06 March, 2006

Speaking of "-crisy"

We wouldn't want anyone to fall victim to the hobgoblin of little minds.


Mr. Mencken, perhaps these folks can move here  to free themselves of the moral pollution that drove them to the clinics in the first place. 

Posted by echan

Hm. Interesting stuff. Here's what they say :

“This statement is intended definitively to correct a growing misperception that Ave Maria, Florida is to be a Catholic town, controlled by Tom Monaghan. It is the partners’ desire to have the town based on traditional family values.

“Because the University’s leadership, in accordance with Catholic teachings, opposes the sale of contraceptives, retailers in the town have been asked to refrain from selling contraceptives. However, it is critical to note that no restrictions will be enforced on contraceptives or any other inventory. In fact, we are using the same lease for Ave Maria as the BCC uses elsewhere in Collier County (which prohibit certain uses that are inconsistent with traditional family values). Neither will there be restrictions enforced on programming on cable television.

“Although the adjoining University is a Catholic institution, the town will be open to all – regardless of age, religion or race. We envision Ave Maria as a hometown for today – vital and self-sustaining, a place where friendships span generations, a sense of community prevails, and traditional family values are held dear by people no matter what their faith, walk of life or stage of life.

“Ave Maria, Florida will fully abide by the United States and State of Florida constitutions, and takes great pride that it will enable the realization of the American dream for so many students, families, retirees and business owners.

“There is a great deal of important news about Ave Maria – it is the first University and town being built from the ground up in memory. It is the first implementation of a new ‘rural stewardship’ land planning process that has enabled the protection of 17,000 acres of environmentally sensitive land in Eastern Collier County.

“Ave Maria is a project of enormous scale and import – 5,000 acres, including the first new Catholic University in 40 years and a whole new town – with its own utilities, neighborhoods to fit every lifestyle and lifestage, and retail, professional and commercial operations to meet every daily need. It will bring economic vitality to the region, providing thousands of new jobs and millions of dollars in new revenues.

The controversy over contraceptives and the portrayal of Ave Maria as a Catholic town should not and cannot overshadow the value and importance of this event.” 

Posted by hedgemenop

Interesting article in Slate  about the new South Dakota ban on abortion today. The new law is advertised as a direct challenge to Roe vs. Wade and forbids all abortions after five days. It does not, however, forbid Plan B, despite being rather inconsistent with the insistence that conception begins life, not implantation. Saletan chalks this up to an implacable compassion for victims of rape which is mucking up modern-prolifers sense of outrage. Particularly interesting since rape itself gets very weirdly defined--see this nauseating horrific post courtesy of SomeoneElse. The quote that bothered me in the sideshow link above was this:

""I had a 37 year old woman just yesterday who was 13 weeks. She said she and her husband had been discussing this pregnancy for 2-3 months. She was strongly opposed to abortion, 'but my husband is forcing me to do it.' Naturally, I told her that no one could force her into an abortion, and that she had to choose whether the pregnancy or her husband were more important. I told her I only wanted what was best for her, and I would not do the abortion unless she agreed that it was in her best interest. Once she was faced with actually having to voice her own choice, she said 'Well, I made the appointment and I came here, so go ahead and do it. It's what's best.' At last I think she came to grips with the fact that it really was her decision after all." (Physician, Nevada)"

Because my first thought was that a woman in a domestic abuse situation very often does not  have a choice, and can convincingly play someone has had to face her own choice when she's really just caving into the claustrophobic oppressions of her life. It depends on how you define force. It's a nauseating exercise, but one can imagine all kinds of messed-up situations--mostly domestic, many incestuous--which would morally qualify for the spirit of the SD exception, but not technically--where five days wouldn't be enough time. And we're right back where we started, the trouble with second-guessing.  

Posted by Saheli

"our lawyers tell us that the town will absolutely not  be ideologically exclusive. our marketing team tells us that to do so would be unamerican." 

Hm, while I applaud the new urbanism approach, there is something distinctly different from the urban Catholicism that I was taught. I still have my mind stuck in the last century, where Catholic Churches were the safe havens in blighted neighborhoods providing an inexpensive, solid alternative to bad schools. Ave Maria represents an abandonment of the corrupt city, to push the whole family values (i.e. anti-contraception) plank of the Church instead the Catholic charity side of the Church. That being said, I do like the idea of a community that fosters cross generational ties, but I am worried that people will end up self-selecting enclaves that not only reflect their wealth, but their ideas.

Sorry the hijack the abortion post in this direction. 

Posted by echan

but I am worried that people will end up self-selecting enclaves that not only reflect their wealth, but their ideas. 

If I didn't note the irony of a conversation among bloggers coming up with this line, I wouldn't be being honest with myself :) 

Posted by someone else

Hey Someone Else -- you forgot to mention that the bloggers in question are all in San Francisco, the East Bay, Cambridge, and Manhattan. None are ideologically homogenous, but let's just say I don't see a lot of "W" stickers in my neighborhood. 

Posted by hedgemenop

Well, if it makes you feel any better I did not write a long comment riffing on how I grew up pro-life, and Echan's current tagline is "Resurrecting the Rockefeller Republicans," partially in mockery of my (slightly incorrect) assumptions about her political allegiances. And I think Someone Else is representin' for Queens, no? But yeah, not exactly a rousing salad of political diversity.  

