Girl Sues Her Parents for the Right to Carry a Pregnancy to Term

In Texas, a 16-year-old girl sued her parents who were pressuring her to abort her pregnancy. She won her case.

While the pressure itself is not illegal (and shouldn’t be, even though it sucks), some of the extreme methods of coercion on which the parents unfortunately relied definitely should be illegal, because these are consistent violations of the daughter’s right to bodily autonomy. The girl’s mother threatened to slip her the morning after pill, which is horrendous, and slipping anyone medication against their will should amount to jail time. The father threatened to physically abuse her, which should also amount to even more jail time. Both parents wanted to take away her phone and her car.

Considering the fact that they pulled her out of school to take two jobs, their concern seems financial. I suppose they are worried their daughter is destroying her life. (She also wants to marry the 16-year-old kid who would be the child’s father, for the record, and he’s agreed.) However, I have no credit to give them for this: it seems if whether her life is destroyed were truly their concern the last thing they would do is deprive her of her resources.

Which brings me to my next point: it is inarguably WRONG, and illegal, to slip the girl medication or physically assault her. But what’s also wrong is to take away things that have been given to her.

I don’t doubt that she probably didn’t buy the car or the phone with her own money. And that is the number one excuse parents always use to take things away from their children. It is also the only excuse that applies unfairly and exclusively to children: if you give someone else–anyone else–a gift, you can not demand it back as soon as they’ve ceased to please you.

This isn’t just legally true, it is also true by social expectations and conventions. Unless you are a child, in which case you have no right to property. Think for a moment about how truly atrocious that is: there is nothing that belongs to you. In a moment anything can be taken away; it is enough to strip a child of not only their sense of security but to an extent of defining their identity.

The parents might cut off the insurance for the car, or stop paying for the monthly phone bill, but they cannot take away the car or phone itself or her direct access to these things. These were gifts from the parents to their daughter, which means that now they are HERS. They are now her property.

What she sued for was to secure access to what was already hers.

This post isn’t just about a woman’s right to choose, or about the incredible violation her parents have committed by denying her that choice, but about child rights. This girl is legally still a child, and thanks to anti-choicers’ (and some pro-choicers) insistence that minors have to notify their parents about medical decisions concerning pregnancies, she is subjected to the tyranny of her parents as intermediaries to her right to bodily autonomy.

Her decision to marry her boyfriend is a bad one–I genuinely believe this. I sense that her parents won’t be much financial support to her, so she will have to work instead of going to school–another really bad decision. These decisions are still, however, hers. The right way to handle the situation would have been to sit her down and have a long talk about all potential outcomes so that she would make an informed decision, and, if she really is determined to carry the pregnancy to term, the healthiest thing to do is offer enough support that she may recover from any mistakes while still taking full responsibility for them.

Forced sterilization is wrong. At any and all times. (or, Why Men Don’t Talk About Abortion 101)

This post is brought to you by a couple of commenters on the last post (their comments have not been accepted) advocating forced sterilization for those neurologically atypical.

Are you kidding me? You do not have the right to anyone’s body. Ever. Ever. That right is their own and it is inalienable. It is inseparable. You cannot take it. We have already historically forced sterilization on women of color, whose reproducing bodies were viewed as a threat to white supremacy. We have already historically forced sterilization on lower class women, whose reproducing bodies were viewed as an affliction on society. We are still forcing sterilization on women with disabilities, whose reproducing bodies are viewed as less than human. And it is not okay. It is never okay.

Don’t EVER forget, that while white women were fighting for the right to contraceptives, women of color were fighting for the right to have a family.

Forced sterilization? And who gets to decide who can and can’t have sex or give birth? You, I presume? Forget everyone else biologically or intellectually inferior, YOU are the best thing that ever walked God’s great earth and YOU should grace society with copies of your genes!

Forced sterilization has been racist. It has been classist. It is still ableist.

And that ableist bullshit will not be published here. Never. Never! If you believe women should undergo forced sterilization you are not welcome here.

