Friday, November 19, 2010

My take on the “Birth Or Not” website.

This is probably one of the sickest ‘pro-life’ stunts I’ve seen in a while.
It’s right up there with their doctored photos and bullshit stories about imaginary women who had terrible lives and cancer after an abortion.
For info on what the site is about, go here.
I’m not linking people to the site itself, because I’m damned if I will give them more traffic.

I was trying to figure out why they have bothered?

They* already have a large amount of misleading info out there on fetal development.
They* already have “help clinics” for people seeking info on abortions that either manipulate the women to alternatives, or delay them so long an abortion is no longer possible.
They* already attack women in public and on internet forums for openly discussing abortion and their experience with it.

So why this?
What has been missing so far?

Answer: The ability to openly discuss and attack on a forum that will show an overall ‘winner’ in a clear definable final outcome.

This site offers them the opportunity to vilify abortionists and women who take the choice to abort. Anyone and everyone will comment and the way they have set this scenario up, very few people would select the abort option.

People who are informed and pro-choice would not select an option AT ALL because we are pro-choice. So the only people voting are those insensitive enough to find it funny, and want to wind the pro-lifers up, or the Pro-lifers.

The way this scenario will end up, the couple will keep the baby and thank those who supported them, anyone who voted abort will clearly be in the wrong (as they ARE, we can’t choose for someone else!). The sick comments recommending that they “kill the baby” (some planted, some actually written by people angry enough at the hoax to not think too hard about how their responses will be used against them) will be waved triumphantly in the air to prove how sick “pro-abortionists” are.

Several issues I have with the site (beyond it being a blatant hoax and one of the sickest concepts I’ve ever heard) is that they have missed the point completely.
I have yet to meet anyone who identifies as “pro-abortion”. This isn’t semantics, this is reality.

No one celebrates abortion.
No one looks forward to having one
No one looks forward to performing one.
But until women have 100% control over their reproduction abortions will be needed.
I am not going to get into this, as Julie over at the Hand Mirror expresses it more clearly and eloquently than I ever could

*The prolife activists on the internet

A message to those who have written the website or support it.

The opposite of anti abortion/prolife is not pro abortion; it is PRO CHOICE.
You have missed the point again.
We will not be voting on this. No one should be voting on this.
It is the parent’s choice what to do and no one else can make it for them because no one else has to live with that choice.

That means that this site isn’t actually hitting the supposed target audience at all, because no matter what the outcome, we don’t have a vote. There are only one (or two) votes that count when it comes to the choice of abortion.
To make someone keep a child, or carry one for 9 months, bond then give it up is just as sick as making someone abort.
Your website is bizarre, what is the role of the mother? Just an incubator while you expose her to the world’s judgment?
A black and white results Poll in a world of grey medical and life ethics is as irrational and irrelevant as the website you have written.
By writing this website you have hurt, frightened, and upset more people on the “pro-life” side of the coin than any other. I wish there was some way you could call each and every distressed person who really believes there is a couple that callous out there and apologise for using their beliefs and life experience to get good coverage.

Shame on you.


  1. Scuba Nurse,
    Hi, I followed your link from the "birthornot" web site, and i must say that your comments were well put together. I am inclined to think now that the site is a hoax, too, but you must admit that it is quite thought provoking. You make a strong argument for being "pro-choice" and i can tell that you are very passionate in your beliefs. Me being a Christian, male, father of four, conservative, and pro-life, we probably don't have much in common ;), but i felt a strong urge (i call it the Holy Spirit's nudging, you may call it fate or chance) to reach out to you. I don't presume to have all the answers and i know that this topic is a very emotional and volatile one for both sides of the argument, but i wanted to respectfully propose to you a few questions. Let's say that one day time travel is possible and that you could travel back in time to when you were in your mothers womb, but this time, instead of choosing to have you, your mother opted for an abortion. If you were present at the procedure and could stop it, would you? Where is the unborn baby's right, voice, or choice in the pro-life/pro-choice argument? Why does a woman's right to her body trump the inalienable right of a baby to live?
    I understand that babies are born everyday into undesirable family and socio-economical circumstances, but is that the baby's fault? Why does the baby have to die for someone else's poor life choices/circumstances or selfishness?
    Thank you for your time and i look forward to hearing back from you.

