• Hey! We're on Twitter!

  • Buy The Book!



    Click to Buy The Mug

    Buy The Book

In story on the front page of today’s LA Times, “Changing abortion’s pronoun,” we find that men are having abortions in increasing numbers. And feeling just awful about it, according to the subhead:

‘We had abortions,’ say men whose lovers ended pregnancies. It isn’t just a women’s trauma, they insist. But critics see a political calculation.
Oh those critics. They’re always so cynical whenever the Ministry of Truth introduces a fresh and innocent new trope into Newspeak.
SAN FRANCISCO — Jason Baier talks often to the little boy he calls Jamie. He imagines this boy — his son — with blond hair and green eyes, chubby cheeks, a sweet smile.But he’ll never know for sure.His fiancee’s sister told him about the abortion after it was over. Baier remembers that he cried. The next weeks and months go black. He knows he drank far too much. He and his fiancee fought until they broke up. “I hated the world,” he said.
Really? Good thing you didn’t bring a child into it.
These days, he channels the grief into activism in a burgeoning movement of “post-abortive men.”
Yeah, that’s a name that’s sure to catch on quick. I can see the merchandising opportunities now — Playgirl spreads, Men of the Post-Abortion, a cartoon spinoff, Post-Abortive Man, Master of the Universe, maybe a romantic comedy featuring this new breed of sensitive man, Four Weddings and an Abortion.
Abortion is usually portrayed as a woman’s issue: her body, her choice, her relief or her regret. This new movement — both political and deeply personal in nature — contends that the pronoun is all wrong.”We had abortions,” said Mark B. Morrow, a Christian counselor. “I’ve had abortions.”
And, I have it on good authority, we all scream for ice cream. But I suppose you know what this means, Mr. Morrow? Justice Kennedy feels that you’re a bit too hormonal to make rational decisions about your civil rights, so why don’t you just toddle on off to the kitchen and let the pre-abortive men talk…?
Morrow spoke to more than 150 antiabortion activists gathered recently in San Francisco for what was billed as the first national conference on men and abortion.
And how nice of the LA Times to give Page One exposure to this hotel conference room full of angry, self-pitying gynophobes and their ghost zygotes.
Participants — mostly counselors and clergy — heard two days of lectures on topics such as “Medicating the Pain of Lost Fatherhood” and “Forgiveness Therapy With Post-Abortion Men.”
Followed by symposiums on “Investment Planning for Post-Abortive Men: The Best Ways to Save for Your Imaginary Child’s College Education,” and “Take Your Flushed Fetus to Work Day.”
The most striking session featured the halting testimony of men whose partners aborted. Baier, who now lives in Phoenix, told the crowd he suffered years of depression and addiction. “I couldn’t get the thought out of my head about what I had lost.”Since the concept of post-abortion syndrome first emerged in the early 1980s, some women have recounted similar stories — and learned to leverage them into political power. They speak at legislative hearings and rallies organized by the Silent No More Awareness Campaign. They write affidavits detailing their years of emotional turmoil, which the Justice Foundation, a conservative advocacy group, submits to lawmakers and courts nationwide.Last spring, the Supreme Court cited these accounts as one reason to ban the late-term procedure that opponents call “partial-birth” abortion. The majority opinion suggested that the ban would protect women from a decision they might later regret.
And while this reasoning might seem a bit sexist and otherwise suspect, it’s important to remember that intact dilation and extraction is an extremely rare procedure, and most women forced to undergo it had been trying to bring their pregnancy to term. So all you’re really doing by outlawing it is forcing a few women to have unnecessary abdominal surgery, and a few others to hemorrhage to death. And since Justice Kennedy had just finished reading The Lovely Bones, he knows the dead, unlike the living, have no regrets, and don’t need to be protected from the consequences of their crappy decision-making.
“It’s a rule of thumb that if you want to get a law passed, you have to tell anecdotes that grab people,” said Dr. Nada Stotland, president-elect of the American Psychiatric Assn. Antiabortion activists have done that well, she said. “They’ve succeeded in convincing a lot of the American public” that abortion leaves women wounded.Now, those activists see an opportunity to dramatically expand the message.The Justice Foundation recently began soliciting affidavits from men; one online link promises, “Your story will help legal efforts to end abortion.” Silent No More encourages men to testify at rallies.
But I’m sure these testimonials aren’t just cynical histrionics designed to restore mens’ traditional property rights over the uterus and its contents. And to prove it, I’m willing to make this offer: I will happily accept that we have abortions if, whenever a woman dies in childbirth, the father is immediately executed. It’d be easy. Just make sure that, along with the epidural, you have a lethal injection on hand, and you could do it right there in the delivery room.

Therapist Vincent M. Rue, who helped develop the concept of post-abortion trauma, runs an online study that asks men to check off symptoms (such as irritability, insomnia and impotence) that they feel they have suffered as a result of an abortion. When men are widely recognized as victims, Rue said, “that will change society.”

That’s what usually does it.

But the activists leading the men’s movement make clear they’re not relying on statistics to make their case. They’re counting on the power of men’s tears.

That’s what I hate about men. When they can’t win an argument with logic or facts, they always stamp their little feet and turn on the waterworks.

Meanwhile, in other news, Kim du Toit’s testicles just exploded.

136 Responses to “My Abortion Made Me Impotent”

No, they just ache a little after seeing the last Democrat candidates’ debate.

Therefore, many of their positions do not depend on biblical data. Instead, they depend on political opportunism.That is why Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama enthusiastically can hold to post-birth abortion for they don’t care that the Bible defends the unborn child.

Actually, post-birth abortion (biblically speaking) is the only kind of killing that can take place. According to Rabbinical law (and they’ve been doing this whole “translating the bible” thing longer than Christians), life does not begin until the child draws its first breath, in imitation of God breathing live into Adam.

Well, I suppose if you take God out of consideration, the preacher-man makes a good point!

Damn it! This was supposed to be on the next post! Reposting now!

Apologies, all!

As a long-time male, might I just say to Jason Baier and his ilk: Go. Fuck. Yourselves.

“Post-abortive men”??!? They can’t be serious. That name is an insult waiting to happen.

Oh, and what they don’t tell you? Jason Baier weeps after every ejaculation. That’s what they call a sensitive jackoff.

I’m sure these testimonials aren’t just cynical histrionics designed to restore mens’ traditional property rights over the uterus and its contents. And to prove it, I’m willing to make this offer: I will happily accept that we have abortions if, whenever a woman dies in childbirth, the father is immediately executed.

Damn. That says in so many words what I’ve struggled to express to many a pro-lifer.

Therapist Vincent M. Rue, who helped develop the concept of post-abortion trauma, runs an online study that asks men to check off symptoms (such as irritability, insomnia and impotence) that they feel they have suffered as a result of an abortion.

well, I for one predict thousands of wingnuts will start using this as an excuse…

Raising Arizona

Why do you say you feel “trapped” in
a man’s body?


He bites his lip, thinking; then, in a resonant bass voice:

…Well, sometimes I get the menstrual
cramps real hard.

They’re impotent all right, but it’s got nothing to do with ‘their’ abortions. What a bunch of maroons!

Any chance that the fathers of those aborted babies figured in the mothers’ decisions to abort. Kind of a slap in the face, although it seems post-abortive fathers regret the loss of their babies more than the loss of their women. I’m not exactly comfortable with a woman’s absolute right to abortion (or the absolute right to have as many babies as you like, Earth be damned). But sometimes you wonder if the end justifies the means. At least these losers lost one chance at procreation. I think everyone (women and men) should have the right to no more than one abortion or two children. After the first abortion or the second child, both parents get their tubes tied.

I can’t decide which is more intellectually dishonest, this ‘We had abortions’crap or the intelligent design bull.

The motives or Theo-cons are always ulterior because every day of their lives is based on self-deception or cynically deceiving others

I’m visiting from Eschaton, and this is a little harsh. You’d be better to separate Baier’s valid emotional pain from the nutjob righties trying to take advantage of him. He lost his future, his fiancee, and a family. A pregnant fiancee dying in a car crash ends with the same result, and you’d certainly feel sorry for him then, wouldn’t you.

And anecdote for anecdote, I’m gonna wake up my 2 year old son in a minute, count my blessings, and feel sorry for Mr. Baier.

Interesting. In 1985, as a college sophomore, I had the same experience as Jason Baier. My girlfriend “disappeared” from campus for a while, and later revealed to me after the fact not only that she had been pregnant, but that she had chosen to end the pregnancy.

However, unlike Baier, I reached an entirely different conclusion. I realized that at age 19, I was nowhere near ready to be a father. Moreover, I inexorably began to understand that the choice ultimately was hers, and whatever disappointment or sadness I felt at not being consulted was outweighed by the relief at not having ruined my life (or hers, for that matter). I certainly don’t mean to trivialize the decision, but had the option to terminate the pregnancy not been available to her, my life would have been irreparably changed for the worse.

And thus began my conversion from Republican teen (indoctrinated by my family) to sensible, progressive adult.

Humans can have grief over any situation that involves loss, but I certainly hope that while these men are dealing with their emotions, someone puts up a little chart that explains to them that when they have sex, they need to use con.tra.cep.tion so that they do not have to go through their trauma again in the future. Just spinning the loss over and over is not constructive, but it certainly gives energy to organizations that want to use their experience to promote an agenda.

Find one, just one, of these post-abo men who is behind on child support payments to his other kids and the whole thing collapses. I love my dead fetus, but hate to support my living child.

Yeah, you’re a weepy insomniac who can’t get it up? No wonder the women decided you’d make a craptacular father.

What a sick, perverted excuse for a political movement. I do want to offer a suggestion. How about: If a guy really believes this crap, and a subsequent girlfriend has a C-section, the guy cuts off his dick? That could solve a lot of future problems!

Ok, so that was a little harsh. But I have never caused the need for an abortion, because of being careful (I know what a condom is! I have heard of birth control!). But I sympathize most with the women, who made a painful decision that it would be better not to create a baby w/ drunken, irresponsible, wingnut, out of work, lazy WATB (whiny ass titty baby).

Why stop there?

Upcoming Issues:

“Women getting vasectomies”

“Women with jock itch”

“Female Impotence: I couldn’t satisfy my boyfriend”

“I didn’t feel like a man after my mastectomy”

I heard about a case at the hospital associated with the university where I work in which a young woman had complications following a second child birth. She died after three months in the hospital. Her grieving husband is left with two small children, complete financial ruin because they had no insurance (although most of the cost has been absorbed by the hospital anyway) and, of course, the loss of his life partner. Think you’ve got problems, post-abortion assholes? Don’t you think he’d trade places with you? So STFU.

[...] I don’t have anything more insightful to say than Scott’s saying over at World-O-Crap, but I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to be the first one to use the “Our Bodies, Your Selves” title, because, really, how funny is that? [...]

When men are widely recognized as victims, Rue said, “that will change society.”

It’s like they’ve almost realized that there’s widespread sexism in society wherein women are not taken seriously. And then, having come so close to making this realization, they go off and channel it into something else.

And where are the entreaties for men who would rather avoid this sort of trauma of having their lovers’ pregnancies aborted to simply not have sex?

Keep your hands off my uterus…er, dick…er, whatever.

These guys should really get together with the jerks who whine about having to pay child support. Or who whine about having to change diapers. Who said they were entitled to have sex anyway, the man-sluts. If they’d kept their pants on I guess they would not have these well deserved problems.

A pregnant fiancee dying in a car crash ends with the same result

I guess if you overlook the minor detail of an actual corpse in one case versus some hurt feelings in the other, the result is EXACTLY the same.

Next up: “Pre-coital men” discussing their tearful anguish at having their sexual advances rejected by horrible, selfish women who didn’t give any consideration to what fatherhood would mean to them. “I was already imagining what my child would look like… The wonderful father/child experiences we’d have together… But that has all been crushed by this terrible woman’s rejection of me. She may as well have taken hold of my testicles and crushed them with her bare hands. I spent many months drowning my sorrows in excessive amounts of beer, corn nuts and porno mags. I wouldn’t wish this type of thing on anyone… I was in such a lonely, scary place for so long.”

The vast majority of anti-abortion activism comes from a religious/fundamentalist standpoint, which coincidentally, also frowns on birth control. Somehow I doubt that the fundies are criticizing any of these “post-abortive” men over failing to use a condom.

He lost his future, his fiancee, and a family. A pregnant fiancee dying in a car crash ends with the same result, and you’d certainly feel sorry for him then, wouldn’t you.

Okay, it’s kind of creeping me out that you seem to think that a breakup and death are the same thing. Because, what, a woman should be executed after a breakup because her life won’t be meaningful without you?

