Opinions On Plan B

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Discus: College Confidential Café: 2004 Archive: Opinions On Plan B
By Bumblebee83 (Bumblebee83) on Thursday, May 13, 2004 - 12:42 am: Edit

Hi parents-
I'm not a "grown up", I'm a student. But I wanted to know what some educated people thought about the recent FDA decision regarding the Plan B pill. I find that people my age are educated in their opinions, and I wanted to know what some adults thought, especially the women. Thanks!

By Smhop (Smhop) on Thursday, May 13, 2004 - 01:17 am: Edit

If this pill is available, girls will likely us it instead of other methods of BC-- that will result in more sexually trans disease. :/

Lastly, there have to be some tremendous health risks involved with taking those extreme levels of hormones. Imagine the girl who takes it 2 or 3 times in a year--

SO IMO: H3LL yeah, it should be by prescrip only! BC there is way to much potential for abuse.

I personally think people should take responsibility for thier actions. *** IMO: Plan ahead, capiche? ***

By Demingy (Demingy) on Thursday, May 13, 2004 - 01:27 am: Edit

Plan ahead doesn't necessarily apply in cases of rape or incest. Especially in cases of incest, it would probably be more difficult/less likely that a girl would get a prescription, but probably easier to get it over the counter.

I know that unfortunately there will be a lot of girls that would abuse this, but I think that the key to that has always been education. The more we can educate everyone about the true risks, the less "oops". It is still a problem, but I also still know a LOT of people who don't know much about sex ed. Much of this has to do with taboos associated with it as well as the fact that many schools are only able to really start teaching it in high school. Kids know how babies are made, they should also gradually learn about the "uglier" side of sex.

By Interesteddad (Interesteddad) on Thursday, May 13, 2004 - 01:34 am: Edit

It seems to me that if society wants to reduce the number of abortions and out-of-wedlock births, then society must make effective contraception as widely available as possible.

By Ariesathena (Ariesathena) on Thursday, May 13, 2004 - 01:58 pm: Edit

My understanding is that Plan B is not without its side effects - most unpleasant ones at that. Also, the cost is fairly high; few people would use it as regular birth control.

15,000 pages of documentation supported that Plan B is safe for over-the-counter sales. The intial vote was something like 23-4 in favour of it. Politics, not science, is the cause of its rejection for OTC sales.

I'm not in favour of using the government to micromanage people. Yes, there could be abuse by having Plan B sold OTC. What's the harm? To someone's body? Cigarettes are legal. Alcohol is legal. Eating a Whopper every day is legal - though terrible for your health.

Yes, people might be better off if they were on health food only diets, restricted from excess fat, and exercised - though we don't ration food out or require someone's permission to eat junk.

Finally - 1.3 million abortions per year, and people are worried that Plan B might be abused? Get off of it. The US has a higher teen pregnacy rate and a higher rate of unintended pregnancies than many developed countries. Rational politics should try to eliminate the problem, not exacerbate it.

Far too many college women wake up in the morning after a night of drinking and realize that someone may have taken advantage of them. Estimates are that 20 - 25% of college women will have an experience like that or be raped - i.e. nonconsentual sex. So they are then supposed to beg a pharmacist for Plan B after that? Are you aware that some pharmacies won't carry it and some pharmacists feel morally obligated to not dispense it?

Why do people feel as if women should somehow atone for their sexual sins by asking permission for Plan B? That's really what it comes down to - the "there is so much potential for abuse" crowd seem to think that the skies will fall if a girl does not have someone chastise her for sex... as if the fear of pregnancy isn't enough already.

Condoms break. One in thirty women who use them consistently and correctly over a year will become pregnant. Hence the "Plan B" title.

By Jenniferpa (Jenniferpa) on Thursday, May 13, 2004 - 02:04 pm: Edit

Hear, Hear, Ariesathena, and I'm speaking as a one in thirty (that would be my youngest!).

By Smhop (Smhop) on Thursday, May 13, 2004 - 03:18 pm: Edit

"15,000 pages of documentation supported that Plan B is safe for over-the-counter sales"

Ha! If you truly believe that studies proving that are anything more than in the interest of the pharmacutecal company- which stands to make a FORTUNE selling this... puhlease!

Another interesting thing about Plan B is that it is by definition not a 'preventive' method of BC,but rather it is an 'abortive' method. And, while I personally make no jugements concerning anyone... I do think women should be aware of the difference so they can make informed choice.

By Ariesathena (Ariesathena) on Thursday, May 13, 2004 - 03:41 pm: Edit


You are 1/2 correct. (Glass is half full?) Plan B works in two ways: to prevent ovulation from occuring, or, if it has, to prevent implantation of the embryo.

Obviously, the sooner that it is taken, the higher the chance that it will be prevent ovulation over the crucial time period.

JenniferPA: thanks. :)

By Jenniferpa (Jenniferpa) on Thursday, May 13, 2004 - 03:42 pm: Edit

Actually, I think you might be wrong about Plan B being abortive, if we're talking about definitions. It stops the implantation of a fertilized egg, which would be preventative. In fact, it can't terminate an established pregnancy.

By Enjoyingthis (Enjoyingthis) on Thursday, May 13, 2004 - 04:05 pm: Edit

Ariesathena-- you said it all so well and I'm with you all the way.

By Emeraldkity4 (Emeraldkity4) on Thursday, May 13, 2004 - 04:55 pm: Edit

IUDS also work the same way
Too bad men can't get pregnant we would have something more reliable by now
( as spoken by someone who has gotten pregnant twice while properly using birthcontrol)

By Cleveland (Cleveland) on Thursday, May 13, 2004 - 05:39 pm: Edit

Plan B is most effective when used in the first part of a woman's cycle, before she would likely ovulate. And, by the way, Plan B has been used for years----before it was packaged as "Plan B" doctors would merely give women a couple of oral contraceptive (that contain the same hormones as Plan B) pills and it would work the same way as Plan B. The most common side effect is nausea.

By Ariesathena (Ariesathena) on Thursday, May 13, 2004 - 11:30 pm: Edit

Cleveland: Isn't Plan B equivalent to about three pills in dosage?

I've heard that the nausea can be pretty bad - hence why I don't think that many people would use it regularly for birth control. (That and cost - what does Plan B run at?)

By Bumblebee83 (Bumblebee83) on Friday, May 14, 2004 - 12:53 am: Edit

Alright, time for my two cents.
The politicians (some, not all) in this country are trying to push back women's rights. Shrub has done more to undercut reproductive rights than basically any other president. Rather than launch and outright attack on Roe vs Wade, he's cutting back other things slowly but surely (see www.thetruthaboutgeorge.com). Three weeks ago, 1.2 million people marched in DC to fight back, and two weeks after, Plan B is denied OTC status. I know that I personally and my 100 closest friends all signed a petition protesting this months ago. He has his own agenda and rather than listening to the doctors he hired to evaluate it, he chose what "god" would tell him was right. He went with politics instead of science.
The problem isn't that it's illegal to use Plan B. But I'm sure a lot of women, especially young ones, would not be comfortable telling their doctors that they needed it. Especially in states where there are laws against giving out birth control or giving abortions to girls under 18 without parental knowledge. There's a slim to none chance that I would have told my mom in high school that I needed Plan B or an abortion or even condoms, and I have WONDERFUL parents who wouldn't have judge or condemned me because of my actions. The problem as I see it is that it's a invasion of my privacy to have to ask a pharmist for it (which is all you need in CA) let alone asking my dr. for it. I get my birth control for my friendly neighborhood nurse practioner at Planned parenthood who does her job because she understands it's importance. Shrub was trying to get into medical records and see what women had had abortions, like it's his business. Thankfully that got denied. I say, butt out Bush. It's my body, not yours!

By Cleveland (Cleveland) on Friday, May 14, 2004 - 08:58 am: Edit

Ariesathena, I was speaking in general terms. Before Plan B, doctors would use a couple of Ovral pills (higher dose pill, no longer exists), which is why they only needed a couple of them.

By Ariesathena (Ariesathena) on Friday, May 14, 2004 - 12:52 pm: Edit

Okay... I knew that you could theoretically take.....


I don't think any of us would like to be responsible for anyone self-medicating themselves with a guessed dosage of any substance---certainly not when the effects and side-effects are of such a serious nature.


