an English Bible that translated the phrase as "premature birth".
It seems that some modern translators are putting their political
interests ahead of any interest in linguistic and historical
accuracy.  Personally, I don't find this surprising at all.



From: gorin@media-lab.MEDIA.MIT.EDU (Amy Gorin)
Newsgroups: soc.rights.human,talk.abortion,alt.activism,talk.religion.misc
Subject: Re: OPERATION RESCUE -- reprinted letter from a jailed protester
Message-ID: <3080@media-lab.MEDIA.MIT.EDU>
Date: 4 Aug 90 04:45:43 GMT
Organization: MIT Media Lab, Cambridge MA

In article <181.26b96f50@dragon.uucp> cms@dragon.uucp writes:

> Who will pay for it?  The same people who currently pay for all
>mothers with dependent chiildren: us.  I've read studies about
>countries in which abortion was illegal, then legal, then made
>illegal again.  Shortly after it was made illegal the second time,
>the number of childbirths rose dramatically for a very short period,
>then dropped down to normal levels again as people began using birth
>control methods other than abortion.  The argument: What are we going
>to do with all these children? doesn't hold up statistically.

When I was a high school student studying marine biology my class took a
field trip to a sewage treatment plant one day (in the late 70s).  We
interviewed one worker who's job it was to mind the sluce gates -- big
screens that caught solid material before the rest of the sewage went into
fermentation and settling tanks. He'd been doing the job for 20 someodd years.

We asked him what the oddest things they pulled off the screen were, he had
two answers. The best solid matter they fished off the screen was money
flushed down the toilet by drug dealers about to be raided (you could tell
because it was often accompanied by baggies full of illegal materials).
The worst was babies.

He said it was a real bitch when you saw a fetus on the screen, because
then someone had to climb into the tank and get it, and then wait with it
until someone from the health department to show up to measure it -- to see
if it was big enough to have been a live birth, in which case the police
had to be notified, or if it was clearly an abortion, in which case it was
just buried. He said that it was enough trouble to do, and happened often
enough, that the workers would ignore fetuses that were clearly too small
to have been born live.

Oh yeah, he also said that the problem had pretty much disappeared after
abortion was made legal, and illegal abortionists stopped disposing of
aborted fetuses in sewers so they couldn't be traced.

Aren't statistics wonderful?

(followups to talk.abortion)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------  |   My demon can beat  |  There's a seeker
                               |   up your demon      |  born every minute


From: (Russell Lawrence)
Newsgroups: talk.abortion,alt.atheism
Subject: Re: Religion and abortion
Summary: The importance of "souls" and "DNA" for pro-lifers.
Message-ID: <>
Date: 11 Feb 90 08:14:25 GMT
Organization: WP Group, POB 306, Metairie, LA 70004

In article <18727@sjuphil.uucp>, B. Stevenson writes:
> In article <5760@uswat.UUCP> Steve Novak writes:
> > IMO, anti-abortionists' reasoning ALWAYS returns to their
> > personal conviction that a mated sperm-and-egg clump of cells is
> > sacred human life (and usually, sperm and egg separately are
> > non-human, or at least not worthy of defense)...

> "The great strength of the movement against abortion is that it
> seeks to protect one defenseless category of human or potentially
> human life;  furthermore, it strives to resist the introduction
> into society of forms of value judgements that would discriminate
> among the worth of individual lives.  In almost any other civil
> rights context, the cogency of this line of reasoning would be
> quickly respected."

The notion that human life is fundamentally valuable without any regard
for values *IS* an intrinsically religious argument.  It's prevalence in
our society stems from the widespread influence of the judeo-christian
tradition and the "dominion" myth presented in the old testament.