Repeat after me: my girlfriend is a separate person. If we break up, her life will continue on, as will mine.

Incidentally, it’s good advice for any comment-hungry blog: just link to Kim du Toit.

So this Jason Baier guy in the article is supposedly engaged to be married to this woman. She gets pregnant (presumably by him), and does not tell him she is pregnant, does not discuss her options or her feelings or her plans with him, and does not tell him even after the fact that she’s had an abortion (but her sister does– thanks sis!). Something tells me this couple had issues before the whole abortion thing came up, and maybe there is a good reason the woman aborted his potentially chubby cheeked child and neglected to mention it.

All that said, I can certainly see a man being upset about an abortion, even one that he is in favor of his partner having. It is not exactly comparable, but when my wife had a miscarriage in her first pregnancy, we were both complete wrecks. But I was a wreck without having to go through a D&C, bleeding, pain, etc., etc. I am pretty sure that makes a difference, and ultimately makes it not completely, or even primarily, about ME.

I’m liberal and pro-choice. I can’t help but think that some people here are being terribly cruel and insensitive to Baier.

I’m also a parent.

From the moment my wife and I knew we were expecting, our baby – from zygote to high school sophomore – has been the focus of my life.

Perhaps this is biological imperative. Whatever the reason behind it, nurturing the life of our child has been one of the single most positive and important factors of my life.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Admittedly, Baier’s story seems way over the top – and it would seem that he is being exploited by the anti-choice right – but I can empathize with some of his grief.

The pro-choice movement, of which I am a part, gets low marks for empathy. Yes, the heart of the pro-life movement is misogynist and seeks to gain control over womens’ lives. There are countless pro-lifers – dare I say the majority? – who are in genuine emotional pain over the prospect of new life lost and the implications thereof.

Heaping scorn on religious nutjobs who want their women to be baby-machines who stay at home is a worthy task. Beating up some poor guy because he can’t handle the fact that his progeny’s life was ended in utero is cruel, insensitive and a misdirection of our righteous liberal indignation.

Aren’t these the same people who think it’s fascism that the government might use their tax dollars to keep someone else’s sick kid alive? I guess the fathers of actually-born children can just go suck it, much like the mothers.

My girlfriend recently had an abortion, we were using birthcontrol. Apparently the pill wasn’t enough.

And yes, I felt the loss of possibility. And it hurt. BUT it was nothing compared to what my girlfriend had to go through, and I supported her through it, and we are still together, stonger, and better able to decide when and why we would want a child.

The issue isn’t that these “post abortion men” are evil, its that the anti-abortion political movement is, and its perverting their understandable human emotion into a political demagoguery that insults the reality of the situation

The first thing this post made me think of was an episode of the L-word (sorry Im using tv) where the women want to get pregnant, but have a hard time finding a man willing to fire and forget. They want his genetic material, not his input. I agree with the L word that men of this generation are starting to have a different opinion of what sex means, and I think that kind of responsibility towards sex and one’s offspring should be encouraged. (contrast this to Thomas Jefferson selling his own half-black children)

The anti-abortion movement is wrong, sexist and based on religious extremism. But just stating that won’t end their support, as it hasn’t for the last 30 years.

To win the national argument over reproductive rights, as pro-choicers who respect women’s control of their bodies, we have to address the phenomena, perspective and ignorance of the people on the other side.

Many men (wrongly) feel it is unfair to have absolute financial responsiblity for a baby, but no perceived control over whether to have the baby, after attempts at pre coitus birth control.

If in our culture men were educated that the only point where they get to ‘abort’ an unwanted pregnancy is during sex. I.e. watch how you play or later you’ll pay – financially and emotionally.

Unless the root cause is addressed, these ignorant (feeling) people will continue to be misled into giving more money to the anti-abortion industry for more brainwashing of others, and the cycle goes on and the people who make a tidy living politicizing reproductive rights will keep on cashing paychecks.

[...]men of this generation are starting to have a different opinion of what sex means[...]

Well, some of them, anyways:

Girls Gone Wild – over $100 million in sales per year! Wooooo! Woo-*hackhackwhatthehellsthatgrowth* hoooo!

Justice Kennedy feels that you’re a bit too hormonal to make rational decisions about your civil rights, so why don’t you just toddle on off to the kitchen and let the pre-abortive men talk…?

That about covers it. I hope they’re okay with watching their lives and bodies become battlegrounds as ours have. Do we get to call “post-abortive men” sluts, and imply that they are mentally unstable for the rest of their lives? Can we insist they get vasectomies?

For the record, commenter two-kids-or-one-abortion, condoms, the pill, and both, fail. And sometimes they fail when a couple can’t afford a baby, though they want one later. Sometimes they fail twice when a couple can’t afford a baby though they want one later.

Sometimes, women can’t afford sterilization. Sometimes, even if they can, they can’t get a doctor to do it. I was trying to talk a doctor into it for fifteen years, always ending with some person who barely knew me declaring I was too young and would change my mind later.

There are circumstances under which more than one abortion is the best thing for you, and if there’s no medical reason to limit it, there shouldn’t be a legislative one.

Would you insist that people are only entitled to one heart bypass surgery, one tooth extraction, one biopsy for skin cancer?

All of those can sometimes–and sometimes not–be prevented. So why not limit people to one?

It can’t be a moral issue, or the one-abortion law would be a one-free-murder rule, wouldn’t it.

And what do we do about women who get raped if they’ve already had their one? How about women who get raped frequently by their partners or girls by their fathers? If they get pregnant twice, they’re just going to have to suck it up and have the kid?

How about women who find out the pregnancy they very much wanted is not viable, or the baby would be born with an agonizing disease that will kill it within a year? If they had their one in college, they just have to have this one?

One-abortion-per-person is a clever centrist position, but it means nothing, logically.

“Medicating the Pain of Lost Fatherhood”

Oh, never mind.

“You’d be better to separate Baier’s valid emotional pain”

He doesn’t have valid emotional pain on this issue. Not all emotional pain is valid — some of it is just self-made-up and self-inflicted histrionics, and that’s what Baier’s fussing is. He’s made-up “grief” by telling himself he’s suffered a “loss” of something that was never his in the first place.

That doesn’t mean he has a valid emotional wound; it just means he is nonfunctional on an adult level.

“A pregnant fiancee dying in a car crash ends with the same result”

You are one sick puppy. A dead woman is the “same result” as a live, healthy woman? Looks like we’ve found another one who is nonfunctional at an adult level.

Just lovely. How progressive of you to lecture these people on their loss and their pain.

Could you set out the entire rulebook while you’re at it?

Men can’t grieve a fetus lost to an abortion, check.

Can a man grieve one lost to miscarriage?

Can a man grieve an infant dead in childbirth?

Only live births, or is there an age for men to have your consent to grieve?

I agree with the writer insofar as the men described have made a public fetish out of their pain (or consented to have it done), but the response here to the pain and grief itself is simply sickening.

As to the commenters. Lethal injection for wanting a child? Genetal mutilation for wanting to procreate? What is wrong with you people?

Nice strawmen. Got any others?

Look at what you made up versus what I said — there’s a huge difference. Baier is making up an imaginary loss. A woman he claims is his fiancee (there is no reason to assume she believed she was his fiancee) made a private medical decision. There is nothing in there that he owns, so he suffered no loss.

The married men who have posted saying they and their spouses suffered a sense of loss over pregnancies that ended for one reason or another have suffered loss and grief — they and their spouses were willingly making joint choices. That’s not the same as a private medical decision.

Having someone you are involved with have an abortion can be traumatic, even if you are a dedicated pro-choice supporter.

And having men (particularly conservative men) become aware of and talk about their feelings is never a bad thing.

You’re derisive snark doesn’t make that not the case.

Seems to me that whatever reason an individual woman has over whether or not she will carry a particular fetus to term is hers. Biologically there are many reasons to abort a fetus, thus the fact that more than 50% of pregnancies end in spontaneous abortion. Obviously the number of voluntary abortions has not decreased the birth rate to the level of a reduction in population, I must ask if a woman’s negative emotional response to a pregnancy may well be due to one of the many biological reasons a pregnancy would not be allowed to come to term. If so, then her emotional health is EXACTLY why she should be allowed to voluntarily abort a fetus if she so chooses. The man can go find another female to spawn with if he must spread his seed. THIS female can’t live with the consequences. Those consequences are FAR more profound than any loss a man might feel for the potential offspring. GOD I hate whiners. This dude is a whiner in spades. HEY! Go find a girl who WANTS to have your child.

Does anyone want to take bets on whether Jason’s fiance really was carrying his child? I recently read that full DNA mapping on thousands has now revealed that about 25% of the fathers listed on birth certificates – ain’t. Her behavior sounds a lot more like someone who realized she was pregnant from a much regretted one nighter than a man from whom one has accepted a sparkly diamond. Alternatively, she was having big second thoughts about the marriage, and just like married women who want out and figure out they are pregnant, another pregnancy does not seem like the optimal way to deal with that situation. It’s not that I am down on Jason for grieving, but since he is not the one putting his health at risk to be pregnant, it’s just not fair to respond to his issue in any way other than the number of an appropriate support group.

I heard Jason on the radio the other night, and sure enough he brought up the “choice for men” part. You know, “well, at least if she has the choice not to mother we ought to have the choice not to father”.

So, sounds like it’s just another version of wanting an excuse not to pay child support. If he’s authentically grieving I feel sorry for him, but if it’s just another way to cast the “women get to have abortions so men should get a choice too” then I have nothing but contempt for him.

I just read the original article. The people being quoted are the couselor who first came up with the post-abortion syndrome and two guys who had sudden grief about past abortions once they were expecting their first child they wanted. One converted to Catholicism and became an anti-abortion activist. It’s pretty clear that this whole concept is just another ploy by the anti-abortion movement. They are exploiting the true pain of men.

My favorite guy in this article is this one:

“We had abortions,” said Mark B. Morrow, a Christian counselor. “I’ve had abortions.”

Morrow spoke to more than 150 antiabortion activists gathered recently in San Francisco…

Morrow, the counselor, described his regret as sneaking up on him in midlife — more than a decade after he impregnated three girlfriends (one of them twice) in quick succession in the late 1980s. All four pregnancies ended in abortion.”

It goes on later to mention that Marrow knew about the abortions; these are not women who had abortions without his knowledge.

Most of the responders are overlooking something. In an abortion, there is a corpse. Someone has to match up the parts, someone has to identify the sex and age, someone has to dispose of him or her, generally in a way that does not comport with medical and environmental safety. The woman’s system knows what has happened, the man knows what has happened. But we are very good at denial. The LA Times article got something else wrong: the best data (longitudinal study of females from childhood through adulthood, with controls for all factors, esp. those that might influence mental health) show that abortion causes mental illness in psychologically healthy females. The researcher was pro-choice, and astounded. He is also astounded at the censorship that has greeted his study.

When he can carry it to term himself – or when it is possible to do it artificially outside of her womb, the rock the fuck out with your involvement in the choice whether to have a baby.

Having willingly risked my life to have kids, I can’t imagine how anyone would feel justified in forcing someone to do this. Not to mention raise the children to adulthood. Wanted children have distinct advantages over unwanted children from the beginning. Why would you assume it’s okay to make not one but two people suffer so that you have your way? And how does that make you fit for parenthood?? And what part of that involves love?

The dude is not well, that’s obvious. I feel for him. But if his reaction to his fiancee’s decision not to have a child at that time was so drastic, there was something broken before this – both in the relationship and inside him. He needs therapy, not enablers.

Jesus, where’d all the trolls come from? Someone flood out a bridge?

So, Mary, does spontaneous abortion cause mental illness? Why or why not? I mean, loss of the fetus is loss of the fetus, right? Or is it less traumatic when one can explain it away as something that had to happen for a good reason – like the body rejecting the pregnancy or, I dunno, the person rejecting the pregnancy?

Link to study please. Is there any information regarding the genetics of these supposedly perfectly normal women who suddenly become mentally ill? Any history of mental illness in the family? (I defy anyone to find a person without a history of mental illness in the family…) How do the numbers stack up against the women who were perfectly normal before deciding to have kids who then suffered from post-partum depression? Or doesn’t that matter?

With a link, I can read it and find out
the answers to these, and other questions. Also find out if there are multiple peer-reviewed studies that show the same results. Otherwise, there’s not much there there.

