“Pro-Life” Illusions

Thank you, Pro-Life Action League!

I always enjoy when the opposition commentary proves my point. The fixation on one sub point from my last piece – Picketers vs Patients – is just the latest example of anti-choice activists knowing their position is untenable and unpopular. They fear the truth:

They are the minority.

The “retaliation” piece for their newsletter detoured around this premise and took aim at my credentials, at a few supporting links, and eventually at my character. The male, non-medically trained author’s own lack of credentials on women’s health issues was apparent. He didn’t even attempt to refute that public opinion is on the pro-woman side and that overwhelmingly the American people find his position extreme, dangerous and entirely unsupported by science.

It was revealed via omission as the comments rolled in that even the anti-choicers themselves understand they have no protected right to be at the clinics harassing women. They don’t challenge my position that communities can oust them because they know their tactics don’t just bend the law; very often, they snap it in sharply in half. Their intimidation of not just clinic workers and doctors, but patients and passersby isn’t lawful. Even in states/cities with Bubble Laws, they routinely trespass on clinic properties. During their pursuit of patients, I have personally seen picketers get physical with, shout at, spit on, shame and divert into oncoming traffic anyone they think may be associated with the facility.

The Pro-Life Action League (PLAL) staffer who penned the “rebuttal” has a clear intent – and it isn’t to reeducate me or to inform the larger public about abortion facts. His sole purpose is to intimidate me and others into silence. The hope is that flooding my site with antichoice propaganda and personal attacks while publishing my picture on the PLAL page will sit me back down and have me looking over my shoulder. Sir, I’m afraid I have bad news:

You can’t intimidate me.

I was inoculated against crazy, baseless rhetoric three decades ago and my booster shots are up to date. You are only getting this much attention from me because your presence has a real, detrimental affect on women – living, breathing human beings who die because of your harassment.

Allow this to be your notice: you no longer shape the discourse on women’s health in this country. The comments listed below as an example of your vitriol, lies, passive aggressive nonsense and gult tripping bullshit will not be published again here or entertained elsewhere.

I am the majority. We are the majority. You are yesterday’s news.

The number of shares, reposts, positive comments and “Hell Yes!” messages I’ve gotten have dwarfed your response. People’s personal stories along with their exhaled appreciations are still pouring in. And that’s real. One in three women in America require abortion care in their lifetimes. Many of them used to think they were alone and that their routine medical procedure was a third-rail topic.

No more.


I suggest you all find hobbies. Do it quickly, as people released of the shame put upon them by others historically move on with only a glance behind them at the once powerful, now shrunken shells left in their wake. Just ask the Westboro Baptist Church. If they’re out of constructive suggestions, I hear knitting is making a comeback.


Comedic Relief!

Before the comments flood in calling me callous and unfeeling and crass (oh, wait, too late), yes, women’s health issues can be funny. Calling out hypocrisy is a long-held comedic tradition. Even before the days when Shakespeare’s fool was the only truth-teller on stage, comedy has served to point the finger at institutionalized unfairness and fake righteousness. There is a reason why our nation’s comics are called on to add commentary during news broadcasts and Oscar Wilde nailed it:


Sarcasm is the coping mechanism so many of us in the pro-choice family employ that we sometimes forget not everyone speaks the language. This recent exchange got some entertaining responses from Twitter trolls:

The brunch was real. The frustration was real. No, we didn’t get tattoos and go on a murder spree afterward. Obviously. But following an afternoon of being called a baby killer, murderer and Nazi sympathizer, you find yourself chuckling or you find yourself committed.

My gift to you is an assortment of my very favorite comic commentary on abortion and a woman’s right in general to bodily autonomy. Fugelsang, Camp, Hicks, Carlin and Stanhope are the masters at shining a bright-ass spotlight on conservative hypocrisy and self-righteousness. (We can talk later about why there is so little usable uploaded material from female comedians later.) And because these people cling to religion as their motivation, I’m adding in a theological thought from Jamie Kilstein that’s simply a better way to go. Enjoy and share widely.

Biblical Refutation by John Fugelsang:

God is the Least Pro-Life Character in the Bible

….and as a bonus, a word on conservative and GOP “love” of Jesus.

Truthful ranting by Lee Camp:

“The Right Wing is Taking Rights Away From Women, But Were They Really Using Them?”

“Can Women Save the World?”

“Pro-life” label smack down by Bill Hicks:

“If you’re so ‘Pro-Life,’ don’t block clinics; link arms and block cemeteries.”

Basic Logic by George Carlin:

“Pro-Life is Anti-Woman”

Angry irreverence by Doug Stanhope:

Voice of America: “Abortion is Green”

Anti-Abortionist Prank Call

A theological solution to misogyny by Jamie Kilstein:

The Church of the Smiling Vagina


A note: I don’t expect anyone to sift through all of these comments. Please don’t if you care about your sanity and blood pressure. They are here as examples, for public record, and because I’m not afraid of anti-choice propaganda. I do not, as a rule, publish personal attacks or falsehoods on my site. However, as the Picketers vs Patients piece was penned to prove a point about the intent and tactics of the forced birth movement, I will break my rule this one time to allow their own words to put the exclamation point on my premise.

Before proceeding, I recommend grabbing a stiff drink and this handy Anti-Choice Bingo card provided by the fantastic “Brazen Queer,” Twitter friend and fellow escort:


Dear Reader:

In this marathon response session you will find the most common types of anti-choice activist tactics: the faux-lifers engage in (often anonymous) personal attacks, sanctimonious lectures, yelling, Nazi references, repetition/persistence, generic respectful (rare), the guilt-trip personal story with a respectful tone, and the long, passive-aggressive manifesto. That last one happens to be my favorite.

Pro-choice activist family! Feel free to steal, download, link to, and otherwise use the snarky, deliberate, informative, tongue-in-cheek, ridiculous, sanity-saving graphics sprinkled in between commenters. I needed them as I was editing; I figured you could use them as well. I know we don’t often humor the antis, but from now until forever, there will be an archive of answers to the most common lies and lunacy hurled by their ranks. I plan to simple refer back here when the insults and “questions” reappear. And they will.

These are all now published at the original Picketers vs Patients post, which means, if you’re so inclined, you can feel free to tack on your own additions where the commenters – who you know subscribed to the follow-ups – will see them.


Personal attacks:

From: James. submitted on 2013/06/07 at 11:50 am
“It’s medically accurate because the fetus is ripped to pieces. You are a sick person.”

From: James, submitted on 2013/06/07 at 11:54 am
“I dare you to bring actual photos to prove them wrong. Please, show me what a clean aborted and ripped into pieces fetus looks like. Until then, whatever you say is just words. You are just another spineless advocate of infant genocide.”

Reply: The authoritarian mindset is a remarkable thing. It vacillates between “No, YOU prove it!” and personal attacks. Make no mistake, it’s a genuine reaction. The emotion is real. Chris Mooney’s fantastic book, “The Republican Brain,” explains (in well-written, readable prose I promise) the science behind the conservative’s overdeveloped “fight or flight” response. When presented with information – facts, opinions, anything – that conflicts with their firmly held beliefs, they experience all the bodily responses of someone under direct threat.
Reading this book changed my debate style, slanted my reaction to folks like “James” from anger to resigned pity, and – quite possibly – saved my sanity. It doesn’t excuse them from controlling their emotions and responses, but it does keep me from wasting my time engaged in unproductive shouting matches.


From: Cathy, submitted on 2013/06/08 at 11:05 am
“What!? Kate, you are totally ignorant of fetal development. You better take a class, quick, before making statements like this!!”
Reply: I have a Biology degree. You better take another look at my Credentials page, quick, before making statements about a person’s background and education! Also, try getting my name right the next time you rebuke me.