According to Genesis, God created Adam in his own image and gave animals
to Adam for him to use as he saw fit.  Later christian thinkers claimed
that God gave men, but not animals, a spiritual thing known as a "soul".
These religious myths about man's godlike image, his dominion, and his
"soul" are the foundation for a value system that's readily apparent in
western culture, even today, and they figure prominently in the pro-life

To illustrate, let me contrast eastern and western views about the value
of human life and life in general.  In the orient, respect for life
isn't confined to humans alone.  Buddhists, for example, contend that
all sentient creatures have inherent worth, not just humans, and the
special value of human life is correlated with higher consciousness.
While I'm not a buddhist, I have to confess my admiration for a
philosophy that respects demonstrable qualities like sentience and
consciousness rather than non-demonstrable entities like the
judeo-christian "soul".

Here in the west, pro-lifers don't seem to care much about sentience or
any other values, including human freedom.  Instead, they insist that
the genes in a fertilized egg give a special status to the organism that
warrants legal protection in complete defiance of the mother's desires.
I consider this to be demeaning because it ignores REAL values that give
meaning to life (like the mother's freedom and ability to think for
herself) in favor of some doctrine about genes and souls.

While pro-lifers may claim that their respect for human genes enhances
civil rights, I find this argument hard to accept.  In essence, they
are saying that the inherent worth of individuals can be determined
by genetics.   While this may raise the artificial worth of brain-dead
comatose individuals and fertilized human eggs, it doesn't help chimps
and gorillas and other forms of intelligent life who get cast aside
because of their non-human genes.  To my way of thinking, it's patently
racist to say that Washoe the Chimp is inferior to a human zygote,
simply because the zygote has human genes.  Washoe is sensitive,
emotional, intelligent, and is capable of using both reason and
language.  As such, she deserves our respect, regardless of the fact
that her genes are not human.

While pro-lifers may say that their philosophy promotes civil
rights, this simply isn't true.  The real significance of the civil
rights movement with respect to racism is the growing appreciation of
the fact that the worth of an individual should be based on his
character and abilities rather than his race/genes.  Pro-lifers are
really saying the exact opposite, that the human race/genes
predetermines human value.

The fact that the pro-life view is corrupt and misleading from the
racial civil rights point-of-view is visibly apparent when we hear
pro-lifers in talk.abortion claim that brain dead comatose individuals
and fertilized human eggs have greater inherent worth than adult chimps
and gorillas...  simply because of their respective genes/souls.  This
doesn't make sense to me.  In my opinion, the fact that pro-lifers believe
this crap stems from the indoctrination of the the dominion concept.

Human rights advocates contend that duty should not be used as a pretext
for rationalizing involontary servitude.  Yet, pro-lifers often say that
mothers have a duty to nurture an embryo for various reasons.  They
believe that our government should oblige the mother to protect the
fertilized egg (because of its genes) without regard to the mother's own
feelings and plans.  To say that the mother has a "duty" to serve the
embryo's development because of "genes" or "souls" is no different from
saying that jewish disidents in the Soviet Union have a "duty" to serve
the State.  Pro-choice advocates contend that duty cannot and must not
be used as a pretext for involontary servitude.

In effect, the doctrine of genes is no different from the doctrine of
souls.  Privately, many pro-lifers admit that embryos are important
because of their souls.  Publicly, however, most of them claim that
embryos are important because of their genes.  Either way, they are
ignoring real values like sentience, self-consciousness, love, and

As I point out from time to time, there's a good deal of evidence
that the "genetic" values presently espoused by pro-lifers are a
transformation of the old "soul" notions bound up in the dominion theory
and the philosophies of Augustine and Acquinas.  According to the old
religious view, only human life had inherent worth because humans alone
had souls.  According to the new religious view, only human life has
inherent worth because humans alone have human DNA.

According to the old view, the "soul" was not just the seat of reason,
it was a kind of cosmic seed that directly influenced the development
and behavior of the physical man.  Contemporary pro-lifers make a
similar claim about DNA.  They view DNA as a kind of blueprint that
pre-determines the future individual in the same way that an architect's
blueprint predetermines a house.

According to Jack Wilke, president of the National Right to Life
committee, "Contained within the single cell who I once was, was the
totality of everything I am today." The problem with this is that it
simply isn't true.  DNA is not a blueprint for an individual, and while
genes influence growth at every stage, they do NOT predetermine a
specific pattern of growth.  Perhaps there's an embryologist in the
group who would comment further on this issue.

