After Roe

Happy Sunday! I will be delivering the following “sermon” (via Zoom) at the Danville Unitarian-Universalist Church this morning.


Thank you for asking me back! I’m gratified.

As you all know by this time, my academic background is law—and more specifically, Constitutional law and the Bill of Rights.

The Bill of Rights, the approach to individual liberty that animates it, and the jurisprudence interpreting it  tell us when government must respect declarations of “my body, my choice.” We’ve been hearing that slogan a lot from the people who are refusing to be vaccinated—and ironically, they’re often the very same people who label themselves “pro life” and vigorously oppose a woman’s right to control her own body.

I’m here to tell you that the anti-vaxxers throwing that slogan around have it exactly backwards.

The Founders who crafted our Constitution and Bill of Rights were influenced by the philosophy of the Enlightenment and by what we call the “libertarian construct”—the belief that we humans have an inborn right  to “do our own thing”—to pursue our own interests, form our own beliefs, and make our own life choices and moral judgments, free of government interference– until and unless we are harming the person or property of someone else, and so long as we are willing to grant an equal right to others.

That approach to human rights requires government to refrain from interfering with citizens’ political or religious beliefs, but it also imposes a governmental duty to protect citizens from harm. Philosophers like Hobbes believed that was a major purpose of government—to keep the strong from taking advantage of the weak, to protect citizens from threats both foreign and domestic. We can certainly quibble over the nature and degree of the harms that justify government action, but if government can protect us from drunk drivers and the dangers of passive smoke, then a dangerous and frequently fatal pandemic is clearly a sufficient basis for government rule-making.

A pregnant woman’s decision to terminate her pregnancy, on the other hand, poses no threat of harm to her neighbors.

Despite the rhetoric—the legal issue is not whether abortion is right or wrong, good or bad. The issue is who gets to make that decision, the individuals involved or the government? In our Constitutional system, decisions about the religion you will follow, the books you will read, the political philosophy you’ll embrace, and many others—are all supposed to be left to the individual. What the courts call “intimate” decisions, like those about who you will marry and whether you will procreate, are to be left up to individual citizens, because they are none of  government’s business.

I agree with the people who point out that the so-called “pro-life” movement is really pro-birth. Most of the legislators who identify themselves with the pro-life label are clearly unconcerned about women’s lives, or about feeding, housing and educating babies once they are born. But I wasn’t asked to speak to the considerable dishonesties of the anti-choice position; I was asked to focus on what will happen if—as most of us anticipate—the Supreme Court eviscerates or overrules Roe v. Wade.

Before that, however, we need to look at the actual origins of the anti-abortion movement.

Noted religion scholar Randall Balmer has documented those origins. It wasn’t until 1979—a full six years after the Court decided Roe v, Wade—that evangelical leaders, goaded by Paul Weyrich, seized on abortion as “a rallying-cry to deny President Jimmy Carter a second term.”

Objecting to abortion was seen as “more palatable” than what was actually motivating them, which was protection of the segregated schools they had established following the decision in Brown v. Board of Education. 

According to Balmer (this is a quote),

Both before and for several years after Roe, evangelicals were overwhelmingly indifferent to the subject, which they considered a “Catholic issue.” In 1968, for instance, a symposium sponsored by the Christian Medical Society and Christianity Today, the flagship magazine of evangelicalism, refused to characterize abortion as sinful, citing “individual health, family welfare, and social responsibility” as justifications for ending a pregnancy. In 1971, delegates to the Southern Baptist Convention in St. Louis, Missouri, passed a resolution encouraging “Southern Baptists to work for legislation that will allow the possibility of abortion under such conditions as rape, incest, clear evidence of severe fetal deformity, and carefully ascertained evidence of the likelihood of damage to the emotional, mental, and physical health of the mother.” The convention, hardly a redoubt of liberal values, reaffirmed that position in 1974, one year after Roe, and again in 1976.

End quote.

Let me emphasize that. It was rightwing anger about civil rights laws that actually motivated the “Right to life” movement. The Rightwing was savvy enough to recognize that organizing grassroots evangelicals to defend racial discrimination wouldn’t cut it—that they would need a different issue if they wanted to mobilize evangelical voters on a large scale.