# David M. Fergusson, L. John Horwood, and Elizabeth M. Ridder, “Abortion in young women and subsequent mental health,” Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 47(1): 16-24, 2006.
# Tom Iggulden, “Abortion increases mental health risk: study” AM transcript. http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2006/s1540914.htm
# Nick Grimm “Higher risk of mental health problems after abortion: report” Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 03/01/2006 http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2006/s1541543.htm
# Ruth Hill, “Abortion Researcher Confounded by Study” New Zealand Herald 1/5/06, http://www.nzherald.co.nz

Not allowing someone to destroy the child in the womb is not the same as forcing them to be pregnant. Reality is that the woman is already pregnant, and there are two beings whose rights must be considered. The right of the more defenseless human being to not be assaulted and destroyed is more important than the right of the adult human being to be free of responsibility for that life for a few months until birth. At the time of birth, she is free to give away the child.

Women with perfect mental health may or may not be at greater risk for mental health issues following an abortion — and of they are, it’s only fair and just that men too have some problems. And we can thank the new “post-abortive men’s movement” for giving men that chance.

Here’s another quote from that LA Times piece:

Recruits often cycle through church-based retreats, support groups and Bible studies that aim to heal post-abortion trauma. The men are urged to think of themselves as fathers, to name — and ask forgiveness from — the children they might have raised, had their partners not aborted.

At one retreat, the men are told to picture their sons and daughters dancing in a sunny meadow at the feet of Jesus Christ.

“They draw in men who may have a little ambivalence, possibly a little guilt, and they exacerbate those feelings,” Shostak said.

Now, I want all you men who have masturbated to think of your sperm as little golden-haired children, dancing in a circle with Jesus. Now, imagine that you flushed them down the toilet. Feel better?

Wait, this Baier guy is upset because his FIANEE’S SISTER ABORTED HIS CHILD???? WTH was he doing sleeping with her in the first place?

I’m Italian and Irish, so it’s unlikely they’d be golden-haired.
But you’ve convinced to change my ways, and stop using old gym socks. From now they’ll be new and fresh from the dryer. Nothing but the best for those millions of little would-be babies who perished because they were deprived of a corresponding egg!

Aren’t you all glad I got my computer back? :)
(And by “glad”, I mean “now wishing he’d have to wait another week”.)

I’d like to apologize to regular visiters of this site for my previous comment. I was hoping I’d frighten away the trolls.

I thought the Liberal message was Peace and Love. For a bunch of peace lovers, you people are actually pretty violent. I think a few of you need to take a look at yourselves and ask where all the hate is coming from. Funny how the Liberal machine is all about peace until someone takes a stance against their position.

FWIW, I met a girl in high shcool who was pregnant. Being the man of the world I was at the time, I chose to help her get an abortion. She was 20 weeks along, and had a partial birth abortion. All I can remember is that after the procedure was done, I felt awful for participating in something so violent towards another human life. So yes, even a man can feel the pain that abortion can cause, and I wasn’t even the father. Still today, some 20 or so years later, I think back to that event, and I am saddened by it.

I’m willing to bet that most of you who have posted your viscious comments have never even had or experienced an abortion either as a mother or a father.

So much for tolerance…

Fuck off, mary, there’s a good girl.

Oh, and fuck off too, Joe Blow. Was that violent and intolerant enough for you? :)

Wow annejumps, so adult like. your parents must be proud.

Wah wah wah, Joe Blow. Don’t let the door hit you :)

*cough* Sorry about that, regular denizens.

Seriously, the “OMG liberalz are intolerant and use bad langwej!” crap is not only old, it’s asinine.

Anne, thanks for the invitation to stay. I think I will. BTW, are you single?

It wasn’t the abortion that caused my PTSD, it was the years of rape from a man I was supposed to be able to trust. Carrying his child to term would have fucked my life up even worse, and giving it up for adoption would mean spending the rest of my life waiting for some stranger who looked like my rapist to come demand I justify my decisions.

So, yeah, Joe, I have. I’ve thought about it a lot, too. And never regretted it for a second. It wasn’t a human, it was a clump of cells no bigger than a kumquat. The only actual human involved was me, and I made the only decision that allowed me to have a life. If I’d thought the sperm donor would have suffered from what I did, I’d have fucking plastered it all over his fucking house just to watch him suffer. I guarantee you it would have been nothing to the trauma he caused me.

So, Joe, take your “Liberals are the REAL intolerants” crap and go away. I’m intolerant of people who judge me without knowing me, yes. I’m intolerant of people who think their experience as a bystander trumps mine. I’m intolerant of people who want to make my decisions for me.

I’m also intolerant of morons who think it’s hypocritical for me to apply your standards, rather than mine, to you. As Anne points out, it’s tired and boring. When even Jonah Goldberg has mastered this crap, it’s time for all the rest of you little ponies to learn a new trick.

D, So sorry to hear of your situation, but the problem here is that I was not applying my beliefs on anybody. I was merely pointing out that the viscious attitudes here were not very appropriate. I shared a personal experience. So what! I do have a right to my feelings don’t I? Yeah, I’m pro-life, so what. Does that offend you so much that you feel it is okay to atack me on a personal level. I still stand by my statement, the majority of the negative comments have probably come from people who have no actual experience with abortion. They are the bystanders, not me.

Again, I am truly sorry for your suffering. I hope you have found peace.

Joe, we don’t give a shit what you think is appropriate.

No, you didn’t just share a personal experience. You started out with this tired crap:

I thought the Liberal message was Peace and Love. For a bunch of peace lovers, you people are actually pretty violent. I think a few of you need to take a look at yourselves and ask where all the hate is coming from. Funny how the Liberal machine is all about peace until someone takes a stance against their position.

And you finished off with this even more tired crap:

I’m willing to bet that most of you who have posted your viscious comments have never even had or experienced an abortion either as a mother or a father.

Capping it with:

So much for tolerance…

That makes you a troll. And a *boring* troll.

For the record, no woman, whether she has had an abortion or not, is a bystander in this debate. Even infertile women are passed over for jobs by bosses who worry they’ll get pregnant and quit, are denied medical treatments that may harm a fetus they’ll never have, are instructed on how to eat by the surgeon general, as though a potential pregnancy were the most valuable thing about them. Until men can get pregnant, you cannot match that stake.

And considering the fact that those of us who are willing to say we have had abortions get so much judgmental bullshit over it, so much of mary’s overwrought tinymangledbabies garbage, and so much “my pain too!” from men who feel they have some outsized stake in the debate, I’m willing to bet a lot more women than me, here, have had abortions with no regrets and just aren’t willing to deal with the “But if you were a normal person you’d regret it!” responses.

The people (in particular men) with whom I have had relationships have in various ways suffered consequences of my being raped, as well. But that’s not the same thing as what I have to deal with, nor does it make them rape victims, nor post-rape men, or whatever else they want to call it. And it doesn’t mean their feelings and needs get to take precedence over what I need to do to be okay. If they suffer insomnia because I wake up screaming, they don’t get to force me to stay awake so they can sleep. If they suffer frustration because I don’t want to have sex, they don’t get to force me to have sex.

By that same token, they don’t get to force me to have a baby because they don’t want to deal with what I needed to do to be okay. What they get to do is walk away if they can’t take it. What they don’t get to do is add to my burden by telling me how hard it is on them.

While we’re at it, I didn’t experience abortion “as a mother”. I experienced it as a pregnant woman who then was not a pregnant woman. I am still a woman, and still not a mother, and never will be. By choice, and I’m glad I have that choice. I’m glad other women have that choice. I do what I can to preserve that choice for other women. Because I know many women whose lives would have been destroyed by a pregnancy, and who do not–do not–regret their abortions.

Incidentally, mary, I almost fell for the “you’ll be depressed and traumatized by guilt after you abort” crap. Then I realized the only reason I felt guilty was that I didn’t feel guilty–and that perhaps that somehow made me an unnatural woman. Once I stopped trying to be what I was apparently supposed to be, I was left with only relief.

Have you idiots ever considered that the major reason women are depressed post abortion is that you idiots go around telling us we’re supposed to be? Obviously some women are depressed post-abortion and would be even in a vacuum–but the same can be said of pregnancies brought to term, of childbirth, of parenthood. Control for that in your studies, and maybe we can talk. Until then, they’re useless.

I call shenanigans on Joe Blow. I won’t comment on the likelihood of a high school girl goes with (high school?) guy she just met to get her abortion, or the possibility that said guy was allowed close enough to the operating room to know what procedure she had or realize said procedure was “something so violent towards another human life”.

My bullshit meter is triggered by this:
She was 20 weeks along, and had a partial birth abortion. …] Still today, some 20 or so years later[...]

There was no such animal as “partial birth abortion” 20 or so years ago. Technically, there still isn’t any such animal today:

The term is not recognized as a medical term by the American Medical Association[20] nor the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.[21] This term was first suggested in 1995 by pro-life congressman Charles T. Canady, while developing the original proposed Partial-Birth Abortion Ban.[22]from here

The underlying medical procedure that Joe was probably trying to invoke was developed in the mid 80′s by Jamed McMahon. As of 1995, the procedure was amazingly rare:

According to the National Abortion Federation, Dr. McMahon and Dr. Haskell have together performed about 450 of these abortions a year. Dr. McMahon was medical director of Eve Surgical Centers and trained Ob-Gyn residents at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Other doctors, who either were taught by Dr. McMahon, or who read Dr. Haskell’s 1992 paper on the method, distributed by the National Abortion Federation, also use the method. But it is impossible to know how often, because abortion statistics do not track the methods used. (

So the odds that Joe Blow’s friend received a D&X are very low. The odds that Joe could have been contemporaneously aware of the procedure some 10 years before it became a cause celebre are in the “getting struck by lightning while you’re collecting your lottery winnings and the auditorium is attacked by terrorists” range.

(gak–lost a close tag)

“That makes you a troll. And a *boring* troll.”

Well, for such a boring troll, you are sure wasting a lot of time on me. Sorry my tired and boring comments have gotten you so riled up.

I’m spending the day home with a toothache and what has turned out to have been a fractured ulna too late to even get anything but a doctor’s lecture out of it. I got nothing better to do and I’m in a bad mood. Don’t flatter yourself, Joe: I am not happy to see you, and that *is* just a roll of quarters in my pocket.

The guilt trips that make women who have abortions feel like their lives should be ruined rile me up; you just annoy me.

Let’s take a look at our troll checklist, shall we?

“I thought you liberals were tolerant but you’re not tolerant of intolerant people!” Check.

“You’re sure spending a lot of time paying attention to me if I’m so boring.” Check.

You wanna go for the “All the lurkers agree with me, they told me so in email” just to complete the set?

Okay Dorothy, here’s my story.

In high school I started dating a girl and we became sexually active pretty early on in the relationship. After about 6 weeks or so of us being sexually active with each other, I figured something must be wrong as he had not once said no due to her period.

So, when I confront her, she breaks down and says she thinks she’s pregnant. She tells me she ran into an ex-boyfriend at a party and after a few beers ended up at his house and had sex with him.

So, I get advice from a friend who tells me what clinic to take her to. At the clinic, they do a pregnancy test to confirm. They then refer her to the local Medi-Cal office for emercency Medi-Cal. Once she gets approved which was about three days later, they send her to see a doctor who will be the one to “help” her. He determines she is approximately 20 weeks along and tells her she has very little time to have an abortion.

She is checked into a hospital that weekend, where her womb is injected with saline. When the time came, the nurse came into the room and had her sit on the toilet. The nurse placed something into the toilet to catch the baby as it was delivered. I was asked to leave the room at this point, and I stood in the hall while my girlfriend screamed in pain through this whole event. Afterwards, she was given some pain medication and left alone to sleep.

I went home and came back the next day to pick her up. Now if that was not a partial birth abortion, then I am sorry for calling it that. But it did happen, and I was there to witness it.

I can honestly say that when I look back at that whole situation, I am still in shock at how easy it was for an underage girl to get an abortion and get it paid for by tax dollars.

For what it’s worth, she told her parents before the procedure since she would have to spend the night in the hospital. The day I went to pick her up, I stopped by her house to get her some clothes, and they thanked me for helping her take care of the problem. They were happy they did not have to get involved. I was 17 at the time. I am almost 43 today. So that was almost 26 years ago.

Am I the only one who has a problem with this?

D. Sorry to hear about your ulna, perhaps you should refrain from typing so much. You don’t want to get another lecture.

I’ll take care of my own health, thank you. I believe that was my point. And I’m typing one-handed.

