world

Anti-abortion activists, counter-protesters rally around U.S.

44 Comments
By GENE JOHNSON

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

44 Comments
Login to comment

They want to defund planned parenthood and they also want to defund helathcare/welfare at the same time.

Anyone displaying Christian belief should start by displaying the will to help each other as the Christian belief teaches...

Also, the reproductive systems is not the propriety of the government nor anyone forces you to abort.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Burning BushFEB. 12, 2017 - 07:19AM JST I believe the correct term is "pro-life", not "anti-abortion", otherwise, we'd have to refer to the pro-choice camp as "anti-life".

It's very obviously not, as anti-abortion activists are stunningly disinterested in protecting life after it emerges from the womb. Where is the "pro-life" campaign to make sure Detroit has clean drinking water? Where is the "pro-life" campaign to keep coal pollutants out of our national waterways? Where is the "pro-life" campaign to protect refugees from war-torn Syria?

They don't exist. Because the "pro-life" right wing was never about protecting life. It was always an anti-abortion movement. From its inception it was invented by cynical right-wing politicians who wanted to find a way to manipulate religious groups for their own agendas the way they used to use segregation.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Planned Parenthood spends a great deal of it's budget on contraceptives. Closing them down could actually lead to an increase in abortions, making the protesters' actions counterproductive.

Which is par for the course for the GOP.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

She and the girls held signs saying “Pray to End Abortion,” though she said they’re too young to understand what it means.

Am I the only one to see the irony here? Protesters using/brainwashing their innocent kids to hell abuse at others who have different opinions/make different choices? That's pretty close to child abuse, or at least appalling parenthood, in my book. Nuttas.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

They don't exist. Because the "pro-life" right wing was never about protecting life.

Wait a minute and the pro-choice movement is about what besides destroying babies?

It was always an anti-abortion movement.

What's wrong with that?

From its inception it was invented by cynical right-wing politicians who wanted to find a way to manipulate religious groups for their own agendas the way they used to use segregation.

Sorry, but this is a losing argument on both sides, I will say it like this, both sides will never win on this issue. I feel like this, you guys on the left attacking and demonizing pro-lifers, they can and justifiably do the same back to you.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

I am one of those that is against abortion but also against shutting down planned parenthood (I guess another issue where I piss off both sides.

As long as these people are not breaking windows, hitting people who oppose their views in the back with a wooden club or stick, or shutting down opposing points of view I am all for their right to protest.

Removing federal funds from Planned Parenthood would be a huge mistake and would have unintended consequences such as those SuperLib mentioned.

If we start to talk about Margaret Sanger.....well...that is kind of a different story...and a different time.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I find it amusing so often people on the right are always saying "government has too much control over life business and peoples affairs" then spends half their effort on trying to tell especially women what they can do with their bodies..

Im actually despite being left leaning fairly conservative on the abortion thing, and in what situations in my life with my partner I would think it was OK, however the fact that I should have no so say over someone else's bodily autonomy out ways that.

Freedom eh, again the something some the right seems to have interpreted strangely.

They seem believe they have the freedom to tell people how to live and what to do in their private lives, which is something the left gets accused of constantly. Here is how freedom equality would really work if freedom and equality is what people really cared about.

Don't want to take or use contraceptives, the don't use them.

Don't want abortion, don't have one.

Don't want a gay relationship, don't be in one.

Don't want to sell or deal to the general public, then don't have a business that sells to the public.

Don't want "other" people's religions making waves in your country, then don't allow yours to get mixed up in government either.

and so on and so on.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

NZ2011 - Your arguments are from the Libertarian perspective, which I tend to agree with. I also agree with your statements....they are from the "live and let live" perspective.

On the other hand some of the protesters do not want to fund abortions (via their taxes). I can understand that perspective as well.

In the end, if one is to remove emotion and personal feelings from this argument, it is best to continue to fund Planned Parenthood.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

NZ2011: the right doesnt care what women do to their bodies. They DO care about what they do to the life that is growing inside their bodies. It's different. Otherwise, you are equating a foetus to your appendix.

Do you believe on ANY limits to abortion? or is it OK right up to the moment of birth?

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Tokyo-Engr On the other hand some of the protesters do not want to fund abortions (via their taxes). I can understand that perspective as well.

They don't. Despite continually lies from right-wing polemicists, no federal tax money goes to Planned Perenthood abortions.