If you seek out pro-life literature about DNA and substitute the word
"soul" for each occurance of "genes" or "DNA", I think you'll
see some dramatic similarities and understand what I'm getting at here.

One more comment -- It's not difficult to find inconsistencies in the
judeo-christian religion that might cause a person to proclaim his
skepticism or disbelief about God.  It's an entirely different thing to
weed from your mind all the little myths and notions that stem from the
religious traditions that are inherent in our culture.  I contend that
one of these myths is the doctrine of souls/genes.  While it may
have made sense a thousand years ago, it seems out-of-place and
counterproductive in modern life.  Before you buy the pro-life pretense
about the importance of genes, stop and consider all the implications.
Genes may be important, but they're not nearly as important as human
values like awareness, intelligence, love, and freedom.

Russell Lawrence, WP Group, New Orleans (504) 443-5000   uunet!wpg!russ


        Jessica's Rights
         by Mark Isaak

Young Sue for kids was unprepared,
So, pregnant, poor, unwed, and scared,
She sought, in lieu, a clinic to abort her pregnancy.
But there she met a holy man
Who kindly told her that God's plan
Was that she'd burn in an eternal state of agony.

"You sin!" exclaimed the righteous priest,
"You're evil! inhumane! a beast!
You can't just kill someone at will, and just because you like.
A guiltless babe you'd murder, who
Has rights as much as me or you,
And just to show that this is so, we'll ask the little tyke."

And he proceeded then to grope
Sue's belly with a stethoscope.
The sounds were soft, and Susan oft could not make out a word,
But, listening intently, she
Discerned a faint soliloquy
From in her gut, and this is what she heard (or thought she heard):

"Abortion issues, heaven knows,
Disquiet all us embryos.
This girl to whom you lent your womb philosophizes nights.
Because I'm less than voting age
Does not entitle curettage.
I want to live; you have to give me birth.  I know my rights."

So Sue became an unwed mom
To daughter Jessica, and from
Her birth the tot declared what ought to come by rights to her.
"A life," she said, "has little worth
If rights expire at time of birth.
And I'll enforce my rights, of course.  Of that you can be sure!"

Now, Jessica demanded that
A stimulating habitat
Was due her, though her mom was so completely destitute.
"You must buy things so I can grow
Up healthy mentally.  I know
My rights.  To end my growth would render my gestation moot."

In time, a fever virulent,
Made worse by undernourishment,
Struck Susan; then, at age of ten, an orphan Jess became.
But Jessy knew her rights.  "A guest
Expects from hosts naught but the best.
A child whom you invite into the world deserves the same.

"I can't, without financial aid,
Reach full potential," Jessy said.
"(To get a good career, I should to college go someday.)
Which means society must now
Provide for me; it must endow
Me richly.  Realistically, there is no other way."

She grew up blithe and lively then,
Embracing life, and also men.
Some people thought her conduct not of high morality.
"I want to live, not just exist,"
She said to them, "and I insist
You don't come near my private sphere.  I know my rights, you see."

Her contraceptive failed by chance
In course of one short dalliance.
She mused and planned and pondered and decided to abort.
Outside the clinic, though, she found
A preacher wont to harp and hound,
Who, when she tried to pass beside him, rudely stopped her short.

"You're evil!" cried the priest, "You sin!
You bear a living child within!
Can you abide its homicide?"  To this responded Jess,
"You call that living?  Please observe
The fetus totally lacks verve,
And therefore it won't care a whit what rights it may possess.

"But me, I care what rights are mine.
I know my rights.  You're out of line.
I won't let you abort my future plans for those of yours.
You're wrong to hound me with this strife.
I have a right to my own life!"
With that much said, she went ahead inside the clinic doors.