If you support forced sterilization, you are denying someone inalienable rights and therefore you are dehumanizing a human being. If you support forced sterilization, you are promoting rape culture.

Let me remind you why men—cisgendered men who are biologically male and cannot become pregnant—don’t talk about abortion in feminist circles. It is not because women have a monopoly on these discussions. It is not because only anyone with a uterus has a something viable to contribute to these discussions by the magical sparkly powers of the womb. It is because if it’s not your uterus, you don’t any right to it.

It is because the rights of the father begin at delivery, not at conception. Neither does any woman who is not pregnant have a right to another’s. A woman who is not pregnant, a man who is not pregnant, a person who is not pregnant, does not have any right to another’s uterus or pregnancy.

If you are a father (by legal role or biologically) your rights begin at delivery. If you are a mother (by legal role) your rights begin at delivery. If you are anyone but the pregnant woman the rights you may have begin at delivery.

Feminists who dismiss the opinions of cisgendered men on abortion but also support forced sterilization have no idea why they disregard the opinions of men. Stop doing shit just because everyone else is. When you don’t accept the opinions of men you’d best understand it’s because no one has the right to someone else’s body.

Your legal and social obligations as a member of society to other members of society begin at delivery, not at conception.

And people with disabilities are a natural part of our society. They have inalienable rights. And they will be regarded as people. And their inalienable rights as people will be respected and observed. Because they are, in fact, people.

If you support forced sterilization, you are anti-choice.

If you support forced sterilization, you are anti-choice.

If you support forced sterilization, you are anti-choice.

Abortion is a right. At any and all times. (or, American Principles 101)

This post is brought to you by some schmuck who took it upon himself during an abortion debate, in which he was distressed that I would legalize late-term abortions, to inform me that there is no such thing as inalienable rights, and that rights are “whatever humans decide they are” and therefore I cannot assert that a mother has rights to a fetus over the fetus itself and over the would-be father. Resisting the urge to tell him to get the hell out of the country, I instead redirected my horror to suggesting that he read the Declaration of Independence.

Let’s get some things straightened out first:

  1. Fetuses are not aborted. Pregnancies are aborted. [will be explained]
  2. Giving birth is a method of abortion. The pregnancy is aborted.
  3. When a woman who is 8 to 9 months pregnant arrives at a doctor’s office and says, “I don’t want to be pregnant anymore. Make me not pregnant anymore,” the doctor who agrees to abort the pregnancy, whether by triggering an early birth or by surgically removing the baby from the mother, is obligated to abort the pregnancy in such a way that does not interfere with the inalienable right to life of this (newly) independent life-form. The baby can be placed in an incubator and may survive. If it does not, the woman is even less responsible for its death than the doctor. She merely separated the fetus from her body, the same way a doctor can decide not to provide resources to sustain the child’s life if, for example, finances are inadequate.
  4. That is why it matters whether a life-form is independent: the method of abortion comes into question. When the life cannot survive outside the womb, the doctor may abort the pregnancy in any fashion. When the life can survive outside the womb, the doctor is obligated to abort the pregnancy by removing the life without harming it. As medical advancements are introduced, this window will become smaller and smaller. The question of whether the life can survive outside the mother does not interfere with a woman’s right to separate a fetus from herself.
  5. If you can’t identify the difference between a woman arrested for not feeding her child and a woman not providing for her child by aborting her pregnancy, you’re an idiot. In the former scenario the enforcement of the law does not result in forcing the woman to feed her child—it results in taking the child away and providing it with a guardian who consents to sustaining its life. Likewise in the latter, the child is separated from the woman and cared for by someone—or something—else, like an incubator.

Speaking of consent, its involvement is the definition of an inalienable right. There are two types of rights: inalienable rights and civil rights. Inalienable rights include but are not limited to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. (Sound familiar?) You are screwing over your own argument by denying the existence of inalienable rights, like the right of the fetus to live independently. Inalienable rights do not come from government. Civil rights are protected by government.

