Rick Jore: wrong on abortion

by Jay Stevens 

It looks like Rick Jore’s proposed constitutional amendment giving embryos “certain inalienable rights” at conception looks like it will fail in the legislature:

…a preliminary House vote on Monday showed that only 46 of the 100 House members support House Bill 40.

Changes to the constitution ultimately need support from 100 of the Legislature’s 150 House and Senate members before being sent to the voters.

If somehow four representatives change votes and send the bill to the state Senate, all 50 Senators would have to support the bill in order for it to be added to the constitution. In other words, there’s not a chance in hell this thing will pass.

(Politically, it’s a gift to the pro-life legislators. They can vote for a pro-life bill they know won’t pass. That is, they can support the criminalization of abortion without actually having to live with the consequences.)

To be frank, the bill sounds like a stunt, plain and simple. It’s so ill considered and full of blustery rhetorical hyperbole – and its implementation so obviously would be a disaster for our courts, legal systems, and families – that it seems written specifically to fail.

In short, this bill would hand pregnancy over to the state. Miscarriages become potential murders; a fetus become potential wards of state; every possible sign of abortion would require forced examinations of women’s vaginas. (In fact, I went at length the likely results of the type of criminalization Jore is proposing.)

I don’t think anyone wants that.

Oh, and criminalizing abortion doesn’t reduce the number of abortions:

The abortion rates are highest in Chile and Peru (where one woman in 20 has an induced abortion). In Brazil, Colombia and the Dominican Republic, it’s about one woman in 30, and in Mexico approximately one in 40. (In the United States, the rate is 21.3 per 1,000 women.)

The abortion rate in Chile and Peru is 50 per 1,000 women; 33 per 1,000 in Brazil, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic; and 25 per 1,000 women in Mexico. All of these countries have outlawed abortion and – in some cases – substantially higher abortion rates than the US.

Oh, and thousands of women die from illegal abortions each year, and hundreds of thousands end up hospitalized. Most of those that are arrested, injured, or killed as a result of illegal abortions are the poor. In other words, an abortion ban targets the weakest women among us.

It’s pretty clear that most of us want to reduce abortions. It’s not a pleasant experience, physically or emotionally. It’s also pretty clear that the criminalization of abortion isn’t going to reduce abortions – and it’s going to cause a lot of extremely unpleasant, unrelated, and unintended side effects.

If you want to reduce abortion, you’ve got to create fewer unwanted pregnancies and a society that encourages more women to carry to term. That means better health care, more information and availability of contraceptives, better and cheaper day care providers, and liberal maternity laws. Those things work. Criminalization doesn’t.

If you believe a fetus is a living human and abortion is murder, you should jump off the abortion ban bandwagon and work for humane health care conditions for all.

Or you can keep fighting to ban abortions, and help keep the abortion rate where it is.

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, banning abortion and contraceptives isn’t a solution, it’s a judgment.

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  1. Yosemite1967

    COMPARE:
    “…the bill [is] so ill considered and full of blustery rhetorical hyperbole…”

    WITH:
    “…its implementation so obviously would be a disaster for our courts, legal systems, and families…”

    “Miscarriages become potential murders; a fetus become potential wards of state; every possible sign of abortion would require forced examinations of women’s…”

    “the criminalization of abortion isn’t going to reduce abortions”

    LOL

  2. Hm…

    Let’s see. I backed all of my claims with real-life examples. Follow the links.

    In El Salvador, there are “forensic vagina inspectors” that examine women for signs of abortion. Fact.

    In Mexico, whose abortion law has an out for incest and rape, women seeking abortions under those conditions must make a case before a government panel before getting an abortion. That is, a teen impregnated by her father must prove that fact to a panel of bureaucrats. Fact.

    Abortion rates are higher in American countries where abortion is outlawed. Fact.

    States that have aggressive sex education programs and family planning centers have seen lowered abortion rates. Fact.

    It’s not hyperbole if it’s true.

  3. These internet debates seem to be men talking to other men about women’s choices.

    I propose that men can’t sit around and wax philosophical about abortion without consulting women.

    Man law.

  4. Big Swede

    This bill sounds like a stunt, kinda like a unbinding resolution?

  5. I propose that men can’t sit around and wax philosophical about abortion without consulting women.

    Sorry, I can talk about whatever the hell I want.

    This bill sounds like a stunt, kinda like a unbinding resolution?

    You won’t find any argument about that from me.

  6. Curmudgeon

    Right On, but please tell it like it is. These people are not “pro-life”. That’s what they WANT to be called. They are, purely and simply, anti-abortion.