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  3. I don't normally post spam but "share" was just too funny to miss... Are they sugesting we store our babies in handbags?
    Don't click on it people!

  4. Anonymous thank you for your comment and openness about where you opinion stands from the start. I appreciate the respect and honesty.
    I will adress your direct question only as the rest is a matter of your faith which is not my business.
    If my mother was a 20 something married woman a bit scared but fundamentally ready to have kids, who wanted to have me I would say "great, go for it."
    She was and she did.
    If she was in anyway unable to cope with bearing a child and felt unable to I would also allow her that CHOICE.
    Why should my life be held in higher value than my mothers, simply because I am younger? She has already successfully survived a 1 in 4 chance of a miscarriage, survived childhood disease and injury, got an education, survived the turbulent teen years and driving in cars, she was a hard working member of society, contributing to her community. 
    If her life or mental health was at risk I would not put my unborn life ahead of hers.


  5. Well said Scuba. On all points. Thank-you for writing such a great post. Everything you've said is spot on. And I completely agree with your response to Anon. I love my mother and I would never expect her to sacrifice her life or mental wellbeing for me. Her life is important. I would never place the life of a woman ahead of that of a foetus.

    1. is it me, or all the women that approve of abortion use the spelling of fetus as foetus? like the unborn child is the enemy?? as a man, I have chosen to to impregnate women, ever. my spellchecker says foetus is wrong, I looked it up, and it said it was acceptable... will have to do some research to see what is the back story here.

    2. Robert my spellcheck replaces fetus with foetus when I use microsoft word. Im REALLY sorry that my PC is so fucking PC

  6. You are all missing the key word(s); LIFE and CHILD. Scuba Nurse you have mentioned both of those words when talking about the "proposed" womens unborn baby. Why is that baby's life less important than its mothers? The unborn baby is breathing and alive just like she is. He/she can think, feel, and move just like his mother. Having an abortion, no matter how far along in the pregnancy, is murder. Talk to someone who has actually expereinced an abortion; I guarentee they regret it.

  7. Just a quick note: can people commenting please use a handle to avoid confusion? I'm pretty sure angry judgemental anon 3:39 is not the same person as polite and concerned anon 9:01.

  8. Dear anon 3:39
    I didn't miss the words... I deliberately used them, as you noted. I'm very careful not to undermine to prospective life or use emotive terms to push anyone in a certain direction.
    I would never tell someone that an abortion would be an easy experience, in the same way I would never tell someone that being a mother is a walk in the park.
    What I AM saying, is that is noone's business but that woman.
    And where do you come from thinking that I have no experience in this field?
    I feel so passionately about this yet have absolutely no real life understanding? That's just bizarre.
    That is almost as strange a concept as someone who has never been pregnant too young, or raped, or unsupported and pregnant telling women who are, that they will be JUDGED not only by God, but thier community.
    Like I said, bizarre.
    I would also like to ask a question... What do you do to support those underage mothers once you have pressured them into throwing away their lives for the sake of a new One?

  9. Oh please - you saying it's murder doesn't make it murder anon. And I've spoken to many women who have had abortions and all of them don't regret their decisions. And even the fact that the people I've spoken to don't regret their terminations doesn't mean ANYTHING. Because it's a personal choice. It's different for every woman and it's her choice.

    And also a foetus actually can't "move just like his mother". Because the foetus is in a womb and it's a foetus. So it can't cruise down to the dairy and pick up a 50c pick and mix or shake your hand or walk the dog because it's a foetus. This is just one of the differences between a woman and a foetus. Would you like me to list all the differences?

  10. And LOL Scuba I love your comment rules :) brilliant!

  11. Brad's comment somehow got deleted.
    I had cut and pasted it in order to reply and am now reposting. Let me know if anything was missed off somehow Brad. - Scube.