    Copyright 1989 by Mark Isaak.
    Permission to reprint will almost certainly be given if you but ask.
Mark Isaak        imagen!  or  {decwrl,sun}!imagen!isaak
            "Inquiry is fatal to certainty." - Will Durant


Subject: Re: Fetal rights

In article <> psb@eecea.UUCP (Phil Buckland) writes:
>       Protections have been granted in the law to infants.
>       Do any object to extending these protections to a
>       viable fetus?  In Roe Vs. Wade, the SC indicated that
>       such protections were reasonable.  Are they already
>       on the books?  Is Missouri the first to successfully
>       (sort of) put them on the books?  Do any pro-choicers
>       object to denying abortions (save for self-defense)
>       after the fetus has reached viability?

Well, I'm glad you said "sort of."  Missouri did indeed put fetal
Constitutional protections on the books.  And according to the
Associated Press, a lawyer in Jefferson City, MO, has just filed
suit because a fetus was jailed without having been charged with
any crime, without being given an attorney, without having been
convicted or sentenced, and he alleges that due to the conditions
at the prison the fetus is also being denied an appropriate diet
and proper medical care.

This sounds like an interesting case to me.  Suppose a pregnant
woman commits a crime, for example the murder of a 50-year-old
businessman, and is convicted, sentenced and goes to prison.
A writ of habeus corpus is filed on behalf of the fetus.  Surely,
under Missouri law, the fetus must be released from prison.  But
the mother must remain in jail.  Do they perform an abortion to
seperate the two?  Letting the woman out on bond until the fetus
reaches term is not a solution, as the mother would be forbidden
to leave the state, while the fetus most certainly would have the
right to travel freely without restraint, hhaving committed no crime.

My simple mind just boggles.  Missouri law says that the unborn
fetus has "all the rights, privileges and immunities available to
other persons."  That obviously includes the right not to be
imprisoned without having committed any crime or receiving due
process.  Maybe I'll wander over to and ask those
hot shot lawyers what they think of all this....



From: (N.Y. Transfer)
Subject: NEWS:Operation Fizzle, Buffalo
Message-ID: <>
Date: 30 Apr 92 21:46:25 GMT
Followup-To: alt.activism.d

Via The NY Transfer News Service ^ All the News that Doesn't Fit

                        OPERATION FIZZLE:
            Buffalo women boot out anti-choice bigots

              By Workers World Buffalo, N.Y., bureau

"Operation Rescue" is in the process of being booted out of
Buffalo, N.Y. Pro-choice activists say the anti-abortion
terrorists find it most galling that their defeat came at the
hands of women.

As of April 27, as the second week of the right-wing siege against
women's health care clinics begins, Operation Rescue has not been
able to blockade or close a single women's medical facility. The
determined women and men organized by Buffalo United for Choice
have successfully defended every clinic that performs abortions.

Even before "Operation Rescue" opened its war against Buffalo's
women's health clinics, more than 2,500 people marched on City
Hall in a drenching downpour April 11 to demand women's right to
reproductive choice.

Unfortunately, the cold rain seems to have continued almost
unabated since that day. But that didn't stop the struggle to
defend women's rights. When OR arrived at clinics on April 20 --
and every morning after -- they found that all four Buffalo
clinics had been fortified since dawn with human chains determined
to keep the doors open and the patients safe.

"This is not a free speech issue for `Operation Rescue'," Buffalo
United for Choice organizer Darcy France told Workers World.
"This is not some protest. This is a war against women's health
care by right-wing bigots."

OR announced it would launch a big thrust on April 22 at an
undisclosed clinic. It sent about 100 people to the Main Street
clinic downtown as a diversion. Then at a given signal, the sexist
forces jumped into cars and raced to the Sweet Home Medical
Services clinic in Amherst, a Buffalo suburb.

But when the OR forces arrived at the clinic they were faced with
500 clinic defenders who beat them there. It showed that Buffalo
United for Choice has developed an effective communications
system, including a sophisticated intelligence apparatus, to keep
one step ahead of Operation Rescue and stymie the reactionaries'

When the zealots found they'd been out-mobilized, they sat down in
the streets as a media ploy, resulting in 190 arrests.