From: Anonymous, submitted on 2013/06/08 at 10:58 am
“Katie, you are totally ignorant of fetal development. You need an anatomy course!!”
Reply: This is “Cathy” again. Posting anonymously (but from the same IP address) is one way to inflate the numbers of anti-choice supporters. It’s a tactic groups like The Million Moms use to make a few thousand people look like a million.


From: Colleen, submitted on 2013/06/09 at 2:03 am
“Is it uncomfortable to lie so much? I was there the day this picture was taken of these great kids, one of whom is mine. None of those quotes was said that day or any day when we stood outside the clinic hoping and praying that a mom would reconsider and not let her baby be killed. There is no harassment. That is a lie. These babies deserve someone to stand for them just to give a pressured woman pause and consider there are alternatives other than the violent and painful death that is abortion. A human baby is more magnificent than any sculpture or painting but those are protected and guarded, whereas the unborn child has no protection other than these folks standing outside the clinic on the day they might or might not be killed. May God’s mercy and light find you.”
Reply: Your convictions are so firm that you were at a clinic one day?


From: Roofus, submitted on 2013/06/09 at 2:28 pm
“embryos have facial features remarkably early! Six weeks old, around the time when the majority of abortions are performed and already sporting a nose, eyes, cheeks, a mouth, all those features of a human face. A SIX MONTH OLD BABY WOULD CRACK A PETRI DISH. idiot.”
Reply: I’m glad you agree that a poster of a six-month-old baby depicted in a Petri Dish would have to have been made by an idiot. If I see the picketer who carries it again, I’ll pass along your message.

I can’t publish this one as it was submitted; the commenter left it on my Credentials page where it is both inappropriate and a non sequitur. Attempts to email the commenter so they could repost on the Picketers vs Patients page resulted in a predictable “user not found; undeliverable” autoresponse. Anti-choice activists often use fake email/handles and post anonymously both to avoid responsibility for their words and so that they can post repeatedly under the spam filter. Most don’t understand what an IP address is.


Sanctimonious lectures:

From: Bill G, submitted on 2013/06/06 at 10:49 am
“While I agree that militant, disrespectful protestors are wrong to hurl insults and accusations, i do agree with their basic point. There are ALWAYS better alternatives than abortion.
Abortion DOES stop beating hearts.
And every day, medical science is finding ways to for babies to be born and survive and smaller and smaller weights and gestation periods.
So please, please … why don’t abortion supporters stick to the real issue. They believe that women should have the same sexual rights as men. In other words, they should be able to be as sexually irresponsible as they choose with no repercussions, right? The chorus is “I shouldnt have to have a baby if I dont want to.”
My message for both men AND women (including my sons) is this … “You dont want to be a parent? Then don’t have sex.” We are not animals. We have self-control.
And as for the arguments of rape and incest — horrible, horrible crimes. And yet studies consistent show that women who have had abortions after these heinous crimes have more emotional problems later than those that have given those babies up for adoption or raised them.
And to save the life of the mother — I will ALWAYS give up my life to save my child. Period. Wouldnt any decent parent? And as gut-wrenching as it would be, i would follow the wishes of my wife and have doctors save the life of our baby before her.
And one final question for abortion advocates … where does it end? At what point do even YOU find abortion on demand reprehensible? Partial birth abortions? Abortions because of detected birth defects? Abortion because of preferred gender? Where do YOU draw the line, if at all.”
Reply: “Bill” veers off topic immediately and then begs me to “stick to the real issue.” In answer to the question you’re most clearly proud of, sir, I never find abortion on demand reprehensible. Conservatives should find it reprehensible that the government regulates what goes on between me and my doctor.
Plenty of medical procedures would be criminal were they performed unethically – organ transplantation, for example. You can’t procure an organ on the black market and then ask your doctor to operate on you. Doctors have medical associations and ethics boards that guide and limit their behavior. Deviating from accepted practices can result in lawsuits and the loss of medical licenses/practices. Abortion should be like any other medical procedure: legal and overseen by the AMA and like groups.


From: Renea, submitted on 2013/06/08 at 11:46 am
“You’ve obviously never had children, or you would know full well that you are completely wrong about the “inaccurate” and “photoshopped” images of babies. Rather than relying on information from Planned Parenthood, which is conveniently vague in order to further their abortion agenda, perhaps you should get your information from OB/Gyn’s who happen to be experts on this issue. Any pregnancy website will contradict your errant belief that babies don’t have facial features by 6 weeks of gestation. And perhaps you should take a look at actual ultrasound images, especially the 3d versions which so accurately show fetal development. Do you wonder why Planned Parenthood doesn’t allow their clients to see them? It’s because they will see a baby, not tissue. There is plenty of truthful information from unbiased doctors to be found. If you don’t believe it, then get pregnant and take a look at your own ultrasounds. Please do some actual medical research before spouting your very mistaken opinions on fetal development and what is true or not true. Here’s an amazing video of fetal development, and although it’s visualized computer graphics, it’s based on FACTUAL scientific and medical information. http://www.ted.com/talks/alexander_tsiaras_conception_to_birth_visualized.html”
Reply: The fixation on Planned Parenthood is something I sort of get because they’re high profile, but they aren’t the centerpiece of my post. Clearly, you have some specific issue with them that I’ve stepped into. Beyond that, I don’t need to have a child to be able to open a text-book – something I did frequently while obtaining my Biology degree.



From: joni isom, submitted on 2013/06/07 at 9:24 pm
“Submitted on 2013/06/07 at 9:24 pm
As someone in women’s health, I have some questions for someone like you. I am hoping you can answer these:
First, my research shows that Planned Parenthood’s preventive visits and cancer screenings have gone down 29% in the past 3 years, and their contraceptive visits have slipped 12% in the past 3 years. Although abortions have gone up.
Women in the inner cities have testified that they have had up to as many as 5 abortions and received no pre or post abortion counseling. Basically, they use abortion as their birth control.
If Planned Parenthood is supposed to be for “women’s health”, why would they not offer prevention to these women. Like an IUD or Nexplanon so they don’t keep gettingpregnant as well as education and prevention so they have “safe sex” because obviously if they are having multiple pregnancies they are not having safe sex. Even if they have had HPV vaccines they are not safe from all other STD’s. I know from speaking with teenagers that have received care from Planned Parenthood for some reason they think that an HPV vaccine and a birth control pill or device is making them “safe” and don’t need any further protection. UNTRUE!
I find this information fascinating. We would never send a young woman away without doing everything in our power to educate, and empower her. I want to understand this.
Given the fact that Planned Parenthood was founded by a woman who wanted to rid the world of the socially unfit, partnering with the Eugenics group that funded the Nazi’s, I want to know why any woman would want to trust their health to them and not a good caring physician associated with a reputable clinic or hospital?
All I hear is this spouting out about abortion.
Now let me give you a lesson in gestation. At 8 weeks gestation the nervous system is formed and the fetus feels pain. By 18 weeks the Thalmus is formed and the fetus reacts to the pain. Did you know that? Did you know that when you abort a baby it feels the pain. Also, have you EVER personally seen an aborted fetus? If not then you can not say that these photos are not accurate. Are you a doctor? Are you in the medical field? Because you have lied when you have said these are photo shopped pictures. They are not.
With the options available to women today, there is no excuse for anyone to be in a position to need an abortion or at least abortion should be a very rare. Birth control is free almost everywhere. So why do abortions keep going up and up? Answer that question.
Why can’t Planned Parenthood get it right. Maybe it is because most of their 1 billion yearly income comes from you guessed it abortion.”
Reply: Nazis = lost argument.