Posted by Saheli

To the horror of my many of my friends, not only did I grow up pro-life, but I still am pro-life. It's a shame that crazy doctor-murderers made "pro-life"a dirty word.

Slate's got an interesting piece  on the Plan B loophole in South Dakota's abortion ban. Oddly, I've become more rigid lately on this issue, and now consider Plan B to be a form of abortion.

Not that this issue is important to me. One of the few agreement points that I have with Pete Singer is that it is more immoral for us to wage war in Iraq than to not prevent abortion. 

Posted by echan

I can't even claim Queens--I'm in Gentrified/Gentrifying Brooklyn (the areas near park slope, ft. greene, etc.).

Anyway, who needs political diversity? :)

but, echan, about this pro-life thing--don't you think there's some classism and racism that's inherently part of being pro-life in the U.S.? I mean, basically, people with the means are far more likely to be able to get access to safe and legal abortions if/when it becomes illegal in particular states. It's a bit akin to criminalizing prostitution in that the social phenomnenon seems to be prevalent regardless of what we will.

I don't mean to disrespect your beliefs--just something that piques my curiosity. I think safe, legal, and rare makes more sense (although I wish that was the conservative position, not the center-left one).


Posted by someone else

If you wish safe, legal and rare was the conservative position and not the center-left position, what do you wish was the center-left position? I would have imagined that rare is something we can all agree on. Even if you think nothing of killing an end of 2nd or 3rd trimester fetus (and as someone who went from 2nd trimester fetus to baby in minutes rather than weeks, I can't claim to fall into that camp), it's seems unarguable that abortion is rather unpleasant for the woman. It's an induced miscarriage.It screws with one's hormones, it often involves excessive bleeding, and it's bound to be an anxiety-laden choice, one way or the other. I see safe, legal and rare as an effective motto for championing what both sides *should* be able to agree on, if they weren't so much more concerned with policing other people's morality---birth control . I take pro-lifers seriously when they hand out condoms. Otherwise, not so much. And with that in mind, SE, note that condoms (and even pills) are a hell of a lot cheaper in a resource-sense--and lot better for your health--than abortions should be. (I'm a bad economist and have no intention of actualy price-comparing these things anytime soon.) I also take them more seriously when they adopt. When you read about the n-tuplets who were born b/c their pro-life babies had religious objections to letting the fittest embryo survive, you have to wonder--if they were that pro-life, why didn't they go give an unwanted or orphaned child a home when they started having difficulties conceiving?

The problem is, of course, that not all pro-lifers are so hypocritical, though it would make life easier if we could think so. Some pro-lifers hand out condoms. Some pro-lifers adopt. Some pro-lifers are even very careful about not having sex, often at great cost to their personal lives, b/c they find the risk of birthcontrol unacceptable when multiplied by the problem they have with abortion. We'd do well to acknowledge those subsets. 

Posted by Saheli

Someone Else: I think that I am pro-life in the sense that Bill Clinton is pro-life. I think that abortion is wrong, and probably the best way to prevent abortions to put in place social programs that make it easier for people have children. As I remarked to Saheli, "I'm pro -life, but saving fetuses ranks below saving whales" as a political issue to me. 

Posted by echan

Like I said, I don't mean to disrespect--it's obviously not something that allows for a cut and dry answer among thoughtful people (hence all the weird arguments about privacy and viability and everything else) because you're basically arguing about where a life begins. At the same time, I know women who feel much more strongly that any curb by the state on their right to do what they want with their bodies is wrong  and I don't want to disrespect them either.

If you wish safe, legal and rare was the conservative position and not the center-left position, what do you wish was the center-left position? 

Maybe that women should collectively decide whether abortion should be legal and in what ways and in other ways make their influence felt on issues that largely affect them withouht the interference of men to the extent possible? I don't know. To me, the current system is a little bit like allowing a group that's mostly unaffected in a direct way by the issue to decide policy on it. In that sense, it's somewhat akin to immigration or foreign policy.

I'm speaking somewhat facetiously by posing a fanciful Lysistrata world, but I do think it's important to consider the systemic effects beyond the strict policy question, and I think that's what the left end of the U.S. political spectrum (were it to be heard) ought to be pushing us on. And perhaps linking abortion to class issues, race issues, the policing of sexuality, and a whole bunch of other things that normally get omitted in a single-issue analysis of abortion. The debate would probably look far different if it were framed as "Do you think safe abortions should be available to wealthy people or do you think they should be available to all people?"

As with prostitution, I really think those are your choices, short of supporting intense persecution of all women seeking abortions.

But again, I should probably shut up since I don't think I should be part of this debate on principle and don't really want to be in practice.  

Posted by someone else

someone else, I think we're talking past each other. My point is that safe and legal is a position that is logically inclusive of, well, safe and legal. That means making sure it's not an economic burden, like with any medical care, that it's equally accessible despite differences in race or class, like any legal right. But that doesn't preclude also trying to keep it rare. Like I said, from a medical point of view alone, that's probably a good idea.  

Posted by Saheli

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