  7. noodly appendage

    Ask em about aid to improve “life” for those already born, or, for at least the consistency of the Catholics, to be against the death penalty.

    While you’re at it, try and contemplate how “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” are inalienable in a blastocyte or fetus. How does a blastocyte “pursue happiness”? What liberty does a fetus have? The lockean philosophy, which includes right to property, starts with a right to control one’s physical self and the labor of that self. What comes closer to “physical self” and “labor” than the choices a woman makes about giving birth?

    Anyway, that’s the view from the independent appendage. I expect Wulfgar to show up any minute and defame me and ask me to prove it .

  8. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers!

    PUHLEASE, folks, take a wee bit of time to find out just what Jork really is. He is a christian reconstructionist. In other words, he is an adherent of this philosophy. Now, if you don’t know what the means, you should. The CRs believe that all civil law should be replaced with Biblical Old Testament law. Hmm. Now THAT would be interesting. The death penalty for gays, adulterers, (ouch!), abortionists, etc., etc. Oh, and did I mention that ONLY white, christian males should hold office! No non-believers need apply. Of course, christian means ONLY those who believe like the CRs. Folks, ric jork is out there! So far out there that if most Montanans actually understood just where he’s coming from, they’d be scared shiiteless! But since no one in the press will actually do a story on CR, they are left clueless. Sad, so sad.

  9. Yosemite1967

    touchstone, abortions-per-woman statistics, like you used, are irrelevant without multiplying them by pregnancies-per-woman statistics, because higher abortion rates could easily be driven by higher pregnancy rates.

    Also, you’re skirting the real issue, both in the original post and in your response to me. The crux of the issue revolves around a question tree which I would love to see any of you answer without Houdini-like contortions:

    Should it be legal for your parents to kill you because you’re unwanted?

    If yes then…well…you’re nuts!

    If no then should it be legal for a woman to kill her five-minute-old child?

    If yes then at what age should it be illegal?

    If no then why should it be legal for her to kill her child ten minutes earlier?

  10. “Anyway, that’s the view from the independent appendage. I expect Wulfgar to show up any minute and defame me and ask me to prove it .”

    Bee in your bonnet, huh? Nope, I’ll do no such thing. For once, you make sense.

  11. Also, you’re skirting the real issue, both in the original post and in your response to me. The crux of the issue revolves around a question tree which I would love to see any of you answer without Houdini-like contortions…

    Oh, I see. For you, it’s more important that everybody adhere to your views on life, conception, and death than it is to reduce abortions.

    Okay. I’ll answer your questions.

    Should it be legal for your parents to kill you because you’re unwanted?

    No.

    If yes then…well…you’re nuts!

    *whew*

    If no then should it be legal for a woman to kill her five-minute-old child?

    No.

    If yes then at what age should it be illegal?

    If the fetus is viable, it should never be legal.

    If no then why should it be legal for her to kill her child ten minutes earlier?

    It’s not.

    See, I don’t pretend to know for certain at exactly what point a fetus is a human being. Personally, I think a fetus in the first trimester is not a viable, independent, and actual human being. Therefore, I think it’s entirely reasonable to allow abortions in the first trimester. After that, it gets fuzzy.

    But that’s not what this post is about. It’s about reducing abortions.

    See, you and I will never agree at what point life begins. Never. I will never subscribe to your — or Rick Jore’s — view that life begins at conception. (IMHO, at conception the embryo is more like an appendix or arm or finger than a human being. Except less respsonive.)

    I’m looking for compromise. I want to reduce abortions — not because I think they’re murder — but because they’re unpleasant, unfortunate, complex, and damaging to everyone involved. I’ve shown criminalizing abortion doesn’t reduce abortion, especially where there’s little or no real sex ed or liberal access to contraceptives. Good health care and access to good information reduces abortion.

    So it’s up to you. What’s more important? Reducing abortions? Or forcing everyone to subscribe to your worldview?

  12. Yosemite1967

    “For you, it’s more important that everybody adhere to your views…than…to reduce abortions.”
    No it isn’t, and you’re a terrible mindreader. I’m all for reducing abortions.

    “See, I don’t pretend to know for certain at exactly what point a fetus is a human being.”
    Neither do I. More below.

    “Personally, I think a fetus in the first trimester is not a viable, independent, and actual human being.”
    Define viable. If independence is required, Steven Hawking is fair game. :^)

    “Therefore, I think it’s entirely reasonable to allow abortions in the first trimester. After that, it gets fuzzy.”
    At conception, DNA is unique, so it’s already an individual system which is merely fed and sheltered by the mother’s system.