The bottom line is that what motivated the Christian Right’s political activism, including but not limited to its opposition to abortion, was racism and defense of racial segregation.

Let’s give credit where credit is due: that tactic has been incredibly successful. Christian Nationalists now own one of America’s two political parties—and I say that as someone who worked hard for the Republican Party for 35 years. Mitch McConnell has achieved the GOP’s fever dream of taking over the Supreme Court, and much as it pains me to say this, with the imminent demise of Roe, we are looking at what is probably the first of many times this Court will roll back individual liberties.

So what now?

If Roe is overruled—or more likely, effectively neutered– there will certainly be some horrendous consequences. But there may also be some unanticipated positives.
We have all come up against the intransigence of the “one issue” anti-choice voters, the people who disagree with Republicans about virtually everything else, but vote Republican because they are “pro life.” Without Roe, I think many of them will abandon the GOP.
Losing Roe will also make it much more difficult to energize a national movement against birth control, which is actually a target of the most rabid anti-choice activists—a significant number of whom are men who want women barefoot, pregnant and back in the kitchen. Bottom line: anti-choice voters have been a mainstay of the GOP–and at the federal level, at least, they will arguably be considerably less motivated.

If Roe is no longer the law of the land, the issue will revert to the states, and a number of states will opt to protect reproductive choice. Those of us who care about women’s autonomy will need to do some serious fundraising to make it possible for poor women in Red states to travel to places where abortion is legal, and that’s a pain. But even now, with abortion theoretically legal, there are many places in the U.S. where clinics are few and far between; women have to travel long distances, put up with bogus, medically-inaccurate “counseling,” and deal with other barriers to the exercise of what is currently a constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy.

What the de-nationalization of Roe might do–should do–is redirect liberal and pro-choice energies from national to state-level political action. And while there are no guarantees, that could be a huge game-changer.

The current agenda of the Republican Party doesn’t reflect the desires of the American majority–far from it. GOP numbers have been shrinking steadily; some 24% of voters self-identify as Republican. Their electoral success has been due primarily to the 2011 gerrymander, and that was made possible because they controlled a large number of state governments when redistricting took place. More recent GOP vote suppression tactics that have depressed Democratic turnout and disenfranchised Democratic voters have also been facilitated by state-level control. In many states—possibly even Indiana—redirecting voters’ attention to state-level politics could change that.

Without Roe, it is reasonable to predict that the single-issue anti-choice voters that have been a mainstay of the GOP will be less motivated to vote. Pro-choice voters, however, will be newly energized, and polling suggests they significantly outnumber “pro-life” activists. A recent Pew survey has found that 61% of Americans say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, with 27% saying in all cases and another 34% saying in most cases. Only twelve percent of the public says abortion should be illegal in all cases, and only 26% would outlaw it most cases.

In anticipation of the loss of Roe, some states have already seen efforts to protect reproductive rights. A ballot drive has been launched in Michigan. Reproductive Freedom for All’s petition would affirm the right to make pregnancy-related decisions without interference, including about abortion and other reproductive services such as birth control. The groups leading the effort are Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan, the Michigan ACLU and an organization called Michigan Voices.

New Jersey has already enshrined abortion rights in state law. Lawmakers in that state bolstered protections for reproductive rights in anticipation of the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court decision, and Gov. Phil Murphy has signed a bill codifying abortion rights into state law. He also signed a second bill that expands insurance coverage for birth control.

Meanwhile, in states like Florida and South Dakota, lawmakers are rushing to impose new restrictions on abortion, anticipating the Court’s acquiescence with much more restrictive rules.

Knowing our Hoosier legislators, I anticipate some pretty dreadful legislation being introduced here. It will require organization and activism in Indiana to derail what the ridiculous pro-gun, anti-vaccine legislators who call themselves “pro life” will try to do.
Indiana will need an enormous uprising—of women, of men who support women, and especially of liberal churches—if we are going to escape replicating the Handmaid’s Tale here in Hoosierland.