Defeated, OR leaders put out a national call for reinforcements to
arrive on April 25, the first weekend of their proposed two-week
offensive. But by 6 a.m. there were already 600 pro-choice women
and men defending the Buffalo GYN Women's Services Clinic. Despite
a cold rainstorm, the clinic defense force grew throughout the
day. All scheduled abortions proceeded.

On April 27 OR tried to attack Dr. Parviz Taefi's clinic on
Linwood Avenue. The bigots could not penetrate the clinic defense.
Some from OR sat in the streets. But when the federal marshals
read an injunction, they got up and walked away. Their numbers had
dwindled. They lacked the forces to sustain arrests.

The next day OR announced another big push, and tried to blockade
the Erie Medical Facility on High Street. But like every other
"rescue," it failed miserably.

Important lesson

"We were able to learn valuable lessons from the struggle in
Wichita," BUC spokesperson Dianne Mathiowetz said. "We began mass
organizing against `Operation Rescue' as soon as they made their
announcement in January that they were going to attack our

"One important lesson we learned is that an injunction may be an
invaluable tool, but without the clinic defenders it couldn't stop
these reactionaries. Operation Rescue blows up clinics and makes
death threats against health care providers. They scorn existing

Mathiowetz said trained escorts working together with clinic
defenders have made it possible for women to enter the facilities
with little or no harassment. Katherine Spillar, national
coordinator of the Los Angeles-based Feminist Majority, came to
Buffalo six weeks before OR. She adapted her organization's
experiences defending over 80 Los Angeles-area clinics to
Buffalo's needs.

Reproductive rights organizers agreed their mobilization in
Buffalo has dealt a body blow to "Operation Rescue." The
reactionaries desperately resorted to lesbian-baiting pro-choice
activists. "The majority of abortion rights advocates are
homosexuals," Keith Tucci, executive director of Operation Rescue
told the Buffalo News.

"This is vile gay-baiting," countered Val Colangelo, a Buffalo
United for Choice organizer and a leading member of Workers World
Party. "It's true that there's a large part of our leadership
that's lesbian and gay. This is a broad grass-roots coalition.
We're proud of our diversity. It's part of our strength."

The national and local media haven't been able to dispute the
reality: Huge numbers of clinic defenders have kept the health
facilities open and running. Instead, news reports claim the
clinics are open but deserted.

"It's a lie," Colangelo said. "`Operation Rescue' has not been
able to stop one patient from obtaining the necessary medical
services. There have not been a lot of canceled appointments --
even though the `Rescue' forces have been using their tired old
tactic of booking fake appointments and then canceling. Women are
coming to the clinics and getting in. That's the truth of the
matter." Colangelo said both women reporters, who have gone into
the clinics without cameras, and clinic directors have confirmed

Dianne Mathiowetz said: "`Operation Rescue' boasted Buffalo would
be the next Wichita. Instead, they have met their Waterloo here."

(Copyright Workers World Service: Permission to reprint granted
if source is cited.)

This article originally appeared in Workers World newspaper. A
10-week trial subscription is available for $2. A year's
subscription costs $15. Makes checks payable to Workers World,
and send to 46 W. 21 St., New York, NY 10010.Phone (212)
255-0352. You may contact Workers World editors on New York
Transfer or PeaceNet at "workers."

from the FEMINIST Newsfeed - NY Transfer News Service
Modem: 718-448-2358


In article <735@cbnewsd.ATT.COM> frear@cbnewsd.ATT.COM (lori.frear,ix,) writes:
>For many groups of women>(no references today, but you can look it up),
>giving birth is more dangerous than a legal abortion.

From "Comparitive Morbidity And Mortality in Abortion and Contraception"
Christopher Tietze, M.D.:

age of women    deaths from prgnancy    from induced abortion  from childbirth
15-19           10.8                    2.3                     1.3
20-24           8.5                     1.9                     1.3
25-29           12.1                    1.9                     1.3
30-34           25.1                    4.2                     4.8
35-39           41.0                    9.2                     6.9
40-44           69.1                    10.1                    24.5

per 100,000 pregnancies/abortions/births

(Looks likes it's a hell of a lot safer to have an abortion, eh?)