From: Michelle, submitted on 2013/06/08 at 11:43 am
“Babies in utero as young as six weeks have identifiable facial features. This isn’t refutable, it’s simply a fact. If you are pro-choice/pro-abortion then why lie about the facts? Abortion is the termination of a baby’s life. If you don’t want to have that baby and you don’t want to carry it to term, yes that is legal, but it doesn’t make it less of a baby. LOOK AT THE PHOTOS YOURSELF.
Reply: I did look at them; I took the photos of the guy holding the placard last year. Also, just so you know, when you yell, you sound hysterical and most people tune out.



From: Amy, submitted on 2013/06/08 at 6:29 pm — In reply to Netiya Shiner.
“Netiya, have you seen an ultrasound at *any* stage of pregnancy? Are YOU educated as to when the fetal heart begins to beat?”
Reply: As evidenced by her strong blogging on pro-choice issues, I am sure Neitya can respond for herself should she choose to.

From: Amy, submitted on 2013/06/08 at 6:26 pm
“What exactly does “legal gestation point” mean? Abortion is legal at any gestation stage.”
Reply: Abortion is not legal at any gestation age. Roe introduced term “viable” into the legal discourse on abortion. As in a subsequent reply, I suggest the book Crow After Roe for legal background and the Center for Reproductive Rights as a source on specific/current legal challenges/issues.


Respectful in tone/generic:

From: jerry, submitted on 2013/06/07 at 7:04 pm
“I don’t believe that the photos are doctored. Also, the data on abortions before it became legal have been admitted to be wrong by the pro-choice organization that used them. You could check this out at http://www.grtl.org/dos/roevwade.pdf and at http://networkedblogs.com/LXPoU
I’m not trying to attack you, but the links give pretty supported refutation.”
Reply: Thank you for being respectful. Wrong, but respectful.


From: Kat, submitted on 2013/06/08 at 3:15 pm
“Footage of a developing human: http://youtu.be/gaK0VPV9NlE”
Reply: This is short enough that I contemplated not responding. However, it can’t be said too many times that when you’re intent is to lecture someone about a “deeply held belief” or “the sanctity of life,” sign your name. Doing this anonymously weakens your point. When you ask someone for proof and cannot leave a traceable trail, you lose the argument by default.

From: Anonymous, submitted on 2013/06/09 at 4:20 pm
“The text in the upper right corner of the placard states that the fetus was aborted in the third trimester in Houston, Texas in August, 1987.”
Reply: Unless you’ve been up close to that specific placard there would be no way for you to tell. Setting that aside, the size of the head in comparison to the forceps is beyond that of even a full term baby. The picture simply doesn’t make any sense. Where’s the rest of the photo’s background? Why would you Photoshop that particular part of the picture in the scenario you’ve described? And even if it were magically accurate despite the inadequate tools, a third trimester procedure isn’t relevant in Illinois where the picketer is standing. That, of course, brings us back to the entire purpose of the picket line: to intimidate women with false information and attempt to guilt and/or terrorize them away from a legal, licensed clinic and its competent, caring staff.


The respectful in tone personal story guilt-trip:

From: Anonymous, submitted on 2013/06/07 at 10:15 pm
“It depends, I suppose, on which photos you are looking at. You are (deliberately?) vague in citing specifics, but, speaking from personal experience, I have had 5 miscarriages. Two were gradual over the course of weeks, and much of the baby was re-absorbed on ultra-sound, so it was harder to discern the actual baby. Three happened between 6-11 weeks, very quickly in one torrent of hemhorraging resulting in an intact amniotic sack. In all of these cases, the baby was clearly visible, albeit very tiny, and features were discernable. They looked very much, in fact, like the aborted fetuses seen in “pro-life propaganda”, minus the evidence of violence. I also gave birth to my 16 year old son 16 weeks early, at 24 weeks gestation. He was legally abortable at this point, but I can attest to his utter humanity. To those skeptics who say the baby feels no pain, I say visit a NICU. These babies respond to both painful and pleasant stimulus appropriately, their siblings voices, music, their mothers’ heartbeats. They cry with needle sticks, they relax under caressing hands. I did not meet one nurse or doctor in the huge medical center NICU where he was cared for who was pro-abortion. They work too hard to keep these babies alive. You have a right to your beliefs, but every individual has an obligation to face down the cold, hard truth before accepting the media’s agenda-driven rhetoric. And YOU have a responsibility to research and post factual information if you are, indeed, a truth-seeker. Woman have the right to at least know what they are choosing.”
Reply:Some of this is redundant, but here I want to make one specific point. I’m accused of deliberately being vague on a website with all of my information – including a name which singles me out down to my genome – by an anonymous commenter.


From: Sydney M., submitted on 2013/06/08 at 12:50 am
“Katie, abortion is legal during all 9 months of pregnancy because of Doe vs. Bolton. That being said, babies do have facial features very early! I saw my oldest son on ultrasound 5 weeks after conception and you could already see the orbits of his eyes, his nasal pits, a mouth…a very human looking head. Not to mention a body with a large beating heart, arms and legs (fingers and toes were just developing). This is a little more than a month after he was conceived. Most abortions are performed after this point.
Did you know the photos anti-abortionists hold up have been medically verified?”
Reply: Untrue on all points.
I recommend the new book Crow After Roe by two brilliant authors on the reality of the legal landscape in America concerning abortion. They’re great about answering questions originating from good faith positions.
Again, I’ve pointed out that I wasn’t conflating the early embryonic differentiation that happens with most species pre-evolutionary divergence with real human noses, eyes and ears. At the gestation point you’re describing, most mammals have face-like features. As 98.5% of abortions occur in the first 20-weeks (as I stated in my post), here is the relevant imagery from the University of Michigan medical school:


I’ve seen the “proof” of verification. It’s several years old and does not state which photos the letter’s author is authenticating. It will surprise none of my readers (if they don’t already know) to hear that the Dr. Anthony Levatino is a “pro-life” advocate who lobbies congressional panels and is a highly paid speaker who’s fees range from $5,000-$100,000+ through Speakers Access, a booking group that boasts “20 years of experience in working with world celebrities.” He’s nothing more than a hired hand.

The passive aggressive manifesto:

From: Renee, submitted on 2013/06/09 at 10:14 am
I know that translation can be lost through written communication so please know that my feelings are heartfelt and not with contempt.
Many pro-abortion advocates get upset as they feel that pro-lifers judge other women, however only God can judge our actions. As humans though we can and SHOULD say when we find something to be wrong, which is why we stand outside of abortion clinics. Whenever I have stood outside a clinic I have never heard anyone say anything negative. I’ve heard “We can help you.” or “please make another choice.” I’ve heard prayers and seen crying from some as it’s not easy to stand outside and see woman after woman go in and come out without their child. (You may say that it’s not a child; but that argument has already been proven wrong by science so why get into that.)
We as humans are born with a conscience that tells us when we are doing something wrong. We can choose to listen to it or ignore it, but in the end it’s still wrong. That conscience can be tainted by public norms however and we start to see things as right which are really wrong. You yourself said that the patients feel bad when they see the picketers. You have to ask yourself, why do they feel so bad?
The pictures you see of aborted children are not doctored. Yes they are ugly, I myself feel sick every time I see them, but you yourself admitted that a fetus in an Ultrasound has the image of a baby. The only difference when they are aborted is they come out in pieces, but it’s still a face, a hand, a leg. Abortions in this country (depending on the state) can occur up to 40 weeks and yes a small percentage take place after 20 weeks, but how many take place at 16 weeks or less? My friend just had a 12 week ultrasound. They could see a nose, a head, a body, arms, legs and the tech was even able to tell that this was a boy.
I truly hope that one day you will use the ability that you have to draw others in through your writings for the light and not the dark. I know that people hate it when we bring God into the scenario but again that may be your conscience talking. Whether you believe in him or not, he is there and will forgive you. You just have to ask.
I’m not asking for a response, though I’m sure I’ll get some, and maybe not some very nice ones. All I’m asking is for you to take a step back and truly look at the entire picture (which may be painful). I have tried to look at it from a pro-choice angle. I get women’s rights and the ability to choose our own paths, but there are also basic human rights that should not be ignored which is why I can’t see the world through your eyes. Please try and see them through mine. Think of how bad you felt when you heard about the kindergarten children who were shot in their schools. The pain you may have felt at hearing of their lives lost so early. This is how I feel every time I think about abortion.
Peace to you!
Reply: A fetus is not a child.