  1. Most agree abortion should be legal where it orotects the right of the woman to chose in the case of incest or rape or the safety of the mother. The problem that Ive seen is that politically its not been supported beyond that in every state. Heartbeat laws now are appearing across the country to show that the child at 6 weeks is a person and also the argument of the baby having a different DNA shows that the baby is a person. How will judges rule on this not only in regards to Roe vs Wade.or state. By state.
    So the question is how do we respond ethically on an individual basis. Women do need to be counseled but not coerced either way about having a baby. Productive rights for a woman need to be legislated so women can protect themselves from getting pregnant. Legislation is important to solidify “women’s rights” vs the “right of the child.”

  2. Access to abortion is women’s health care
    Removing access to abortion is the first step to denying other types of health care for women.
    Done by men, of course

  3. How do we get Republicans out of our beds? Be it birth control, abortion or LGBTQ issues; their objective in intrusion into our most private lives. Even their gerrymandering is aimed at areas of racial divide and low income to force increasing the birth rate of children to parents they are cutting aid to, including food stamps to put food on their tables.

    In Indianapolis, the Division of Community Services (DCS), a division of Mayor Bill Hudnut’s office, the distribution of federal funds into our neighborhoods was carefully monitored and a priority for Mayor Bill, the last real Republican in the state of Indiana. DCS monitored Multi-Service, Health and Senor centers to provide care to those most in need. Then Ronnie Reagan was elected and we lost much needed funds. Losing Roe at the federal level will have a profound effect on more than birth rates throughout this country; Republicans will deny aid from birth through senior years regarding our basic needs. They are our tax dollars; where are they going and where will they go if Republicans take over the majority in Congress again and return to destroying democracy? There is much more than Roe vs. Wade to lose if we lose Roe vs. Wade.

  4. Republicans are merely succumbing to their demented, self-serving, backward-thinking, misogynistic, self-righteous, religiously challenged and bigoted constituents and donors. Did I mention greedy too?

    How on earth do rational people keep voting for Republicans? Have we become a nation so divided that anything making any sense will never have agreement amongst the super majority? Surely we couldn’t be that tribal, could we?

  5. I most respectfully disagree on two points. First, Republicans will not stop at letting the States decide – they will continue to run on abortion proclaiming the need to make it illegal everywhere, to stop the horror of abortion in blue States. Second, the primary effect of making abortion illegal in several States, which is not discussed, will be the instantaneous creation of an enormous black market in abortion medication – that will be the biggest change between today and the pre-Roe days.

  6. Just another lost cause – that of outlawing abortion. The (red) states cannot repeal the interstate commerce provision of the Constitution. Nor can they restrict access to the internet which is becoming easier to access at lower cost – especially as the 5G networks expand. They can write all the laws they want to contain telemedicine but they will be unenforceable. They can write even more laws restricting what a physician can discuss with their patients – doesn’t matter. They can write yet more laws to restrict what parcel carriers can deliver to your door and whose parcels they can deliver – again, unconstitutional and unenforceable in any case.

    According tot he CDC, early chemical abortion (two pills) accounts for 42.3% of all abortions in 2019. More importantly, this number has grown by 10% from 2018 to 2019 and 123% from 2010 to 2019.

    I’m a guy so I generally try and stay in my lane on this issue (except to support a woman’s choice, that is) but IMO the most significant impact of overturning Roe and the avalanche of red state laws banning it will be to accelerate the number of chemical abortions as a % of the total. Pro-choice advocates should keep that in mind as they fight to raise scarce resources to combat modern gender oppression.

  7. Agree with Honig. I find it completely fanciful — and contrary to 40 years of evidence — that an overturned Roe will result in fewer GOP single-issue voters taking their fight to the states, or result in some heightened willingness (and success) for Dems in States where the fights next go.

    If the past is prologue, an overturned Roe will be seized upon by the GOP as evidence that their crusade is working, but that the Godless Barbarians (Dems) have moved the fight to the states, which now become ground-zero in the next fight. With the fresh taste of blood from their victory at the Supreme Court, they will fundraise immensely — and they will become even more forceful in the States they already control. I see NO advantage for Dems in this environment. None.

    I just hope those other commenters above are correct about the science and medical advancements that will render this fight less physically harmful to the women the GOP are actually just trying to control (or worse).

  8. Wow Sheila! That’s quite a mouthful.

    Absolutely positively you are correct in the premise of free will. Or, as some would say, The entirety of humanity Are free moral agents. But, What does that actually mean? I suppose if we all came from a primordial ooze, It would actually mean nothing. Because there really wouldn’t be any consequences for any decisions made, No matter what they are.