But what if it did? I always wonder why these right-wingers think Chritians should be specially priviledged under US law to not pay for things they disagree with. I didn't agree with idiotically planned adventurism in the Middle East, but I still have to pay for George Bush's wars. I don't agree with Trump's wife living outside the White House, but I still have to pay for their security. Why do Christians alone get to just make up something, say it's prohibited by their religion even though it didn't exist when their holy books were written, and then get to just decide their taxes won't go to fund it?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Planned Parenthood should be as the title implies. Planning BEFORE you get pregnant. Common sense don't you think?

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Carlin nailed it back in '96, and it's still true to this day,

They're not pro-life. You know what they are, they're anti-woman. Simple as it gets. Anti-woman. They don't like them. They don't like women.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

They don't. Despite continually lies from right-wing polemicists, no federal tax money goes to Planned Perenthood abortions.

Planned Parenthood is legally not allowed to use federal money on abortions. But that doesn't prevent the right from claiming the exact opposite.

Planned Parenthood should be as the title implies. Planning BEFORE you get pregnant.

The title does not imply that at all.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

It is true that federal dollars don't directly fund abortions. No argument there. However, federal dollars DO free up other money that PP gets, which is then used to pay for abortions (donations, etc). It amounts to the same thing.

If it is true, as PP claims, abortions are such a small part of their overall mission and care, it stands to reason that eliminating abortions from their services in return for keeping federal dollars shouldn't be difficult. Agree to stopping abortions, keep getting funding. Simple. However, since PP's own data indicate that they perform about 1000 abortions every day, it may actually be more important to them than they want to admit.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

@Attilathehungry

Why take it to the absolute extreme, from the numbers I have seen in the past, late term abortions are so rare its almost purely theoretical to talk about it, I could from the other point of view do the same, rape, terrible deformity, immediate threat to the woman's life, surely they should be the woman's decision no matter the stage.

The trouble with limits is it that there is too much grey area that simply would require too much detail to cover.

Personally of course I think as soon as possible and with consultation with a doctor and possibly a mental health professional (which isn't bias in either way but concerned about the health both physically and mentally of the women), would be the gold standard and that could potentially cover the whole range.

Now we can get into arguments about at what stage a bunch of cells are life or not, but yes up to a point a non-self viable fetus isn't much different from some other organ, if we look at it from a non-emotional point of view.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

NZ: I think we agree about rape victims and threats to life, as do most people. "Deformity" is a grey area. As are convenience, gender selection, etc.

If it is just a bunch of cells, who cares when the abortion is done? As for viability, a lot of sick people are also not self-viable- using life support machines, dialysis, to name but a couple. Are they also not human or worthy of protection?

the difference between viable and not if a foetus is a matter of weeks. Surely that inconvenience is not too much to ask a woman to bear for the sake of a human life (which she helped create).

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

AttilathehungryFEB. 12, 2017 - 12:28PM JST It is true that federal dollars don't directly fund abortions. No argument there. However, federal dollars DO free up other money that PP gets, which is then used to pay for abortions (donations, etc). It amounts to the same thing.

Absolute nonsense. People pay for what they pay for. Separate transactions are separate transactions.

If it is true, as PP claims, abortions are such a small part of their overall mission and care, it stands to reason that eliminating abortions from their services in return for keeping federal dollars shouldn't be difficult.

It only "stands to reason" if you take it as given that abortions are wrong and that the government has a right to order they not happen. The onus is on anti-abortionists to make that case first, and in 34 years of right-wingers endlessly trying rehash Roe vs. Wade they've never actually successfully put forward a rational argument for that point. Which may be why you want to gloss over it, but unfortunately you don't get to just skip over the entire keystone argument for denying women the right to control their bodies just because it's hard.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

It's very obviously not, as anti-abortion activists are stunningly disinterested in protecting life after it emerges from the womb.

A blanket statement of opinion with absolutely no facts to back it up. Assuming you meant "uninterested" rather than "disinterested," as you wrote.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

The title does not imply that at all.

The title DOES imply that and many other things as well. Common sense.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

The title DOES imply that

No it doesn't.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Planned Parenthood should be as the title implies.

Agreed.

Planning BEFORE you get pregnant. Common sense don't you think?