    Speaking of 1st trimester, here’s former abortion worker, Kathy Sparks: “Sometimes we lied. A girl might ask what her baby was like at a certain point in pregnancy. Was it a baby yet? Even as early as twelve weeks a baby is totally formed, he has fingerprints, turns his head, fans his toes, feels pain. But we would say, ‘It’s not a baby yet. It’s tissue, like a clot.”
    What’s it like 1-1/2 weeks later, when the 1st trimester is over and your morals kick in?

    Better safe than sorry–better to err on the side of saving an innocent human life than to err on the side of destroying one. We ALL know that life begins no earlier than conception, right? No one debates that. So let’s make a simple law like Jore’s and let the courts work out cases based on individual circumstances.

    “I’ve shown criminalizing abortion doesn’t reduce abortion”
    No, you haven’t.

    “What’s more important? Reducing abortions?”
    Yes.

    “Or forcing everyone to subscribe to your worldview?”
    Again, you’re a terrible mindreader. Since your ESP appears to be on the blink, here’s a glimpse into my foolish mind: I would fight to the death to protect your right to hold the views that you hold–literally.

    Even if Jore’s bill were made law, you would still be allowed to keep your view of it, just as I’m sure you have negative views of other laws which exist now. (Who doesn’t?)

  13. You don’t get it, do you?

    Don’t you realize all of your pro-life rhetoric just pisses people off? A majority of Americans are pro-choice; an ever greater number of Americans don’t want to give the government control over the issue. You’re on the losing side of the issue, and all your propaganda and moral high tone just alienates people. That’s what I’m telling you.

    I’m offering you a clear compromise on how to reduce abortions. Instead you’re trying to prove your moral superiority to me.

    Again, I’m wondering why the fact that the abortion rate is higher in Mexico than in the US despite its abortion ban can be construed in any other way than simple and direct proof that criminalizing abortion doesn’t eliminate abortion.

    Get off your moral high horse for a brief moment and consider what I’m saying: decades of tireless pro-life activism has not worked to substantially lower abortion rates in the US. Comprehensive sex education, wide availability of contraceptives, and good health care has.

    Get it?

  14. Yosemite1967

    I know what you’re trying to say about compromise, but you’re the one who doesn’t get it. If you believe that there should be no abortions after the first trimester then why not try to stop them, instead of teaching teenage girls to become engrossed with sex by showing them how to put condoms on boys while boys are sitting in the room?

    Do you really think that having a few less abortions happen is worth the increasing moral cesspool that we’re tossing each new generation into? It’s destroying souls (and society as a whole) to save a few bodies.

    “Again, I’m wondering why the fact that the abortion rate is higher in Mexico than in the US despite its abortion ban can be construed in any other way than simple and direct proof that criminalizing abortion doesn’t eliminate abortion.”

    I spent a little time trying to find some pregnancy rates to show you what I’m talking about, since you still don’t seem to “get it”. I did find: “Latina teens are three and a half times more likely than White teens to become pregnant in Arizona”. This is good enough to demonstrate the math.

    If we assume, for the sake of mathematical demonstration, that these Mexican-Arizonan teen pregnancy rates are similar to those in Mexico proper, we can divide your Mexico number above by 3.5 to get 7.1 per 1000 children killed. If we divide your America number above by 1, of course we still have 21.5 per 1000 children killed, or a true abortion rate that is 203% higher than Mexico’s.

    This is just a guess, but it serves to demonstrate the statistical problems inherent in abusive use of abortions-per-woman statistics, in lieu of abortions-per-child statistics.

    In conclusion, get off you moral low-horse for a second and take a hard look at what you’re saying.

  15. Do you really think that having a few less abortions happen is worth the increasing moral cesspool that we’re tossing each new generation into? It’s destroying souls (and society as a whole) to save a few bodies.

    Thanks for admitting your true goal. You don’t care about abortions. You care about “morals.” You want to change the morality of the country.

    As for your stats, higher pregnancy rates can be directly related to the lack of contraceptives in Latino countries. No birth control, more babies. More babies, more abortion.

    Again, it just reinforces my point. Your “morality,” if legislated, would lead to more unwanted pregnancy and abortions. That is, your stance would lead to more “innocent” deaths — in your world view.

    Oh, but right. You don’t care about “a few bodies.”