    To bring this gift into focus, Deuteronomy 11:26 reads; ‘see I am putting before you today a blessing and a curse.”

    Also, Deuteronomy 30:15 which reads; “See, today I put before you today life and good and death and bad.”

    The New Testament or The Christian Greek Scriptures, states rather emphatically, One cannot infringe upon Their neighbors Right to free will.

    As we read, the apostle Paul had this very discussion with the congregation of Corinth.

    Those members of the congregation were split on whether to eat meat sold in the meat market that had been offered previously as sacrifices to idols. So basically, buying and consuming meat That was used in a pagan act of Idolic worship and sacrifice.

    1st Corinthians 8:4 reads; “Now concerning the eating of food offered to idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world and that there is no God but one.”

    1st Corinthians 8:7 further reads; “However, not all have this knowledge. But some, because of their former association with the idol, eat food as something sacrifice to an idol, and their conscience, being weak, is defiled.

    The Apostle Paul also stated in Romans 14:23, which reads; “But if he has doubts he is already condemned if he eats because he does not eat based on faith. Indeed, everything that is not based on faith is sin.”

    A little further down, We read and first Corinthians 8:9; “But keep watching that you’re right to choose does not somehow become a stumbling block to those who are weak.”

    in conjunction with The letters to the Corinthians, The Apostle Paul also wrote in Romans 14:13; “therefore, let us not judge one another any longer But, rather, be determined not to put a stumbling block or an obstacle before a brother.”

    Also brought out to the congregation and Galatia, Galatians 6:5 reads; “for each one will carry his own load.”

    Indeed, in the Apostle Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians, It reads at 2nd Corinthians 5:10; “for we must all appear before the judgment seat of the Christ so that each one may be repaid according to the things he has practice while in the body, whether good or bad.”

    So, one of the basic tenets of scripture in the old and New Testament is the right of free will or the right to choose. We do not have the right to choose for another, for as it says in Galatians, each one will carry his own load.

    No one has the right to force His conscience on another individual. If one attempts to do that, he is condemning himself before the god he/she claims to worship and love.

    So, this gift of free will goes way beyond just The eating of meat that had been sacrificed to pagan idols, It goes to the gift of being a free moral agent. and, once an individual comes to know Everything about the god they claim they worship, They will make decisions that will give them life and not death. But that is A decision for each individual According to their own conscience.

    So, do we know the law? As Jews, You know the law, As Christians, you know the law, Now, one would have to express Their gift of free will to either Have faith and faithfully believe in that law, or not. Not one individual has the right to impose on a person’s free will.

    An example would be your own children, Do you feel better when a child makes a decision After a discussion with you about a certain issue Because they love you and respect Your thoughts on the matter, or, Do you like the fact that you can force your child into a decision you desire? Obviously, if you force that child, more than likely that child is going to rebel At one time or another. And, you will be defeating yourself concerning the council You gave your child. Love and respect must be inculcated in the children you raise, just like love and respect must be inculcated in the love you have for your God or your neighbor.

    Just as Christ said, Love God, and love your neighbor. Everyone recognizes the Sermon on the Mount. You can read Matthew the 22nd chapter if you’re interested.

    Whether we agree with decisions others make or not, That still is their right as free moral agents. Everyone has the right to make those decisions. Once again, No one has the right to make decisions for anyone else. That being said, Again, It’s important to make sure you know the law if you actually believe in the law. And I’m talking about God’s law. If we believe in morality, if we believe in law, The laws we read about in scripture, the morality We read about in scripture are really identical to those mentioned by The Apostle Paul in Romans the 13th chapter. So if we are to respect the law of secular government, Why shouldn’t we respect God’s law? We are judged by the superior secular authorities for not obeying the law, we are not judged by our neighbors. The same with God’s law, We are judged by the superior authority, God, And his son Jesus Christ. Not by our fellow man or our neighbors.

  9. BRAVA!
    Thank you so much for this complete, timely and accurate recounting of the history and truth of how we got here, pointing to the consequences as the pro-birth charade continues.
    There are not words to express my gratitude but to say THANK YOU again. 💐

  10. The end of Roe (and I’m not convinced the holding won’t be modified rather than ended) will bring much needed COMPROMISE on the issue.