And no, I don’t have a problem with that. There’s at least one person more qualified to have a problem with that: your former girlfriend. If she doesn’t, twenty six years later, and I assume you have no more idea if she does than I do or you’d have said so, then why should you? Your choice was to get involved. You could have stepped back and let her parents handle it. What you’re saying here is that you think she should have taken whatever the consequences–poverty, depression, dropping out of school, marrying the first abusive jerk to come along because she needed an income, whatever those would have been–so that you wouldn’t have to feel guilty for choices you made. You want to take away her choice–and that of other women–because you made what you now feel is a bad one. The fact that many of those women are making good choices doesn’t matter to you, you made a bad one and now you want them to not have one.

Okay Dorothy, after re-reading your thread and looking at the link you provided, I wil admit that I was wrong, but not intentionally. Hey I was 17 at the time. All I new is a dead baby was delivered into a tray of some sort in a toilet.

The scary thing is that my girlfriend told me she was pretty certain she was farther along than 20 weeks. This leads me to believe the doctor also knew and perhaps even violated the law.

D, your putting words into my mouth. I only shared my story to illustrate the point that I have had an experience that many other men have not had. I have no idea what she feels like today, and that is not the point. I made a choice that I later regretted. It had nothing to do with her at that point.

I felt that I had participated in something that was wrong. And you choose to fault me for that.

One more thing and then it’s off to bed.

I was a Paramedic in the city of Oakland, CA for several years before being forced to quit due to a pretty bad injury on the job.

I can tell you horror stories about the women we would pick up from a particular abortion clinic in Oakland. It was always the same. We were requested to come code 2 so there was no lights and sirens. They didn’t want to draw attention. And the issue was alway the same, some poor woman bleeding to death. Most of the time, these women had laid there for several minutes to hours before we were even called.

So if you fault me for wanting to see this sort of thing stop, then go ahead.

Good night, I’ll see yuou tomorrow!

Isn’t it amazing how a right-wing, pro-life troll can get schooled on what was obviously a lie about his experience with abortion, and suddenly–GASP! He’s also got PROFESSIONAL experience with women who’ve had abortions.

Excuse me if I take everything you say with a grain of salt from now on, Joe Blow. When one story doesn’t work, try another, isn’t that the strategy?


Thanks for you vote of confidence Maryc. Look, I have no reason to lie nor do I have any sort of agenda or strategy here. Like I said, I called something by the wrong name. I was a kid at the time and it had an impact on me. I only shared my story to show that I had some experience with abortion.

You know, it’s interesting to see that all you can do is call me a liar istead of discussing the actual situations I described. Is that the norm, just call the guy a liar, and it’s like these things he described never really happened?

I can see how taking away someone’s credibility would make it look like these sorts of things never happen in the real world. That way you don’t run the risk of having someone actually change their position on the subject.

Jeesh, I made a mistake, but I admitted I was wrong in using that terminology. That doesn’t mean my story isn’t true.

And why all the name calling? Does that really make you feel good about yourself? I have note once used any obscene language, or called anyone anything even remotely derogitory.

Hey! I thought you said “good night”? Generally that means you are leaving or turning off your pc or something–at least not commenting anymore–but here you are. Gee. You didn’t LIE about saying “good night”, did you?

Joe. Look. You never had a girlfriend who you didn’t impregnate who had to have an abortion (that you called “partial birth abortion”–a mistake that’s pretty big for someone who claims to have a medical background, as paramedics do…) and now suddenly you WERE a paramedic who went on calls to abortion clinics to save women who were bleeding to death (funny how the doctor’s at the abortion clinics, as well as the nurses couldn’t deal with emergencies…), but when you did go on calls, it was with no sirens, so no one knew you were responding to an abortion clinic call….it was all “hush hush”.

Please. You never had a girlfriend who had an abortion, you never were a paramedic. All this “experience” you claim to have came off an anti-abortion pamphlet. I’ve seen people like you standing outside of my local high school with “photos” of aborted babies, using whatever “evidence” you can to say that you should have the right to have your religious morality imposed upon others, even if they don’t share that morality.

Nice try. Now go peddle your papers to a blog that cares.

Oh, and strangely enough–Code 2 calls–when the paramedics arrive without sirens or lights flashing–are used for NON-URGENT calls. As a rule, if someone is bleeding out…well, let’s just say it’s a good idea if the paramedics aren’t forced to wait for traffic and lights to change….

Again–you’re lying about one of the things you claim: either you were never a paramedic, or the “code 2″ calls you went on to abortion clinics were never urgent emergencies, i.e., women “bleeding to death” from their abortions.

Again, nice try. Too bad you didn’t know enough about the profession to “sell it”.

Since when is “pro-life” not an agenda? I’m pro-choice, that’s my agenda. But at least I know what I’m doing and why.

A pro-life agenda is often enough motivation for people to lie, that’s why women get told abortion causes breast cancer, after all. It’s certainly why idiots go on TV and explain that Planned Parenthood wants girls to get pregnant so they can make big profits.

And of course you have the same reason to lie that you did to turn up here. You’re here to get attention for yourself, and to chide us for not feeling bad about guys like you whose lives were peripherally touched by an issue you now feel you should get to decide for everybody.

Your little storehouse of anecdotes–and by tomorrow, I expect to hear you’ve performed abortions yourself–has been designed to make us feel guilty for not accepting your expertise on the subject and therefore your judgment.

The very first thing you did here was to recite a moronic “gotcha” that we were tired of the first fifty times it got used, and then claim some moral high ground to tell us that we should be ashamed of ourselves. Your subsequent posts have displayed all the subtlety of a Paul Harvey monologue to which the only appropriate response is: Interesting if true. Not, however, persuasive nor even particularly relevant.

What you have not done is addressed anyone’s actual points on the subject and demonstrated that you are worthy of being treated as anything other than a troll. You ignore those who attempt to engage you. Then you seem startled that you are dismissed rather than engaged.

If you come in through the troll door, we will treat you as a troll, and yes, that includes calling you out on your obvious bullshit and mocking you.

Myself, I can’t believe I left Goodbye Cruel World/And Another Thing off my troll checklist.

I can tell you horror stories about the women we would pick up from a particular abortion clinic in Oakland.

May I suggest reading Keith Simpson’s “Forty Years of Murder”? Professor Simpson was England’s first criminal pathologist, and his reasons for his support for legal abortions are very, very clear: he was sick of finding dead young women who had soapy water in their vaginas dumped in back alleys. That was the most common method of abortion at the time, which occasionally led to a “bubble embolism”, or a bubble of air entering the bloodstream and disrupting the continuous motion of the heart. Infection was another common cause of death among abortion patients, especially when scraping (the classic “wire hanger” method) was used.

The men who caused these pregnancies were frequently unknown, and when they were known went unpunished, naturally enough.

Disclaimer: I’m a gay male, so I state upfront that I am grossly unqualified to comment on this topic. I can’t even imagine what a woman must go through when she decides that an abortion is the right choice for her particular circumstances. That being said, I support the right of women to MAKE that choice.

However: I am a bit confused at the mixed message I appear to be seeing. On the one hand, women rightfully expect men to take on their share of responsibility in preventing unwanted pregnancies from occurring. Further, they rightfully expect men to do their part to support children that result from any such pregnancies.

I also understand that it is the woman who shoulders the entire burden of the pregnancy, including all of the potential risks to her health.

However, it does require two people to make a baby. I fail to understand why the prevailing sentiment here appears to be “to hell with the man’s feelings!” I don’t quite understand why it’s completely beyond the realm of possibility that a man might actually feel pain at having an unborn child aborted. Virtually all of the posts here have held to the theme that these men are somehow less of a man because they have the audacity to regret what might have been.

I understand that the anti-abortion MOVEMENT is almost certainly taking advantage of any genuine pain that these men might feel to score political points. Does that negate the fact that there might be some men who truly do regret the loss of potential fatherhood?

Actually, no. The point we’re making is that these men want to be able to claim a woman’s experiences in an effort to deny her them for herself. In many ways, it is not unlike claims of “reverse discrimination”. The point they’re making is that they have the same problem, so the rest of us should be quiet about it.

If they feel a loss of potential, that’s fine. But that loss is not persuasive in preventing it from happening: the fact that an abortion sometimes causes a man ill effects is not a good enough reason to stop them from happening. However, the fact that an abortion sometimes causes a woman ill effects is not a good enough reason to stop them from happening either.

The “less manly” sentiment you’re apparently seeing is quite likely Scott’s and my own sarcasm. People cannot claim they have the same stake in the abortion debate as someone who must deal with the medical and societal and emotional consequences of it personally if they themselves will not be forced to deal with those things. In other words, if they want their experiences to be treated with as much respect as a woman’s, they must be aware that they will be treated with just as much *disrespect* as a woman, too. Especially while they are lending themselves to groups and causes that are largely responsible for that disrespect.

I’m not saying “to hell with men’s feelings”. I’m saying “men’s feelings don’t get to be the most important factor in determining what a woman can do”. Not while their lives aren’t on the line in that decision and women’s are.

I don’t think that’s unreasonable.

Oh man, you gotta do Kim du Toit. The man is an absolute douchebag. Have you seen his blog – thousands of pictures of him lovingly fondling his dick … er, I mean his gun.

Luckily, I’ve been a lurker here for long enough to know that none of the regular posters would see a man as less of a man for expressing some emotion. They would likely think more highly of him than some repressed macho jerk. But I can see how others could take quite a few of these comments the way they have.

I can kind of see what they’re saying, about how a man who wants the chance to raise that child and has the means to do so should get the chance. On the other hand, you don’t get to make a woman into a mother against her wishes – wait until she’s ready, or find someone who is. You don’t get to go along with an abortion at the time, then decide a decade later that it wasn’t right for you, so no one else should get one.

OMG, it actually let me post. It never would before, and I have no idea what made me try again. Nifty. :)

Guys and gals, you are doing NOTHING for the cause. Picking and choosing bits and pieces from the article and not going beyond the surface makes you look uninformed and militant, not convincing. You are acting like the people you are criticizing, only worse. If you want to win, you need to tone it down.

Here is a snippet from Chris Aubert’s website at http://www.chrisaubert.com. I find it open and honest and fair:

A very interesting article on men and abortion appeared in the L.A. Times today. CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE ARTICLE. Although the article has only been out for several hours (at the time I write this), I have already received more than 20 emails and several phone calls about it. (I am amazed at how resourceful people are!) Several interesting questions were asked, and I thought I would address them here, to the extent anyone else has the same questions. I am also happy to answer your questions, if you will EMAIL ME.

1.Is the article accurate?

Answer: While I would not have used some of the phrases the author used, the article is, for the most part, accurate, at least insofar as it pertains to me.

2.Why hasn’t this issue come up earlier?

Answer:I can’t answer that; perhaps our “politically correct” society was not ready for it earlier?

3.Do you think what you are feeling is a medical condition or some kind of illness or psychiatric syndrome?

Answer: I am not smart enough to put a label on it, and I don’t think the label really matters anyway. From my perspective, it is a grief issue, and all I can tell you is how I feel. For example, if a man voluntarily goes out and gets drunk and then voluntarily gets behind the wheel of a car and kills someone, my suspicion is that he feels grief as a result. Indeed, feeling grief in such a situation would seem to me to be quite normal. Yet, having never killed anyone while driving drunk, I don’t know how or what he feels. But, I can tell you that I am the only person on the planet who knows how I feel about voluntarily participating in killing two of my own children through abortion.

4.Do you think there is a political overtone to this issue?

Answer:Not for me. If you think it is fun, entertaining, easy, or thrilling to tell such an intimate story to, in some cases, 1,000 people, you should try it sometime. You will quickly be disabused of that thought. As for others in the pro-life movement, their motives, to me, are not relevant. They are trying to stop the slaughter of the most helpless people in the world – innocent little babies – and if they do it for political reasons, I have no problem with that.

5.Do you think having men involved in the abortion debate will help or hurt the pro-life cause?

Answer: I can’t imagine how it could hurt the cause. How could more information and evidence ever be worse than less information and evidence? The truth is, men suffer after abortions, no matter what the pro-abortion crowd wants us to think.

6.Do you think that Roe v. Wade will ever be overturned?

Answer:Absolutely. As time passes and science gets better, it is harder and harder to ignore what I saw when I looked at the first ultrasound of my daughter. That was a baby in there, and that baby had rights, including the right to life. That’s the end of the discussion, as far as I am concerned. Anyone who is intellectually honest has to agree, and, as such, almost by definition, Roe v. Wade will have to be overturned; that is, assuming that the Supreme Court is intellectually honest.

7.You’re just a Christian wacko.

Answer. Thank you for that kind comment, but I was Jewish when I had my epiphany that killing babies through abortion was morally wrong.