        A Child's Right to Life

     Somewhere back in 1946, a young woman hurried along a
small street in downtown Philadelphia.  A bit anxious, young
Louise was headed for a doctor's appointment; though she was
sure  she  was  pregnant, she wasn't married, and  she  felt  she
wasn't  ready to bear children.  As she rounded the  corner,  she
bumped into a friend she hadn't seen a couple months.
     "Mary Ann," she exclaimed.  "My goodness!"
     "Louise, oh how funny.  Are you o.k?"
     "Oh  yes,  I was just on my way to a  doctor's  appointment.
And you?"
     "I was on my way to a youth group down at church."
     "Oh,  listen Mary Ann-I need to talk to someone, can I  talk
to you sometime soon-its important."
     "Sure, doll, why don't you come over later."

     The visit to her doctor confirmed her suspicions.  She was
pregnant.  The doctor suggested that if she would like she could
get  an  abortion,  but it would cost her  a  hundred  and  fifty
dollars-money she didn't have.  She said she would see if she
could get the money somehow.
     That  night  at  Mary  Ann's, Louise  confided  in  her  and
expressed her fears.  She asked Mary Ann if she could borrow the
money.  Mary Ann was reluctant.
     "Doll, are you sure?  I can't see myself paying for your
     "But I'll pay you back."
     "That's not it.  I just don't feel that its right.  The pastor
at the church gave a sermon last Sunday about this very thing.  He
said the unborn fetus is a living child, a child of God, and that
abortion  was  murder.   I believe that.  Dear,  I  can't  be  an
accomplice to the murder of your baby, you have to understand."
     "Gee, I never thought of it like that."
     "Come, lets pray."
     Louise,  although  she had gone to church for  years,  never
really felt very religious.  But something about Mary Ann, and the
way she held her hands while they prayed, got to her.  She felt that
something.  She decided in her heart that she couldn't go  through
with   the  abortion.   That  night  they  went  to  church   and
afterwards, at his house, they met with the pastor.
     "You could either elect to put the child up for adoption, or
you could keep the child yourself,"  he said.  "But I would urge
you to get married for the child's sake."

     Nine months later the baby was born.
     As Louise lay in her hospital bed with her newborn infant,
Mary Ann sat by her side.  "I'm so glad you decided not to go
through with the abortion.  Every child deserves a right to life,
don't you think?, " Mary Ann said.  "What a beautiful baby boy!"
     "And he's got your eyes!"
     Louise smiled.
     "What are you going to name him,"  Mary Ann asked.
     "Oh I don't know.  I think I'll name him Ted."
     Mary Ann smiled.
     "Ted Bundy, what a wonderful name!"

     Copyright 1989 Joe Rossi



  (Disclaimer: this is somewhat tongue-in-cheek. Somewhat.)

  OK, Eric, let's talk about gutlessness a little bit. It's interesting that
you are so quick to call women "gutless" when you can never experience
pregnancy yourself.  So, to correct your singular lack of compassion, let me
give you some suggestions on how you can feel what pregnancy is like.

  First of all, pregnancy lasts almost a year. It's really ten months, not
nine months like popular folklore purports. (People are different; it can
last anywhere from 39-42 weeks, normally.)

  Have you ever drunk a little too much beer and had a nasty hangover the
next morning?  That feeling of "just shoot me now and get it over with"? Or,
if not, have you ever had a stomach virus that made you constantly nauseated,
possibly vomiting every half hour or so?
  OK, now add to that the feeling you have when you haven't slept in 24
hours.  Got it - nauseated, exhausted?  Pretty miserable?  All right, now:
put a large meal in front of yourself, preferably meat, veggies, all the good
stuff.  You HAVE to eat it, or you will feel WORSE.  Hard to imagine, eh?
Well, Eric, that is what you feel like for *three months*.  Not just in the
morning. ALL the time. Some women feel like that all through pregnancy.

  (Oh, by the way, you're not allowed to take ANY drugs to make yourself
feel better. Not a pepto bismol, not an alka seltzer, not even an aspirin.
Just sit there and feel rotten.)