    Abortion is such a complicated issue exactly because both sides have very legitimate positions. That a fetus is distinctly developing human life is indisputable. That protecting that life interferes with a woman’s right to bodily integrity and control over her body is also indisputable. Both sides try to infer nefarious motives to the other side. But for the most part it is not accurate. Both are sincerely advocating their legitimate positions.

    The question has always been about where you compromise on the issue, where you draw the line during pregnancy recognizing the two very real interests involved. The problem with Roe was that it drew the line way too late in pregnancy. A majority say they support Roe, but then if you ask them if they support the second term abortions allowed by Roe, strong majorities say “No.”

    Most countries draw the line months earlier than Roe and its progeny’s focus on fetal viability, which used to be near 6 months. The end of Roe means the opportunity to draw an earlier line, whether that line is drawn by state legislatures or the court. Roe unfortunately short-circuited this country’s movement toward reasonable compromises on the issue of abortion.

    With those compromises, I’m optimistic we’re going to end up in a much better place post-Roe.

  11. I was waiting until John played his cards, but then Paul added this beauty, “Abortion is such a complicated issue exactly because both sides have very legitimate positions.”

    What’s fascinating about Paul’s statement is “both sides” of man’s law. Unless I am wrong, Man’s law picks up where God’s law leaves off if we are a Christian nation.

    That’s the problem.

    We are not a Christian nation if we claim to be secular.

    So, when Paul refers to “both sides” what is he actually claiming?

  12. I must agree with David Honig above, that to expect Republican voters to not show up at the polls is overly optimistic, magical thinking, as long as they continue to listen to the Sirens of Right-Wing Media. It’s good to be hopeful that someday a Blue Wave will appear and wash away the stain of McConnell, et al, but I have been disappointed so many times by Democrats who won’t or don’t bother, and by the Democratic Party itself by poor decisions, that I give up hoping for sanity in our politics, and my time and efforts will focus elsewhere.

  13. Once again, I have to remind everyone that a dead body has more rights than a pregnant woman.

    If there are exceptions to abortions, it’s because those that make these exceptions believe that a woman must be violated by incest or rape before an abortion is granted.

    Chew on that!

  14. Todd, lol,

    Christ said give Caesar’s things to Caesar and God’s things to God.

    That means for an individual, not a nation that’s a secularist society. We all have things that we believe in private, and that’s a privilege of living in a democratic secularist society. Also, As a secularist society we definitely cannot publicly force beliefs down anyone’s throat If they do not wish them. So most of the churches that started in this country from the beginning, Were supposed to stay out of politics. The separation of church and state. Benjamin Franklin said build the wall high. Because he saw The devastation a state church can cause.

    When we read the 10 commandments, does that sound ridiculous? Actually, there was many more commandments than just 10. But the main ones we all know about. Don’t those sound very similar to man’s law? Absolutely! The Apostle Paul said, that the conscience is basically the law. So when he said that people who do not know the law are a law unto themselves. That means that they by means of their conscience refrain from doing things that seem wrong to us. But if we Continue to do those things that seem wrong to us our conscience becomes calloused. When our conscience becomes calloused, then people have no restraint. They have no restraint concerning man’s law and no restraint concerning God’s law.

    I’m not going to get in the beginnings of human life and abortion right now, Because it really Will cloud up the issue concerning the law. but, basically A tenant in the law is Having a lot unto yourself through your conscience. So, Caesars things to Caesar and God’s things to God can co-exist , because that’s man’s law and God’s law. But like I mentioned earlier so many of the man’s laws overlap God’s laws.

    And, the main crux of the situation concerning God’s laws, are what was mentioned in my comment above. You cannot make decisions for someone who’s a free moral agent. You make your own decisions, what you like or dislike how you worship as long as it’s within the law.

    You are actually going against God’s law when you are making decisions for others who are free moral agents to make their own decisions. And, just like a conversation you have with your child, you don’t want to force your child, you want your child to come to an agreement with you thereby showing respect and love.

    This is not happening in the evangelical ranks right now. They are involved in politics, and, They are going against the basic tenant of Christianity which is not to judge your fellow man, and to love your neighbor, and to love God, and to even love your enemy.