By Garland (Garland) on Friday, May 14, 2004 - 02:18 pm: Edit

I agree that Plan B should be legalized. i also think that smhop and Ariesathena are right about it being potentially abortive, and that this should be publicized, so that those who have qualms would know exactly what is entailed. In my view, implantation is just mechanics: the new DNA was set at fertilization. Some might see it differently, but the point is that this is a personal view, and information about the actual process should be clear. It will be important to some people.

By Ariesathena (Ariesathena) on Friday, May 14, 2004 - 03:48 pm: Edit

Garland: Take a look at this month's Discover magazine. It has an article about viable life actually being determined in the ovaries - the quality of the egg determines whether or not it will survive to become a child (assuming fertilization). There is a lot that can go wrong between fertilization and birth - many embryos do not develop correctly. 80% of pregancies (roughly) end in spontaneous abortion - i.e. miscarriage.

I wholeheartedly agree that the potential of Plan B to prevent implantation (which some people see as abortive) should be understood - to reiterate above, Plan B prevents ovulation if it has not happened, and prevents implantation if it has.

... I do think that knowledge is power, and pardon the cliche - in favour of having women understand the mechanics of the birth control they are taking, whether it be the Pill or Plan B.

By Aparent4 (Aparent4) on Friday, May 14, 2004 - 05:05 pm: Edit

I say this as someone who donates money to various pro-choice groups. I would not like to think that Plan B would be used as a method of birth control, and yet I am concerned that it might be. I wish there were a category of medications somewhere between Rx and OTC, because that's where I think Plan B belongs. However, because of the anti-choice agenda that is currently being pushed in this country -- and I would *never* want to see you young women go back to those terrible days before our choice was legal -- and because I believe this decision was part of that agenda, I am completely opposed to the FDA decision.

By Ariesathena (Ariesathena) on Friday, May 14, 2004 - 05:22 pm: Edit

Plan B might be used for birth control... BUT:

*It is only 75% effective
*It is expensive
*It causes nausea

I don't think that many people would use it for birth control more than once or twice; eventually, people would realize that it's not cheap (and teenagers don't have much money - and they are probably the ones more likely to do that), and that it makes them sick. Also, if the 75% figure were broadcasted enough (esp. compared to 97% for condoms, 99+ for the pill, etc), most people would realize that it's a back-up, not a prevention method. Maybe I have too much faith in people's intelligence...

By Chavi (Chavi) on Friday, May 14, 2004 - 11:36 pm: Edit

It is so sad that you can all talk so casually about the ending of an innocent human life. Sure, jump on my case, you can't stand to be reminded to consider right and wrong, just have your fun. Seems to me that more and more "effective birth control" over the last 40 years has resulted in more, not less, abortions and out of wedlock births. You're bright people, figure it out. Consider the possibility that separating sex from procreation has resulted in total lack of respect for the sexual act and the intimacy that comes with it. Consider also that the availability of birth control has led this generation to believe they have a right to control every aspect of their sexual lives, right down to the brutal killing of their own children. The mother's right to abort her child has led to the father thinking he has the right to force the mother to kill her child, hence the need for the Unborn Victims of Violence Act. We now have a right to sex, whenever, however and with whomever we please. And darn it, don't let those pesky babies interfere with that, just pop a pill or two or three. What in the world are we becoming?

By Bumblebee83 (Bumblebee83) on Saturday, May 15, 2004 - 12:42 am: Edit

We're becoming not SLAVES. I'm not using that term lightly here either. If I had children right now, I wouldn't be in college, I wouldn't have a job, I would have no prospect of a career other than domesticity. And why in the world would I have sex if I thought I was going to get pregnant every time? I prefer to be intimate with the man I have chosen to be when I feel like, as an exspression of my love for him.
Have you ever eaten a big mac and then not run the 15 miles it would take to burn off the fat and calories? This is similar to birth control in my opinion. When I can have sex and NOT have a baby, then I can enjoy sex and have children when I'm psychologically, emotionally, and financially ready.
Abortion wasn't illegal until the end of the 1800s. It was a common practice in fact, because to have 10 children is a major risk to the woman's life. And it happened in concurence with making prostitution illegal to protect women that had been taught their entire lives that sex was dirty from their husbands who had sex with prostitutes.
I'm assuming you have children. Would you want your s or daughter to be a parent right now. Cause guess what, if they're going away to college, they're going to have sex.
The problem isn't that teenagers are having sex. The problem is PARENTS LIKE YOU who refuse to educate their children on birth control and stds and how to prevent pregnancy. When Plan B is effecitve is 72 hours after intercourse, You can't even begun to take pregnancy tests then, and it doesn't harm a fetus. It does expell the embryo, but it has yet to transplant itself into the uterus. Your "child" is about four cells big and just as soon turn out to be frog or even a monkey (uhoh evolution!) as it is to be human.
I do have the right to control EVERY aspect of my sex life. I had great parents who taught me how to be safe and ya know what, I've been with the same guy for three years, he's the only guy I've ever slept with or plan to. Why? Because I didn't get pregnant, I didn't get forced into marriage with someone I didn't love. I didn't demolish my future. Those pesky babies you speak of would interfere with my LIFE. With my education, with my career, with my ability to provide for my children in the future.
The Unborn victims of violence act protects people like Lacy Peterson and her son Connor, who was past the age of viabality i.e. he could have survived without mom.
So if your kids end up having to end their college careers because YOU don't want them to be able to get Plan B, remember your words.

By Rowan (Rowan) on Saturday, May 15, 2004 - 01:44 am: Edit

Controversially and quite jokingly, one of the best teachers at my school (AP Euro/Honors World History) is fond of saying, "Everyone is pro-life until the accident[al pregnancy]."

By Aparent4 (Aparent4) on Saturday, May 15, 2004 - 09:16 am: Edit

"We now have a right to sex, whenever, however and with whomever we please. And darn it, don't let those pesky babies interfere with that, just pop a pill or two or three." This is not what I have taught either my s or my d. You don't make a very good argument when you suggest that pro-choice advocates are all in favor of random, irresponsible sexual encounters. I think it's important to teach young people respect for one's partner and an awareness that sex can result in conception. At the same time, I am aware that people sometimes make mistakes and believe that abortion, though very sad and not to be taken lightly, is, in those cases, a compassionate choice.

By Jenniferpa (Jenniferpa) on Saturday, May 15, 2004 - 09:57 am: Edit

"Consider the possibility that separating sex from procreation has resulted in total lack of respect for the sexual act and the intimacy that comes with it."

So sex is only acceptable if it involves procreation? I understand that this is the Catholic Church's position, but I'm willing to stand up right now and say that if contraception wasn't available the level of intimacy in my marriage would have gone way down.

Although strongly pro-choice, I can respect the views of those who oppose it, but I will take issue with someone informing me that the world would be a better place if sex and procreation were inseperable.

By Chavi (Chavi) on Saturday, May 15, 2004 - 10:18 am: Edit

Bumblebee, methinks you doth protest too much. Why are you so angry about it? If you have had such a wonderful upbringing and life, why aren't you content? You value your freedom so much you've become a slave to it. Nothing and no one is going to interfere with it. It has become your God. And Aparent, compassionate for whom? Certainly not for the baby. I can picture you now, tearing a child limb from limb, crushing its skull, burning its skin off with acid, all the while smiling sweetly and cooing, "this is for your own good, honey". Think about it. That is the reality of what you are saying. And by the way, in response to your arguments about "love", real love is being able to place the best interests of others ahead of your own. You're right, Bumblebee, you're not ready to be a parent. And if and when you conceive a child, you are a parent whether you like it or not, whether you suck it down a sink or not. If that is how you can treat your children now, I do hope you grow up a lot more before you acutally raise one. That four cell embryo is a life separate from your own. It has its entire genetic makeup. That baby you wash away was designed especially for you, maybe with your eyes, your hair, the same little smile, maybe your appreciation for literature and her father's love of the outdoors. You'll never know that child now, at least not in this life. And the saddest part of all is that you may never appreciate the value of that child's existence, because your enjoyment of your life is so much more important to you. And Rowan, other great teachers have been fond of saying that pro-abortionists are pro-abortion only until they reach that point in their life when they're ready for children, and find they are unable to have them. Only then do they realize the value of the children they did away with and hopefully, the value of all human life, for its own sake, not just for how it benefits us.