8.In the article, you are quoted as saying you wouldn’t have the blessings you now have had you not aborted, and as being startled when asked about the women and saying, “I never really thought about it for the woman.” Does this mean that you think the abortions were, in some way, good?

Answer: No. First of all, the comment about the blessings is simply like contemplating how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Everyone in life, I think, at times wonders “what if”? What if my mother never met my father? What if I had gone to a different college? What if I had taken that other job? What if Gore had won Florida? These are just intellectual exercises, as I mentioned in the article. Having the thought or doing the mental gymnastics does not mean that I am happy, in any way, about the abortions. I am not.

Second, as for thinking about the women, my point was, I had never considered whether they had the same intellectual thoughts I did. It is not good or bad that I never considered this, I just never did. In this regard, I think the questioner’s point is that, somehow, I did not care about the woman. To the contrary, my concern was 100% for the women. They brought up the abortions, they suggested the abortions, and they encouraged the abortions. I was never asked my opinion, and I never gave my opinion. I never gave my opinion because, I am embarrassed to admit now, I didn’t have an opinion at the time – I couldn’t have cared less. You see, I was ignorant of the truth, and, worse, I was ignorant that I was ignorant.

Third, I find the author’s statement, “But would his long-ago girlfriends . . . also consider the abortions a choice that set them on a better path?” The author’s use of the word “also” is completely inappropriate, and she should be ashamed. The use of this word suggests that I think my abortions set me on a better path. I do not think that, I have never thought that, I did not say that, and I reject that conclusion categorically.

Fourth, and finally, the point of the entire interview is summed up fairly when the author writes or correctly quotes me as saying: “I struggle with it (the intellectual issue)”; in the end, my “moral objection to abortion always wins”; If I could go back in time, I “would try to save the babies”; and “I have this stain on my soul and it will always be there.”

Well Maryc, you seem so schooled yourself. It’s called Code 3 with a Code 2 approach. Look it up. And as far as an abortion clinic being able to take care of the problem, that’s very untrue. Even in hospitals, they call a crash cart team or a code team when someone dies. Go to an unrgent care and they will dial 911 if you having a heart attack.

Anyway, allow me to bow down to the troll police. Your right, I’m just a troll. I have nothing better to do than sit here and make up lies all day long. I shouldn’t have made the comments about the Liberal Machine. That probably was not the best way to start things. But hey, at least you know how I feel.

Seriously, if you re-read my original post, it is obvious that I only shared my story to show that I had been affected by my participation in that event.

So, about the article. I haven’t read it but I know a little bit about the author of it. I don’t feel strongly either way about his cause and how it relates to father’s, but I do know that men are affected by abortion. To say that men have had abortions too may be a bit of a stretch, but I agree with the premise of his argument.

There are many situations that come up where a young couple end up with a pregnancy to deal with, but up until that point, they hadn’t really learned enough about each other to know how one or the other might feel about abortion. Well low and behold, we now discover that the man has strong fellings against abortion.

Yes, maybe they should have taken some time to get to know each other before climbing in the sack together, but is’s a bit too late for that now.

So what do we do? Is it fair to say the man has no rights here? Is if fair to say he should just walk away and ignore his feelings. The attachment a woman feels is much stronger than the father feels, I will give you that . But there is a strong feeling of attachment by many men.

Here’s another story about me. I have a daughter with Down Syndrome. No really, I do. No lie! We found out before she was born. I remember waking up to hear my wife sobbing at night after we found out. There wasn’t much I could do to comfort her because her experience was that of a mother. Her experience of carrying our daughter inside her was much deeper than I could have ever experienced, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t have feelings of fear and confusion also.

My point is simply this, yes men can be affected in a negative way by abortion. Whether you agree or not, it does happen.


The saline-injection-followed-by-delivery is the high-risk procedure that D&X was developed to replace. And if you have a daughter at all, you should have heard your wife screaming in the exact same amount of pain: it’s the contractions of labor that hurt. So, yeah, that may have been a bit traumatic for you, but it was probably less traumatic for her than full-term delivery.

Oh, and to Eric and Joe and all the concern trolls who just want us to know that “we’re hurting your cause” and “we’re making liberals look bad”–um, did you notice the title of the site? It’s a snark site, dishing out satirical and sarcastic humor. It’s not an “activist” site or a “liberal” site or anything.

So, you know, if you’ve ever in your life accused someone of overracting to the “kill all the liberals” schtick of Rush Limbaugh or the “nuke the Muslims” and “blow up the NYT building” routines of Ann Coulter, then please, do us all a favor and take your own advice:

“Geez, it’s just joke: stop taking everything so personally!”

My point is simply this, yes men can be affected in a negative way by abortion. Whether you agree or not, it does happen.

Joe, one last time: I didn’t say it doesn’t happen. I didn’t even say it doesn’t matter. I didn’t say he has to ignore how he feels. I didn’t even say she should ignore how he feels. I said it doesn’t outweigh the reasons a woman makes a decision to get an abortion. Why don’t you understand that? Is this a poor reading comprehension thing, or do you just not care?

Look, if pregnancy and carrying a child to term did not cause the sort of extreme ill effects it certainly does cause, then these men would have a valid argument against abortion. If it were a simple question of the men suffering emotional trauma so women can fit into bikinis, then I’d be willing to say that yes, they should legally have some say in it.

But pregnancy causes any number of severe physical problems including death. Childbirth does as well. Post-partum depression also. Raising children too. Giving children up for adoption is certainly no less traumatic than an abortion for many women.

These are factors that a woman with an unplanned pregnancy takes into consideration. Many women also take into consideration how the man involved feels, assuming the sex was consensual. But I may die and This child will be born without a brain and I will be forced to drop out of school, leaving me and my child to a lifetime of poverty very often outweigh He wants to be a father. And I cannot imagine why they would not.

I recognize your point that at the time of this decision it is too late, but I would also suggest that if either a man or a woman feels strongly that either abortion or childbearing is wrong, they have a duty to tell each other that before they have sex. Accidents happen. Knowing ahead of time that certain solutions are out of the question for the other party allows you both to make better choices. I don’t sleep with anyone who thinks abortion is wrong, and I don’t sleep with anyone who thinks my refusal to have children is wrong. Because these are incompatible positions, and they will never lead to a compromise solution of any sort.

If you can’t be bothered to have that discussion, how important can it really be to you?

ULtimately, the reality is that the issue is not about feelings. It’s about reacting to reality, the reality of the loss of a child.
Whether or not you believe in modern science, genetics, and embyology, which tell us that the human being begins at conception and develops through stages of life until death, you have to admit that the conceptus/embryo/fetus would have been born as a child had it not been cut or aspirated into pieces and thrown away. The abortionist doesn’t just wave a magic wand and cause a woman to become un-pregnant. He or she has to take out the human being, causing its death. It is logical and sane to react to the death, even if it is willed by the parents.

What I don’t understand here is why these guys who feel so much “pain” over their *potential* child can’t find other avenues. Want a child? Find someone who does. She can’t get pregnant? Adopt. If you’re ready for a baby in your life and your SO/partner is, too, fine. But a woman who has an abortion is not ready for the responsibility.

If a man is ready for parenthood and a woman isn’t, I don’t care how much pain you feel over your potential blonde/blue-eyed little “angel,” the point is the child is not meant to be, so find another way. This isn’t the only baby in the world. There are plenty of other babies being born who do need loving parents, and if that’s you, take the damn job and quit whining about the “potential.”

Hey, I coulda been a potential multimillionaire, but I’m not. I coulda been a potential doctor/lawyer/Indian chief, but I’m none of those, either. Potential is too much coulda, woulda, shoulda bullshit.

I had the potential for a lot of things, but they didn’t happen. I’m not going to sit and cry over not being a doctor when I didn’t even go for the fucking degree. I might cry over the career I really worked my ass off to have after people purposely curtailed my options, but even my “pain” from this has been limited, too. It ruined my life, but I *moved on*. I did my best to adjust. It’s called *dealing* with it, not crying and whining and joining support groups to help me deal with my “pain.”

I like what someone said earlier about it: STFU. You can feel whatever you want – hey, it’s OK to feel your pain – but if you’re going to make a big fucking deal out of it, don’t cry on my shoulder. I’ve got my own problems, and *I* don’t cry on the world’s shoulders about them. Besides, unless you’re the woman who actually *had* the abortion, you’ve got no right to cry on the world’s shoulders any louder than *she* does.

Whether or not you believe in modern science, genetics, and embyology, which tell us that the human being begins at conception and develops through stages of life until death, you have to admit that the conceptus/embryo/fetus would have been born as a child had it not been cut or aspirated into pieces and thrown away.

This is wrong on too many levels for me to even bother with.

mary, you are ignorant. Stop trying to pretend you are not, because it isn’t working. Science, genetics, and embryology tell us no such thing. The life that begins at conception does not end up a bouncing baby most of the time for all sorts of reasons, and deliberate surgical abortion is one of the least of them, statistically speaking.

Plain damned biology kills most of those zygotes before anyone even knows they were fertilized.

Yes, I killed a fetus. No magic wands involved. Congratulations, well spotted. I’d do it again. I’m guessing even many pro-life women would have done the same thing in my circumstances, but I don’t even care. I did what was best for the actual human being involved, which was me. I did not do what was best for a bundle of chromosomes, though to be honest I suspect I accomplished that, too.

And this is one woman who had an abortion who is not going to allow you propagandists to ruin her life by telling her she’s a murderer, or traumatized, or unwomanly, or anything else. Some of us, hopefully more and more of us, just don’t care what you think we should feel.

That’s your burden, and I invite you to go deal with it elsewhere. Perhaps you can find a support group.

for the record, i had a medi-cal abortion in ’85. they almost wouldn’t do it at the last minute because they thought i looked further along than 12 weeks, but i knew exactly when i got pregnant and convinced the doc to go ahead. and we’re talking days here. that 4 or so years prior to that they would just whisk off a minor to do a surgical procedure as joe blow relates still smells fishy to me.

and for the record i was pretty depressed afterwards. but mainly because i was madly in love with the father who left me. my first abortion didn’t bother me in the least.

i have never once regretted either abortion. and i don’t know of a single woman who ever did. i’m sure there are some, but none that i know of, and i know alot of women who’ve had them.

“that 4 or so years prior to that they would just whisk off a minor to do a surgical procedure as joe blow relates still smells fishy to me.”

Well not only did it happen, but I got advice on where to take her from a friend who had gone through the same thing with his underage girlfriend just prior to that. Remember, California is one of the states that allow minors to have abortions without parental consent. Not sure when that law was passed, but it must have been prior to that time. This took place in 1982.

“And if you have a daughter at all, you should have heard your wife screaming in the exact same amount of pain: it’s the contractions of labor that hurt.”

Yes Dorothy, I do have children, three beautiful daughters. And yes I have been present for childbirth. Although, my wife didn’t wake me until about 30 minutes before delivering daughter number 3. She was born in the back of an ambulance in front of our house. I was inside getting numbers 1 and 2 ready for a trip to Nana’s house.

” I would also suggest that if either a man or a woman feels strongly that either abortion or childbearing is wrong, they have a duty to tell each other that before they have sex.”

D, this is one thing we can agree on, but the sad thing is that many people rush into everything nowadays including relationships and sex. If we as parents can get these values to stick with our children we would have won half the battle, but even there, many parents don’t even bother to discuss the meaning of good quality relationships with their children.

It’s been fun, but gotta go for now. FWIW D, I feel badly for what happened to you. No woman should have to suffer through what you did. I am not judging you, nor would I even attempt to.

damn, 90+ posts and not one person has mentioned Perfesser Dr Mike PhD’s impotence and his imaginary 19 yr old slave girl

If we as parents can get these values to stick with our children we would have won half the battle, but even there, many parents don’t even bother to discuss the meaning of good quality relationships with their children.

Oh deary, deary me. Joe, you don’t know me well enough to know why I’m snickering my ass off over this, and I don’t know you well enough to explain it, but let me just note that parental notification laws, not to mention parental consent laws, are nothing more than death sentences for girls society has already failed.

“I was never asked my opinion, and I never gave my opinion. I never gave my opinion because, I am embarrassed to admit now, I didn’t have an opinion at the time – I couldn’t have cared less. You see, I was ignorant of the truth…

Alright, I’ve read enough.

I have had two abortions. Yes that’s right two. Count them TWO 1 and 2. And I don’t regret one of them.

I was married to a man because he got me pregnant and I wanted do to the right thing. I had two more children by him. Healthy, happy children who are now functional, healthy grown adults. Why are they functional healthy grown adults? I’ll tell you why.