    And if you follow all of those things, you are not going to attempt to force your belief on anyone, because it’s their God-given right to choose for themselves!

  15. My 24 year old granddaughter had a possibly fatal seizure disorder which her pregnancy increased the chances of fatality but she opted to try to carry her baby to term. She died having multiple seizures at 5 months pregnant and of course her baby girl died with her. She made this decision a few months prior to Pence’s anti-abortion laws went into effect; have any statistic been kept regarding women and girls forced to carry a pregnancy to term who died, along with their babies? Are there statistics maintained regarding the deaths of women and girls, and their babies, due to botched illegal abortions or from infections due to attempts to self-abort?

    States have made decisions and the Supreme Court will made decisions regarding abortions with only partial facts on which to base their final decision. I think we all know which way Trump’s SCOTUS will go on this issue with no reasons other than their own religious beliefs, or non-religious beliefs or simply because they have the power to make these decision without full information on which to base it.

  16. First, some science. Zygotes, in fact much of the life in and on us, do not contain our DNA. We carry many more cells that are not us than we do cells that are us. (we can’t blame them for our weight though as they are lightweight bacteria that only count for a few percent of what the scales tell us).

    Full disclosure. Like more than half of the people in the world, I have never been pregnant so have no real way to relate to the process. Therefore I feel that I am not qualified to judge anything or anyone who is, about any aspect of it.

    Abortion is however a medical procedure, so like all medical procedures, it should be left to those who are pregnant and their professional medical advisor. Professional medical advisors have much more complete education about our bodies than we do just as professional auto mechanics have about how automobiles work. Don’t take your automobile problems to your Dr or your abortion questions to your auto mechanic.

    My expert advice to those who are against abortion is that there is one sure way to prevent it and that is celibacy. If you are against both abortion and impending parenthood, celibacy maybe your best friend.

  17. Well, once again we have (mostly) a bunch of guys arguing various points about abortion.

    I had no symptoms of pregnancy until I was past 12 weeks, so for those who say that I had plenty of time to decide, exactly when would that have been? Then I had pre-eclampsia and the doctors told me that the only cure was to “take the baby,” as they put it. She was 4 1/2 pounds and in good health, fortunately, but I very nearly had a stroke. (bp 265/185 and the worst headache I’ve ever had in my life.)

    Now, where would I have been in the rosy world of life without Roe? I’ve read about women who had to get permission from the powers that be to abort an ectopic pregnancy and it took so long that they died. Would they have had to get some judge out of bed to sign off on my caesarian so that I could live?

    The only good things about this was that we both lived and my pregnancy amounted to about 4 months and no stretch marks.

  18. Life is complicated. Attempts to make it simple never succeed.

    That’s why legislation often contains hundreds of pages or sometimes thousands whereas Republicans prefer just a few.

  19. No man should ever be allowed to tell a woman what to do about an unwanted pregnancy. As the father of the fetus, if and only if he is willing to step up for at least the next 18 years, should he have any word on the subject. Legislators making blanket laws about something they perhaps have had no personal experience, is just plain wrong to me.

    As a child of adoption, I truly wish that a whole lot more emphasis should be made for adoption being a viable alternative to adoption. But there again, this is an option that only the mother and father of the fetus have a right to make the decision. Adoptive parents make a full-blown commitment to raise this child to adulthood and give this child all the very same opportunities given to a child born IN wedlock, as my adoptive parents did!

    The pro-lifers are really only pro-birthers. If they are not willing to endorse birth control methods or offer to raise the child themselves to adulthood, they need to keep their opinion to themselves.

    There is no glory in giving birth to a child that you cannot give them the best of every opportunity. There is no glory in giving birth to a child simply to collect more welfare monies.

  20. I’m assuming Paul hasn’t read my earlier response, but we need to educate Wallflower about the Laws of Cause and Effect, first. I always enjoy the feminist argument about men not having a say in the matter because they can’t get pregnant.

    However, without a man present, a woman can’t get pregnant. A zygote is formed as a result of sex between a man and a woman. This is where free will emanates. Sex is the cause and pregnancy is the effect. Starting at pregnancy is dealing with consequences.