By Emeraldkity4 (Emeraldkity4) on Saturday, May 15, 2004 - 11:38 am: Edit

Chavi, against abortion? Don't have one.
Don't try and determine my choice or regulate my health care. Just for the record, the two times I became pregnant while properly using birth control I had early ( 8 week and earlier) abortions. I was using birthcontrol because I didn't want to have a child, the fact that I became pregnant did not change that fact so I had an abortion.
I also have two healthy children.
The abortions didn't change my ability to have children in the least anymore than using birthcontrol did.

By Bumblebee83 (Bumblebee83) on Saturday, May 15, 2004 - 02:01 pm: Edit

I value my freedom, I'm not a slave to it. I do know that some people in this world try to take my freedom away. I've never had an abortion and I don't intend to. I'm not angry about anything, I'm sorry that I feel passion for what I believe, I'll try to keep my feelings all bottled up inside so that one day I too will be able to talk about children being ripped from their limbs and having acid poured on them.
I'm content with my life. Actually Im more than content. I love my life. I love my parents and I have a great relationship with them. I'm one of the few college-aged people I know that calls home because I want to, not because I have to. Let's see how that goes for you.
Tell me, are you for the Iraq war? Isn't that actually slavery to freedom? Being a slave to freedom is the stupidest thing I've ever heard anyone say. If you hate freedom so much maybe you should move to Afghanistan where they do genital mutilation on women to ensure they don't enjoy sex. That seems right up your alley.
That baby wasn't designed for me; it was designed BY me, and at this point in my life having an abortion would be putting the needs of my children, right now and later on, before my own. If I had a baby now, it would ruin my future and that childs. My child would probably have children very young as well. how is that compassionate?
It's funny how you didnt mention your own children. Do I touch a nerve there maybe? Are you afraid to admit your children will one day have sex? And probably soon, if not already. Did you wait until you were married? Or did you get pregnant and had to get married and now in retrospect you're bitter because you were never afforded all of lifes opportunities? Or do you just not have any good sex? Maybe thats it.
I don't need to try to be perfect in this life because this is the only one I've got. An afterlife is a silly notion for people are too afraid to live now, so they put off living until they're dead. And quite frankly, attacking me, my beliefs, and my parents doesn't seem like a very christian thing to do.

By Aparent4 (Aparent4) on Saturday, May 15, 2004 - 02:43 pm: Edit

Chavi, your references to late-term abortion in your attack on me (you seem to argue by attacking everyone on this thread in turn) are irrelevant. This thread is about the use of the Plan B pill. If you believe that an embryo has a skull, limbs, or skin within the first days of conception, I would suggest you consult your biology books again.

By Bumblebee83 (Bumblebee83) on Saturday, May 15, 2004 - 03:55 pm: Edit

I love you. You said it. Thanks for bringing some sanity into my day.

By Moojuice (Moojuice) on Saturday, May 15, 2004 - 09:00 pm: Edit

Oh, guys, you should know you can't possibly argue with someone so anti-abortion. A sperm and an egg are not a human. You have thousands of them! What's so wrong with having sex for the pleasure or intimacy of it? Chavi, you say that birth control takes the intimacy out of sex. That is complete malarky. Maybe it does for you, but YOU'RE probably just blindly following some three thousand year old novel.

Yeah, it'd be wrong to knock you off with a giant birth control pill (though as I write this, more and more I'm thinking it'd be fun) but you can't decide what's moral and what's not. That's the problem with people who are so blind to options and want to be so controlling over others, they think their morality is the only strain of acceptable belief. God, people like you tick me off. Try to accept other people's beliefs for once.

By Bumblebee83 (Bumblebee83) on Sunday, May 16, 2004 - 01:49 am: Edit

Again, thanks for bringing some sanity to my day. I know it's completly useless to argue with Chavi, but I have to give it a shot. Even if I don't make them see whats wrong with the things they say, maybe I can bring someone else to the light.

By Ariesathena (Ariesathena) on Sunday, May 16, 2004 - 03:03 pm: Edit

Without birth control, the average woman would have 12-15 children during her lifetime. That is not healthy for her (most would need hysterectomies afterwards), not good for the kids (few parents can support 15 children), for the planet (enough overpopulation already), and for our society (simply put, we lack the resources to effectively deal with that influx of children).

Years ago, people got married a lot younger - so of course children born to those couples were born into wedlock. Divorce rate was lower, though often for the wrong reasons. Women lacked the ability to leave abusive relationships. Marriages were a lot more straightforward: men worked, women stayed at home. Doesn't please everybody, but makes things easy. People were still having sex at age 22... they were just married. Do you expect that people will stay chaste until they marry at age 34? (Which is not uncommon these days...)

Personally, I know what it is like to be born to a parent who does not want children and was not, psychologically or emotionally, ready for parenthood. I would NOT wish that on anyone... and my older sister had it worse. Having a parent who loves you but cannot effectively parent and care for you is disatrous to one's emotional well-being. I saw the effects of that; I've seen someone I love spend the past 25 years struggling with self-acceptance from it. Children born to that situation are being done no favours.

Aparent and JenniferPA: you said it beautifully. I imagine that you kids probably have a very healthy view of sex, intimacy, marriage - and the time and place for all of them.

By Chavi (Chavi) on Sunday, May 16, 2004 - 09:14 pm: Edit

Ariesathena, I wish your parents had done a better job. That's exactly what I'm trying to say. No contraception is foolproof, and abortion is violence to both the child and the mother. To be truly responsible, wait for sex until you are ready, able and willing to properly care for a child. I'm sure you wish your parents had loved you enough to do that. But things like Plan B and other abortifacients not only take an innocent life but dull your own humanity and ability to love. Set your goals higher and have more faith in your ability to control your desires.

By Moojuice (Moojuice) on Sunday, May 16, 2004 - 09:26 pm: Edit

The fact that you claim using birth control such as Plan B dulls "your own humanity and ability to love" is complete crap. I can't believe you can claim that anyone who uses birth control can't love. The fact of the matter is that it takes more love for your partner and family to use birth control than to have a baby no one wants. Quite often, unwanted children get schlepped on the grandparents or other family members. This estranges the child and puts stress on the world around the parents. When you use birth control you are only killing sperm or an egg. You're not killing a child!

It's all fine and dandy for you to preach to people like you're Jesus or something but I bet Jesus would have been a lot more tolerant and able to empathise with others than you are.

By Chavi (Chavi) on Sunday, May 16, 2004 - 10:54 pm: Edit

Actually, Jesus didn't much tolerate injustice upon the innocent. But, sorry I gave the wrong impression, but I was talking about abortion. (Although I don't advocate artificial birth control, either, but that's another issue.) I did mean to include the abortifacient aspects of Plan B and I guess you could include the abortifacient aspects of the pill. What this means is that both Plan B and the pill can sometimes result in preventing an already conceived embryo from implanting in the uterus. But that is much more than an egg and a sperm. The embryo would have been growing in the fallopian tube for up to a few days before trying to implant in the uterus. And yes, that would be a human life, separate and distinct from your own, ready, willing and able to grow into a beautiful, unique person. I know quite a few "wanted" children who were treated badly by their parents, and quite a few "unwanted" or at least "unplanned" children who were raised very lovingly. Some of them were even given to adoptive parents by some very brave and strong parents who truly knew how to love. I hesitate to say this, because some will make my children the object of their hatred, but two of my children should never have been born according to your standards. One was conceived in a mental health facility, and the other was conceived by a couple of homeless drug addicts. I thank God every day for their existence. They are well loved and cared for, but more importantly, they are on this earth for a reason and have been allowed by their birth parents the opportunity to fulfill that purpose. Don't think I don't empathize with someone in a difficult situation such as unwanted pregnancy. I only hope to direct them to a much more fulfilling and loving result, not to harm themselves and the baby by aborting their own child. Women deserve better, and so do the babies.

