Reply re: Jake Porter
Kellie Marie

Thanks for your reply, Jake Porter. I’ve kept my responses on the abortion line mostly, also for the sake of time. We don’t agree on things, but it always is pleasant when two people with different ideological views can discuss civilly.

“…the GOP objections to VAWA…same-sex couples and its provision to grant visas to qualifying illegal immigrants…To use the argument that Republicans don’t care about protecting women because a bill contains things in it they don’t like is both false and dishonest.”

This is true, but I still contend that this shows they do not prioritize protecting women. Violence in same-sex relationships happens, and people in these partnerships need protections as well. Religious beliefs about homosexuality should not factor into this. The argument about undocumented immigrants has sturdier ground, but I still disagree.

In general, I don’t think the GOP activity fights against women’s safety, but it is not prioritized as much as it should be. (Really I could say the same think about the Dem leaders sometimes).

“And ‘lack of reproductive freedom’ is leftist speak for ‘killing your unborn child’… Can you substantiate your argument that carrying a child to term makes a woman a more likely target of violence?”

Abortion is not all that I am referring to here. I’m also referring to access to and permission to use birth control and the autonomy to decide when and with whom you have sex. By making it harder to obtain birth control and abortion, our legislatures make it harder for vulnerable women to have reproductive control.

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence reports that “Roughly 25% of women who report being physically or sexually abused by their intimate partners also report being pressured or forced to become pregnant.” These women are more likely to have an unintended pregnancy and have an STI. It does go both ways: reproductive coercion also means pressuring a partner to terminate a pregnancy.

And, yes, a culture that supports abuse and lenient laws for domestic abusers is very much to blame. But reproductive freedom can be a protective factor. If a woman in an abusive relationship can get an IUD — she won’t get pregnant if her partner refuses to wear a condom. If a woman in an abusive relationship becomes pregnant unintentionally, she can have an abortion, giving her more power to leave the relationship than if she carried the pregnancy to term. And since we know intimate partner violence is common among women who have abortions, we should be advocating for abortion clinics to screen for IPV and coercion.

“But as I mentioned earlier, you cannot violate the liberties and freedoms of a private employer because of the actions of another person.”

It would of course be hypocritical for the government to expect this of companies without providing parental leave themselves.

I’m uncertain of how parental leave should play out (length of time, % of pay, salary vs hourly workers, mandate vs incentive), but doing so would be an investment in workers.

“Laser eye surgery is the perfect example of this as it isn’t covered by insurance.”

That’s a good point but I don’t see how comparing an elective surgery that costs $5000 can be compared to essential cancer treatment that costs tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“…many are up-front about their position about abortion (the non-profit I support is clear on their website that they are a faith-based organization that helps women find alternatives to abortion). Conversely, PP has done a masterful job of tricking women into believing that Abortion is a safe procedure…actually kills a human being.”

Yes, some are transparent, but I’ve come across many that are not. There’s also evidence that CPCs lie to women. (However, the research for both appears to be done by the other side.)

Abortion is a safe medical procedure. State governments are the ones tricking women by forcing their providers to lie to them about risks. Birth itself is dangerous and associated with psychological risks.

Regarding the final part of that statement, see below.

“I know very few mothers who have ever encountered any health problems of significance due to a pregnancy…There has never been a situation where an abortion was medically necessary to save the mother’s life…”

Anecdotally, most of the women I know had some sort of pregnancy complication. I know one woman who almost died due to HELLP and another who died due to an infection. But we could talk in anecdotes all day. Evidence shows that birth and pregnancy complications are on the rise. The US has a horrible maternal mortality rate. There are occasions, although not common, when an abortion is necessary to save a woman’s life. This is especially true in countries with maternal mortality rates worse than ours.

“Even so, between killing a human being and forcing somebody to undergo challenging but survivable circumstances, the moral distinction is quite clear.”

I won’t get into this too much, because this is your belief. I will admit that I’ve grappled with this myself.

But here’s where I come down on the matter of abortion. If a woman wants or needs an abortion, she will get one. It will either be legal and thus safer, or illegal and potentially very unsafe. For this reason abortion access is essential.

That doesn’t mean we can’t do anything to prevent the need for abortions. We can teach comprehensive sex education in schools and provide access to affordable contraception.

And finally, if someone is to claim they are pro-life, they can’t pick and choose. (Really that’s the point of Courtney Hood’s original post). You and others like you may not match this description. But we see this time and time again among ostensibly pro-life leaders. Yesterday, we saw this play out on the national stage:

On the same day as the March for Life, Trump signed an executive order banning entry to refugees. Pence and Ryan, who tweeted about supporting life that very same day, remain silent on this. That is the ultimate hypocrisy.

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