The right to life is inalienable, but the definition of an inalienable right is one that does not require the consent of another. If it requires consent, it’s not a right. You have the right to live–you do not have the right to survive at the expenses of someone else. Once you are enforcing a right by encroaching on another person, you are no longer practicing an inalienable right but infringing on the rights of that other individual. A civil right may require consent on the most fundamental level, but does not remove the right of the person from whom it requires consent to deny that consent without consequence. (You don’t want to count someone’s vote [civil right] on the basis of sex, race, class, or religion, then [consequently] find another job.)

When the fetus is living off the body of a woman, it is not protected by its inalienable right to life because it is DEPENDING on the woman and on her consent. *Removing* it from her is not *killing* it; it dies on its own because it cannot live. That is why pregnancies are aborted, not fetuses.

And no, having sex is not consenting to being pregnant for nine months. That is not a contract. (You asshat.)

The rights of the father begin at delivery, not conception.

Who’s to say that woman is any more responsible of a fetus dying once she separates it from herself than the person who neglected to invent an incubator that can sustain it? Or refuses to provide it?

Anti-choicers are, because as far as they are concerned, women ARE incubators. Anti-choicers are so sexist that they have INFUSED a woman’s ability sustain life to her person and reduced her to that ability. It is an essentialization of feminine capabilities. Men on the other hand are not reduced to their ability to sustain life—whether monetarily or through organ donations or by providing medical expertise—because anti-choicers are bigots who can only distinguish between a man and his “functions.”

The right to life does not mean someone else sustaining that life. The distinction is only made when the human in question is of the male variety. No one is ever like, “That guy refused his ability to give his organs and totally aborted that patient!” No one ever collapses a man’s abilities with his person.

Just because someone has the ability do so something does NOT mean you can FORCE her to do it and USE that ability for your own purposes. This is true regardless of sex.

Do American women understand the *fundamental level* at which their rights are being violated when the right to an abortion is attacked? If the bodily resources of men were redistributed for the sustenance of others it would be recognized at once as communism.

Anti-choicers are communists, traitors, and a threat to this nation at the most fundamental level–but none of it is viewed truthfully because they only enslave women to the government.

At any stage of a pregnancy it is okay to remove the fetus (or baby) from the womb. That means at nine months, that is *still* okay. The child is likely to survive outside, or it may die, but either outcome is irrelevant: at no stage of a pregnancy is the child *entitled* to the bodily provisions of the mother. You need a person’s consent to live off of them, and when you need consent that means it’s not an inalienable right.

Whether or not you believe it is moral or immoral for a woman to abort a pregnancy at nine months is irrelevant to the foundational principle that she has that right. But I guess no woman ever had her rights recognized without some schmuck crying about how it was right or wrong as if the entire sex with the ability to give birth were long overdue that lecture and it’s his good grace to present it to them. (“Don’t get me wrong he shouldn’t have raped you but it was totally immoral to lead him on like that…”)

The fact that I believe it’s immoral to abort a pregnancy after 120 days when the life of the mother is not in danger (and if the mother is not providing an incubator for the life to continue) is IRRELEVANT to her right to abort the pregnancy or *separate the child from herself* and to whether the government can interfere with that inalienable right.

The next time you are giving birth announce to the medical staff, “I am aborting the pregnancy now.” Because you are.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

^Look at that; I guess they have an excuse.

Also this.

Ideological Hypocrisy in Abortion Rights and Health Care: No One Who Believes Healthcare is Not a Right Can Be Anti-Choice.

I wrote a copious amount of this elsewhere but am recording it here. Increasingly arguments against a woman’s right to an abortion and other methods of birth control are growing intolerable in logical inconsistencies and blatant cognitive dissonance in the ideological matrix of those who champion them. Most obviously, those against government interference with private purchases (like insurance) insisting that birth control not be covered rather than left to the individual at the range of option for insurance plans are allowing government to interfere and engaging in advocating exactly what they are against.