Common sense? Sadly, a lot of people are devoid of that thought process.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

@Attilathehungry

Again, for me its all about bodily autonomy, and its not my body so its not my place to say.

I think there is a little of hyperbole going on here in a subject its very easy to get emotional about.

I have done quite a lot of thinking about sapience and sentience, ideas of viability, looking into statistics, and consent.

Here is an argument presented to me that pushed me closer to simply saying, despite my feelings which is that it should always be the last option as early as possible, and after consultation, however its an issue of bodily autonomy for which only have a say for myself and those in my care incapable of making that decision for themselves.

Lets say you are entirely responsible for an accident in which another person you injured requires a blood transfusion, and you match, should you be legally, required, forced even, to submit to that medical procedure?

Some might say yes but most say no because it has bodily autonomy issues, choose to, of course but forced under some threat of penalty not so much.

What if we took it a step further and you have to give up an organ, or stay permanently attached to that other person to keep them alive?

Equally should someone else decide and legislate, if, how and when, to treat cancer should I be diagnosed?

The world isn't black and white, there is a lot of grey and worry that making black and white rules about this, dismiss the human condition, which includes making mistakes.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Burning BushFEB. 12, 2017 - 06:18PM JST According to the UN the happiest country on Earth is Bhutan.

Is that why they ranked 84 on the 2016 World Happiness Report? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Happiness_Report

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Katsu; First off, abortion is not a left/right issue. It is a moral one. As such, there are proponents across the ideological spectrum. Lots of pro-life democrats out there, not to mention pro-abortion republicans, plus the libertarians....

The idea that it is about controlling a woman's body is not correct. Pro life people have no interest in women's bodies. They DO have interest in the life that is growing inside it however. And most people agree that it IS life. The disagreement comes as to when it becomes life and deserves any consideration at all. Personally, I find the viability argument to be a bit of a red herring. Did fetuses become babies magically sooner in the 21st century, merely due to advances in technology?

I see it as an issue of personal responsibility. If you have sex, you need to take responsibility for what may occur- namely pregnancy. Simply deciding to terminate due to inconvenience or poor timing or if you don't like the gender/race of the baby is frankly evil. There is nothing stopping a woman from carrying through the pregnancy and then, if she wants, putting the baby up for adoption. There are lines out the door at adoption agencies of couples eager to adopt.

As for PP, it seems that abortions are a large part of their business model, not pre-natal care. If they were all about health care, why don't they perform ultrasounds for women who want to keep their babies? Why are they only available for terminations, and then they don't show the mother?

NZ, those are good arguments. I would say that since pregnancy is temporary, not permanent, part of the argument falls to the ground.

Also, why should abortion be the last option if the fetus is nothing more than tissue? If you believe that, just cut the thing out and be done with it. No need for consultation or counselling.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

If men were the ones who got pregnant, it would be hard to imagine a group of female politicians being allowed to decide what men should do with their reproductive organs.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Gotta love the people who claim 'women shouldn't be allowed to get abortions', while not being willing to raise or support the children that will be born as a result.

I say put up or shut up. If you don't want the women to get abortions, then we use your tax dollars to support he kids. That's your tax dollars. Not ours.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

the pro-choice movement is about what besides destroying babies?

It's not a movement. It's a social reality.

It's about complexities and difficult choices. Nobody enjoys "destroying babies".

There are as many reasons women have abortions as the number of abortions. It's not simply about women who don't want to take responsibility, or who don't think about consequences, or who don't value life.

As has been pointed out above, the great majority of abortions take place in the first trimester. Late term abortions are rare, and are almost always performed in cases of medical emergency.

I respect the intentions of (most) 'pro-life' believers. I wish they would do the same for (most) 'pro-choice' people. It's a complicated issue that deserves serious consideration, not political gamesmanship.

As a side note, before the Ralph Reed and 'Moral Majority' era in the late 70s and early 80s, abortion was not really much of a concern for conservatives. Think on this.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

AttilathehungryFEB. 12, 2017 - 06:47PM JST And most people agree that it IS life.

Citation needed before we accept that as true, but even if it were, it would not matter. We do not abridge people's rights because of an opinion, not even a popular opinion. For 34 years the same people have made the same tired arguments for why a bunch of old men in the GOP should get to decide what goes on in women's bodies, and for 34 years they've not advanced the argument one iota. I'm not especially worried you'll do any better.