A word of thanks: To my subscribers, listeners, Hal Sparks Radio Program ustream chatters, fellow activists, pro-choice badasses, writers, talkers, Twitter followers, and friends: you’re all heroes for helping change the narrative. You dwarfed the response from the anti-choice activists! An incredible number of you clicked – and are clicking! – share buttons, reposted, retweeted, commented on and even put this piece up on your own pages. Go support each other’s sites and thank drop a thank you for caring about women’s lives

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Categories: Finding My Voice

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85 replies

  1. I am pro–life. At church today ( I am Catholic) they asked for volunteers to pray to end abortion and that there would be sign up tables after mass. When I went to sign up, they said, our day is Wednesday picketing the abortion clinic in our town. I told them I would not do it. I said I’ll pray, but the women going into an abortion clinic are already having a very tough time and why would I add to their misery. Who am I to judge anyone? Having a certain belief does not mean you have to torture people with it. They had nothing to say to that. I found that interesting and I hope I gave them a new perspective.

    In all fairness, there is a lot of good pro-lifers do. Because you are pro-choice does not make their position invalid. They strongly believe it. They are not evil. Women who decide to keep their babies are supported through their pregnancies by a number of programs. People in the Catholic community pray for those who do and those who don’t. they have a program called Rachel’s project which helps women after they have had an abortion.

    Lastly, I would like to know if there are any statistics showing just how many abortions are stopped because of picketing?

    Thanks for letting me say my piece

    • Thank you for your respectful words and position! Catholics as a voting block are actually more progressive than the general public; they spend more time volunteering; and by far are more dedicated to following the words in the Bible spoken by their religion’s namesake, Jesus Christ. The aggressive picketing typically is done by the far-right evangelical denominations, the Pro-Life League being an exception. Their tactics of sending threatening letters to providers, slandering family physicians who’s Illinois practices do not perform abortions and screaming at/chasing down patients is an outlier within the Catholic community. In fact, the Captain in the district where I did most of my escorting is Catholic and was rather surprised and offended by their tactics as a church member. She was particularly concerned about the anti-choice picketers who chased cars into the alley and knocked on windows as patients pulled into the parking lot.
      I urge you to be vocal within your community. There is a growing — incorrect! — perception that all Catholics and/or all Christians are picketers or picket supporters. You can be (and it sounds as though you may be) personally opposed to abortion in your own life while recognizing it is not for you to impose your beliefs or choices on another person! It is only YOUR voice that will change this perception. Working to end the death penalty and opposing military intervention while supporting humanitarian causes are long-standing traditions on the “left” and in Catholic circles. Emphasizing that aspect of the truly “pro-life” and providing up-front and honest alternatives to abortion ware causes I support in your community. (Our issue with CPCs is not that they provide alternatives, it is that they very often advertise as medical facilities while not providing medical services.)
      So, Speak Up! It is your voice we need to hear more of! I don’t know of statistics, but am interested and will look into that for you. (If you don’t see a follow-up soon, please remind me!)

  2. Katie, how do you feel about late term abortions? It’s just that you said a fetus isn’t a child, but what does that make a premature baby? I mean, the only difference between that baby and one in the womb that’s the same age from conception would be that one is in the womb and one isn’t.
    Please don’t get mad at me here, I would honestly like to hear your refute to this.

  3. It’s time to show how naive I am!*

    Quick question, One I’m sure you’ve heard before (I’ve never heard a logical answer to this question. Also, if you can provide a logical answer that DIRECTLY addresses my comment, I won’t reply, or shall I say, won’t need to reply): When does life start? When is it considered a child? Is it when it’s born? What about 3 seconds before that? And 3 minutes before that? 3 weeks? 3 months? And last but not least, How about the moment of conception? This has been a question that has been bothering me for the last few years, and I’m very curious to hear the Pro-Choice take on this.

    Also, why do Pro-Choice people always get so upset (And on some occasions, violent) when the Pro-Life activists state their opinion? I can never wrap my head around it, as from my experience, if your “side” is right, then why do some Pro-Choice individuals feel the need to try and intimidate Pro-Life activists? If their opinion is right, then they should feel no need to intimidate Pro-life activists. Or at least that what I figure…
    One more thing, if you can provide a link to a video depicting a Pro-life activist getting upset or violent, I’d love to see it.

    I’m attempting to keep this conversation civil. I’d appreciate it if anyone who replies reciprocates. : )

    *This is a reference to one of the paragraphs in your article…

    • Life is a continuum. It doesn’t end or begin, it is ongoing. Scientifically and legally Life begins when a being draws breath.

      • I was referring to an individuals life, but anyways…

        I guess the part that rubs me wrong about Pro-Choice is that the fetus, which is growing in the womb (Yes, I know we all know this) if given the chance, can grow up to be a person with feelings, a personality, a job. But having an Abortion denies that fetus the chance. I guess that’s why I don’t agree with abortions.

        • Jon. A fetus is not alive. You say that a fetus “if given the chance, can…” But a fetus is not alive – it is a potentiality! If you’re saying it has the potential to be alive – you’re right! But so does EVERY SINGLE CELL IN OUR BODY (with the potentialities afforded us by cloning)!!! It is not just a woman choosing whether the fetus becomes a live human being or not – obviously some higher being (either science, or God, or whatever you believe in) makes this choice, or else all fetuses would go on to be living breathing humans, and there would never be any miscarriages or complications with pregnancies. So by your logic this higher being also denies fetuses a chance to live. Does that mean that the higher being responsible for miscarriages is actually some theological abortionist?

          Anyway, going off on a tangent because of all this faulty logic. The bottom line is that “when LIFE begins” is different in every situation, and there is no one acceptable blanket answer. Biologists and doctors disagree on this issue, as do academics. But what we know FOR SURE is that a fetus is not alive: it is the potentiality for life, but there is no guarantee that it will become a living human being, for MANY reasons.

          • Additionally, Jon, I don’t personally have any footage of pro-life activist turning violent, because I don’t record everything going on at clinics all the time. Yet was the MURDER of a doctor by pro-life nutjobs not convincing? How about the dozens of bombings and destructive crimes perpetrated against clinics over the years by the same people?

            But don’t just take my word for it, educate yourself by checking out this wikipedia page
            and its many, MANY sources.

            Best of luck to you.

            • I told myself, I wouldn’t come back to reply as I didn’t want to turn this into a full blown discussion, but I do feel obligated to make one last reply to your comments.

              First: Based on what Katie said about a fetus needing to breath to be alive, I believe the logic that a fetus is not alive is really flawed (I should have made this comment earlier). I say this because the only reason we breathe, is to take in oxygen. A fetus, receives oxygen through the mother. They way I understand it, you’re saying it’s not alive because it’s not using it’s lungs even though an unborn child doesn’t need to since it’s receiving it’s oxygen from it’s mother (Just to recap). Additionally, In my mind, if it’s not alive, it’s dead, and if it’s dead, then it should be decaying. A fetus is not decaying while instead the womb, it’s growing, thus, it’s alive. (Simple logic people!)