Because I fucking raised them that way, myself. The father of those children, who I married and dedicated eight years of my life to didn’t seem to value marriage or the vows, but sure did love keeping his woman pregnant. He didn’t like to work, but he liked to work at sticking his dick into any woman he could find, while married and attempting to impregnate them, while married. He hated the concept of abortion, hated the concept of women working outside the home, didn’t “believe” in birth control. Although he had no ethics, he sure loved the way the fundie pamphleteers justified his love of controlling women and he loved to use that to his benefit. How your rhetoric worked so well to achieve his goals is no accident in my mind.

I worked hard at that marriage just like the wingnuts continuously preach. After the tenth time homeless, living in a shelter for families, with my two small children at the time he raped me while I slept, yes that’s right, while I slept because I wouldn’t have sex with this man as he would never use birth control. He didn’t believe in it you see, it just wasn’t natural. And my body was his sovereign right as a man, I had no right to deny him his right to jack off in it, whether I was conscious or not.

So, I like any sane woman living in a shelter with a man who wouldn’t support the children he had, while I was struggling to gain some sort of work skills, found out about getting an abortion and got a non-profit to help with the procedure and got some people to convince the bastard to drive me to the clinic. It was six weeks along. A painless procedure to remove a clump of cells that was attacking my body and could potentially harness my life to this douchebag for another who knows how many years, have me unable to work, sick and in pain and of course loaded with doc bills.

The other abortion occurred as a result of a tryst with a man I was seeing once I got divorced. I was stupid and drunk one night and he knew what he was doing. He had every intention of knocking me up and when I told him I wanted an abortion upon learning early on about the pregnancy, he went and told all our friends he was “having a baby”. Isn’t that grand?

After a month or two of wrangling with him and having to deal with the pressure of people’s romantic love of marriage and babies, I finally elected to have the abortion on my own, struggled to put the money together and got a friend to drive me down. It was not difficult and frankly, it was like a ton of bricks had been lifted off my shoulders. But I can tell you I was not loved and basically had to move to another part of town. Might I also add that there were plenty of pro-life prying eyes at work who seemed content with judging whether I was pregnant or not and whether or not I had a right to the procedure.

Please tell me how any of these players suffered any repercussions by my choice to either have the abortion or not? Really, please.

After eight years of slavery to my ex husband, there was no way in god’s green earth that I was about to submit to another twenty years of slavery as well. My children were grade school age and I was already counting the years when they’d be more independent, now I had the possibility of another ten or more years of child rearing to contend with.

Mind you, the father of my children has never paid a damn dime of support and while all the pro-lifers love to bleat endlessly about teh babies being lost, they could not give a rat’s ass about the children alive today.

I had to go on welfare as my meager wages would not support my three kids. I had to justify my life every six months and had the pleasant surprise a few years later of learning, after taking my ex to court for contempt and non payment, that although I won a judgment against him for the arrearage, I had apparently signed away all rights to such to the state when I applied for AFDC. Isn’t that great? Ronnie Reagan had passed that law with the 1984 Welfare Reform Act, because you know, my kids needs for new shoes and school supplies were just selfish and such pampering, if granted might just harm them for life. Never mind I couldn’t earn more than 65 cents to every man’s dollar no matter how much I tried, even if I had the skills for good paying work, which I didn’t.

So, you see even though that $4,000 he owed me would have really helped us along and possibly bought me a much needed better car, or god forbid, maybe even a year or two of college, we can’t have that as then I’d just be used to the pampering and turn out all lazy and shit.

This was indeed the same Ronald Reagan that crowed endlessly about Teh Babies being aborted and worked up the Christian Coalition with that nice little Reed fellow. Remember him?

Make the wymmens have them babies and then punish the hell out of the sluts for having them. No matter what stories you people manufacture, its still the same premise.

Fuck you all and the horses you rode in on. I have no regrets, never suffered any great loss but the potential for regrets and loss if I had to carry any of the two pregnancies to term would have been extreme. Raising my three kids alone on a low wage job with no child support was no walk in the park I’d wish on anyone. Having to garner welfare checks and justify my efforts at college in order to gain better skills, while raising the kids was no walk in the park either.

But I know, I know, I’m just a selfish bitch for not choosing to incubate every single fertilized egg that happens to land on my uterine lining.

The man I had the tryst with turned out to be no better than my ex. Sure I had issues and had problems in finding proper mates, but why should I have been saddled with the consequences for my entire life while he would be allowed to romp free and spew his sperm where ever he pleases?

I am sick to death of hearing about The Menz and their poor hurt feelings. You have no right to impose your feelings on my bodily sovereignty, which last I knew, at least I thought, was real as I am a full human as much as you.

You people were nowhere to be seen when the welfare reform debacle was in full gear, except working with Newt and his Contract on America to use the state as a means to punish the most helpless and vulnerable women in the country for being so rash as to attempt to live without being harnessed to a man for the rest of their lives.

Still today the pro-life movement uses misinformation, collusion and absolute lies to pressure, cajole and control the most vulnerable populations in this country; poor women and young women.

Today, thanks to your movement, the US of A has the highest teen birth rate of any industrialized first world nation. We also have the most abysmal sex education programs in the western world. People here are more ignorant about birth control than people in Brazil thanks to your movement to further ignorance and superstition around women’s bodies.

I have no idea what the hell you people wish to accomplish outside of full bore control of women, but I know for sure that a just and peaceful world is not part of your scheme. You wish nothing but pain and suffering for all women you can find.

No woman anywhere owes you a damn report as to the condition of her uterus whether before or after you stick your dick in there. If you want to have a kid, then I’d recommend you make an agreement prior with the person who will be assigned, no matter what occurs to her health and well being, to incubate that fetus and birth it into this world.

Otherwise, stick a cap on your stick and Shut The Fuck Up.

Thank you to D. Sidhe for clarifying your position and, I think, clarifying the prevailing sentiment of most of the posters on here. That makes much more sense to me. I apologize if I gave the impression that I felt that abortion should not be an option for women based on the possibly legitimate, likely not, hurt feelings of these men.

And to Dorothy: I appreciate your dismissing me as a troll when I 1) stated upfront that as a gay man with no experience with childbirth, I had no deep understanding of the issues involved, and 2) at no point did I say any post on this thread was “hurting [any] cause.” I am fully aware of the nature of this site–I’ve been a reader for some time and have thoroughly enjoyed it.

I am, however, rather disappointed that the one time I post, attemping to understand further, I’m dismissed out of had as a troll.

Kate, I am sorry to hear about your abortions. One thing seems left out of this whole discussion. When two unmarried people engage in recreational sex and the woman ends up pregnant, there is no good result. Everyone, for the most part, loses. If we know this going in, why are we engaging in recreational sex? If I know that if I drive drunk that I may get home safely, but I also may get hurt, or hurt someone else, why do I take that chance? Because driving while drunk is so much fun? I think that most of you are missing the whole point of the abortion/choice debate.

I think Randie Rhodes puts it best: The GOP LOVE the fetus, but hate the child.

Women should be forced to have children, but once they have them, no help should be given to them, not even from the birth father.

It’s all men’s rights. That’s what the pro-life and GOP meme’s are about. The END.

D, that comment had nothing to do with parental notification laws, or consent laws. I was referring to the comment you made that I agreed with. I feel that parents can do a better job teaching their children about quality relationships. I am just saying that we as parents can help our children make better choices. Like not having a sexual relationship so soon with some person they barely know. Like making sure they understand the ramifications of having un-protected sex, especially with someone they don’t know that well. I’m just talking about making good choices, that’s all…

No, Joe, you were going on about parental notification laws earlier in the same comment. You said both things, I responded to both things. It’s called engaging in a discussion. If you don’t want me commenting on something you say to someone else my only advice is to not do it in a public comment thread.

Eric, I’m sorry you were called a troll when you weren’t trying to troll. Please remember that you walked into a discussion on a close-knit comment section which was dealing with a number of new people who were spending a great deal of time offering textbook trolling. You were not offered the benefit of the doubt which I can say from my own experience you probably would have been here had we not been in the mindset to deal with mary’s propaganda and Joe’s AhHah!TehLiebrulsIsIntolerant! and Edie’s incoherent cut-n-paste, among other bits of pointless annoyance. I’ve been labeled a troll on other blogs under similar circumstances, so I understand how frustrating it is. But mistaken intentions aside, actual deliberate trolls do exist, and when you’re infested there’s going to be a certain amount of friendly fire.

Kate, do you mind if I advise Edie to fuck off on your behalf? I intend to tell her to fuck off on my own behalf as the resident slut, but I thought I might as well be thorough about it.

Edie, sweetheart, the consensual recreational sex has never hurt me a bit. I know how to use condoms and pills, and I know where to get abortions if necessary, and I know how to discuss all of these things with a partner beforehand. But then, I had sex education that went beyond “Keep your knees closed, you little sluts, sex is for making babies”. I also know that a single mistake doesn’t make someone a bad person, nor does it mean they deserve their life to be ruined, especially if the other party to the mistake doesn’t have to deal with the same consequences. Which is, come to think of it, the entire point here. But since you never got that to begin with, it will not surprise me when you don’t get it now, either.

Honestly, I’ve been accused of worse things than being a troll. ;) I do apologize for being unclear in my original post.

I do want to thank the women who have shared their personal experiences here. It is beyond unlikely that I will ever have to face this decision personally, so I am grateful for the chance to better inform my opinion.

D. Sidhe’s Law of Triangulation:
[Fill in the blank] is a clever centrist position, but it means nothing, logically.

Thank you for pointing this out by means of a clear example.

Hey Joe? Nobody here gives a flying fuck what you think about abortion, liberals, tolerance, or anything else for that matter. Why don’t you go someplace you’re wanted, assuming such a place actually exists?

Kate, I am sorry to hear about your abortions. One thing seems left out of this whole discussion. When two unmarried people engage in recreational sex and the woman ends up pregnant, there is no good result. Everyone, for the most part, loses. If we know this going in, why are we engaging in recreational sex? If I know that if I drive drunk that I may get home safely, but I also may get hurt, or hurt someone else, why do I take that chance? Because driving while drunk is so much fun? I think that most of you are missing the whole point of the abortion/choice debate.

Left by Edie W. on January 10th, 2008

ZOMG noes!

One thing seems left out of this whole discussion. When someone gets behind the wheel of a car, hits an ice patch and sprays everything all over the road, closing it down for hours, there is no good result. Everyone, for the most part, loses. If we know this going in, why are we letting people drive cars?

When an airplane is flying through a thunderstorm, gets hit by lightning, and goes down in flames, there is no good result. Everyone, for the most part, loses. If we know this going in, why are flying in airplanes?

The whole point of the anti-choice movement is to make sure teh wimmins are barefoot and pregnant and ‘submitting to their husband’. Sorry to disagree with your misogynist, religiously insane babble about teh immorul secks between not-man-and-wife. Maybe you’d have more success preaching your message over at Clown Hall or Meddling In Human Events?

Oh yeah – sorry to not conform to the artificial strawman idea that conservatives have about teh gawdlees libruls, either. Maybe you can throw in some more faux togetherness crap that you don’t believe in again.

I think something George Carlin said sums up this whole thing nicely:

“Conservatives want live babies so they can raise them to be dead soldiers.”

A former friend of mine, who was *very* religious and had a child while unmarried used to want to *spit* in the faces of the anti abortionists. When they’d talk to her about abortion, figuring she was one of *them*, she’d tell them off. Once her baby was born, that was *it*. Her baby would be of no use until it was old enough to be a soldier, and not then either, because it was a *girl* (this was back many years ago).

When her child was grown up, she still hated the anti abortionists. I lost contact with her years ago, and I guarantee she hates them today, too. It wasn’t easy for her to raise a child alone. I’m sure she would have liked to receive some help, but to the conservatives, the rights of the *un*born trump those who are already here.

What a fucked-up world it is when something that is no more than a couple of undeveloped cells is more important, cherished and protected than people who are already alive.

Poor Mary. Biology 101 would straighten out your misconceptions, dear. It would also (if it was as good as my experience) teach you a great deal about all the fun things that can go wrong with the brain and what we guess causes that. Yep, guess. We guess at a whole lot of things. Doctors are still trying to figure out what’s up with my kid’s brain, even as it rewires itself in interesting ways. It’s kind of fund to see doctor’s confused…

I do note that I asked for multiple peer-reviewed studies. One study and a couple of media reports is not the same thing, as I learned in my research and methods class. I also asked for any study that compares the frequency of post-partum depression with that of post-abortion depression. I didn’t see any response to that, either.