Secondly, the assertion that a pharmacist who denies a client birth control because it is against the religious beliefs of the pharmacist is only practicing the “inalienable” right to religious belief as protected by the United States Constitution, and that an inalienable right—a right that is upheld without requiring the consent of another party, such as the right to life or belief, and thus cannot be mandated by government legislation—trumps a civil right is not only false by example but demonstrably false because even when this incorrect example is observed in different circumstances the allegation is faulty: the right to vote is inalienable because it is a manifestation of free speech, but for a vote to be counted is a civil right requiring another to provide time and consent just as a doctor provides skills to a client. And the civil right to a counted vote must be observed regardless of the racist, sexist, or religious (inalienable right to) beliefs of others. Even with the previous incorrect distinction, the civil right does not trump the inalienable right. Of course this is because the correct definition is that the practice of a belief is not an inalienable right, only the right to belief itself is alienable. A pharmacist can believe birth control is immoral and the right to that belief is inalienable, but to practice that belief is not. The practice of religion is a civil right, not inalienable.

In other words, they can’t deny you the vote, but they can believe you shouldn’t have it. They can’t deny you the medication, but they can believe you shouldn’t have it.

They can practice their beliefs (religious or otherwise) until that practice gets in my way without my consent. And civil rights, unlike inalienable rights, are protected through government legislation.

Voting has very clearly been classified as a civil right, all through history. There were measures taken by legislation to protect it. Conservatives play this fun little game in which they conflate a right with the access to it; even if you can get them to admit abortion is a right, they will insist that access to an abortion is not a right. So if we still required testing piror to allowing people to practice their right to vote in order to limit their access, would conservatives deny it is an affront to their rights? This is no different from, “Oh, sure, you have the right to the morning after pill if you paid for it; you just don’t have the right to actually be able to make that purchase if your doctor is personally against it.”

Why should I fund churches with my tax money, while they have tax exempt status, so that religious individuals could force their beliefs into the functions of my life and limit my freedoms? I’m not allowed healthcare on “their” dollar (because I’m not paying too apparently) but I have to fund their religious activities?

For a voting system to function a service is demanded from an outside party (it takes time to count votes) the same way a service is demanded from a pharmacist. The person counting a vote cannot declare dismissively, “I’m not taking your ballot since I have a problem with your race because I’m an asshole!” To purchase contraceptives, or to have access to healthcare, does not take away from the doctor’s access to healthcare. The same way one vote does not take away from another’s vote.

The vote itself is inalienable, but the time (or equipment) required to count it is civil. A person can say whatever he or she wants (inalienable right to speech), but needs someone’s consent for the recognition of the opinion he or she has expressed. The pharmacists’ beliefs are an inseparable and inalienable right, but to practice them (and employ them in the workplace at the inconvenience of others) is not.

Healthcare is not an inalienable right. That doesn’t mean it isn’t civil. And this is a reason it is entirely conceivable that healthcare is a right.

To be perfectly honest I don’t care whether conservatives do or don’t conclude health care is a right; I am far more interested in holding them accountable for the logical inconsistencies, the blatant favoritism, and the incredible hypocrisy of stating healthcare is not a right because consent is required to make that purchase and simultaneously passing legislation forcing women to dedicate our very entire bodily existence against our consent to the healthcare of fetuses. And I am growing more and more impatient.

When a fetus cannot survive outside someone else’s body because it requires that woman’s blood supply and nourishment from every organ to live, anti-abortionists shame her into providing for it with her very vitality at the risk of her death. I sincerely hope they are as enthusiastic about shaming those who refuse to become organ donors to the fullest extent while still alive, because other actual full human beings will die without their generous supply.

Therefore healthcare is demonstrably a right, not denotatively, based on the very mechanisms of the conservative ideology.