              (By the way, what is your opinion of the Loricifera? Is it alive?)

              I won’t even dignify that comment about “Theological Abortionist” with a proper reply, as based on what you said, I don’t believe you (Pardon my assumption) have a proper understanding of the subject. And honestly, I shouldn’t get into that discussion either, as I do not believe I have a complete understanding of the subject myself.

              Also, I had not heard about those cases (Perhaps because of my own ignorance, and my own choice not to take the time to look into it). It really is sad and despicable what some people can and will do when they don’t agree with another’s ideology.

              Anyways, as I said, I won’t be making anymore comments. I do want to say thank you for allowing me to comment here and have an intelligent conversation.

              Cheers! : )

              • “Additionally, In my mind, if it’s not alive, it’s dead, and if it’s dead, then it should be decaying. A fetus is not decaying while instead the womb, it’s growing, thus, it’s alive.”

                Unfortunately, from a biological perspective, there are MANY degrees of life and living. This logic is very flawed for this reason. There is no alive/decaying binary. Otherwise, I don’t have the energy to respond to the rest of your comment. I’ve addressed all of the issues you bring up many times, as has Katie. But if you are not willing to listen to us, then there is no point in continuing to comment.


      • Life begins when a baby takes a breath…but when a woman is in labor giving birth to a baby who hasn’t yet taken a breath of air, they sure do act like the baby is alive. Legally, doctors would be in serious trouble if they didn’t do all they cold to keep the baby “alive” during birth. I guess all those monitors and emergency c sections are just for fun since the baby in the womb isn’t considered living. Come on. Katie, really? Also, if you are so concerned for children (seeing the cute cartoon that says we should end our love affair with fetuses and start paying attention to children) you have a pretty great platform to do that. It would be nice to see you putting all your time and energy into helping children who need it instead of writing articles like this. You’re going to have to start figuring out a better way to rationalize if you want people to believe in your cause because your arguments and logic are painfully lacking common sense as well as scientific sense.

      • No it doesn’t. Is a person on a lung machine temporary dead?

  4. Katie, I have to admire your capacity for hard work. This has to be one of the longest blog posts I’ve ever see by anyone, anywhere. And all in response to a group that you insist is feckless and irrelevant!

    What would your output be if you thought the Pro-Life Action League were really a threat to legal abortion? The mind staggers!

    Eric Scheidler
    Executive Director
    Pro-Life Action League

    • Eric,
      As I said in my piece, I included and responded to all the anti-choice comments to create a resource for pro-woman advocates and to showcase the types of lies and style of rhetoric regularly hurled at clinic patients attempting to access a legal procedure. I both believe in being thorough and will always have time to assist those on the front lines in any way I can. Much of the general public has not been exposed to anti-choice propaganda, which is why I wrote the original piece.

      You have not yet seen my capacity for hard work, but I appreciate your acknowledging it. I also appreciate you personally following up by way of your blogger’s lengthy dissertation requesting that I “keep talking.” I hadn’t had the pleasure of a visit from the head of such a busy organization stopping by to point out my irrelevance.

      Love, life and choice,

  5. Just to let you know I’ve been advocating for women and unborn children twice a month for 1.5 years. I have never been more motivated than after reading your blog pieces, and the hateful, morally, and theologically blind comments of the pro-abortion responses. Praise God no-shows for abortion appointments increase up to 75% when there are people praying outside a clinic. Stat comes from Planned Parenthood staff meeting. Your words do not sting they make it even easier to wake up early to be out there. Your pride is evident. Hope God’s grace of conversion and repentance find you before this short life ends and eternity begins. It is never too late to repent. I hope your heart isn’t as hardened as your blog posts would indicate.

  6. of course i gave up reading the comments at a certain point, but i thought this one was pretty cute and misguided: “Did you know that when you abort a baby it feels the pain. Also, have you EVER personally seen an aborted fetus? If not then you can not say that these photos are not accurate!”

    in the same what that unless you’ve seen an actual yeti, then you can’t say the photos of yetis are photoshopped!!!! oh… wait…

    additionally (feel free to include this in the article, Katie), in response to Amy who said “Netiya, have you seen an ultrasound at *any* stage of pregnancy? Are YOU educated as to when the fetal heart begins to beat?”

    here are some fun facts: i’ve HAD an ultrasound before, love. have you? or do you want to continue making assumptions about my personal life? and my years of studying biology (not to mention a year abroad studying molecular genetics at Oxford University) have actually prepared me pretty well to answer when the fetal heart begins to beat – it happens at radically different times with different fetuses. there is no magical consistency regarding when “life” begins – ask ten biologists and you’ll hear ten different answers. get your facts straight.

    • Umm…except that yetis are (arguably) fictional creatures, while abortions happen all the time. One would think it would be a little easier to get a picture of one.
      That said, you do have a point. The logic in the pro-life argument you presented is a bit circular.

      • It’s a common misconception that pro-lifers all agree that life starts with the heartbeat, by the way. As you have studied biology and genetics (which is really cool, btw. Sounds like a lot of (very, very difficult and awesomely British) fun) you are surely aware that the genetic material for a new organism is completely formed every time there’s a sperm that meets an egg. Hence, a lot of pro-lifers argue that life begins then, since everything that’s needed to form a new individual is present at that point.

        • Yes, I am aware of this, but the problem here is that every cell in our body carries a set of our genetic blueprints. Every somatic cell contains all the genetic information required to create another human being. As cloning technology advances, it can be argued that a single bodily cell has the potential to be a new human being, just like an embryo has the same potential. If we give an embryo the same rights as a human being who has been born, then why stop there? Why not argue that anyone disposing of bodily cells (which we do every second of every day as human beings, any time you scratch your nose, etc.) is committing murder? After all, they’re killing the POTENTIAL for life, not a live human being.

          I know quite a bit about the various arguments presented by the pro-life contingent, it’s just that not ONE of them has ever made sense to me on a rational, logical, scientific basis (or even emotionally, for that matter).

          • That’s it. I’m putting Netiya in charge of responding to all anti-choice comments.

            • Hi,
              Cool blog. I stumbled onto it by accident. I like that even though this is a contentious issue most people in the combox are keeping it civil. I’m prolife myself. Just wanted to mention that there’s a misunderstanding regarding the science here. Of course all genetic information is encoded in all nuclei of all cells, however that is not the reason that prolife people are against the killing of an embryo/zygote. The issue is that from the point of conception a new organism is created. This is what separates a blastocyst from a neuron or hepatocyte. The complete genetic code is in all cells but the blastocyst is an organism that is distinct and separate from the mother.

              • Thank you for your very respectful comment.
                The distinction you draw is very rarely made from the “pro-life” position. A large contingent — the “The Pill Kills” contingent — elevates any potential life (so any cell with the genetic code) to the status of “human.” (You might dig the amazing John Fugelsang explaining which Biblical verses leads to this position despite it being a misreading of the Onan story.) This gets very exhausting for the pro-choice community who would prefer to make birth control so widely available that women are rarely put in the position of dealing with an unplanned pregnancy. I appreciate your voicing your opinion in such a succinct and thoughtful way.
                I’ll let Netiya respond further as it is her comment you’re likely referring to.
                As an aside, I am always for civil discussion that comes from a position of good faith. You might enjoy my appearance on Dangerous Conversation; my colleague Imani Gandy and I debated choice with three libertarians, two men and one woman. The woman was absolutely pro-life. I use that without quotes because she was anti-death penalty, anti-war and struggled with determining viability and therefore the point at which she should be defending that life as well. The host, Scott Ledgere, has been in radio for 30+ years and is extremely adept at facilitating debate. Things got emotional and heated, but never disrespectful — a near impossibility with five voices in the debate.

              • Jason – my extensive time spent studying molecular biology has taught me that the definition of a blastocyst is, in essence, “a ball of cells.” The human blastocyst comprises 70-100 cells. Why do you consider the blastocyst distinct from the pregnant woman carrying it? Isn’t it true that the pregnant woman is the only thing keeping this ball of cells alive?

                You also bring up life starting at conception – I hear this all the time from the “prolife” side. Unfortunately, biologists, scientists, doctors, and academics, who have studied these things for years, do not agree. There is NO consensus over when life starts, but MANY would argue that a fetus is not alive until it is born. The dozens of laws ensuring that humans are BORN free and equal tend to agree with this.

                My point is really that this is not an issue of “when life begins.” That itself is a complex problem with no easy scientific answer. This is an issue of saying either “I believe I know what women’s bodies need better than doctors or women” or TRUSTING WOMEN (to make these decisions). Ultimately, this is an issue of taking away (or granting) a pregnant woman’s autonomy.

            • Are you putting Netiya in charge because all you have to say is a bunch of lies and crap? Or is it because you realize you don’t know what the heck you’re talking about. Or maybe its because you’re to busy killing babies. Either way its quite amusing how defensive and rude you get to pro-life people commenting. Maybe its because you feel guilty for taking away a human’s life. Anyways I pray you will come to realize how precious life is. Life is a gift from God and we should be protecting it and not taking it as we please. But think about this…you’re mom gave you life so why should you have the freedom to take other people’s lives? It doesn’t seem right or fair besides the fact that MURDER is wrong.

              • Grammar and slander aside, I’m answering because it’s complimentary to Netiya. She’s young and interning with a pro-choice organization. I tossed around the idea of asking her to reply to anti-choice comments and questions because it’s good practice and would give her a platform.
                I’ve thought about my mom’s choice. It’s why I fight so hard for women to have that choice. She was 17, a high school senior. In a very religious, very small town. She was very brave; her bravery should have been a choice, but it likely wasn’t. She should have access to age-appropriate sex education, contraception and abortion services should she have needed them. It is for her and everyone like her that I fight.

                • Or maybe people should stop being idiots and not have sex till your married if you don’t want to deal with the consequences. simple as that. People are just stupid and ca’t take responsibility for their own actions, so they have to kill an innocent baby.But that’s alright you’ll be judged for it one day.

                  • I’m married with a 6-year-old. That doesn’t mean I want or am capable of caring for a second child. If I were to get pregnant despite my use of birth control, I would get an abortion.

          • So your dead nose skin cells can spontaneously make a baby without.intervention? Weird..

            • Berea, – the difference between dead and alive has been discussed. Dead things decay. Living things grow, until they die, when they will then be dead. Your dead nose skin cells will not spontaneously make a baby. They are dead. Your living skin cells could be used to make a clone, when that technology exists.

              Pro -abortion people just don’t seem to understand biology, or perhaps their parents neglected the whole “Facts of Life” talk. A baby is made when a sperm cell from the daddy meets with an egg cell from the mommy. That’s when life begins. A sperm cell has the potential of making a baby. An egg cell has the potential of making a baby. Once they are combined, they have made a baby. Whether you call it a zygote, an embryo, a fetus, or a baby, it is a living human being. It may die by not implanting itself in a womb, and then it is no longer a living human being. If the sperm and egg meet in a petri dish and are kept alive, that is a living human being. It is not a potential human being. Just because there is statistically not much hope of being kept alive doesn’t make it something other than human.

              I cannot understand Katie’s explanation of life never ending or beginning. That’s religious or something. And Netiya’s point that when life begins is a complex problem with no easy scientific answer. Seriously? Life starts with conception. What is complex is the issue of when a human life is to be afforded the dignity of human rights. You deny that abortion is like the Nazi regime – the connection there is that there is a group of living human beings who are not being afforded the status of human. Abortion does the same thing to pre-born children – it takes away their status as human, so therefore they can be killed with impunity.

              • My description of life as a continuum is scientific. Plants are alive. Humans are alive. Cells are alive. Anything that makes and processes energy is alive. Is a basic concept.

                • You are still not answering the question of when an individual human life begins and ends. The fact that living things are alive might be a basic concept, but when you describe your continuum, are you thinking of reincarnation or the life energy of the cosmos? I just want to know whether you acknowledge that an individual human life begins at conception, when a unique DNA is created, or if you believe that a pre-born human is not alive yet.This is the realm of science.

          • Except that my skin cells don’t have the potential to grow into another human being if left on their own….while fetal cells do.
            By the way, I see ‘potential’ talked a lot about…so is it ok to kill a 2 year old? After all, it’s only ‘potentially’ a reasonable, talking creature.

            • Fetal cells can’t develop without the assistance of a woman’s body. Skin cells can replicate, heal themselves and fend off attacks. The inverse of your statement is actually true.

              • Yes, but they can’t actually replicate into another human being (unless I use cloning technology), while fetal cells do.
                You got me. Sorry I wasn’t being clear. 😦

                • Again, no matter how many times you assert it, it will never be true that fetal cells magically become human beings. They require the support and protection of a woman’s body. They cannot breathe, metabolize, develop, grow, divide, muliply in a meaningful fashion, or differentiate without nutrients or support. If removed from a woman, fetal development halts. This is basic science and was understood for centuries before we knew the cellular-level processes that occur during development.

                  • I will not publish factually inaccurate propaganda; therefore, this thread is “missing” a comment. You’re welcome for the link. I have not found your experience to be the same as mine when dealing with the anti-choice protesters.

  7. If pro-life people are anti-choice, why are we okay with hysterectomies and choosing not to become pregnant by non-abortive means?

    The answer? We’re not anti-choice. We believe life to start at conception. The only logical conclusion from that position is that abortion is killing a living being.

    Why the misdirection? It’s not about choice — it’s never been about choice. We legitimately disagree on one thing, and that’s when the fetus has human rights as a living person.

    • Again, a fetus is not a person. The woman carrying the fetus, however, is a person.

      • How are you so sure? The fetus is a person. Fetus is Latin for offspring. Offspring of human person = human person. Your statement is inaccurate and is pro-abortion propaganda to mislead women into minimizing the magnitude of killing an unborn human child.

        • The etymology you’re attempting traces back to a word that is not just used for mammals, but for plants. It means “the bearing, bringing forth, or hatching of young,” from Latin base *fe- “to generate, bear,” also “to suck, suckle.” (Although, Horace, from whom we get a lot of our Latin history, grammar, etc. used it in a sense of “offspring, brood.) It was more a description of the process that brings about life than the way we use its English form, which describes a specific period of development.
          Who knew I’d get to use my Biology degree, English degree, and several years of Latin study in one comment?!

  8. Wow, have you ever heard the saying “might makes right”? I guess that’s your motto. Obviously you would have been part of the whole the-world-is-flat movement too back in the day. Whatever’s popular, right? Who cares if it’s true?

  9. I’m saddened at how hardened women like you are about abortion. As a anti-abortion woman, it angers me to hear other women staunchly defend the butchering of a baby by his/her own mother. If there is any segment of our population that should be against abortion it is the women. There is nothing more anti-woman than ignoring the basic instinct women have to defend the life in her womb and instead snuffing it out. Not to mention that it only helps to further objectify women as nothing more than receptacles for mens’ sexual pleasure. I sincerely hope that all women will one day wake up to the horror that abortion is and unify to abolish it.

