In light of this week’s contraceptionforced vaginal exam and panels without women nonsense, I thought a little ’92 Tori Amos’ quote was appropriate:

“It’s incredibly sad to come back to my country. I’ve just been in Ireland, where people are fighting desperately–fighting–for women to have the right to choose if they want to have an abortion or not. I come back here and I say ‘we’ve worked for thousands of years to have some kind of independence and you see it slipping through your hands.’ Because the truth is: this is not about children. And when you strip away all the layers and you get to the seed, this is not about children. If it were, these people would go to the sewers in Columbia, they’d go to AIDS wards. There’s millions of babies–they’re thrown out like trash on the streets, like cabbage. Nobody cares about the children once they’re on the planet; they don’t care. They walk around with guns and blow each other up. They have no food, they have nuthin’. Nobody cares about that. This is not about children. This about having control over a woman’s sexuality. And some women don’t want to claim that power because they feel ashamed, they feel guilty, they’re torn–love and lust. Christianity has nothing–absolutely nothing to do with that. Nothing. And it saddens me because these people–the anti-choice people could be doing so much for the children that are on the planet. This is not about the children. And I refuse to play that game. Because one has to analyze. One must look at what an issue is about. And that’s not what it’s about. And it really comes down to that and everybody’s bought it.”

[Photo Source, in case you'd like to buy your own plush uterus.]

 

11 Responses to This Is Not About Children

  1. JMPrince says:

    Yeah, we might as well left it with the jokes. Because the facts? Never seem to matter much when talking about (or for) the wiminz. Especially with regard to differing conceptions of morality, and differing schemes of realms of control.

    1.) Let’s stipulate up front that it’s always about morality. However imperfectly understood. Let’s also acknowledge that yes, morality as practiced & known for centuries has been uniquely concerned and indeed preoccupied with controlling and limiting women’s sexuality. It’s what we do, and we were damn good at it. Readers following along at home might start here for the ‘Western tradition’:

    “Eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven: Women, Sexuality and the Catholic Church”, Uta Ranke-Heineman (Author)

    2.) Still, despite all the fun & games, bringing the essential argument forward some 1000′s of years to the present day might require some fleeting attachment with aspects of reality as we know it. So we give you the number 14.

    3.) From MMFA comes this bit: “The Guttmacher Institute estimates that roughly 14 percent of birth control prescriptions are written for non-contraceptive purposes, helping some 1.5 million women with issues like ovarian cancer, ovarian cysts, endometriosis, and endometrial cancer. Their stories, filled with difficult details of medical trauma and personal sacrifice, aren’t usually the fodder for piqued political conversation, at least not until this week.”

    That’s part of reality and morality too. But they’re forgotten in the rush to condemn all those damnable licentious ‘sluts’ to the fate they deserve. Despite 98% of all women, including Catholics using the pill. Worse still is the realization that the Catholic Church [CC] has known this particular fact for decades, yet strangely it remains officially ‘forgotten’ in the maelstrom of blame & shaming.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-potts-the-pill-revisited-20120220,0,4953131.story

    4.) Again in our putative modern era, morality should be guided by some sense of both proportion and reality as informed by scientific facts. The CC seems to be woefully behind the 8 ball here, and it’s actually seems to be getting worse. But let’s stick to that magic number 14, shall we? As Dr. David Grimes once again reminds us: “Abortion is safer than giving birth” At least 14 TIMES safer.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/23/us-abortion-idUSTRE80M2BS20120123

    What does that mean practically? Realistically it must mean that women, seeking a Safer medical procedure MUST be denied this in the name of some morality they might not agree with only to make some male prelates happier somehow. At the substantial risk of their lives & health. With very clear and well documented morbidity and mortality consequences that have been studied extensively for well over 25 years. Men they’ll never have met will (once again) determine their fate, their future health and very lives to ensure the reproduction of their private faith. Not the faith of most of the women mind you, but to somehow ‘uphold the faith’ of a famously misogynistic all male organization.

    Gents & ladies, that’s an operational definition of political tyranny if there ever was one. It’s this eternal wish to return to the theocracies of old that’s most damnable here. When anyone can tell you as an adult that you must do x, y or z, and that course is perhaps 20 times more deadly than the alternative? And it’s Not war? You no longer have much standing as a full citizen in that realm.

    Sorry for the length. Other short thoughts on theology here via the Google:
    “Wineke: Fascinating Theology At Play In Contraception Debate”
    JMP

  2. Peaches says:

    My favorite quote on choice is from Florynce Kennedy—”If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament.” That quote is from more than 30 years ago. We keep fighting the same battles over and over, as she also said, “Freedom is like taking a bath: You got to keep doing it every day.” Fight on. Fist up.

  3. DunwoodyDem says:

    I am a person who takes my religious tradition seriously. And my moral values tell me that the life, health and overall mental and emotional welfare of a living woman — a full-fledged person with human relationships, obligations, commitments and responsibilities to fulfill — trumps those of the potential person developing in her womb. My values say that sometimes, abortion is very clearly the moral choice. And, for what its worth, I say that as a father and as someone who suffered the misery of losing two potential children through miscarriages. Nostradamus, your moral compass might work for you, but you should keep your cramped views off your neighbors’ legal rights.

  4. CatherineAtlanta says:

    I think it’s safe to say that no one has the final word on “what abortion is all about”. But, what it is not all about is a bunch of privileged white guys making decisions and policy regarding anything, but especially women’s health issues.

    I just don’t get the point. If your values don’t permit you to have an abortion, to use contraception, or to eat bacon, just DON’T.

    • Nostradamus says:

      “I think it’s safe to say that no one has the final word on “what abortion is all about”

      Sorry but this is wrong. Its a moral issue. Period. There are other elements that seem non-moral tied into it, yes, but to peg the entire debate on these ancillary issues misses everything.

      “But, what it is not all about is a bunch of privileged white guys making decisions and policy regarding anything, but especially women’s health issues.”

      This would have merit if our legislators were in fact, only white guys. But this is not the case.

      “If your values don’t permit you to have an abortion, to use contraception, or to eat bacon, just DON’T.”

      Because the values are: abortion is not something that should exist, not whether individual agency ought to be allowed.

  5. Nostradamus says:

    This is a much broader point than just this post but stuff like this: “we’ve worked for thousands of years to have some kind of independence and you see it slipping through your hands.” I think is one of the worst things the pro-choice movement does to itself because for one, it entirely misses the moral weight of the abortion debate, and if the entire validity of the pro-choice argument hinges on a point of liberty then it is setting itself up for total failure on the morality of abortion, and that is what abortion is all about.

  6. Nostradamus says:

    I was trying to find the most facepalm-worthy part of that Tori Amos quote but its all so bad I couldn’t decide.

    • Jen B. says:

      Please enlighten us, Ed.

      I will give you one point and it’s that Catholic Charities does a lot of good in this regard.

      • Nostradamus says:

        Almost every point she makes is fallacious/wrong. She’s a big fan of false dichotomies apparently for one. Also, yes, “controlling a woman’s sexuality” that’s indeed what being pro-life is all about, instituting more widespread subjugation of women. I couldn’t articulate what it was about but Ms. Amos did it for me, and for that I am grateful.

  7. JMPrince says:

    Related: “SANTORUM IS ON EVERY GOP VOTER’S LIPS”
    By Randolph Brickey
    http://www.vice.com/read/santorum-is-on-every-gop-s-voters-lips

    • Jen B. says:

      Ugh. I wish everyone would stop using these Santorum puns. They’re disgusting and don’t help the cause.