By Moojuice (Moojuice) on Sunday, May 16, 2004 - 11:21 pm: Edit

Wow. My mother was adopted so she is the product of an unwanted conception. I'm trying to understand where you're coming from, but it's difficult for me. A two day old embryo does not have a want to become a "beautiful, unique person". A human baby doesn't start thinking until well into its development. I'm not sure where along the nine-months pregnancy, but I know for a fact that an embryo does not.

The problem with the "pro-life" movement is that they are trying to force their beliefs down everyone else's throat. The way the law is set up now is that people can choose to have an abortion or use birth control such as Plan B or they can be pro-life. "Pro-life" people are trying to change the law so that those who are pro-choice don't have the freedom to decide whether or not to have an abortion.

By Ariesathena (Ariesathena) on Monday, May 17, 2004 - 12:02 am: Edit

The pill works by preventing ovulation.

When a blastocyst (correct term for unimplanted embryo) is in the Fallopian tubes, it is far, far from a human. It is four cells with no nourishment save for granules attached to the ova. None of the cells are differentiated. It has less than a 10% chance of surviving until birth. The mother's actions of the three preceding months - nutrition, alcohol, etc - will determine the health and viability of the egg.

To equate a few cells and 184 chromosomes with a human is to undermine our humanity.

By the way, I could not have asked for a better father. He did an exceptional job in raising four tolerant children. Should only Chavis' and other's parents done likewise, what would the world be.

By Taru (Taru) on Monday, May 17, 2004 - 11:10 am: Edit

Right right right Aries!

Just something to think about regarding birth conrol.... My great-grandmother was married and pregnant at fourteen. She bled to death at forty-two after giving birth to her eleventh child. And my own grandmother's body is very damaged as a result of having nine children through forceps deliveries. Both these women lived in areas where birth control was unavailable/illegal and medical practices were still medieval. I wouldn't wish these experiences on any woman.

By Demingy (Demingy) on Monday, May 17, 2004 - 09:41 pm: Edit

Chavi, I know that this will put me in the "realm" of evil, but I wanted to show my support of Emeraldkity4, Bumblebee83, Aparent4, Moojuice, Ariesathena, and Taru (and anyone else I may have missed). I just think it is sad because I fully support your decision to abstain from intercourse unless you are trying to conceive (and believe me, I feel for you because I know that must be difficult), but you blindly call everyone who does not share your decision monsters (or whatever word you'd substitute here). I do not expect to change your mind, but as I said, I wanted to stand up.

Also, it is difficult when people get so far into their beliefs that they cannot distinguish between life and "cells". If you do some research (and I mean true scientific research with documented testing), you'll find that in actuality there is a large percentage of fertilized eggs that do not implant even if the woman is very healthy, not on birth control, etc. Would anyone consider this suicide on the part of the fertilized egg? Then of course there is the argument that even preventing a potentially viable egg from even becoming fertilized.....and I can't help but think of Monty Python's Meaning of Life where the man with at least 50 kids is singing the song "Every Sperm is Sacred" after he tells his children that he is going to have to get rid of a bunch of them because he can't afford to keep them.

Emeraldkity4 and Ariesathena; the more of your posts I read the more I realize how much we have in common and it is very heartwarming.

By Moojuice (Moojuice) on Monday, May 17, 2004 - 09:53 pm: Edit

Yes, Demingy, that scene from Meaning of Life keeps popping into my head each time I read a new post by Chavi. And then I see the protestant saying to his wife "see, the beautiful thing is, any time we want to up and do it, I just pop on one of these little rubbers". Pure genius.

Oh, Chavi, personal question, which you don't have to answer. But are you a virgin? You say that your children are adopted and that you believe strongly in abstinance unless one is trying to conceive a child. Wouldn't that make you a virgin by your philosophy...?

By Demingy (Demingy) on Monday, May 17, 2004 - 10:19 pm: Edit

I hope you guys don't mind if I go a little OT here (of course that's already happened), but I wanted to share a story that relates to what some of us have said about education being key.

I wish I could say that I'm exaggerating or kidding here, but sadly it is 100% true.

My ex-husband is LDS (Mormon) and of course his parents were against any sort of sex education outside of "don't do it, it's filthy and wrong". At the time he told me this story, he was 25 years old. He admitted to me that he almost got his girlfriend pregnant.... Then he told me what happened. Apparently they were hanging out and she was sitting on his lap. He got "excited", and had thin pants on (trust me, these are all his words here). I guess he admitted this to her, because a couple of weeks later she told him that she'd missed her period and might be pregnant (she was NOT religious). Even at 25 he thought that he'd dogged a bullet and could have gotten her pregnant.

I was the one who had to tell him that it was not possible (we had quite the argument as he kept insisting that I had no idea how thin his pants were and how "excited" he was) and that unfortunately she was probably cheating on him and planned on taking advantage of his naivete if she'd "oops'd". Honestly, he's 31 now, and I'm not sure he still doesn't believe it.

Education is KEY, even if you are adamently against your children having sex. Unfortunately, without at least some education they are going to think they "did" and they are going to spend a good share of their lives (if not their entire lives) feeling like they are dirty and horrible. And that doesn't include the fact that they could be taken advantage of just like my ex almost was (I'm glad for his sake that she wasn't actually pregnant).

By Emeraldkity4 (Emeraldkity4) on Monday, May 17, 2004 - 11:08 pm: Edit

The thing I am concerned about if we legislate health care, what a doctor can prescribe, what is most appropriate treatment etc is that we have people who know little to nothing about health care deciding what is going to be available.
when someone can be held liable for two murders if the woman is pregnant even if it is not known , when teens need their parents permission to get birthcontrol/abortion even if it might put them at risk, how short of a distance is it to the the handmaids tale? Will miscarriage become involuntary manslaughter?
I am not saying that doctors are gods far from it, I had one doctor tell me that my daughter, who was 5 ( & who had recieved transfusions right before they began testing the blood for HIV- thanks Reagan), didn't need to be tested herself for HIV until she became sexually active- what an idiot and this guy was rated one of best doctors in Seattle.
But I still want control over what is done to my body, and I want everyone to be able to say the same.

By Ariesathena (Ariesathena) on Monday, May 17, 2004 - 11:50 pm: Edit

Emerald: what do you think of the woman who was charged with manslaughter when she refused a C-section which would, according to some physicians, save her unborn child?

(Wandering ever more off-topic, I did read an entirely rational article explaining why, legally, she should not be charged. The entire premise is that, while we want parents to sacrifice for their children, no law demands that someone undergo surgery for another person, even if said surgery would save that person's life. If the child in question is five, and the parent could possibly save him by undergoing a bone-marrow transplant, that is entirely the parent's choice. We do not legislate that a parent would have to undergo surgery, though morally we may think they should. That should not change if the child is unborn. It is an interesting take which, at the very least, shows how much society expects of pregnant women and the sacrifices they should make for their children.)

Demingy: brava! If you don't mind, I'll throw something else in there. While the "technical" education is occuring, it would be nice for an emotional education as well: children should know that sex is not inherently dirty nor good, but that the circumstances make it so. I think that a lot of parents try the "sex is bad and wrong" approach in hopes of creating children who will wait, but they end up with all sorts of problems later.

By Chavi (Chavi) on Tuesday, May 18, 2004 - 12:19 am: Edit

Boy, do you guys like missing the point or what. Here's some homework for you. Take a look at the reality of abortion. Oh, I know, you don't want to see any gory fetus photos. But you can't really talk about abortion without facing head on what it is really all about. Take a look at the following website: http://www.priestsforlife.org/resources/photosbyage/index.htm

By the way, why do you keep wanting to know personal things about me? Why are you so compelled to attack me personally instead of discussing the issue at hand? Why in the world would you accuse me of being a (gasp!) VIRGIN (what a terrible word) when I'm obviously a parent of a college age student? If you must know, I've been very happily married for 20 years and have three kids, one naturally and two adopted. I've been to college and law school and have had many more life experiences than most. I have even used birth control (oh my!) I am an adoption attorney and work with girls with unplanned preganancies. In addition to my own children, I have also taken in a couple of teenagers who have had trouble getting along with their very liberal, tolerant, politically correct parents.

I'm one of ten children born to a mother who regretted getting her tubes tied after the tenth. My oldest daughter informs me that many of her friends would love to have my husband and me for their parents because they think we are the nicest, most easy going parents they know, and they feel they can talk to us about anything, including sexual orientation, teen pregnancy and abortion. Liberal beliefs and sex education don't equate with good parenting. Love does. I would appreciate it if you self-proclaimed tolerant people would refrain from bashing me further until you've gotten educated about abortion and fetal development. Love ya, Chavi

By Demingy (Demingy) on Tuesday, May 18, 2004 - 12:21 am: Edit

Ariesathena, I absolutely don't mind, in fact that's what I've been thinking as well. I think that part of the problem is that the parents who use the "sex is bad and wrong" approach feel that they are going to make their children scared of sex and keep them away from it. Instead, they teach their children that a) they must be bad because they have those feelings and since they can't make those feelings go away then it must be "too late" for them and they are going to hell and b) their children end up scared to talk to their parents because they "know" that their parents are going to know that they are bad and wrong.

What is sad is the fact that actually more of these kids would be LESS likely to have sex too early if their parents would be more open with them. They would understand that what they are feeling is normal and that they can control those feelings. They would also understand the consequences-not just the STDs and pregnancy but also the emotional consequences.

Unfortunately I think that this type of education is difficult for most of these parents because they never received that type of education. As Chavi has demonstrated, many of them still have hangups of their own. This isn't bad in and of itself, but it does have the unfortunate side effect of perpetuating it with their own children. There's a reason why a lot of girls who have a strict upbringing end up getting pregnant. It isn't because of "society".

By Ariesathena (Ariesathena) on Tuesday, May 18, 2004 - 12:31 am: Edit

Or, to put it another way, children who are taught to not respect sex because it is "dirty" probably won't end up respecting sex, period.

By Moojuice (Moojuice) on Tuesday, May 18, 2004 - 12:37 am: Edit

I'm going to bed, but I just want to say I didn't "accuse" you by asking if you're a virgin (Which you didn't answer by the way, which is okay, yet says something about you). It was a QUESTION. Apparently you don't know the difference between an accusation and a question.

We weren't bashing you. Calling you a moron would be bashing you... we were only saying that you're no more tolerant than we are because you can't accept that OUR beliefs might be right as well. Like I said before, the problem with the pro-life movement is that it has no room for the pro-choice movement. What type of freedom is that?

And, just to mess with you, Chavi, and make you think I'm even more devoid of morals than you already think. Fetus photos. Yummy.

By Demingy (Demingy) on Tuesday, May 18, 2004 - 12:38 am: Edit

Chavi, I'm sorry that you felt that we were all attacking you. That is certainly not true (although I'm not saying that there weren't some things said in the heat of the moment that probably shouldn't have been said--on both sides).

Out of curiosity I looked at your pictures. Believe it or not, I've seen some similar to that before. Guess where. Planned Parenthood. They work very hard to make sure that women are educated about all options just as they make sure that women are educated about birth control and abstinence. I'm not sure why you assume that none of us knows about abortion. I'm certain the other women will agree that no one here believes that abortion is just no big deal. In fact, anyone who has gone through it knows how difficult the decision is.

I'm glad that you and your husband are so well respected with your childrens' friends, and although I'm surprised they feel they can talk to you about anything I'm glad that they can (everyone should have someone they feel they can talk to). I can only assume that you aren't as judgemental with them as you have been here (sorry, I can't think of a benign word here).

Finally, I must admit that your final statement was insulting. I happen to know a great deal about abortion and fetal development even though I am a "self-proclaimed tolerant" person. Hm, I guess we aren't all ignorant any more than you are.

By Emeraldkity4 (Emeraldkity4) on Tuesday, May 18, 2004 - 01:38 am: Edit

demingy yes we do have a lot in common. My sister and her family are LDS ( no I was not raised that way we were Unitarian!)
and while she does have very odd ideas , I don't think it includes sex being dirty, but I think she is real big on the just say no thing
( probably why she got married when she was 18)
Of course I who actually lived with several men before I was married, didn't get married till 24 ( still damn young) to a man that I had lived with for several years ( coming up on 23 yrs married), and I can truthfully say, that I am a much happier person than she is. Her religion does not help her cope at all, indeed I think it makes things much worse for her, she has the minimum 4 kids and she is a crappy mother, stressed to the max and a big chunk of that can probably be blamed on having kids too early.
Birth control, education should be available in the schools, cause the kids who most need it, aren't gonna get it at home

By Chavi (Chavi) on Tuesday, May 18, 2004 - 04:56 am: Edit

I recently discovered my mother’s correspondence on this message board under my name. (I suppose she did not wish to be creative at the moment . . . it was really quite disorienting to see all these responses addressing my mother by my own name . . . but of course, that’s beside the point.) And, as usual, the sheer excitement of debate compels me to insinuate myself into this ongoing argument for my own intellectual pleasure. Though this will take a long while, I would like to address the preceding repartee between my mother and other parents/students. I have copied the comments of particular interest to me and shall address them chronologically. Besides, you all know you want to see how “Chavi’s” daughter has turned out so far . . . although my mother will probably kill me when she finds out that I’m posting under her identity! (Just kidding, just kidding, chill, people.) But I have hereby logically concluded that as she is using my screen name, I am actually using my own identity. Well, enough with my customary incessant rambling.

“Have you ever eaten a big mac and then not run the 15 miles it would take to burn off the fat and calories? This is similar to birth control in my opinion.” (Bumblebee83 [hereafter referred to as “B”]) I would like to clarify that this analogy contains faulty logic because calories are not debatably (I must ask that the reader please take note of the key term “debatably” here) a human life. (Off-subject note: Generally, the human race agrees that the taking of a human life is wrong; thus, the object is only to determine whether or not something constitutes a human life.)

“Cause guess what, if they're going away to college, they're going to have sex. The problem is PARENTS LIKE YOU who refuse to educate their children on birth control and stds and how to prevent pregnancy.” Foremost, it is untrue that if one goes away to college, that person is going to have sex. I am aware that most people have already lost their virginity by high school graduation, but there are quite a few people (well, girls; I can’t speak for guys since I don’t generally discuss this with any of them . . .) who plan to wait until they are married, not due to religious belief but merely to personal preference: because life is less complicated without sex at that age, and it is easier to concentrate on studies, sports, and having fun. I am not saying that every one of these girls will stick to their plan, but I know them well enough to predict that many of them will. This commentary is simply support for the argument that not everyone who goes to college will have sex; I can also say with certainty that I will not have sex until I’m married either as a personal preference (also having nothing to do with religion, if you were wondering).

Second, a pro-life stance does not necessitate that a parent does not educate his children about sex etc. On the contrary, I am most likely far more educated than most virgins (and many who are sexually active) on these issues. My parents have discussed them with me every day as if I were an adult since I was ten years old. We also discuss every other political issue in current events, so I am extremely well educated and knowledgeable in these areas. In addition, I read romance novels (good, well written ones) to learn more about sex, passion, and mature decision-making. My mother has no problem with this (although she does forbid me from reading when I have a great deal of procrastinated homework to do).

“At the same time, I am aware that people sometimes make mistakes and believe that abortion, though very sad and not to be taken lightly, is, in those cases, a compassionate choice.” (Aparent [Ap]) I fully understand your reasoning here. I would simply like to add some food for thought. A mother who is not prepared to raise a child can simply give the child up for adoption. In anticipation of your arguments, it is true that some children end up in foster care or are adopted by parents who may leave more to be desired. Yet we always run that risk in this not-so-perfect world. Some kids who have great parents grow up to be troubled, or criminals. But many with horrible parents grow up to be amazing people. Many people have horrible childhoods, but then grow up to contribute great things to the world. If we decide that someone is better off dead because his parents are not ready to raise him properly, we may terminate the life of the next Ghandi or Einstein or a scientist who would have discovered the cure for AIDS. Should a parent have the authority to decide whether someone lives or not? If you had an unhappy childhood, but then overcame it to have a very content adulthood, would you wish to never have been born?

“Chavi, against abortion? Don't have one.” (Emeraldkity4 [E]) Just a quick analogy to consider (I realize this is not a direct analogy, but the logic is still sound). The abolitionists were against slavery. So why didn’t they simply not have slaves themselves? Shouldn’t everyone have had the freedom to choose? To the pro-life viewpoint, unborn babies whose lives are terminated are human beings – so naturally, their goal would be to stop all killing of the unborn (I’m not currently arguing whether an unborn child is a human being or not at the moment, just pointing out faulty logic).