    You made the familiar argument about pro-life advocates making pregnant women who have been raped, are children, or are going to die in childbirth have the baby anyway. Do you have any idea what a small percentage of abortions are used for those purposes? A TINY percentage. Most abortions are young women who just don't want the baby. I feel for them, but I just don't see where you can extinguish a life just for birth control. Would you agree to change the law to ONLY allow for the raped, children, endangered women, and any other rare case like that? Do you know how many million human beings would be walking the streets if we only allowed your argued women to have abortions? If you would not go for this, then stop using the argument, because it does not represent your view that women should be allowed to stop the beating heart of any baby in the womb for whatever reason they choose.

  12. Thanks for using a name Brad,

    I’m sorry my “familiar argument” bothered you.
    You use the phrase “A tiny percentage.”
    As far as I know a percentage is a number – Tiny doesn’t quite cut it.
    I don’t have clear NZ stats on this but apparently “only” 7% of abortions in the USA are solely due to rape or maternal health complications.
    I say only in quote marks because even 1% of women being hurt are TOO MANY.
    Don’t undermine those “tiny” cases of women hurt or facing death due to pregnancy – it doesn’t help your cause.

    Now let’s just clear one thing up – I didn’t say ONLY for the use of those who have been hurt in the conception or birth of the child. I was using that as an example for one of MANY reasons why someone might feel unable to bear pregnancy, and having a child even if physically able.

    No one I know who has had an abortion takes it lightly. And they would be the ones you categorise in the “they don’t really NEED it, because they weren’t raped” group. It was a long, thought out process, in some cases involving grief and a strong sense of loss.
    HOWEVER... They made the decision that was right for them.
    Who else should choose?

    The point you have missed is that internationally the rates of legal and illegal abortions are very similar.
    Making it illegal doesn’t stop abortions; it just makes it less safe for the Woman.
    What it’s legal status does do is provide safe effective healthcare.
    And through epidemiology abortion stats help us trace why abortions are needed, and begin public health policies and programmes to stop unplanned pregnancies occurring in the first place.

    I will do you a deal;
    I will stop using specific (AND REAL) case studies such as women who have been raped, cases of incest, and those in danger if they go through pregnancy if you will stop using emotive terms like “baby” when we are talking about an embryo and in some cases foetus, to put your spin on it.
    How does that sound?

  13. The thing I really hate about the whole "She shouldn't abort because she wasn't raped" argument, is that it leads to slut shaming and rape acceptance. Rape is already far too acceptable in our society. (And really, when every time a woman is sexually attacked in whatever form, the fact that she must "take responsibility for her part" shows that rape IS acceptable to society. The rapist never has to validate or explain his sexual history)....the whole no abortion unless it was rape mentality is just more manipulation from the anti-choice lobbyists.

    Women have a right to choose when and if they wish be mothers. No person has the right to force any woman to become a mother if she doesn't want to. END OF STORY.

    Great post Scuba.

  14. Thanks very much for a truly important point.
    Big hugs!

  15. I always find it pretty funny (in a tragic pathetic way) when men step up on their soapboxes and rant about being anti-choice - and generally show how much they don't trust or respect women. If men could get pregnant abortions would be available at clinics on every corner. Being male and anti-choice essentially means you don't value women as much as you value a foetus that might not even be viable even if it wasn't terminated. It's an easy stance to have - and a reminder that so many men think women aren't very important at all.

  16. May you have peace Scuba Nurse,

    I am an 18 year old Student, Roman Catholic who is majoring in Philosophy with a concentration in Bioethics. I'm taking a leaf from the first polite Anon and telling you where I'm coming from right off the bat even though I know most readers will have stopped at the second line and dismissed me as the mouth peace of an agressive oppressive unreasonable institution. I can assure you such people are mistaken and I am very much in my own mind on this subject. But I am not here to discuss the church.

    I also followed this thread from abortornot and would like to address your statement of morals not being black and white, I agree with you. Morals are not black and white but must be approached in a situational manner, which is why such hard cases as rape, incest, safety of the mother etc.. may enter into the equation. However the moral issue here when you merely consider the life of the mother and her situation leaves the morality equation unfortunately incomplete and therefor imbalanced. This moral equation is something we all do to one degree or another as conscious individuals this is how we decide and why that famous monologue resonates with so many of us from Shakespeare's Hamlet.