I see it as an issue of personal responsibility.

I don't think anyone cares how you see it, you are not the law of the United States. Though you did rather give away the game by trying to link abortion with what you assume to be sexual responsibility. It made Weasel's Carlin reference ring all the more true.

You need to follow Strangerland. Quit fighting this unwinnable fight. If you truly care about life (instead of merely caring about harassing women for having sex you disapprove of), then pony up the money to see that the life they can't raise is taken care of, and while you're at it pony up the money for contraceptives and sex ed classes that have been proven time and time again to reduce the incidence of unwanted pregnancy and in turn the incidence of abortion. If American Christians were truly "pro-life" America's sex ed and adoption services would be second to none. But the truth is, they're just anti-sex, and willing to actually increase the incidence of abortion through thoroughly ineffective abstinence only programs because in the end, virtue signalling how much they care about fetuses is more important to them than actually solving the problem they claim to care about.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Tokyo-Engr On the other hand some of the protesters do not want to fund abortions (via their taxes).

And I don't want them anti-abortion people to get any (none, not even for infrastructure) part of my taxes, but that is not how taxation works.

Banning and de-funding abortion will make things worse because those who will need abortion would then need to go "underground" and possibly risk their lives because they have little guarantees that they will have a proper care.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Katsu, I think most people agree that it is "life" when it leaves the uterus to be born. So, the question becomes "when does it become life"? Is there a magical moment between conception and birth where life starts? It's actually rather a simple question. It's life or it's not. If it is, it deserves protection. If it's not, it is no more important than an appendix or a a kidney stone. If it's not, then who cares when or why or how it is removed- issues like what trimester are irrelevant, the health of the mother is irrelevant, the reason is irrelevant. If she wants to get rid of it, go ahead, up until the moment of birth.

I don't disapprove of sex, I'm rather in favor of it! I'm also neither American nor Christian, sorry to ruin your preconception (bad pun). Sex ed and contraception are great ideas, and need to be promoted. Ditto adoption services. Nice use of "virtue signalling", too. Well played!

However, I AM pro-responsibility. If you do something that has a possible consequence, then prepare to face that consequence. If you think fetuses are the equivalent of snot, that's fine. Admit it and be intellectually honest.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Wait a minute and the pro-choice movement is about what besides destroying babies?

You are in a pro-choice country now. And at least the pro choice people don't use actual children as shields like Conservative bundies do.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Wait a minute and the pro-choice movement is about what besides destroying babies?

It's not even remotely about that at all. I personally find abortion distasteful, and wish women never did it, and never had to do it. But I'm pro-choice, because it's a woman's right to choose. That's why it's called pro-choice and not pro-abortion.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Right. Banning abortion doesn't stop abortion. It just stops safe abortions.

Attila:. However, federal dollars DO free up other money that PP gets, which is then used to pay for abortions (donations, etc). It amounts to the same thing.

If you ban abortion then there is no "pile of money freed up" for PP. A vast majority of abortions are paid by the people having the procedure done. A very small portion is covered by Medicaid, which is in cases of rape, incest, or when the mother's life is in danger.

think we agree about rape victims and threats to life, as do most people.

Which I'm guessing you support.

And if you want to continue with the "money is fungible" argument, then let's go ahead and bring up the church. A church runs a hospital as part of its operations. The government pays for some procedures at the hospital. Since apparently it's all the same pile of money, does that mean the US government is funding churches? If so then we should stop any and all funds going to hospital's affiliated with a church.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Gotta love the people who claim 'women shouldn't be allowed to get abortions',

Whatever happened to accountability or being responsible as to NOT get in the situation to have an abortion?

while not being willing to raise or support the children that will be born as a result.

People should think of that before doing it. I can see if it's in a situation of rape, incest or the life of the mother hangs in the balance, but using it as a birth control or late term, No justification.

I say put up or shut up. If you don't want the women to get abortions, then we use your tax dollars to support he kids. That's your tax dollars. Not ours.

Or have protected sex or No sex with a person you don't like and that should lesson the burden and possibility of falling into an unwanted pregnancy.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Superlib; I agree with your analogy. A church funded hospital shouldn't get public money, as it is too easy to have the church and hospital funds mixed. Glad we agree about that!