    • I’m sorry this comment didn’t come in before my response piece was written.
      I understand — having myself come from a place where women’s procreative power is prioritized above their humanity — the mentality of calling on “the basic instinct women have,” as though mothering is innate and the expected life goal of all women.
      There are two major (among many minor) problems with this. One: not all women want to be mother’s. We don’t have to be mothers to be productive members of society. Women who don’t want to be mothers should not be mothers. These women are still sexual beings. Sexuality is natural and wonderful and part of our humanity. Choosing to have sex is not the same as choosing to be a mother and it sure as hell doesn’t mean we are a “receptacle” for anything. Men are not the only sexual humans. Women expressing themselves sexually without motherhood as a result is literally the opposite of what you’re stating.
      Two: 6/10 women who have an abortion are already mothers. Because this society places so little priority on early childcare, even women who would have several additional children, often cannot. This is what the wonderful Jocelyn Elders I quote in this piece is referring to.
      Perhaps, instead of standing outside clinics with signs, you could be helping with childcare. Let’s lobby Congress for better support — and therefore less need for abortion care — for young, first time, second time, etc. and all parents.

      • I don’t, for one second, believe that a a woman’s value comes from her “procreative power”. To look at a potential pregnancy as the equivalent of an STD is to hate women and children. If we really care about women we’ll stop denying that sex and procreation are inseparably linked. Two people who have sex can and often do create children. Even with birth control. For a woman to deny this fact and be flippant about who she has sex with simply because she has “urges” is to lower herself to an animal. Same with men. Motherhood is not a curse so stop pretending it is. A woman who is pregnant is a mother. An abortion does not change that fact. It simply means she’s the mother of a dead child.

        I tell you this as a woman who,as a 17 year old high school senior, went to a Planned Parenthood Clinic to get a dr.’s note for skipping school. I thought, “my period is a little late (3 months,actually) so I’ll just take a test and get a dr.’s note in the process. Of course, I’m not pg!” Silly me. The nurse told me we needed to get me scheduled pretty quick if I was going to have an abortion since I was almost 3 months pregnant. It only made sense to do that. But, for me, to want to kill the child I was carrying and call it “good” was for the world to suddenly go insane. Talking to one of those “picketers” that said I didn’t have to kill my baby was like finding sanity. Planned Parenthood offered me a dead baby. The crisis pregnancy center offered me help. That baby is now a beautiful, red headed 23 year old with a husband and friends whose lives would not be the same had those people outside clinics been off lobbying Congress.

        • It turns out we are animals, technically. And we come with needs — or as you basely describe them “urges” — that are emotional, physical, familial. My having a long-term, but not committed sexual partner may sound strange to someone from a cis, privileged, and likely Christian background. I have had several friends who fit that description over the years as I prefer to have sex with someone I know and care about — also the sex tends to get more satisfying with repetition. I remain friends with most of them and on good terms with those who aren’t in my current circle. I am a satisfied adult with many long-term friendships and family that I both grew up with and gathered along the way.
          There is a sexual component to my satisfaction that comes with my humanity, my amazing, valuable, undeniable humanity. I am not in conflict with who I am; that may be why I sound “conceited” to those from the forced-birth movement like yourself who keep returning with vitriol and condescension. The cognitive dissonance required to live in a way that is counter to your nature creates an anxiety and, ultimately, hostility that boils over into a need to lash out at anyone comfortable with themselves and sure enough of the world to stand up for what’s right.

          Also, your apt description of a PP counselor advising you that if you chose to terminate the pregnancy, you would need to do it soon is not the way the anti-choice typically relay these stories. Yours is refreshingly honest. She didn’t attempt to talk you into it, she was merely advising you of your options and the time frame you had to make that decision. It sounds as though you had access to a PP in a convenient location — something many women do not have. Walk-in pregnancy tests like yours are one of the awesome services they provide along with on site, immediate counseling following the results. I would assume they also provide birth control to women in need of it, an option you chose not to take that certainly counters your righteous stance that women should “stop denying that sex and procreation are inseparably linked” [sic; repetition not mine]. It seems as though the two were not always linked for you. Young people are often more honest about how they feel and what they want, until someone teaches them not to be.

          (I don’t know where the non sequitur about lobbying Congress came from.)

          • You’re right…to a point. Sexuality is a beautiful, integral part of being human, and no one ought to be a ashamed of it. I think A Molina’s point was that pregnancy should never be something to be ashamed of either. She is merely stating that she chose to go ahead with her pregnancy, and she is very glad that she did because she had a beautiful daughter. If she had gone ahead with the abortion, that daughter would not be here.

            That said…I think sexuality is so beautiful and so precious that I’m saving it for one person, namely, the person I marry. It’s not because I’m ashamed of it! No, it’s a part of wonderful me, how could I be ashamed of it? (and if I really loved someone, why would I just give them something I think is gross?) I’d just prefer to save all of me, especially that very intimate part of me, for one person. Call me a hopeless romantic, but hey, there it is. 🙂 And why would I belittle any part of that sexuality? I mean, even if I’m an animal, a result of sex is babies. Babies are part of my sexuality. There’s no reason to treat them like an STI would be treated; biologically speaking, that was supposed to happen!

            I think that was more what she was trying to say. I realize there’s a whole other host of issues here, and what I just said may seem a bit over simplistic. I’m not saying that this is an answer to the college student who has a child and struggles to finish her degree, or even has to drop out. I’m just saying that she doesn’t need to be ashamed if she decides to go ahead and carry the pregnancy to term.

            Not everyone who is pro-life and a virgin is ashamed of sexuality, or considers it just a series of ‘urges’. There are the prudes out there who think that sex is bad, but that’s not right.

            Google Christopher West. Yes, fair warning, it’s Catholic, but it’s NOT down on sex.

            • Just trying to explain rationale, by the way.

              Your life is your life, I have no right to give my personal opinions on it unless you ask me to (which I realize you haven’t). Just giving you a piece of mine.

              • Thanks Gianna – I think you summed up the pro-life/pro-choice issue BEAUTIFULLY when you asid this: “Your life is your life, I have no right to give my personal opinions on it unless you ask me to…”

                Every single pro-choice person I’ve ever met has advocated, not for choosing the procedure of an abortion, but rather for the pregnant woman to make up her OWN mind about what’s best for her. The pro-life side says that they know what’s best, but I cannot in good consciousness take that side, because I believe a pregnant woman knows what’s best for her better than I or anyone else (who is not personally involved in the situation) does. And that’s why I am pro-choice.

                In other words, if you want to have a baby, go for it! If you want ten babies, go for it! If you want an abortion, go for it! All I want is TO ENSURE THAT YOU ARE ABLE TO RECEIVE THE MEDICAL CARE YOU ARE ENTITLED TO AS A HUMAN BEING, no matter what your opinion is on reproductive rights generally.

                • A LOT of women, thousands, who have obtained abortions have later said that abortion wasn’t the best option for them. Some actively campaign against it (check out SilentNoMore. At the very least, it’ll give you fodder for more articles.) While there are pro-lifers who actively try to manipulate or intimidate women (to our shame, I’ll be the first to admit) there are many who simply aim to inform the women of the health and psychological risks inherent in the procedure, risks that most abortion clinics do not inform their patrons of (for an example of this, look up abortionists Leroy Carhart and Kermit Gosnell) and then offer them an alternative to abortion in the form of adoption or pregnancy and child-care support. Others try to fight the system by asking that abortion clinics be held up to common medical standards required for medical clinics- which, by the way, shouldn’t pro-choicers be doing this? After all, they’re the ones who want the procedure to be ‘safe and readily available’. Why are the pro-lifers the ONLY ones I’ve seen blowing the whistle on this? Sure, some clinics are ‘safe’, but not all of them. I’d be interested to see any examples to the contrary on this, it’s truly something that puzzles me.