“. . . maybe you should move to Afghanistan where they do genital mutilation on women to ensure they don't enjoy sex. That seems right up your alley.” (B) I would just like to point out this non sequitur – being pro-life has nothing to do with genital mutilation or other such hideous practices performed in Afghanistan. I realize that this was said “in the heat of the moment,” and though I am a logical creature rather than a passionate one, I do admire zeal for one’s beliefs; but that does not excuse a personal attack when it is unfounded (I refer to “That seems right up your alley”).

“That baby wasn't designed for me; it was designed BY me.” Technically, one does not in any way design one’s babies. All of one’s genetic traits were determined by those of one’s own parents, and similarly, the traits of one’s child are again determined by the complex science of genetics. Therefore, if one believes in God, it is He who designed the baby; if one does not believe in God, it was pure chance. A mother cannot designate the hair color, intelligence level, etc. of her child.

“Are you afraid to admit your children will one day have sex? And probably soon, if not already. Did you wait until you were married? Or did you get pregnant and had to get married and now in retrospect you're bitter because you were never afforded all of lifes opportunities? Or do you just not have any good sex?” Well, all of this is again blowing off steam and has no logical origin. I am not deriding one’s being emotional about issues that are very important to one, but such non sequiturs are completely unproductive to debate. Nothing in my mother’s post indicates that she fears her children will one day have sex (of course I don’t plan on dying a virgin!), and her sex life has nothing to do with whether abortion or the B pill is wrong.

“YOU'RE probably just blindly following some three thousand year old novel but you can't decide what's moral and what's not That's the problem with people who are so blind to options and want to be so controlling over others, they think their morality is the only strain of acceptable belief. God, people like you tick me off. Try to accept other people's beliefs for once.” (Moojuice[M]) In none of my mother’s previous arguments did she make a reference to the Bible, only to her own beliefs. (BTW, the Bible is not a novel, but a collection of ancient folktales and non-fiction accounts.) She certainly did not have any trouble deciding what’s moral and what’s not, since she clearly stated what she has decided is moral. And of course she thinks her morality is the only acceptable belief. So do you. So do we all. Certainly we should be open-minded and listen to others’ beliefs in order to decide our own (playing devil’s advocate is a very good method of doing this). But if we all decided not to have opinions, to believe that everyone’s beliefs are right, we would never decide anything, nor get anything done. If one person has to “accept other people’s beliefs,” then what beliefs does he have? One cannot believe in everything (Unamuno’s _San Manuel Bueno, mártir_ is a most amazing novel which addresses this theme. It is about the Catholic religion, but questions it rather than supports it. It was as badly banned and criticized as Chopin’s _The Awakening_ until recent years. Sorry, a bookworm can’t resist advocating great books). Deciding to believe one thing and not another is normal for humans. In life, you have to make decisions on what’s right and what’s wrong all the time. I realize that you know all this, but your statement indicates otherwise. I am merely saying that you should remember all of these technical facts so that you can make a decent argument rather than an emotional one that does not address the issue: it’s much more productive in educating one another about our different beliefs.

“Personally, I know what it is like to be born to a parent who does not want children and was not, psychologically or emotionally, ready for parenthood. I would NOT wish that on anyone...” (Ariesathena [Ar]) See earlier response to Ap.

“. . .but you blindly call everyone who does not share your decision monsters (or whatever word you'd substitute here).” (Demingy [D]) I must be blunt in stating that this statement is a ridiculous non sequitur. Nowhere does my mother call people who do not share her decision “monsters,” nor does she think of them so. As one who personally knows her, she does pity them. But she does not truly hate anyone – and only by reading that thought in her mind could one make such a statement. She expressed concern about the effect of abortion on mothers (that they “dull your own humanity and ability to love”), and I understand that you disagree with that point, but that simply does not equate with your insinuation. She also stated, “Don't think I don't empathize with someone in a difficult situation such as unwanted pregnancy. I only hope to direct them to a much more fulfilling and loving result.” Such an untrue accusation as that she referred to anyone who believes differently than her as anything akin to monsters (and though you did add “whatever word you’d substitute here,” “monsters” still leads the reader to that assumption) is completely irrelevant; why not address things that your opponent has actually said? If you use quotes, that will ensure that you do not make faulty arguments.

“Wouldn't that make you a virgin by your philosophy...?” “Which you didn't answer by the way, which is okay, yet says something about you.” (M) I couldn’t help but feel the necessity of answering these comments. I agree that my mother did not well discern the difference between an accusation and a question, but, like most others on this message board, she is more of an emotional debater than a detached, overly logical one who does this for amusement and educational purposes; the latter is rather rare. But 1) If she adopted two children, she is obviously married; single people are pretty much never considered for adoption. 2) People adopt because they can’t conceive. Why on earth would a _married_ woman want to practice abstinence when she wants to have children? I beg of you, please see the ludicrous, obtuse lack of logic in your question. As for the second citing – I apologize for being rude and insulting, but I cannot help but want to run around screaming and bashing my head into walls with insane frustration and disbelief (kidding, people, kidding). 1) She has been married for 20 years; of course she isn’t a virgin. 2) She had me _naturally_, meaning not by adoption, nor by insemination, but by participating in sexual intercourse and popping me out nine months later through her 10 centimeters-dilated vaginal cavity; thus, she is not a virgin. 3) Put more simply, the answer to your question is: No, my mother is not a virgin.

“. . . teens need their parents permission to get birthcontrol/abortion even if it might put them at risk.” (E) One of today’s most discussed issues is whether or not minors should be able to get birth control. It raises the question: If parents don’t have the right to deny them birth control, then shouldn’t they be able to see R-rated movies before 17? Buy alcohol? Not listen to their parents when they are grounded? Not listen to them about anything? Vote? Be able to move out and live on their own whenever they want to? If a 13-year-old can buy birth control against her parents wishes, she should be able to buy alcohol, do absolutely whatever she wants, have total freedom, etc. And if she can do these things, so can an 8-year-old; a 5-year-old; anyone at any age. One could argue that people should be considered adults at a younger age than 18, but then, where do you draw the line? I am curious as to why a minor should have the right to birth control and abortion, but not alcohol and everything else. It would certainly be nice to be able to buy Arbor Mist whenever I wanted. . . . By the way, I have been wanting to read _A Handmaiden’s Tale_ for a long time! I’m definitely going to get around to it this summer. I recommend _Brave New World_ and _1984_ if you enjoy futuristic classics, though you’ve probably already read them.

“. . . we were only saying that you're no more tolerant than we are because you can't accept that OUR beliefs might be right as well.” (M) I’d just like to agree with this statement. Of course everyone thinks his own beliefs are right; thus you are no more tolerant than my mother, and she is no more tolerant than you. It’s called being human. I like the insight of this statement.

“Like I said before, the problem with the pro-life movement is that it has no room for the pro-choice movement. What type of freedom is that?” Likewise, the pro-choice movement has no room for the pro-life movement. If you’ll recall my earlier analogy, those who advocated slavery fully approved of one’s right to not have slaves if one did not believe in slavery. So did they “have room for” the abolitionist movement? No, because the movement was about freedom for all blacks, whom abolitionists believed to be people, just as the pro-life movement is about freedom for all unborn children, whom they believe to be real people. This particular analogy’s purpose is not to color my statements, and the purpose of this commentary is not to clearly state which party (life or choice) is correct, but merely to point out deficiencies in your own argument to help you better understand your own beliefs and others’.

“Chavi, I'm sorry that you felt that we were all attacking you. That is certainly not true (although I'm not saying that there weren't some things said in the heat of the moment that probably shouldn't have been said--on both sides).” (D) I agree with the last in parentheses, but, unfortunately, I must contest with the former. The “bashing” to which my mother referred was simply emotional things “said in the heat of the moment,” but many things did constitute an attack. This is, obviously, irrelevant to the argument you are all discussing, but the purpose of my own posting is, in a fashion, indulging an urge to address the logic of each argument for the sake of logic. The following are just a few examples which comprise a personal attack: “The problem is PARENTS LIKE YOU who refuse to educate their children on birth control and stds and how to prevent pregnancy.” “. . . maybe you should move to Afghanistan where they do genital mutilation on women to ensure they don't enjoy sex. That seems right up your alley.” “YOU'RE probably just blindly following some three thousand year old novel but you can't decide what's moral and what's not That's the problem with people who are so blind to options and want to be so controlling over others, they think their morality is the only strain of acceptable belief. God, people like you tick me off. Try to accept other people's beliefs for once.” “. . . you blindly call everyone who does not share your decision monsters . . .”

Please acknowledge that my lengthy dissertation is not meant as an argument for or against the subject matter (which, yes, was supposed to be the B pill, but evolved into a debate on abortion; but with it such a hot topic for debate, what can one expect?). It is meant as an evaluation of some points made on this message board; as a defense of a mother whom I love very much, but in whose debating skills on a matter so close to her heart, I don’t have quite as much confidence as in my own; as a form of intellectual enjoyment; and as a facilitator for a more productive debate (should you all still wish to have one). I would also like to assure you that I am not, in fact, crazy, nor a boring shy kid who sits around writing dissertations all the time, despite what this incredibly long waste of time may suggest; I am certainly longwinded, yes; obsessed with written debate, yes; a girl with a lot of time on her hands, yes; but crazy, no (though my friends tell me I am; but hey, when you think about it, who isn’t?).

Finally, I would like to give my own account, in support of my mother’s, of her parenting skills and tendencies. She is, in fact, the most easygoing, generous mother I, or any of my friends or acquaintances, know. Growing up as the second of ten makes one extremely easygoing. She never gets overly angry at anything I do wrong, but instead discusses it with me and expresses her disappointment, which is more effective than blowing up. Whenever I locked my keys in my car (which happened two to four times a week for the first year or so – I am _not_ exaggerating!) or forgot my homework (which has happened a few times a month since I started school - I'm incurably absentminded, which is not the fault of either of my parents; I must have gotten it from some obscure relative up in the family tree), she and my father were the most incredibly patient people one might imagine. They would leave work even in the middle of a meeting to help me out.

One of my best friends is a world-class windsurfer who has recently accepted being a lesbian after having an affair with someone ten years older than she; my other two best friends, who have grown up in a trailer park and have no money, are struggling because one of them is pregnant (the father is back in prison) and wishes to keep her baby, but they frequently argue with their own father about the situation and don’t feel comfortable staying at their home. With no questions asked, my mother took in all three of my friends (who are all 18 or 19), even though it is hard enough to pay for and house three children, and put much of her energy into helping them sort out their lives – not by judging them, though she encouraged the one friend to reconsider dating guys and the other to put her baby up for adoption, but by talking with them and counseling them, just as she counsels so many others in need through her line of work. She is the most amazing mother anyone could hope for.

And as most of you might probably expect that her daughter is zealously religious, I might as well say that, though I am a Catholic, my beliefs are always based entirely on logic and what I learn through the Socratic method (meaning I argue in favor of liberal beliefs with my parents and conservative beliefs with my liberal teachers in an effort to learn more about all the issues). My favorite books/authors are not the Bible and the Elsie Dinsmore books, but rather Chopin’s _The Awakening_, Joyce’s _The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man_, Austen, Hardy, Stoppard, Madeleine L’Engle, and Laurie R. King. Looking at the company one keeps (“Dime con quien andas, y te diré quien eres”) and the books one reads, one can make a fair assessment of a person’s personality, so if any of you are actually interested in how “Chavi’s” oldest daughter turned out, those details of my life may give you some idea. My life is very unusual in some ways, but I still love it.

I hope some of this was helpful and not horribly boring (though I’m sure the latter is rather inevitable, if anyone has actually read this entire composition). I am, as usual, simply relieved to have gotten some of my thoughts onto paper. I very much appreciate the passion you all have shown for debate, which is one of the most essential elements of a good, well educated democracy. And I’m really sorry, mom, for doing this without permission. You know I couldn’t help myself. Sincerely,

~ chava, aka ève, kati, etc., soon-to-be college freshman

Edited by moderator
EDITED by moderator

By Sheeprun (Sheeprun) on Tuesday, May 18, 2004 - 09:43 am: Edit


Please... shorter posts---especially when dealing with an off-topic subject. College Confidential prefers to use most of its bandwidth on college related topics. We allow off topic posts in the Cafe, but would prefer that everyone show a little restraint and common sense.

Email addresses belong in your profile----NOT in your posts.

Thank you.

By Moojuice (Moojuice) on Tuesday, May 18, 2004 - 09:51 am: Edit

Chava, daughter of Chavi, I agree with you on one point. I am a male high school student who is a virgin and I plan on staying that way through college. Not all college students are going to have sex.

Since I don't have a lot of time, I'll just respond to the points made to me.

I feel that the pro-choice movement does have room for the pro-life movement. As the legislation stands now, you can choose whether or not to have an abortion. Obviously, the choice boils down whether or not to be pro-life or pro-choice. But if legislation for the pro-life movement is passed, those who are pro-choice will have no legal option. I don't see how this is hard to understand. If you have pro-life, you can't have pro-choice. But you can have both. We do now.

Also, fine, I should have said "anthology" instead of novel. Sue me.

The fact that someone adopts does not mean that the person cannot become pregnant. My grandparents adopted my mother simply because they felt they should. Many people both adopt and have a child of their own, or solely adopt for many, various reasons.

Since you say you use logic to power your beliefs, do you feel that a two day old embryo is a human? Anyone knowing anything about biology knows it most certainly isn't one that has a "will to live" as I believe your mother stated above somewhere.

By Demingy (Demingy) on Tuesday, May 18, 2004 - 11:04 am: Edit

Okay, although the post was made by Chavi's daughter, I will respond to the part about me (and notice that most of the examples used to show how Chavi was "attacked" were not made by me, hence my point that she shouldn't accuse everyone of doing so). It is difficult for me to see how it is not an insinuation that someone is a monster when it is said (here are those quotes you wanted): "I can picture you now, tearing a child limb from limb, crushing its skull, burning its skin off with acid, all the while smiling sweetly and cooing, "this is for your own good, honey". Think about it. That is the reality of what you are saying." But you are correct, I shouldn't have shortened this to "monster", I should have included this entire quote so there would be no misunderstanding.

Of course I had to address the argument about how a woman with an unwanted pregnancy can just give the baby up for adoption. I have no problem with adoption, I think that it is a great institution. But, I would like to hear you tell the 13-year-old girl who was horribly raped that she needs to keep the nine month reminder of what happened to her, and if she insists that she can't handle it make sure you remind her of how selfish she is being. I also want you to tell the 29-year-old woman who found out the same day that she found out she was pregnant that she had HIV (her husband was cheating on her and didn't bother with protection--by the way, he was against birth control for religious reasons as well) that she isn't thinking of her unborn child when she decides that she doesn't want to bring someone into the world with HIV who didn't even have a chance.

Say these are unlikely cases? I sat next to both of these women at the clinic. I can tell you that neither of them were whistling and thinking about how their decision was no big deal. I can also tell you that I supported them. It is these women that I think of when I think of pro-choice. If abortion were illegal, they are the ones who would suffer, and I honestly believe that at least one of them would have committed suicide.

By Chavi (Chavi) on Tuesday, May 18, 2004 - 11:21 am: Edit

I apologize for the length of my post. I had planned to leave it up there for a day and then use the edit button to delete most of it; that way the bandwith will only be used temporarily, correct? Since it didn't directly treat of the subject matter, I don't see a problem with only leaving a fraction of it there permanently.

Also, my purpose in writing that was not really to argue in favor of one person's beliefs or another's, just to point out faulty logic. It seemed to argue against pro-choice beliefs because all posters but my mom were pro-choice; and I would prefer to point out my mom's faulty logic verbally since she lives right here with me. I might argue some of the issues if my mother lets me, although, like I said, I just really like to play devil's advocate, so I don't often agree with anyone . . . But thank you so much for responding to me, Moojuice. About that one-movement-having-room-for-the-other thing - that analogy I used about the abolitionist movement is really the best way to demonstrate the argument that the pro-choice movement doesn't have room for the pro-life movement either; if one party didn't believe in legalizing murder and the other did, would it be sufficient for both to simply make murder optional? I'm not saying which is right, just that they're two different movements with completely different objectives. I can only ask that you look more closely about my analogies if you are curious to see where my point was coming from. Thanks!

By Emeraldkity4 (Emeraldkity4) on Tuesday, May 18, 2004 - 11:24 am: Edit

One thing I don't understand, is why "prolife" seems to meanwe value the potential life more than life that currently exists.

Why does the embryo have more rights than that child who will be forced to endure pregnancy and birth for the sake of that potential life?
Why is the woman who is desperately trying to get her life together and can't afford to have it derailed by becoming a mother, considered a monster because she acknowledges that she cannot carry a child?

By Demingy (Demingy) on Tuesday, May 18, 2004 - 11:26 am: Edit

Just as an FYI (for future reference), College Confidential only allows for editing within a fairly small time period. I believe that at least part of that is so people won't type something inflamatory and then delete it to remove "evidence", but I'm really just guessing here. So, you can't just put up a post for a day and then remove it.

By Demingy (Demingy) on Tuesday, May 18, 2004 - 11:30 am: Edit

Emeraldkity, I'd like to add to that there are the rare cases as well where it is very likely that the woman might not survive carrying a baby to term-there are greater risks for her to try to give birth for whatever reason-but even here pro-life seems to value the life that has yet to be over the life that is.

By Sheeprun (Sheeprun) on Tuesday, May 18, 2004 - 12:12 pm: Edit

Posts can be edited for 30 minutes after initial posting. After 30 minutes, it's etched in stone. Asking a moderator (on this or any other board) to remove something you posted is a sure fire way of becoming unpopular in a hurry.

Use the edit feature only for editing grammar and spelllling---NOT for posting temporary messages. Other users do not like it when they respond to statements that disappear. Use your preview screen---and be certain of what you are posting.

By Ariesathena (Ariesathena) on Tuesday, May 18, 2004 - 12:42 pm: Edit

When my stepmother was pregnant, she developed toxemia and pre-eclampsia (pardon the spellings, may be off by a letter or two). Her liver shut down; her bloodpressure went to about 220/140; the doctors believed that she had about six hours to live. The way to stop the disease is to have the woman give birth immediately. One of the physicians asked my father that, if the decision had to be made, if he would prefer to save my stepmom or the baby. He said that they wanted them both alive, but if the choice had to be made, to save my stepmom, the one we know.

(FYI: my sis was born under 3 lbs, but is happy and healthy now.) I am thankful that a physician was caring enough to ask that question and that my family was given the option, if that choice needed to be made, to have the woman that we love live. The thought of religion or the Legislature dictating that very personal decision is frightening.

Wandering ever more off-topic, but who here remembers septic wards?

By Chavi (Chavi) on Tuesday, May 18, 2004 - 01:39 pm: Edit

Mother Chavi here. Ariesathena, no truly pro-life person would argue that your stepmother should have been forced to carry your sister any further. But notice they did not kill your sister, either. She was simply delivered early and both were given a chance to live. As for the other situations posed by Demingy, yes, they are horrible situations. I can tell you exactly what I would have told that 13-year old girl. The man who raped her did a terrible, sinful thing. No one wants her to suffer further. While having an abortion might alleviate her fears right now, it will do much more damage in the long run than the rapist did. I would plead with her to please make the best of a terrible situation and give that innocent child life. Neither child is at fault here, the 13-year old or the baby. But killing the baby is not a decision she will ever feel good about. Giving the baby life and an adoptive home where he/she will never have to know the circumstances of his/her conception is a decision she can be proud of. The child will be another life on this earth who will pray for you and love you, even though you may never know him/her in this life. You will be together again in eternity, because I believe the mother/child bond is so strong and divine that it lasts into eternity. That's what I would say. And I would help her, with anything she needed, even if it was just a shoulder to cry on. And the same goes for your married woman. Most of these women don't really want to abort their children, they want someone to help give them the courage they need to carry their child. But they don't usually feel supported in that decision. Society tells them abortion is the better solution, because it is simpler and final. Women deserve better.

By Moojuice (Moojuice) on Tuesday, May 18, 2004 - 01:54 pm: Edit

That's simply not true. You cannot speak for other people, especially ones you don't know. She might not feel horrible about "killing" her embryo. Anyway, according to your logic, wouldn't you live an eternity with the "child" whether or not it was aborted? You claim that this embryo is a human life and don't all human lives live forever in spirit according to Christianity?

I guess if we continue down on this path of discussion it will turn into a relgious debate and I don't want to be the person to start that here as it would completely hijack this thread.

By Demingy (Demingy) on Tuesday, May 18, 2004 - 02:02 pm: Edit

Society did not tell either of them abortion was a better solution. Both the woman and the girl (just as I had been) were counseled about their options, including adoption. Neither of them were forced to abort. As I mentioned above, the woman who was HIV positive did not want to force that on her child (and at five weeks along felt that it was still early enough to save the potential baby from that fate). The 13-year-old was at risk if she tried to carry the baby to term, let alone give birth. She chose to not allow the men (yes, plural) who had raped her to take any more of her life than they already had.

Both of them were provided the support they needed for ANY choice they made, and the abortion was THEIR choice. I don't believe that either of them should have been forced into motherhood or even forced into giving up nine months of their lives (or even their lives altogether) for decisions that neither of them had made.

By Ariesathena (Ariesathena) on Tuesday, May 18, 2004 - 02:08 pm: Edit

Chavi: your response is logically flawed. Notice that I was saying that there could have been a circumstance in which a decision would have been made between my stepmom's life and the life of her child. No one, repeat, no one, outside of our family, has the right to make that decision.

I am eternally grateful that both are alive. That does not change the fact that anti-abortionists would have had my stepmom dead if the choice between her and my little sister had to be made. Would that have been, my little brother would never have been born.

By Bumblebee83 (Bumblebee83) on Tuesday, May 18, 2004 - 02:53 pm: Edit

What I want to know is why Chavi Daughter is ok with the gross invasion of her privacy by her mother who used her name on this post.....
I'm sorry that I attacked you Chavi. but it makes me angry when you question my parents and try to shove your beliefs down my throat. I didn't start this post to be attacked. I wanted to know what some people thought about Plan B. And you got all high and mighty before actually stating your opinion on the topic at hand.
And just so you know, I do know about fetal/embryonic develpoment. I'm a child psych major and I have my AA in child development. So please don't try to tell me that I don't know what I'm talking about, I do.
Also, I remember in hs when all of my friends said that they were going to wait until they were married. None of them have. They're good girls and they don't run around having sex with everyone, but I think it's sort of silly to deny yourself the right to pleasure for what may be a very long time. A lot of people don't get married until they're in their 30s, thats 20 years of being (physically) ready to have sex and not. The human body is designed to WANT sex, and to deny it for so long cannot be healthy.

By Chavi (Chavi) on Tuesday, May 18, 2004 - 08:07 pm: Edit

Bumblebee, I don't remember attacking your parents. I did point out that being tolerant and liberal and providing extensive sex education doesn't necessarily translate into good parenting. Your parents may be wonderful, but it's not because they taught you to use birth control. Plan B is often an early form of abortion, not just a contraceptive. And my position is simply that no one should have the right to deny life to an already conceived human life. The same goes for surgical abortion. Where would any of you draw the line, by the way? Professor Peter Singer, the head ethics professor at Princeton, for example, thinks that parents should have the right to decide whether their child lives or dies for something like six months after birth. This thought of course grows out of your stated principal of having the right to control your reproduction, to not be a parent against your will. That embryo may be inside your body, but it has a body of its own. That blob of cells is a separate being that is quickly growing and as a matter of fact will continue to grow for some 18-20 years. At what point is it grown enough to be protected by law? A baby is decidedly different from and much less sophisticated than an adult. Why should it be protected? Is there some magical stage at which it is suddenly different from what it was five minutes previous? These are not rhetorical questions, I truly want you to answer them.

By Sheeprun (Sheeprun) on Tuesday, May 18, 2004 - 08:33 pm: Edit

This is not a discussion. This is one side demanding capitulation from the other. Take it to email if you please, but DO NOT restart this debate on College Confidential.


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