 OK, now the second three months aren't all that bad. None of your clothes
fit, so you must go out and totally replace your wardrobe. I'm talking
shirts, dresses, underwear, pajamas.  If you can't afford to do this, too bad.
You can't run around naked. Maternity clothes are priced sky-high, so you make
do with men's extra large shirts from J.C. Penney.  Unless, of course, you
have a job where you have to wear suits, and then you get to invest a couple
thousand dollars for clothes that you will wear for (max) six months and then
give away.

  There are lots of inconveniences you have to undergo, however.  For almost
a year, you must do without:

  - Alcohol of any description.  Not even communion at church.
  - Coffee, tea, or anything with caffeine.
  - Soft drinks, especially those with aspartame.
  - Prescription drugs. I happen to have a stomach ulcer, and I cannot
    take the Zantac that keeps me from being in intense pain.  I make
    do with Tums.  (My ulcer just laughs at Tums.)
  - Antibiotics, unless you are about to die.
  - Sinus medications, even if you feel like your head is going to explode.
  - Aspirin for any reason.
  - Tylenol, unless you are about to die.
  - Any salty foods: ie, any prepared foods, canned vegetables, not to
    mention ANY junk food whatsoever.
  - Chinese food, or anything with MSG in it.
  - Many of your regular activities.  I am an avid horseperson, I own a
    riding school, and I can't ride my own horses. To be fair to me: choose
    your Most Favorite Thing To Do.  You can't do it for almost a year.
  - Strenuous exercise of any description.  Forget tennis, racquetball,
    or basketball, they put too much strain on your ligaments. Forget
    jogging. In fact, forget staying in shape at all. You won't feel like
    exercising anyway.

  OK, now we get to the fun part, the third trimester.  Go and get two
15-pound bowling balls and strap them to your abdomen. (30 pounds is an
average weight gain - if you're a large person, you should add some 5-pound
fishing weights too.) No fair putting them in a backpack; you must take all
the strain of the weight on your lower back. Make sure the bowling balls are
tied very loosely, so they can swing and hit you in the ribs, kidneys, and
especially, your bladder. Of course, you should probably put little motors
in the bowling balls so that they will start moving in the middle of the
night and wake you up. One of the bowling balls should be shoved up into
your ribcage, blocking your diaphragm so you can't breathe very well. That
ball should also be pressing into your stomach so that everything you eat
travels right back up your esophagus.  Doesn't that heartburn feel great!
Now, try to find a way to sit down comfortably.  Try walking up a hill.
Try lying down. (Remember, when you lie down the contents of your stomach
will be propelled right up your esophagus - so you get to sleep sitting up!)

You should also drink a bottle of Kaopectate so that you will be very
constipated. Oh - but you can't take any laxatives!!! Just drink more water!!!
You can add a few hemorrhoids to the constipation if you like. Also, tie large
water balloons to your ankles so that you slosh when you walk.  By the way,
your shoes won't fit any more, so you must replace your entire shoe wardrobe.
Forget wearing any rings or other fitted jewelry.  You should also have
someone hit you hard with a ball-peen hammer in the hips, knees, and other
joints (those pregnancy hormones loosen everything up, and boy does it
ache).  You should make sure to have some excruciating leg cramps at night,
too.  We wouldn't want you to get any REST, now, would we?

 Well, that's where I am right now.  And I haven't even mentioned the
faintness (you might not be able to drive a car), possibility of high
blood pressure & stroke, pregnancy diabetes, carpal tunnel syndrome (a
sometimes permanent numbness in the hands), and varicose veins that some
of my friends have.

 And I imagine that labor and delivery make the aforementioned "inconveniences"
feel like a picnic in the park.  I'll let you know.

 Anyway, this was not designed to elicit sympathy. I just think that before
you start calling someone "gutless", you should have some inkling of what
you're talking about. Anybody who calls pregnancy "inconvenient" should
implement my suggestions above.  Then I'll talk to you about guts.

                                       Melody Moore Eidbo