                  • I suppose I ought to clarify…sure, healthcare is important (we’ve already amply established that we disagree on whether abortion is healthcare). But shouldn’t it be SAFE? Nail salons literally have more regulations in the city of Philadelphia than abortion clinics…look up MSN news on Kermit Gosnell for proof from a (secular, not pro-life affiliated) source. So…why are the only ones even trying to regulate this pro-life?

                    • Women’s clinics are ludicrously regulated beyond what they need to be safe. The size of janitors’ closets and number of parking spaces have nothing to do with quality of care and they are regulated in a number of states and cities. Surgical facilities are not necessary at clinics that offer only medical abortion services. Live birthing centers are not as highly regulated at clinics that perform abortions and giving birth is drastically more dangerous.

                  • When you take into account the woman’s state of mind BEFORE she experiences an unplanned pregnancy, the incidence of depression, regret, distress and mental illness is no different in women who’ve had abortions than those of the general population. What is needed is better assistance for mental health, decreased stigma for seeking help and better access to contraception — another target of “pro-life” activists.

                    • Additionally, the anti-choice literature and sites do not take into account the women who seek but cannot obtain abortion services. A new study I encourage you to check out actually does that: What Happens to Women Who Are Denied Abortions? as reported in the New York Times.

                    • I’m sorry Katie, but you’re dead wrong on the clinics, at least in some areas. Look up the regulations for the city of Philadelphia for abortion clinics. There are almost literally none. I urge you to look up Kermit Gosnell’s case and the conditions that were present in his clinic. Truly disgusting- as in dried blood caked on his equipment and cat urine all over the recovery beds. Leroy Carhart is another example. Two women have died in his clinic because of unsafe medical practices- not because of any complications to an otherwise ‘safe’ procedure.
                      Also, I have personally known women who have had abortions and suffered adverse medical effects because of them years later- one woman I know almost miscarried her (planned) baby several times and suffered a difficult birth because of damage to her reproductive system (I think it was her cervix). At the very least, women ought to have a opportunity to know the possible side effects of a surgical procedure that they’re undergoing- and clinics often don’t honestly give them.
                      I agree that there should be no stigma for seeking mental health and that better mental health resources should be pursued.

                    • You’re describing the lack of enforcement, not the lack of regulation. The laws are clear; PA ignored calls to inspect the facility. Often that happens when cutbacks in budgets reduce staff to ineffective levels. Other times it happens when conservative legislators fail to make women’s health a priority, much to the detriment of women’s health and lives. For the thousandth time, Gosnell’s actions were illegal. Regulations are in place. A lack of enforcement in combination with harassment of patients and the few legal clinics left that have made unnecessary, expensive upgrades to things like janitors closets and security measures created an environment where Gosnell was allowed to prey on desperate women.

                    • More on clinics in yet another municipality were authorities ignored decades of cries that illegal procedures were being done. This is what happens when good, legal, safe facilities are regulated out of existence. Sadists step in to fill the void. http://rhrealitycheck.org/article/2013/07/11/for-decades-authorities-let-rogue-abortion-provider-harm-women-despite-pleas-from-legitimate-doctors/

        • Awesome comment. We are heading out now, like babies, to the mega Planned Parenthood to God-willing bring sanity to other young women going there for whatever reason. Your comment will inspire us today and we will pray for you and thank God for your witness here!

          Katie, you failed to respond to your human person’s offspring = human person when you were exhibiting your degrees. Have a few of those myself and know enough to see your bad logic and bad science despite your credentials.

          Done on your blog for awhile. Will not be done at the abortion centers until the Good Lord says it is time to go home. God bless you and heal you, he loves you very much even if you were stripped of your credentials and no matter what you’ve done or failed to do. All of us are guilty. I wish you the best according to his plan for your life including a glimpse of Jesus Christ’s great love for you. He’s my Lord and Savior and I would be remiss if I didn’t mention him.

  10. Thanks, Katie! Please continue (me, messing with the title of the Barbara Jordan book) writing and speaking the truth with eloquent thunder! You make out Pro-Choice community proud!

    Betsy Schaack

  11. Awesome Katie!

  12. Reblogged this on Antigone Awakens and commented:
    Awesome response to the crazy on her post https://katiespeak.com/2013/06/03/picketers-vs-patients/. You should read it (well, both of them…and pretty much anything else she writes) now.

    Also, much prochoice love, Katie, for sharing the love on your blog. 😀

  13. Just freakin’ awesome!!!! Keep it up 🙂

    • Thanks again, Katie, for reminding me that we still have a long way to go before everyone grasps the rights of the developed human! Sad but oh so true… but, please keep up the factual great posts! They are obviously still very necessary given all of the responses to Picketers vs Patients! You make our Pro-Choice community proud!

      • Doing what I can! I won’t take the time to respond to every, single anti that passes through after this, but it was important in proving the point I made in Picketers vs Patients. They really don’t know (willingly or unwillingly) anything about reality and they aren’t in it for the sanctity of life. No one protesting on behalf of life would spout the lies or vitriol that they do. I wanted to get as many of their tactics and lines compiled in once place and they definitely complied with that goal!
        I’m proud to have stood out — in the freezing, snow, heat and rain! — with you!

        • You are clearly an idiot. We do protest for life. Unlike you we care about babies and we don’t want them dead. We want them to have a chance at life because they did not do anything wrong. The idiots who have sex before marriage and don’t want to deal with getting pregnant are the ones that don’t care about life. I do not give a crap that you are young. Should have thought about that before you decided to go have sex. Seriously you guys need to get your life together and realize what you are doing. I did not realize murder was a good thing. But whatever it is your problem. Let me know how it works out for you on judgement day. 🙂

    • Thanks, Lucy! You’re right; it was a response to the hecklers. Nicely put.

      • hi Katie, I’m pro-choice (if forced to choose a side!) but I disagree with many pro-choice arguments. It is a baby (unborn baby is the very definition of foetus). It is a unique human being. It does not have the potential of being a human -it is one. It has the potential for growing, for being born, for becoming an adult etc. Why am I pro-choice? Because however much we may want to give every human a “right to life” I believe a woman’s right not to have someone else growing inside her and living off her body for 9 months if she doesn’t want it doing so trumps the baby’s right to life. Even the declaration of human rights states that no rights can be enforced which compromise another’s rights. Unborn babies live and grow through the willing hospitality of the woman who Carries them. If she does not wish to carry the baby by what right do we force her? Also almost 80% of fertilised eggs don’t make it to birth. Without access to safe abortion women die, rates of infanticide and child abandonment increase, parents are left less able to control family size when contraception fails and further poverty results. Some studies even show crime rates are higher where abortion is restricted. God/nature kills 80% of embryos. If induced abortion makes it 82% and prevents women dying and all those other social problems, call me evil but I can live with that. If we want to be pro-life we should.focus money and resources on reducing that 80% by finding out why so many embryos are naturally lost and how can we prevent it. As you also point out contraception, childcare and support for parents and families also reduce rates of abortion without killing women.


  1. I Want Katie Klabusich to Keep on Talking! « Pro-Life Hotline
  2. I Want Katie Klabusich to Keep on Talking! | Pro-Life News
  3. Picketers vs Patients « KatieSpeak
  4. Pray and Fast for Three Abortion Activists This Lent « Pro-Life Hotline
  5. Is the Pro-Life Action League “Targeting” Abortion Advocates? « Pro-Life Hotline
  6. Writer Calls Pro-Life Prayer Campaign to Convert Abortion Activists "Intimidation" and "Harassment" | LifeNews.com

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