  16. Yosemite1967

    “Thanks for admitting your true goal. You don’t care about abortions. You care about ‘morals.’ You want to change the morality of the country.”

    Thanks for admitting that you have no morals on this subject. Hello! I care about stopping abortions because abortions are immoral, and yes, I want to improve the morality of the country–as if I was hiding that or something–LOL.

    As you’ve said already, you want to “reduce” abortions merely because “It’s not a pleasant experience, physically or emotionally”. I nominate that one for the understatement of the year. How unpleasant is the pain of being killed?

    You seem to be turning a blind eye to the other half of the equation–the children. Is it just me, or are you trying to avoid talking about THEM? Is their plight the big, stinking, dead moose that’s sitting on the table right under your nose while you pretend it isn’t there by continually shifting the subject off to anything else you can?

    It seems like you’re trying to do the same thing that the abortion worker I quoted above admitted to doing back when she used to talk with girls whose babies she aborted–trying to make the baby seem less human, less real.

    “More babies, more abortion.”
    Right. So, are you admitting, then, that your previous claim (that higher abortions-per-woman rates were “proof” that outlawing abortion doesn’t lower abortion rates) was an incorrect statement? Or were you weasling out of an admission by trying to shift the focus?

    “Your ‘morality’, if legislated, would lead to more unwanted pregnancy and abortions. That is, your stance would lead to more ‘innocent’ deaths — in your world view.”
    This is just laughable. “My” morality (i.e. the morality of every state of the union once) WAS legislated, and both true abortion rates and your false ones were lower then. Just one glance at this graph makes it obvious that abortions increased after Roe v. Wade: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Number_of_Abortions_in_US.jpg
    Look carefully–from the year that Roe v. Wade happened forward, the number of abortions increased by more than 100% in only seven years, and this isn’t comparing apples to oranges by parotting irrelevant statistics from a bunch of third-world countries.

    You know, earlier you said, “A majority of Americans are pro-choice”, which I didn’t have the time to rebut then, but I really can’t let it go unqualified. It depends on what your definition of pro-choice is.

    In 2003, the New York Times (which, being liberal, is likely to have more liberal readership than conservative), did an abortion poll. Only 39% wanted abortion to be generally available. 60% wanted it at least restricted to some degree. (22% wanted it completely illegal.) And this was from a mostly liberal readership. They even broke out the results by party, and only 43% of Democrats polled wanted it generally available. (Only 29% of Republicans.)

    Now polls are no way to form an opinion–to do so is to be a sheep–but I just didn’t want anyone getting from your statement the impression that generally available abortion is wanted by the majority of Americans.

  17. vickyg

    I happened on this blog today and have to say that there are a lot of ignorant rhetoric, scare tactics and just plain misinformation going on.

    First of all, blinders notwithstanding, we are not talking about political jockeying here. This is about the lives of 45,000,000 (yes, that’s million) Americans who were never allowed to grow and live because of the benighted policies of our government and selfish individuals who want to protect the geography of their vaginas. These intelligent women who are so jealous of their bodies, ought to remember those precepts when they engage in intercourse and not irresponsibly indulge in activities which create life. Oops, missed again. Guess I’ll have to destroy another innocent human being.

    I’m also a little tired of the “Shucks, me, I’m a man. I really don’t have anything to say on the subject, except that women should have a right to abort those babies that men haven’t got a right to talk about.” We’re all human, aren’t we, and these are human beings. Our existence is continuous from conception until death…a circumstance which would make any logical mind acknowledge that since it is the same life, the same existence, the same being, it is also human life in all its forms and stages. There is no magic point at which a developing child suddenly becomes human. Funny no one seems to have a problem translating these concepts to animal life or spawning grounds and eagles’ eggs.

    I notice the top poster put forth a lot of scary and ridiculous scenarios about legalities and forced vaginal inspections, but I think the thing that those staunch supporters of abortion fear most is responsibility, being responsible for their actions, their sexuality, their carelessness, and the lives they create.

  18. Last I checked, only a few extremist actually believe zygotes are the same as fully-formed humans. A vast majority of folks believe abortion should be legal in some form or other — whether it’s at any time, only first trimester, or only in the case of rape and incest. So your comments cannot be considered as anything but hyperbole.

    That said, the “scary and ridiculous scenarios” are actually what happens currently in countries that outlaw abortion. Look up “forensic vagina inspectors.” Unfortunately that is not hyperbole.

    Simply put, you’re arguing to have the state make decisions over our personal lives that are better left to individuals in order to impose your anti-sex morality on the rest of us. Count me out.




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