For the record, I have zero regrets about the abortion I had when 19, nor does my boyfriend of the time (with whom I am still in contact 25 years later). No more have I regrets about the ectopic pregnancy that damned near killed me eight years later. My psyche was just fine after both, thanks. On the other hand, I suffered through major physical problems during both pregnancies, having already astounded doctors that I could be and was willing to be pregnant in the first place. And when I had my astoundingly beautiful and continuously amazing first child? I suffered a horrific depression that almost ruined my marriage. I was so angry at the world by the time I had my second child that depression didn’t stand a chance. Kind of easy to get mad when you have to jump through hoops to get food stamps because your husband’s job fired him for taking you to the hospital to have a baby instead of reporting to the factory floor…

So fuck right off about how abortion causes depression but one can “just give away” a baby with no repercussions, mmkay?

Reba -

That’s something that is conveniently ignored: that women who go through this are informed. The clinic I volunteer at has a minimum of three sessions with a counsellor (and as many as a woman feels she needs) before an abortion is performed.

By far, the dominant emotion felt by these women is relief. There is some regret too, of course – but when compared with the other option (often including threats of violence by the “man” who got them pregnant), the near-universal feeling is that the choice made was the right one.

As for people those who ask “why two people would have sex” if they weren’t married? Two answers:

1) The women often ARE married;

2) Try it and see!

What strikes me about Baier’s grief is that he’s grieving for an entirely notional child. He only knows about it because his fiancee’s sister told him. Suppose he found out later that she’d been seeing someone on the side, and it wasn’t his child? Suppose he found out later that the sister had made it all up, and his fiancee had never been pregnant? Suppose the child had been a brunette daughter with a fractious temper, instead of the perfect son he imagines?

Who, exactly, is the little boy he’s grieving for? I can only see one real-world answer: it’s the boy he remembers being.

I believe he’s grieving for himself: for the child he once was, and for whatever issues he has from his upbringing. (I suspect “lost possibilities” figures in it somehow.) Our society is hard on little girls, but that doesn’t mean little boys don’t also have their griefs. We’re not supposed to talk about ours, and they’re not supposed to feel theirs.

I don’t blame Baier. He’s a human being, albeit a mildly silly one, and his suffering is real. I do blame the people who’ve encouraged him to relocate his problems onto his ex-fiancee, which turns them into unchangeable history, not something he can work on.

There are multiple peer reviewed studies. Some of them are recall-based, and some of them are records-based, using national health systems for data that eliminates any possible selection bias or recall bias. The study I cited is the only longitudinal one that followed a cohort of girls through young womanhood and noted and controlled for all prior factors that could influence the outcome. It is the gold standard, and was done by pro-choicers. It has been silenced.

Interestingly, the abortion/breast cancer link was first noted in the foundational women’s study done in Austraia, the one that yielded the breast cancer risk factors that every doctor asks about. Abortion was more than twice as great a risk factor as the mother/sister thing or anything else. When asked years later, after the original research paper was found to contain abortion as a significant risk factor, why the had eliminated the single greatest factor by far, the publisher and authors reportedly said, “It wouldn’t fit on the page.” Some day we will wake up to how statistics have been manipulated so that we can be manipulated.

True enough – might as well be grieving for the world if Al Gore won seven years back, or if I had courage enough to ask Vanessa Logan out back in grade eight.

My god! What if I had? She was so cute, and crazy-nice… If only I hadn’t been so timid! She’s probably having a great life now, but what if she’s not? What if she’s a crack-whore, dead or dying on the streets of Vancouver right now? I’m a horrible person!


There are studies that compare post-abortion issues with post-partum issues and with post-miscarriage issues. Abortion “wins” hands down. Most of the records based studies compare events of the following years in the lives of women who give birth with women who have abortion. Abortion has also been found to be correlated to post-partum depression.
I gave the wrong link: it is afterabortion.org. It is a prolife prowoman site, but the research it lists is neutral, peer-reviewed, from major journals all over the world.

Yes, statistics are easily manipulated. Which is why one refers to multiple peer-reviewed studies rather than relying on a single “gold-standard” one or, for that matter, caring at all about the belief set of the people conducting said study. I am far more likely to doubt any study where the researchers are up front about their bias because I immediately doubt that they would ensure the study would be blind, much less double-blind. The reason one looks at multiple data sets is so that one can make up one’s own mind about such things. So far, I’ve seen nothing that convinces me there is a consensus view on when life begins, which you so blithely state as something “we know.” I also find it hard to believe that any study would claim to have controlled for all possible prior factors. Really? So they eliminated everyone who had ever been touched inappropriately as a child, or whose parents shamed them for the way the looked or who had been ostracized in high school or who witnessed a tragic accident or who lost a pet recently or who suffered a breakup before or after the abortion or any of the other myriad things that can trigger or be triggers for a depressive episode? I’m not even going to get into the ability of those who suffered greatly in childhood to dig a memory hole and bury part of themselves there, not knowing that something, some day, will dig it all up again.

You are more than willing to say that you DO know for sure that abortion leads to mental illness and the rest of us, even if we have had experiences that tell us it is not the case, are mistaken about what WE know. What that tells me is that you have found information that backs up your thesis, rather than looking at all the information available and then forming a thesis. Statistical manipulation, indeed. That alone means there is no reason I should listen to you.

Oh, and I cry bullshit on the neutrality of the “articles” or their authors and fail to see where they were published in peer-reviewed journals. Next!

One thing among the recent comments strikes me. kate tells her heart-wrenching and impassioned life story, and Edie’s response is, “I’m sorry to hear about your abortions.” Maybe that’s a shorthand for “I’m sorry about all you went through,” and maybe Edie can claim now that that’s what she meant, but please. After all kate said about what she went through–when the world the “pro-lifers” and conservatives had set in motion was colluding to make kate utterly miserable, abused, weary, and without help–it’s the fact of the ABORTIONS that gets the sympathy? … My blood runs cold at the lack of empathy or even a glimmer of understanding. If not even a story like that can make people understand what’s at stake for women, then I just don’t know what to say.

Thank you Lucy very much for your understanding very clearly of the point I was trying to make, which is that the system abuses women far more than any small abortion event could ever. Abortion most often, as one experienced clinic worker stated above, is more often seen as a relief.

Thank you D.Sidhe for your jumping on Edie and thank you also Tom. Nothing like having the smart folks on one’s side.

What got me most about Edie’s comment was this: “When two unmarried people engage in recreational sex and the woman ends up pregnant, there is no good result. Everyone, for the most part, loses.”

Wherein she tries to tie everyone together, thus effectively dismissing the experience of the women, which is in fact, radically different from the man’s.

I won’t wish to bother with the pretend apologies and her passive-aggressive references to ‘your abortions’; an underhanded effort to shame. Or the other underhanded effort to shame by focusing on my carelessness.

Edie, may I say this though. Please preach your shame lessons to the many men in our society who routinely celebrate their sexual virility as having wanton, nameless, faceless sex with as many women as possible. I know this isn’t all men, but many do and then many others perpetrate the myth. By celebrating this myth and shaming women, social problems like the illegality of the sex trade flourishes with your help.

I stated in my rant that I was careless, so there’s really no need for you to engage as teacher giving lessons when we can all see it as Slut Shaming 101.

For your info Edie, unwanted pregnancies occur in all kinds of sexual situations, marriages, long term relationships, one night stands, friends with benefits and the $500 or $20/hr. prostitute.

Some of the women in any of these relationships will determine to keep the child to term. Others will choose to terminate the pregnancy. Frankly, why they might make that decision is really neither your concern nor mine. The decision a woman makes to have an abortion has no real effect on any of us, but restricting her right to make that decision, puts the bodies and lives of all woman up for scrutiny, examination and judgment, based on arbitrary, capricious and fallacious reasons.

I’d suggest Mary that you make some effort to find your true feminine heart. You might need to pry your head out of the smelling, suffocating ass of the patriarchy for one minute, but I am certain that learning to accept your entire womanhood and love it will be the first step to seeing the hate for what it is; oppression of woman and alternatively, men as well.

No woman is more tortured than the woman who fears the freedom of complete individual choice. Unencumbered by rules set up by men from ages past or men from today; a woman can actually achieve a fullness of identity, expression and a life of pleasure and opportunity, too often only granted to men, with the tacit support of their subjugated female partners.

I really feel sorry for people like you all, Joe B., Mary and Edie. Its really a shame that you believe that your restrictions could just be more bearable if everyone else would engage them too.
Sorry, we don’t want to play that game.

I know at least for myself, I’ve got too many good things to do and wonderful choices to make — many of which I’ll fight for the freedom to make anyday, anywhere and any damn time I or anyone else pleases.

For your info Edie, unwanted pregnancies occur in all kinds of sexual situations, marriages, long term relationships, one night stands, friends with benefits and the $500 or $20/hr. prostitute.

Oh and I forgot, rape and incest as well.

Which by the way, I cannot believe that the pro-lifers actually expect a woman to engage in the humiliating process of having a judge determine whether she qualifies for an abortion.

If that isn’t oppression I don’t know what is.

If a twelve year having a child isn’t oppression and child abuse I don’t know it is. Or a 14, 15 or 16 year old.

Thanks to pro-lifers there are many people who choose to have their young daughters endure a pregnancy rather than abort. Isn’t that something special? Pro-lifers should be sued, class action, for promoting such abuse.

Edie, may I say this though. Please preach your shame lessons to the many men in our society who routinely celebrate their sexual virility as having wanton, nameless, faceless sex with as many women as possible.

Kate-that comment reminds me of a story that my mother(who is still pro-life, even with knowing the history in our family) told me once about two of our Great Aunts.

They were Irish and Catholic, and like the good Irish Catholics they were, they had a lot of children. And like the women of that time (the early part of the 20th century), they felt like they had to give into their husband’s demands for sex anytime and every time.

Each of them had over 6 children, all fairly close together in age. And both of my Great Aunts, unable to handle another pregnancy, died after trying to self-abort the pregnancies.

I don’t think it was the first time such a thing happened in that neighborhood, from how mom tells it. It seems the parish priest finally just blew up at the men of his parish and told them, “Leave your wives ALONE! They are tired of having child after child! Leave them alone!” He couldn’t handle having anymore funereal services for young women who left behind young children and thoughtless husbands.

I like to think that priest would have been all for condoms and contraception. They certainly would have saved the life of more one young wife and mother.

A little late to the game but…

What the hell is it with all of the panty-sniffers? Women have a right to privacy, including medical privacy, and that also includes the medical procedure of having abortions. Would you like me to box up and mail you my underwear? How about my uterus? I’m not using it right now. I’ll even throw in the ovaries as well, no extra charge!

It should go without saying that it’s none of your damned business what any woman does with her body. Do you grill people on if they’ve taken their hypertension and cholesterol medications? If someone says that they had a heart attack, is the first thing out of your mouth, “Well, you deserved it for eating red meat” or “You had that cheeseburger two years ago, and it’s sad that they didn’t just let you die, because you only have yourself to blame”? No? Then stuff it, gasbags.

Dolts like the panty-sniffing trolls can’t handle the fact that people – woman especially – have a right to privacy (almost makes me wonder if the trolls are against homosexuality as well – the panty-sniffers usually are, though there are some exceptions). Nosy busybodies that can’t stomach the fact that some people are doing things that they disagree with, right under their nose, and can’t get the trust of the person to tell them what they’re doing so that the busybody can then tell the whole neighborhood how moral and upright they are compared to so-and-so. It’s sick, it’s stupid, and I’m really tired of these people, because they show up everywhere.

As the emotional trauma of an abortion hooey, BAH. It’s always a fun thought experiment to think “What if?”, but if you rule your life based on that, you’ve got deep problems. If the woman who has abortions because she didn’t want to ruin her figure was forced to have a child, I’m pretty sure that there would be more emotional trauma for her and the kid, rather than just her if she just had an abortion (I’d even wager to guess that she’d be relieved). It’s never pretty when the parents resent having a child and take it out on the child. How do I know this? Well, I’ve known people whose parents regretted having them, and didn’t hesitate to remind them that they were unwanted. They did the “right thing” and had the child, but you don’t give up the child for adoption because it’s their personal responsibility. Suuuuure. Of course, when the parents remind the kid at every chance they get that they didn’t want the kid and the kid’s such a burden, and to stop being so difficult, that’s sooo much better than abortion, right? Right?

