chimerically: (Default)
I've realized that I could never effectively argue with most anti-choice activists about birth control and abortion because we would be making completely different assumptions about the world -- different and fundamentally incompatible paradigms, in Kuhn's terms (since I've been reading lots of and about him in my philosophy of science class). Their arguments about what the Bible says about sex and other topics hold no weight for me. My arguments about problems of abused and neglected children, overpopulation, and a woman's right to control the course of her life hold little or no weight for them.

The point where we might be able to actually speak to one another, rather than past one another, is the issue of viability and when "life" starts, but even there they take what I see as ridiculously extreme views such as "life starts at conception" or sometimes with the possibility of conception (thus, the fight against birth control as a preventative measure) that I can't possibly agree with, given the messy realities of life: so many fertilized eggs don't implant, so many proto-fetuses don't last even a week, etc.

Furthermore, if they take this stance, why aren't they attacking in-vitro fertilization as vehemently as they are abortion and birth control? Multiple fetuses are grown and then one (or sometimes a few, but certainly not all) is implanted, and the rest are discarded. Isn't that murder in their eyes? Shouldn't all viable fetuses be given the chance to live in that case too? Funny how the intention of the couple seems to change the morality of the fetuses: people who are going through in-vitro fertilization want to be parents while people practicing birth control don't.

Along those same lines, it's also very strange that some anti-choice people take childlessness to be irresponsible, while from an environmental perspective, I think that having children is the more irresponsible choice (which, of course, some eco-minded parents mitigate in various ways, as I hope I would too if/when I have children -- but all things considered, that's still another person using a lifetime's-worth of resources, which is not small even when minimized). And moreover, making sure that one has children at a point in one's life when they can be best provided for seems to be, to me, a lot more responsible than risking having kids as soon as one starts having sex, which for a very large part of the population is very young (even with abstinence-only education like I grew up with, as a recent study shows). Of course, the anti-choice people would say one shouldn't be having sex until one is prepared to have children (which is the often-unsaid corollary to most of their points), but that's a whole 'nother can of worms with its own set of worldview incompatibilities, and I'll save that for another post (though you're welcome to rail in the comments if you want to).

No wonder this is such a hotly-contested debate. Except that it's not really a debate at all.

(NOTE: I don't mean to imply that one side is more "rational" than the other, even though I have made it clear which "side" I am on. These sorts of disagreements happen all the time, in many areas. My main argument is that the incommensurability of worldviews prevent the two sides from even seeing eye-to-eye.)
chimerically: (Default)
Interesting -- I heard on NPR today that Muslim cab drivers (UPDATE: just at the Minneapolis airport) who refuse to give rides to people carrying alcohol (even closed bottles in checked luggage, as from a duty-free shop), citing religious freedom, will have their cab licenses revoked for 30 days the first time and two years the second time. My mind immediately jumped to a parallel issue that has generally enjoyed more favorable treatment in the last couple years: the refusal of some pharmacists (and doctors) to fill (or prescribe) birth control prescriptions, citing religious beliefs. The religious argument in both is the same: those involved believe it's a sin to abet something they believe is sinful. So why the harsh ruling in one case, and permissive treatment of the other? Could it be a prejudice against Muslims in the former case, or perhaps a more tolerant attitude toward alcohol? A prejudice against birth control or women in the latter, or perhaps a more tolerant attitude to homegrown religious extremism (i.e. evangelical Christianity)? What do you think?
chimerically: (Default)
This. is. fantastic.

President Cecilia Fire Thunder of the Oglala Sioux tribe has declared that she is going to build a Planned Parenthood clinic on tribal land. In South Dakota.

Donate directly to PP! Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] corpsefairy for the heads-up.


Utah Quicksilver, Park City and Salt Lake City's best transportation service
chimerically: (Default)
As seen on Savage Love:
STRAIGHT RIGHTS UPDATE: There were two disturbing developments in the battle over straight rights last week. First, we know that Target fills its ads with dancing, multi-culti hipsters giving off a tolerant, urbanist vibe and runs hipster-heavy ad campaigns positioning Target as a slightly more expensive, more progressive alternative to Wal-Mart. Well, as John Aravosis revealed on Americablog.org last week, Target's politics are as red as their bulls-eye logo. The chain allows its pharmacists to refuse to dispense birth control and emergency contraception to female customers if the pharmacist objects on religious grounds. What's worse, the company claims that any of its employees have a right to discriminate against any of its customers provided the discrimination is motivated by an employee's religious beliefs. Read all about it at http://www.americablog.org and http://www.plannedparenthood.org.

Second, more troubling news from Tucson, Arizona, where a 20-year-old rape victim called dozens of pharmacies in town before she found one that stocked emergency contraception (EC). "When she finally did find a pharmacy with it, she said she was told the pharmacist on duty would not dispense it because of religious and moral objections," reported the Arizona Daily Star. Emergency contraception, the story continued, "prevents pregnancy by stopping ovulation, fertilization, or implantation of a fertilized egg. The sooner the emergency contraception is taken after intercourse, the more effective it is."

Don't just sit there, heteros. Defend your rights! Don't shop at Target, and write 'em and tell them why you're going elsewhere. (Go to Target.com and click on "contact us," then "Target Corporation.") As for Fry's Pharmacy in Tucson, the shop that wouldn't dispense EC to a freakin' rape victim, the fundamentalist pharmacist claims its her "right" not to do her fucking job. Well, you have a right to free speech. Call Fry's at 520-323-2695 and ask them why the fuck a pharmacy that won't dispense EC keeps the drug in stock. Do they do it just to torment rape victims? ("Oh yeah, we've got EC—but you can't have any. Don't you know that Jesus wants you to bear your rapist's child?") Rise up, straight people, and demand your rights!
chimerically: (Default)
Over lunch I read a rant about deer in (sub)urban (sprawl) areas, and couldn't help but post this reply (and of course replicate it here!).

Human Birth Control
By Buck Schneider, 10-20-05

Attention wilderness commissioners and administrators, I have the solution to your human problem. Normally, you'd have to hire costly consultants, set up stakeholder committees, have public hearings, and wait years for such a plan. This time, it's fast, free and easy (three of my favorite four-letter words officials don't use enough).

Urban human herds have overrun almost every wilderness in the New West, making foraging a lost art and pumping up the benefits of animals that scale fences, invasive species, and human infrastructure. These aren't humans coming to our territory for a geranium treat now and then. These are permanent residents -- third- or fourth-generation humans born in our territory, growing up in our territory, and reproducing the next generation in our territory -- without ever seeing a four-legged, heavily-antlered western human control specialist. These ridiculously tame and overly bold humans ravage the earth with expensively landscaped yards, flatten wild spaces, knock down native trees, own dogs, lure mountain lions into our territory at night, drive their cars without signaling, and frequently scare the stuffing out of me during my pre-dawn trots to my grazing grounds.

Read on! )

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