    The ability to make an conscious decision and then to act upon it is part of what makes us human at least it is what makes us adults how we go about this is be looking at three phases of an action.

    First we intend that action, we think it up and what it is meant to do.

    Second we do the action and watch for the consequences.

    and Third after the action has taken place the it is reviewed in the light of the consequences, ie hindsight. This shouldn't be anything new I am sure you have made lots of decisions using this process.

    Now when it comes to whether a desiscion is moral or not these three phases are seen through a filter this filter will depend upon a persons conscience and how they have formed it but usually have the same questions

    ~A. Youngman

  17. The intention in undertaking this action if for the mother to survive, even though the child in question will die.

    The action itself will brutally dismember the child in question become in itself a premeditated ending of a person's life i.e. a homocide.

    The result will be that the mother will survive but the child will not and generally the remains of the fetus will be incinerated.

    This process is what keeps morals from being black and white it is what keeps society functioning and gives each life its individuality, but must be founded on the informed concience of an idividual in this case the woman must know that the fetus is infact a human life, and allow that to affect her decision which she should make on her own and according to her own concience. Without it being legistlated by anyone else.

    My issue with this is that from my education in biology philosophy and by my upbringing is that a fetus is a human life and becomes one the moment it changes from a woman's egg to a zygote. That it is human is undeniable two animals of the same kind reproduce an animal of the same kind that's basic bio genesis. the only differences between a fetus and a woman are it's size, development, location, and efficacy that being it's ability to reason and communicate.

    I will use my own hard case here as pose the question that if I were in a coma unconcious and unable to speak for myself and my mother would die if I was not unplugged would it morally be the right thing for her to do in order to let me die to save herself, to sacrifice me to a greater cause.

    This is the real issue Scuba, can human life be sacrificed without it's will. Is that moral? Is that just, noble, true, or necessary?

    Socrates tells us it is much greater to endure a moral evil then to commit the evil itself. For in doing so one harms their very person to a greater degree and to a deeper more impacting level then anything they could dish out on someone else. I agree that women have a choice and I challenge them as a Man to rise up and be heroes in a way that I will never be able to. To risk their lives that another person can live. To not sacrifice them in the name of desperation, situational difficulty, shame, or at worst a desire for this so called "freedom to control her own body" when her body is not at stake anymore. I am not saying a woman has no right to choose. I am saying that these women choose wrong. And they have my pity and my prayers, that someday they'll stop denying reality science justice and human decency and wake up. That my countrymen will stop dying at the hands of their own mothers.

    I will also remember you in my prayers Scuba and your readers. May you have peace, a long life, and safe journeys.

    ~A. Youngman

  18. Oh please - I'm sure this will incur a great many pleas of "WHAT ABOUT TEH MENZ!!1" but honestly I have to say it: Only a male who will never ever need an abortion would 'philosophise' about abortion and talk about Socrates and Hamlet. This is real life for women. It's not just something to 'muse' over on a blog in your lunch break from Art History 101. Pfft. Can we possibly just have a moratorium on men who mansplain morals to women when they're in a position of NEVER needing to make that decision? And "The action itself will brutally dismember the child in question become in itself a premeditated ending of a person's life i.e. a homocide" - completely disingenuous. You obviously don't know what an abortion entails Adam. There is no "brutal dismembering of a child". I'm pretty sure if doctors were brutally dismembering children and actively murdering people we would hear about it. We're talking about abortion. Try to keep up. And you spelled homicide wrong. If there's one thing I loathe more than condescending assholes who seek to control women and wrap up that message of disrespect, hate and control in a ridiculous message about morals that makes no sense at all - it's people who don't take the time to spell-check their inane anti-choice posts.

  19. For Anon above: I had an abortion and don't regret it. AND it wasn't for rape or incest. It was because I couldn't afford another kid on my own. And I didn't want to be tied to the guy for the rest of my life. (Well, any more than being in a relationship entailed.)