    So, let’s cut the shit with where the decision comes from because it’s not between the doctor and the woman. That’s another decision called consequence.

    Where’s Paul?

  21. Pete,

    Nice comment. I completely concur with what you said. I’ve got a really nice powerful microscope, and some of the things I’ve seen under extreme magnification is enough to scare the tapeworms right out of a person lol.

  22. Todd,

    Absolutely every action has a consequence. Sort of like Newton’s third law of motion?

  23. David H., don’t hold back, put it all out there!
    Yes, Sheila, the strategy has worked, all too well. Bigotry, which is what launched TFG in his rise to the presidency, is rampant
    in this country, and if outlawing certain colors of apples would have served the old GOP, they’d have gone after that.
    Evangelicals, who IMHO, have to be among the most gullible, and maybe bigoted, of us, simply fell in line with the line about abortion.
    Christopher Hitchens comment about how “Religion spoils everything,” comes to mind, here…just sayin’

  24. Reading the comments of men here….debating something they will never experience….makes me sick and angry.

    I’ve been a Patient Advocate at Planned Parenthood for years and have heard the most heartbreaking stories you can imagine (and many you can’t possibly imagine.) It’s been a gift to me to be able to help these women (and girls) through a procedure which will set them back on the road to health and happiness.

    Meanwhile, the protesting ”godly” are out front, babbling their bible verses and rattling their beads. For them, I wish the old platitude about ”walk a mile in her shoes” were a possibility. Might change some minds.

  25. Amazed at the Biblical pontification going on here.
    WTF does a sky god myth have to do with governance?
    Yes, sex does have consequences.
    So does its lack. For men and women.

  26. Robbie: “adoption being a viable alternative to abortion,” maybe? I know what you meant. It’s OK! I too am an adoptee, and it was entirely my birth mother’s decision as to her next move.

  27. Sheila: Thanks for your talk at the UU Church today. And thanks for the opportunity you provide for us to sound off on a wide variety of subjects.

  28. Ormond, ormond, ormond,

    Is it really that hard to comprehend? I really find it interesting that you’re not comprehending anything that is written. Sheila is the one that had her thing (sermon) at a liberal church not me. Do you have a problem with that? I would imagine some of those people, maybe a lot of those people that she was talking to would have found what I’ve posted fairly interesting.

    The point of the so-called “pontificating,” is to show the hypocrisy of those who claim to be Christians going against core Christian tenants, use secular courts to subjugate people of different faiths and ethnicities.

    As mentioned above, Benjamin Franklin said to build the wall high and impregnable between church and state. And, the reason was, the conflicts the church instigated as state churches, where there was no visible line between secular government and theocratic beliefs.

    Your nitpicking though, just really enforces the fact that you are a very sad and insecure individual. Learning something, or being enlightened is actually an available tool when having discussions with people of different beliefs or faiths. Even atheism is a proxy humanist religion. Atheists actually have faith in their own particular diatribe, that’s a form of idolatry also. You really should quit trying to light that petard you’re sitting on, it’s not a good visual.

    Knowledge is power Ormond, and, I can make my case to refute those religious individuals who are basically infringing on others rights, not just calling them a bunch of kooks. If someone can’t explain what they believe and why, then that just makes them think that possibly they’ve been going down the wrong path, or maybe they’ll choose to reevaluate their positions.

  29. A zygote contains DNA; if it didn’t none of us would be here. It’s the diploid result of two haploid gametes (sperm and egg) fusing.

  30. Pam: Thanks for your patient advocacy at Planned Parenthood. All who come must surely need people to advocate for them.

  31. Great “sermon”, Sheila – Amen, Sister.

    Pete – well said, with a minor exception, my maleness does not deprive me of the ability to judge, although, it should severely limit my ability to control that which doesn’t cause me harm. As a scientist, and a philosophy major, my opinion is that this is a realm for physician and patient to decide, and I don’t believe in paternalistic physicians.

    Also, please recognize that sex doesn’t make women inferior, nor does it make them automatically superior. Yes, most legislators are men, but I have seen (and even met) some truly rabid (no exceptions allowed) pro-birth women.

    A little to the side of the issue, but related – “politicians should look like me” – women on this blog – would you prefer Phyllis Schlafly, Sarah Palin, or Virginia Thomas

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