If you don’t like abortion, or you don’t agree with it, it’s easy: don’t have one. Your choice. No one’s gonna force you to have one. But that does not give you a right to say that I can’t have one, should I choose to have one. Just because you have a problem with the concept of abortion doesn’t mean it should be banned/outlawed. If you think abortion should be banned because it makes you personally uncomfortable or is against your religion, then I think it would be fair to deny you medical care in the event of a heart attack if you’ve ever eaten anything unhealthy or otherwise increased your risk of having one (such as leading a sedentary lifestyle…sitting in front of a computer and trolling a website, for instance) or letting a restaurant refuse to serve you shellfish because it’s banned in the Bible.


“for the record, i had a medi-cal abortion in ‘85.”

There are studies using medi-cal records, comparing women who abort and women who give birth for several years after, and the rate of mental health problems, substance abuse, suicide, death by accident, hospitalization are all greatly increased in abortion. One of the studies is here: http://www.cmaj.ca/cgi/content/full/168/10/1253

Sure, mary, but Reba’s objections still stand. You cannot control for any number of factors. You cannot even say that the woman who had the abortion would be better off if she’d given birth–in many cases this is *self-evidently* untrue.

Most of the women who gave birth in these studies, one trusts, were women who wanted a child, and women who had the wherewithal to care for a child, and more to the point wanted *that* child. If they hadn’t, they could have aborted.

So the only reasonable–not even accurate, but possibly somewhat accurate–comparison would be between women who didn’t want the baby for whatever reason–rape, financial issues, emotional inability to care for a child, lack of desire to be a mother, health reasons–and women who didn’t want the baby for those same reasons but had it anyway.

If you can compare those, you might have a case. Otherwise, you may very well only be measuring the factors that *caused* the woman to get an abortion, not the results of it.

And you’re also not controlling for your own influence. Not you, personally, so much, but your entire movement, which is designed to make women feel bad about abortion in the hopes they won’t get one, and to tell women who have had abortions that they will inevitably feel bad in the hopes you can harvest any reports of unhappiness from women who have had abortions to bolster your case.

You are changing what you are measuring. I suspect you are in fact *creating* what you’re measuring in most cases.

There’s simply no good reason to believe that those results are accurate, let alone meaningful.

These were Medi-Cal abortions, for people on state medical assistance. So not people who had much wherewithal.
Most of the early studies, which showed that abortion caused problems, were dismissed by
NARAL, etc. because of what they said had to be “recall bias” – they said women were remembering that they had had an abortion, when they really hadn’t! But even these studies were flawed in this: half of the participants who had had abortions dropped out for emotional distress reasons.

As for controlling for any number of factors, the latest study, by pro-choice researchers, controlled for every possible factor – and found that abortion causes mental illness. I posted the link. The APA has commissioned a commission to study the issue before it will comment. SO much for the health and safety of women.

mary, it *is not possible* to control for every possible factor unless you *force* women who are raped or have fetuses with fatal or severe-but-nonfatal diseases to carry to term. Which I recognize is fine by you. But so far that’s illegal, if only barely, so I doubt they did.

The only thing you’re revealing is your own bias. If a woman gets an abortion because she was raped, and is later depressed and dysfunctional, there’s really no way to determine how much of that is due to the abortion–and how much due to the rape. Further, unless you make another rape victim carry to term despite her wanting an abortion, you can’t even begin to assess how much more or less depressed the first woman would have been if she hadn’t aborted. And even then you’d need a lot of women to begin to reach any kind of statistical conclusion.

But you don’t care. You want to chalk it all up to the abortion, because it gives you another little statistic with which to scare women who want to do something you don’t want them to be able to do.

Your statistics are inadequate at best, and short of treating women like lab rats there’s no way around that. It amounts to nothing more than anecdotal evidence. And I have anecdotal evidence that says exactly the opposite of yours.

And that’s absolutely *not* what “recall bias” means, and that’s not even the context NARAL was using it in.

What NARAL said was that women were more likely to remember or report having had abortions to their doctors–not that they were making up abortions they hadn’t had, but that they were less likely to be shamed into not mentioning it and more likely to think it significant enough to mention later–when facing a diagnosis of breast cancer. Which is pretty self-evident also: when you find out you have a disease and the doctors can’t tell you why, exactly, it is natural to consider every remotely possible factor. If the doctor tells you you have food poisoning instead of what you thought was the flu, you start remembering and telling him what you’ve eaten and stop telling him who you’ve been in contact with. It’s called “attempting to make sense of it”, which I recognize you’re unfamiliar with.

Women who do not have cancer–and are not depressed–have very little reason to dwell on their abortions or other past choices, and are unlikely to mention them to researchers or doctors without a good reason, mostly because they get the kind of rampant bullshit responses we’ve seen in this thread.

*That’s* what “recall bias” means, and I don’t see that it has been discredited as a hypothesis. Certainly your lies have not done so.

SO much for your credibility. Your last name wouldn’t happen to be Rosh, would it?

Mary seems to think the Fergusson article is a “gold standard,” but others are not so quick to praise. From the British Medical Journal:

BMJ  2007;334:285-289 (10 February)
Most recently, however, the anti-choice lobby has been emphasising the risk of psychological consequences for women who have abortions. A longitudinal study by David Fergusson and colleagues in New Zealand tracked some 500 women up to age 25 and found that those who had had abortions had higher rates of depression, suicidal behaviour, and other mental problems that could not be explained by conditions that existed before the pregnancy. The findings, the authors concluded, “suggest that abortion in young women may be associated with increased risks of mental health problems.”
The authors had, of course, been careful to use the qualifying word “may.” What’s more, they had studied women only under 25, who in 2005 accounted for less than half the total number of those who had abortions in England and Wales. Furthermore, as the Prochoice Forum was quick to point out, “The most valid comparator group to women who have abortion is women with unwanted pregnancy who are denied abortion and then give birth,” and the New Zealand study used no such comparison.
The position of the royal college remains that while some studies “suggest that rates of psychiatric illness or self harm are higher among women who have had an abortion … these findings do not imply a causal association and may reflect continuation of pre-existing conditions.”

Honestly, I do believe that, as half of that baby is the potential and possible future of the man, the man should have at least some say in the choice of abortion.

And, as far as abortion in general goes, I believe that there need to be more restrictive laws prohibiting abortions in circumstances other than life threatening situations. I would also say if the woman’s raped, but that would simple cause more women to claim rape, and more unlawfully convicted men to rot in prison for a crime they never commited.

Part of the lack of responsibility in this nation is due to abortion. A person can have a night of promiscuity, make what can be seen as the biggest mistake of their life, but can simply decide to excommunicate the child from the chance of having a life. There are adoption agencies, as well as other options available.

When the biggest mistake of a woman’s life is committed, is doesn’t matter anymore, because they the woman can cancel it out, destroying that fetus’ chance to have a life, and also learning early on that it’s alright to take things lightly, because you never have to take responsibilty for your actions.

Also, I do wonder why the man has no say in the matter. If a condom breaks and the man does not want to have the kid, too bad, if a mistake is made and he does want the kid, too bad. If the condom breaks and the wife wants the kid, there’s an issue of receiving child support from a man who completely disagreed with the situation from the beginning, and if she gets rid of the kid and the man wants it, serious social and psychological problems can occur.

I once impregnated of my ex girlfriends, and she insisted on an abortion, and didn’t give me a chance to even try to explain to her my views. Sure, it’s not my body, but if she didn’t want the baby, I was going to take care of it. We got in a huge fight, and she aborted the baby. I cried, we fought, we broke up. The thought of abortion makes me sad every time I hear it, and just because the baby is not physically attached to the man does not mean it’s improper and not masculine for him to cry yet when the woman cries for realizing a mistake, everyone must feel her pain. What about the GUY that never wanted the abortion in the first place, and the woman follows through anyway. There is much more grief.


I’m visiting from Eschaton, and this is a little harsh. You’d be better to separate Baier’s valid emotional pain from the nutjob righties trying to take advantage of him. He lost his future, his fiancee, and a family. A pregnant fiancee dying in a car crash ends with the same result, and you’d certainly feel sorry for him then, wouldn’t you.

And anecdote for anecdote, I’m gonna wake up my 2 year old son in a minute, count my blessings, and feel sorry for Mr. Baier.

Left by Brendan on January 8th, 2008

This guy has one of the most valid points I’ve heard in quite some time.

It’s called reverse discrimination, and MANY of the posts here are very guilty of it. Double standards whatever.

I bet the pain-by-proxy of an abortion can leave the man with a permanent Wide Stance. That would explain a few things, eh?

Honestly, I do believe that, as half of that baby is the potential and possible future of the man, the man should have at least some say in the choice of abortion.

If we were seahorses, you might have a point. Male seahorses carry around the fry after insemination.

Until then, it’s the woman’s choice. Life is a zero-sum game, sorry. Humans try to make it qualitative and sometimes that’s OK, but when life says no, it means no.

Unless life is really, really drunk, of course.

Honestly, I do believe that, as half of that baby is the potential and possible future of the man, the man should have at least some say in the choice of abortion.

Well, okay. But first, you guys have to get periods and cramps once a month. And when you’ve contributed to a pregnancy, you have to wear a huge fake belly around, pee more often, take a pill that makes your diabetes risk go up, and potentially die from some complication. If you and the woman decide to get an abortion, you have to go to the clinic with her, and you have to jump in front of her when a protester screams “Mommy, don’t kill me” at her. You also have to have a stranger jam a needle into your scrotum. And any laws that stipulate that she has to wait twenty four hours, or get blood tests, or watch propaganda or whatever, you have to do that too. Also, we’ll all be allowed to refer to you as a slut if she’s pregnant, and parents will be entitled to throw you out of your home. They also get some say in whether you can have an abortion, too, and so does your wife, assuming she’s not the pregnant one. We also get to call you a murderer after the abortion, to refer to you as a whore once the baby is born, and the woman gets twenty four hours after the baby’s born to run out and leave you holding it. You’re also in charge of paying for half of all the pregnancy expenses, right down to vitamins and maternity clothes. If she has a doctor appointment, you have to go too, and you have to put on a paper gown as well. Strangers can tell you you’re not allowed to drink or smoke or whatever while you’re wearing the giant belly, and touch you and offer name ideas and generally regard your body as public property. Unfortunately, as all of this is time consuming and makes you somewhat emotionally unstable (did I mention the hormone regimen you have to take? And while you’re jointly pregnant–or even just potentially jointly pregnant–, you can’t take any medications that would harm a fetus, so I hope you’re ready to embrace baldness, and you can expect judgmental pharmacists and doctors to refuse you random medications on a regular basis just for the power trip), bosses will start plotting to fire you or refuse to hire you because they worry about your future productivity.

Also, the courts will hand down demeaning decisions that imply that you’re too stupid or mentally defective to make decisions regarding your own body.

We won’t even *talk* about how we ensure you take equal part in labor and delivery.

Don’t you have to love idiots who come in months after a thread has wrapped up and offer a series of stupid arguments we’ve already dealt with? Whee!

Honest to Christ, boys, if you want to be a politically and financially marginalized social class, we’ll do what we can to accommodate you, but it’s not all fun and games. It’s not nice of me, but I kinda hope Josh someday gets to deal with actual discrimination instead of the reverse stuff he’s whining about.

[...] Men have abortions now, too? [...]

my girlfriend had abortion 8 months ago.
since then everything completely changed.
i lost my job, interest in life and started counseling to recover. she left me recently, said she could not withstand the emotional pain. basically i lost woman of my dreams and my child, and yes, believe me, i feel the loss of child. and i wasnt overly sensitive touchy man either. now i am just broken.

I’ll explain this one for all of you male supremecists who can’t grasp it:

My body is not a democracy.

If I stab a rapist because that’s what it takes to get him out of my body, and he dies of it? Tough. If abortion is the only method available to get a fetus out of my body, and the fetus dies as a result, that sucks. It is as unreasononable to demand I just wait for a fetus to finish accessing my body as it is to expect I just wait for a rapist to finish. My body is not a democracy.

Males, you get no say in whether or not she continues or terminates a pregnancy. You also get no say in whether she chooses to consent to having sex with you. Thinking you ought to get a vote over what is done with her body causes rape, and what you want is unlimited access to and control over women’s sexuality. That’s why the idea of her getting to choose irrespective of your opinion is so intolerable to you: because male supremecism told you that you’re entitled to her body, and it’s was really inconvenient and inconsiderate of her to be a human being born with free will that doesn’t do what you want it to.

Fetus as penis: men don’t have a problem with women having abortions. Men have a problem with women making choices.

Miss Andrist, what an immature and selfish view. That is assuming all abortions are even wanted because of rape and that all men are apparently controlling and discriminatory. In reality, you are the one who sounds controlling and discriminator.