    Adam: Sure there's a consideration about morality when it comes to abortion. But it's UP TO THE PREGNANT WOMAN. Not us. The end.

  20. "To not sacrifice them in the name of desperation"

    Have you ever been alone? No support, morally or financially? Your friends and family have abandoned you because they think you're slutty/worthless/stupid? I mean really REALLY alone, absolutely no one to turn to? God will not put bread on the table or clothes on a baby/battered and beaten and cut off from your support type alone?

    Then you do not know desperation.

    "situational difficulty"

    Have you ever been in an abusive relationship? Have you ever had your contraception sabotaged to keep you pregnant and docile? Raped by your father, partner or other family member? Raped by a stranger? Trying to make enough money to keep yourself alive, let alone another being? Have you ever been told "this is what you MUST do because it is biologically and cultureally determined?" despite your objections and/or health needs?

    Then you do not know situational difficulty.


    Have you ever been called slut? Whore? Stupid? Cunt? Worthless? Less than human? A drain on society? Dog? A drain on your partners/family time, energy, food, resources? All this and THEN made out to be all your fault anyway?

    Than you do not know shame.

    "at worst a desire for this so called "freedom to control her own body" when her body is not at stake anymore."

    Have you ever had a heart condition? Fertility issues? Cancer? Been at risk for stroke or DVT? Kidney failure? Been a raped child who does not have the physicality to carry a full pregnancy? Any of the other many MANY conditions or reasons which could kill the woman before the pregnancy is over? With no guarantee that the child will survive? And THEN been pregnant anyway, because you really REALLY want a child?

    Then you do not know what is at stake in a woman's body. And don't care about our desires.

    I'm sick of this romantic, heroic notion that a woman must be prepared to die, SHOULD die, to carry a child to term. You know what that gets us? A dead woman, and a motherless child. And let's not forget about the trauma a partner (if involved) must go through if the woman dies - sometimes this renders them incapable of parenting the child. And what does THIS get us? A child without TWO parents.

    Anyone who tells me I should die during pregnancy? Has absolutely no respect for me and some sick urge to control women. You can not say "I respect/love women!" then turn around and tell them what they should be doing with their lives and body.

    Argue philosophy all you like Adam, but here's a very SIMPLE philosophy that you are completely missing:

    You do not control anyone, their body or their mind.

    And I guess you must really hate that.

  21. Firstly, thanks so much to the women who read this blog and take the time to defend a point of view that is scary for some to stand by. I appreciate your honesty, and strength.
    Not to mention your ability to time after time after time explain to people who we sometimes don’t actually deserve an explanation, why we feel the way we do.
    Thanks for being there, on days when a face-palm moment begins to turn into a forehead-wall moment.
    Love y’all.

  22. Adam, thanks for your long posts.
    An English teacher I had once taught me a good trick to cut down on rambling.
    Pick 3 key points you want to get out, and cut EVERYTHING else out once you have written your piece.
    Tidy it up and LEAVE it.
    I appreciate you have a strong point of view, but you lose it a little when you talk around the topic for so long. It doesn’t make it any more credible, just harder to read.

    To the topic(s) to which you discussed.

    1) You are Roman Catholic – very nice, but irrelevant since this is a faith issue rather than anything to do with my blog post.
    Before you say it is relevant because “Catholic’s don’t abort”...
    pro-life stats from the USA state the following abortion stats per religion.
    Protestants obtain 37.4% of all abortions in the U.S.
    Catholic women account for 31.3%
    Women with no religious affiliation obtain 23.7% of all abortions.
    18% of all abortions are performed on women who identify themselves as "Born-again/Evangelical".
    Jewish women account for 1.3%,
    So the Catholics are at present beating out even us dirty old atheists.

    2) Philosophy major with a concentration in bioethics. Also irrelevant. All the books in the world mean nothing in this discussion unless you have the capacity to be pregnant. – That’s discrimination? – Tough.

    3) You agree morals are not black and white. –Good. Thanks.