“Your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins” is as the saying goes. But as long as anti-abortionists assert that a fetus, something that cannot survive outside the womb and needs to reside within my boundaries, for which it needs my consent has the right to the productions of, and consumption to, my body even at the risk of my own death, I will believe that healthcare is a RIGHT—I will believe that I am entitled to the care I require, even at the expense of others, and that I myself pay for. And I will believe that conservative anti-abortionists who do not affirm that everyone needs to donate their organs to save the lives of others who demand them are hypocrites. You’d stop swinging your fist at the degree that you can feel the air from my nose, but I’d suppose you’d be fine living off my very bodily existence?

Don’t tell me the definition of a right is different for you than it is for me.

I believe healthcare is a right because you have demonstrated that it is with your gratuitous policing, not because it fits my understood definition. Do I need this argument? Of course not. I can be pro-choice without it, based on other arguments. But it is pretty solely because of this that I believe healthcare is a right (contemptuously), and you cannot give rights selectively to fetuses because you suspect they “might just” be too close to human, at the risk of others who are (inarguably) humans and in violation of their bodily rights. This is beyond punching someone in the nose.

No one who believes health care is not a right can be anti-choice.

And lastly, were the “right” of a pharmacist to deny a woman contraceptives applied in other areas, the entire system would dissolve into dysfunction: suppose every doctor decided they were religiously against medication for heart attacks, asthma, and urinary tract infections? Surely anyone can see how absurd this is? Why should any exemption exist for those against birth control, particularly since the woman on the other side of the counter’s life may be at even higher risk than the results of asthma and urinary tract infections? Those who cannot perform based on their religious beliefs should not hold those jobs in the first place. I’m Muslim and I don’t drink. I’m not going to get myself hired to waitress at a restaurant and then refuse to serve alcoholic drinks to those who order them. Imagine the outrage! I suppose the right to practice my religion—supposedly an inalienable right—would still be championed by conservatives then? Every conservative argument on this matter is unsound; otherwise, the arguments would hold in all circumstances, and I doubt conservatives would be willing.

Protecting our RELIGIOUS RIGHT to an Abortion

from the “religious” Right.

As you all must have heard by now, Michigan state representative Lisa Brown was censored and barred from speaking during a debate on an abortion bill because she had the audacity to utter the word “vagina”—at which point all the Republican men in the room gasped and clutched their pearls in horror, despite the fact that they’re legislatively raping yours with unnecessary highly intrusive transvaginal probes.

“What she said was offensive,” said Rep. Mike Callton, R-Nashville. “It was so offensive, I don’t even want to say it in front of women. I would not say that in mixed company.”

Oh spare me, you cunt. (What the hell is “mixed company”? Is this the 1800s?) I’m not a delicate fucking flower. I thought women were supposed to be the ones who talk too much? God, men canNOT shut up about things that don’t concern them.

Brown was not the only woman silenced, and it was obviously not her utterance of the female genitalia that sentenced her to an infringement on her first amendment rights. As the Detroit News reports, “Byrum, D-Onondaga, caused a disturbance on the House floor Wednesday when she wasn’t allowed to introduce an amendment to the abortion regulations bill banning men from getting a vasectomy unless the sterilization procedure was necessary to save a man’s life.” Conservative men are deliberately silencing any woman who opposes them, for the same reasons they are against women’s suffrage—preserving their blasphemous privilege. They don’t want you to debate the issue; these pricks, who are in favor of small government, want to tell you what to do with your body, and what they want to do with it is to penetrate as deeply as possible regardless of how loudly and clearly you scream for them to stop. But don’t you dare try to suggest the same policing and intrusion of autonomy for them and demand proof of life-threatening conditions for a vasectomy! They will push their hands over your mouth.

While Lisa Brown’s words, “I have not asked you to adopt and adhere to my religious beliefs. Why are you asking me to adopt yours? And finally, Mr. Speaker, I’m flattered that you’re all interested in my vagina, but ‘no’ means ‘no.’” are currently what is receiving the most attention, I’d like to direct it back to her primary point:

“Judaism believes that therapeutic abortions, namely abortions performed to preserve the life of the mother, are not only permissible, but mandatory. The stage of pregnancy does not matter. Wherever there is a question of the life of the mother or that of the unborn child, Jewish law rules in favor of preserving the life of the mother. The status of the fetus as human life does not equal that of the mother.”

Indeed, Judaism—as well as Islam—has legalized abortion in cases in which the mother’s life is in danger, and in cases of rape. In Islam abortions are also allowed in the first 120 days of the pregnancy, before a soul is Given to the fetus. Additionally, much like the attitudes of the Aztec toward women who died in childsbirth as warriors who have died in battle (and those who survived honored as victorious warriors), Medieval Judaism viewed the fetus, had it been implanted by a rapist, as a pursuer that seeks to destroy the woman’s life as an enemy against her on a battlefield.

But despite the fact that in early periods of its existence even the Roman Catholic Church allowed abortion in specific cases, even something as obviously permissible as birth control has come into question. Because birth control, you see, interferes with God’s plan for woman, which in Christianity evidently was to suffer in delivery forever because Eve took the apple. Any innovation to impinge on this pain or to ameliorate it—such as birth control—is blasphemy. Adam’s punishment, however, which was to toil physically and tend the Earth, has had no such issue obstructing it from alleviation off the shoulders of man through advancements in labor.

But advancements in birth? Hell no.

Aside from this hypocrisy, how much longer are the same people who most often cry about forcing religious organizations to cover something that is against their beliefs–the “religious” Right–going to infringe on your religious freedom?

P.S. VAGINA VAGINA VAGINA VAGINA VAGINA VAGINA VAGINA VAGINA VAGINA

not your fucking incubator

UPDATE:

From the Detroit News (via Feministe commenters), “Speaker Pro Tem John Walsh, R-Livonia, gaveled Brown out of order for saying “no means no” — because it suggested Brown was comparing the abortion legislation to rape, House GOP spokesman Ari Adler said. “It has nothing to do with the word vagina,” Adler said.”

And, as I typed there: This always pisses me off–when S.E. Cupp was photoshopped into that HORRIFIC PICTURE by Hustler, conservatives had no problem calling it DIGITAL RAPE.

But I suppose this isn’t LEGISLATIVE RAPE?

Legislation referenced will force women to actually undergo unnecessary penetration with a medical device.

The hypocritical inconsistencies are stunning.

They also had no problem saying that Herman Cain was enduring a “high tech lynching.” I would hope no white person on the Left would say something so disastrously appropriative, but if they did, can you imagine how outraged conservatives would be? “EVERYTHING is racist nowadays, just like EVERYTHING is rape.”

recent douchebag roundup

1. Satoshi Kanazawa, evolutionary psychologist who “scientifically” concluded that black women are “objectively” less attractive than white, Asian, and Native American women.
2. Greg A. Fultz, who believes that a man and woman share a pregnancy 50/50. No. Not a child. A pregnancy. And therefore, men should have a say in abortion. Because, like, it’s his pregnancy too!
Jill Filipovic’s awesome response:

I think we could have a really beautiful life together, me and Greg, since I assume because the pregnancy is 50% his, he’s happy to do 50% of the work of pregnancy. That means he’ll take as much time off from work as I do, right? And he’ll gain between 30 and 80 pounds in a few months? And if I start to have, say, preeclampsia, we’ll be sure to also raise his blood pressure to dangerously high levels until he almost dies. That if I give birth via c-section, he’ll allow doctors to cut open his gut and scoop out what’s in there. And that if I give birth vaginally, we’ll figure out some way for him to push a bowling ball out of his ass. Equal rights, and equal burdens!

Greg, I’m single! Call me!

3. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who had an affair–which I seriously would not care about, if it hadn’t been for that fact that she happened to work for him and that he also sexually harassed several different women, years before vetoing two gay marriage bills to “protect the sanctity of marriage.”
And then there’s the matter of my tuition.