Lifesite makes me angry

I’d like to thank Jen for introducing me to the veritable goldmine of fundie thought known as lifesite.net. Today, Lifesite highlights a survey by Canadian researchers showing a high correlative link between domestic violence and abortion. Let’s take a look, shall we?

1127 women completed a 65-item questionnaire at a hospital abortion facility in London, Ontario. The results showed that overall 20% had experienced physical abuse by a male partner, and 27% had a history of sexual abuse.

Similar research in the US has shown that 31% of women seeking an abortion have experienced physical or sexual abuse at some time in their lives and, of these, more than half have witnessed domestic violence as children. The British study showed that the risk of domestic violence more than doubled during pregnancy. The authors of the Canadian research suggest that a motive for some women who abort in a situation of violence do so to out of a misguided desire to protect future children from living in the disrupted or violent environments that they themselves face.

Well, they started out telling the truth, but apparently the fundie predilection for lying was just insurmountable toward the end there. What the study actually said was this:

“The authors of this research suggest that a history of victimization should be considered a risk factor for being abused when pregnant and imply that previous abuse has a demoralizing effect that increases susceptibility to further violence. There may also be some truth to the idea that women "trapped" in more traditional, passive feminine roles are less able to assert control over themselves and their lives. […] Perhaps, given this, we should understand both a mother's desire not to saddle her child with the risks she faces and the decisive behaviour that the act of seeking a termination implies.”

Yes, a misguided desire indeed. The leading cause of death of pregnant women in the United States is homicide, usually at the hands of the men who claim to love them. And research shows that a woman is more susceptible to domestic violence when pregnant—meaning that an abused women can look forward to more abuse if she carries her pregnancy to term. For these women, abortion is a way to save themselves from an escalation of violence, and also a means to protect future children who might be abused themselves. As a society, we tend to blame women who stay in abusive relationship, even more so when they have children who are being abused. Now the fundies are blaming abused women to failing to give birth to their abusers’ children—I’m sensing that we just can’t win here.

The study also revealed that a significant percentage of the women who were seeking second or repeated abortions were using artificial contraception at the time they became pregnant. 90% of women seeking repeat abortions had used contraception sometime in their lives and at the time of the current conception 60% were using condoms and 40% were using an oral contraceptive.

Wait…women who didn’t want to have children (thus, terminating their pregnancies) are more likely to use contraception?? You mean they actually tried to prevent the pregnancies that they didn’t want? Obviously, this means that all you whores on the pill are going to get abortions. After all, there must be a causal relationship between contraception and abortions.

Pro-life activists have for many years pointed out the danger of widespread chemical contraceptive use and its relation to high incidences of abortion. Their argument is that a woman engaging in sexual relations and using the pill is more disposed to using abortion as a 'back-up' form of birth control should it fail.

Yes, “pro-life” activists would say that. Unfortunately, researchers say otherwise. According to the Canadian study, "Fisher and colleagues show that, in comparison with women seeking a first abortion, those requesting second or third procedures are more likely to be using contraception. They are not psychologically maladjusted and are not using therapeutic abortion as ‘birth control.’" Do these people even read the articles they are reviewing?

The British survey cited above also found that despite the high incidence of abuse only 2% of the women seeking abortion were pregnant as a result of rape. This is despite the fact that the so-called 'rape exception' is often cited as a justification for legal abortion-on-demand.

Well, according to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, so-called “partial birth abortions” only account for about 0.03–0.05% of all abortions, and y’all didn’t seem to have a problem focusing on those, did you? In fact, according to Nevada Life, “(the) rate of incidence of partial birth abortion is not what makes it wrong.” Funny, I would argue that the rate of incidence of forcing women to give birth to their rapist’s child is irrelevant—simply doing so is wrong.

The effect of the widespread use of contraception in creating what is called the 'contraceptive mentality' and the evidence that such a mentality leads to abortion has been documented more than once by the medical community.

Where? What medical community are you talking about? The “pro-life” ob-gyns who lie to their patients? The Canadian study shows only a correlation between contraception use and abortion—but that makes sense given that women who do not want to have children are likely to use birth control to prevent pregnancy. I worked in an abortion clinic all through college, and I cannot recall a single women who walked in there with a blasé attitude.

Articles like should serve as a reminder that it isn’t just abortion they’re after—they want your birth control, too. Because they simply cannot abide by women maintaining control over their lives. After all, the Canadian study shows that anywhere from 20 – 55% of women have been in an abusive relationship at some point in their lives, which the leading researcher, Dr. Fisher, defined as an epidemic of victimization. Funny how in all the attempts to rain scorn and shame on women who seek abortions, their abusers were conveniently ignored.

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annamaria at 10:16 AM

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