    4) Something about hamlet? What the? I may as well quote harry potter for relevance. Just because it is old doesn’t make it relevant. It is a fictional MALE character written by a Man, a bloody long time ago.
    Plus, it is a soliloquy not a monologue. Don’t bull-shit a bull-shitter.

    5) The process of decision making. Very nice. Pointless though – see what I mean here???

    6) You discuss brutally dismembering... this is bollox. Utter bollox. At 12 weeks and 5.4cm dismembering would require a microscope. Don’t give me that crap.

    7) It’s not a homicide just because you call it one. It’s not a homicide just because your church calls it one. It’s not homicide by law. Even if a late term pregnant woman and child are murdered it isn’t considered a double homicide. So back that truck up kiddo.

  23. 8) Some more waffle about morals and decision making without any final point. I’m getting TIRED.

    9) Your concepts of biology. Very good that you know what a zygote is. I do however ask why a zygote (a TWO CELL fertilised egg one in the pre-embryo stage) is more relevant as human life than a sperm or egg alone?
    All that has happened at that point is the sperm-egg combo and the splitting of the cell.
    I find it convenient that it doesn’t count as blessed sacred life until it’s no longer your responsibility.
    No doubt you have wasted numerous future babies in many socks through your minimal years of fertility.
    Don’t come onto a medical professional’s website and flash a couple of terms and expect to be taken seriously unless you TRULY understand medical ethics. A zygote sometimes hasn’t even established itself as a single or multiple entities until up to 14 days... So is it "homicide" or "multiple homocide"?

    10) “The only difference between a foetus and the mother” please see my above reply re this. The difference being the mother has already survived and proven herself. At zygote stage that egg has got a 60-70% chance of miscarriage (the downside of getting hopes pinned that early). So the mother has one BIG thing on the zygote – SHE EXISTS!!

    11) Yes, If I was your mother and you were in a coma I would unplug you. Because there is little chance of you waking, and she is already alive. – duh.

    12) Socrates. Seriously? SERIOUSLY? ANOTHER DEAD GUY?? You have to be kidding me. This is like coming to a catholic site and discussing religious ethics by quoting Dawkins. Sheesh!

    13) Thanks for the prayers. I know you mean well. I would rather you stepped outside your comfort zone and tried to walk in the shoes of others, and lived life rather than reading it in a book before you come into my space and tell me why I’m wrong.

    Kind regards,

  24. First I would like to apologize for any offense I have caused people with my post that is not my intention at all. Further I am sorry that I did not spend more time doing spell check and things of that nature I am new to this blogging thing and was simply trying to present an opposing view. I'm sorry I did not makes myself clear and came off as condescending hateful etc... I know as a man it is not my business and I know have no power to make anyone do anything or to judge their actions I'm sorry if it came off that way. I just wanted to present a way of thinking about the morality of the situation which my be a bit different, and a bit more complete without being sure my own thoughts were presented in a complete manner. I am very sorry for this. I will be sure not to trouble the Pro-choice community again, I am sorry for offending any of you. I was careless.

    In response to Scuba I know the statistics, and my family has taken in women that needed help. Beyond that I'm sorry I offended you enough to provoke you into insulting me. Again I wish you peace and assure you I will not be troubling you again, you are absolutely right I don't have enough experience to do this sort of thing.

  25. Kickass post, scubanurse! You know you're doing it right when people feel the need to muster a pre-emptive "You must only be disagreeing with me because you're racist against Catholics!!!" defence.

  26. To go back to Anonymous 9:01's post:
    "Let's say that one day time travel is possible and that you could travel back in time to when you were in your mothers womb, but this time, instead of choosing to have you, your mother opted for an abortion. If you were present at the procedure and could stop it, would you?"

    If I were present, and I could stop it, I would NOT choose to do so. I would support my mother, as I would any other woman in such a situation, in whatever choice she made. If that means I don't exist, so be it. What I do with my life is my problem, whether I live or die is not up to me.

  27. "The unborn baby is breathing and alive just like she is"

    I'm glad the anti-women activists have such a strong grasp of biology on which to base their anti-choice rhetoric.


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