And yes, I support those very few and rare instances where a woman has no choice in her pregnancy. However, most studies indicate that the vast majority of abortions are done for reasons of lifestyle and convenience. The extreme cases (rape, incest, endangerment of life) are very rare.

Also agree that funds should be available to encourage pregnant women who are worried about the financial burden of having/caring for a child. If they are willing to put their unwanted kids up for adoption, they deserve support. Lots of people out there waiting to adopt!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

AttilathehungryFEB. 12, 2017 - 09:23PM JST So, the question becomes "when does it become life"?

Not really. So-called "pro-life" people rarely care when they swat a mosquito or genocide millions of infecting bacteria or other parasites in their bodies. The question is actually when a fetus becomes human life, or rather, when a fetus becomes sentient life, and that question is unresolvable. We know because anti-abortion activists have been recycling this argument for over three decades and still haven't accomplished anything with it other than waste everyone else's time.

If you think fetuses are the equivalent of snot, that's fine. Admit it and be intellectually honest.

There is nothing "intellectually honest" about making declarations a person couldn't possibly have the information to support. Don't waste our time trying to pretend this is an even playing field. It isn't. The highest court in the US has declared that women have a right to abortions. That is the status quo. People who support women's right to abortions now owe nothing to the discussion. The onus is on people who oppose that right to provide evidence supporting their case. Not opinions, not feelings, not polling majorities, evidence. Until that happens, this argument is a waste of everyone's time. Just like it is every time it is brought up.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Or have protected sex or No sex with a person you don't like

How is it related to you. Old people don't have children.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Personally I feel that abortion is a moral issue and therefore a personal one. In that regard I guess I would consider myself "pro-choice". Each individual's moral compass is their own and any decisions they make within the context of their own moral code are their decisions. The Government should not be in the business of imposing one point of view on another.

On the other hand, I personally feel that elective abortions for any reason other than a clear cut health issue, are wrong. On this issue I am in ideological agreement with the basic tenets of Buddhism and Hinduism that hold that life begins at conception and that all life should be respected and revered. I came to this opinion as a result of my own enculturation and personal life experiences which include being a parent and working for years in non profits focused on early childhood development and positive parenting outcome. I just feel that any potential human life deserves a chance.

That may sound conflicted, and if is does, that"s because it is. But a lot of things in life are conflicted, it's one of the side effects of thinking. Sometimes you just have to reach a compromise within your own personal thought process and live your life accordingly. Personally, I disagree with the idea of elective abortions and in no way endorse or encourage the practice. But that is my own position and opinion and in no way do I expect or demand that other people live their lives according to what I think is right or wrong. That is a personal decision to make, by each individual in their own way and politics has no place in it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Attilathehungry

Perhaps some of my comments do seem unclear, simply to say, what I would want for myself and my family is perhaps different that someone else would want for theirs, as I said earlier despite being left leaning with no religious affiliation Im a little more conservative on this issue, but that its not my place to say for someone else.

(and taken to extremes, for example, even my own wife, while I would hope she would take my position and feelings on board, should she decide she can't carry to term.. then I don't think I should be legally allowed to stop her, as much as it would be difficult)

Reason I say as early as possible is better is that its clear that early on there isn't a viable life yet, just a potential one, and that makes the whole thing less difficult from every point of view surely, and again late term is extremely rare.

Why consult, well its a medical procedure, so a doctors visit to speak about risks and procedure seems like a good idea, and the reason I say a mental health representative is to help the woman if she is in crisis, give her information about where she can get support which either way she decides to go, make a quick assessment if she is in a good state of mind to make this decision.

There is the other part about, what happens after, lets say someone can't get access, and they have a child they can't support, be it because of poverty, their own disabilities, the child's needs due to an issue are too high?

I am somewhat conflicted perhaps on the idea of abortion, but am certain if someone doesn't want that child for whatever reason its better than the stories we read on here about young babies being beaten to death, abused, drowned in love hotels, put in cupboards, plastic bags and any of the other terrible things we see.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How is it related to you.

Are we not allowed to comment on this theard?

Old people don't have children.

Janet Jackson just had a child, there goes that argument out the window.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Janet Jackson just had a child, there goes that argument out the window.

She is not 70

0 ( +0 / -0 )

She is not 70

Hey Tony Randall fathered two kids after he was 77 and "Scotty" from the original Star Trek fathered one when he was 80. Old men have children all the time. And believe it or not old men are people, too.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites