Re: The streak continues.

1

Say what you will, but I have personally found abstinence to be an extremely effective method of birth control.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 8:17 AM
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Fertility is not a disease? Pregnancy isn't a disease either, does that mean they don't want insurance to cover deliveries either?


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 8:18 AM
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I love this new thing of just saying that anything they don't like is "demeaning to women." Next up: suffrage.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 8:20 AM
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Say what you will, but I have personally found abstinence to be an extremely effective method of birth control

Side effects damaging and painful, though.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 8:22 AM
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1: Also an extremely effective method of ending a marriage.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 8:30 AM
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Argh.
Admittedly I am starting from a position where the stupidity of this is completely self-evident, but still.


Posted by: Heloise | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 8:31 AM
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Pregnancy isn't a disease either, does that mean they don't want insurance to cover deliveries either?

This was standard up to (maybe through?) the 70s, at least anecdotally. Pregnancy was voluntary, and therefore not covered.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 8:32 AM
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5: Well, uh, yeah....


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 8:32 AM
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Rape counseling. There's another thing that demeaning. Surgical intervention for ectopic pregnancies. Sanitary pads. I'm sure there must be more.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 8:32 AM
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I would really like to see the press cover this as "Bush appointment covertly seeks to increase abortion rates."


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 8:32 AM
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I keep thinking there's no way they can shock me into another layer of anger and yet here I am, completely livid, eyes glowing red.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 8:33 AM
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Keroack is maybe further out there: He's said things about pre-marital sex changing women's brain chemistry, making them less chemically receptive to happy marriage. (Didn't Alexyss Tylor basically say the same thing?)

But Orr wins for wolf-faced crazy because her public statements on contraception lack even the thin varnish of a formal argument. It's just rhetoric and anti-woman politics. The administration's so far gone, they believe this is an acceptable position for a public official to hold.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 8:34 AM
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I would really like to see the press cover this as "Bush appointment covertly seeks to increase abortion rates."

That's too much, I think -- that is, I know what you mean and think you're right, but it wouldn't communicate to anyone who wasn't on the same page. But "Bush appointee considers opposition to contraception more important than abortion prevention"; I think that might get the point across.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 8:35 AM
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I know, I know. But when there has never, ever been a single study showing that abstinence-only education prevents sex, or that de-funding birth control prevents sex, or that criminalizing abortion prevents sex, and that, in fact, all these things lead to riskier behavior, danger for women and men, the spread of disease, unwanted pregnancy, death by botched abortion, etc., somewhere there has to be a single story about it that isn't about how "there are two sides to this story! some people believe in God instead of studies, and their views make sense, too!"


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 8:39 AM
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I am willing to testify that my own personal attempts to cleanse the world of relationships and sex have also proven unsuccessful so far. I am a visionary ahead of my time.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 8:46 AM
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Okay, here's where my semi-estrangement from my fundamentalist Christian relatives hurts me. What's the advantage in Bush staking out a hard anti-birth control line? Yes, I know that birth control is bad when used by non-married people, because sex is bad and any sexual activity should be punished by the scourge of pregnancy, but hasn't the protestant line always been - even among the hard right - that birth control is okay as long as sex is okay, and sex is okay once the priest/minister/judge/pirate captain has pronounced you Officially Free to Fuck? Have evangelical protestants gone outright natalist over the last ten years or something?


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 8:49 AM
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10, 13, 14: We've got to stop expecting the press to do any such thing. Previous generations of Americans, like George Seldes or Dorothy Day, journalists and great ones, took for granted that the press was deeply and incorrigibly slanted, and that not merely reporters but citizens have to dig to find the truth.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 8:50 AM
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But she's a woman! By attacking her you're just showing that you're the one who hates women. I'm rubber and you're glue.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 8:52 AM
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16 - You're missing the convergence between the Catholic and Protestant right-to-lifers, as well as the huge pushback against the Pill and related drugs, which some people on the right claim are abortificants in certain circumstances (when they prevent implantation of a fertilized egg). Also, the fact that these people go batshit at the thought of women having consequence-free sex.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 9:01 AM
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I've never understood why (mainstream political) pro-choice advocates don't point out more often/vocally that the bulk of the anti-abortion camp is also anti-birth control (and anti-HPV vaccine etc). As Atrios points out, lots of people seem to adopt soft pro-life positions out of a vague feeling that abortion is icky, but would be horrified to think that they were siding with opponents of birth control and reproductive health. Democrats and other pro-choicers should be hammering this home at every opportunity. It's not about Roe vs Wade. It's about controlling women.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 9:05 AM
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16: Also, birth control really isn't crazy expensive, and really broke people are more likely to be single. Attacks on anything that makes it easier to pay for birth control (insurance, clinics) are pretty well targeted to hit poor single people, but not piss off married birth-control users all that much.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 9:07 AM
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I've never understood why (mainstream political) pro-choice advocates don't point out more often/vocally that the bulk of the anti-abortion camp is also anti-birth control (and anti-HPV vaccine etc).

I haven't done the research here. I'm pretty sure this is true, but I tend not to rely on it too heavily because I don't have something to link to where Wildly Influential Abortion Opponent X says "Contraception is just as bad as abortion!" If someone came up with a list of links for me, I'd probably make the point more.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 9:09 AM
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Look, if you can't afford to pay for your own birth control, then you just can't afford to not have children. It's Econ 101, people.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 9:11 AM
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I love this new thing of just saying that anything they don't like is "demeaning to women."

Oh man, remember Hager? He'd just start banging his wife in the ass while she slept, and then try and tell her she'd asked him to do it.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 9:15 AM
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She's obviously the opposite of qualified, so two questions:
1) Can she do anything to increase the difficulty of access to birth control?
2) Can't Congress just decide that her job no longer exists if she does such a thing?


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 9:16 AM
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1) Probably not, since the person who preceded her in the position is probably even more of an ideologue.
2) Her position is 'person in charge of Congressional grants for family planning.' I can't see how Congress could effectively eliminate this position without eliminating the grants, which would probably be worse for access to birth control than letting her steward the office until a future administration decides to take it seriously.


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 9:25 AM
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I love this new thing of just saying that anything they don't like is "demeaning to women."

Somewhat related.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 9:26 AM
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3: That prediction is so last season, Coulter has already fired the first salvo in the anti-suffragist war.


Posted by: ukko | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 9:27 AM
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27 was me.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 9:27 AM
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Bush just said "There's a better way to deal with the issue than having the Turks send massive troops into the country". Just cannot make this stuff up.


Posted by: terpbball | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 9:28 AM
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22: It's either the 'contraception kills babies, too' line, or the 'this is about sexual morality and personal responsibility, and providing contraception means we endorse sleeping around.'


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 9:28 AM
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re: 31

And the correct response to both lines is 'fuck off, you medieval idiot'.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 9:31 AM
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I am at work and can't get to it, but B linked to an excellent, short, punchy post by a doctor who was amazed at his volunteer experience with Planned Parenthood (having gone in thinking they were an abortion organization). It's better than I'm able to summarize.

And in answer to Stras's question above -- the streak of "OMG, white women aren't having enough babies!" isn't as wide in American culture as it seems to be in some parts of Europe, but it's definitely increasing.

Combine that with a "I deserve a special exception to this rule because my situation is unusual, but Everyone Else Ought To..." mentality and you have your answer.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 9:34 AM
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Also, the fact that these people go batshit at the thought of women having consequence-free sex.

This is the whole, entire point. It's a big game of sin and punishments. What gets the loonies crazy is tinkering with the punishments.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 9:34 AM
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having the Turks send massive troops

Did he just call the Turkish Army fat?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 9:36 AM
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"There's a better way to deal with the issue than having the Turks send massive troops into the country".

He was rhapsodizing about walking around with Putin and holding hands earlier when I walked past. So I'm guessing he isn't feeling all girly about this Russian solidarity with Iran thing.

So: Turks invading Kurdistan is bad because that would screw everything up, and the Turks hate us right now, and Pelosi is totally bailing on the Armenians... and then they'll invade anyways!

max
['Limpdick duck.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 9:40 AM
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33: The number of Planned Parenthood discussions I've had about where my interlocutor has said 'I'd really support Planned Parenthood if they did more than just give women abortions' astounds me.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 9:42 AM
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26.2: There have to be other routes that get the funding to its targets with, if necessary (again noting that I don't know the powers of her position) less discretion in the hands of the fund administrator.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 9:43 AM
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37: That has been my experience as well.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 9:46 AM
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Have we had an Armenian genocide thread here yet while I wasn't looking? Because I totally want to scream about that.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 9:47 AM
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16: In part it's what snarkout said in 19, that there's been a real ramping-up of the crazy in the anti-choice camp. They hawk a lot of pseudo-science and faux science to make birth control seem tied to abortion. I think another big part of it, however, is the Bush Administration's desire to keep the hard-line religious right from splitting away in '08. They are not happy with any of the current Republican candidates. Anything they can do to give the fringe something to chew on might distract them long enough for the Republican candidates to try their hand at looking sane in front of everybody else.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 9:47 AM
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37: I've had that discussion with my pro-choice, pro-birth-control, very liberal, mother. Her tone was "You know, it would be better publicity for them if they went into women's health generally, not just abortions." I jumped up and down and freaked at her.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 9:49 AM
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37, 39, 42: Likewise. My "favorite" was the person who claimed that Planned Parenthood supported abortion rights because if abortion were banned, they'd go out of business. "It's how they make money!" he insisted.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 9:53 AM
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37, 42:
As I was saying in the Course Correction thread yesterday, "Everything you think you know about X is wrong, and deliberately misleading" is a very hard stance to take with people, yet the only rational way to proceed. People's vanity and what they think of as common sense are outraged by the idea. Someone primed to understand this doesn't need much convincing, but vast, vast numbers of people just can't believe it, and think that their "general impressions" of things must have some core truth to them.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 9:56 AM
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Something that frustrates me is that my local PP head is regularly in the newspaper, making a clear and coherent but outspoken comments -- all about abortion access.

I don't know whether her office doesn't send letters about less-inflammatory issues, or whether they do and the newspaper just doesn't publish them. But it certainly contributes to the public image of the organization.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 10:01 AM
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As I was saying in the Course Correction thread yesterday, "Everything you think you know about X is wrong, and deliberately misleading" is a very hard stance to take with people, yet the only rational way to proceed.

I'm not eloquent enough to make this stance effective. I just start to sound like a 7-year old going "Not-uh." "Yes-huh." etc.

It's really frustrating and it doesn't matter how well I know a topic, I get stammery and out-argued unless I'm talking to someone who has an even worse grasp of the english language than me. Which never ever happens on Unfogged, but does happen from time to time in real life.

So the best thing on Unfogged when I disagree with people is hope that LB has my back.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 10:10 AM
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The point is that nobody is that eloquent; you pick your battles and hope for opportunities to demonstrate why you're right and sane to think otherwise than what media suggests. Puts a premium on calmness.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 10:12 AM
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"Everything you think you know about X is wrong and deliberately misleading".

Decades ago the Firesign Theatre did a whole album on this, and yet the word hasn't gotten out yet. I have made it my personal motto, and that has been one of the major factors contributing to my success.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 10:16 AM
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As I was saying in the Course Correction thread yesterday, "Everything you think you know about X is wrong, and deliberately misleading" is a very hard stance to take with people, yet the only rational way to proceed.

See, I think this is only rational with a subset of people. To me one of the things you learn with maturity is that not everybody is persuaded by the kinds of evidence or argument that persuade you.

Having realized this, you can:
1. Give up on arguing with people who don't live by the same ground rules.
2. Adapt yourself to their ground rules (this is awfully tough on the blood pressure).
3. Find a different tactic entirely to communicate the information, and/or decide whether it is more important that people agree with the rhetoric or agree with the practice.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 10:26 AM
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3: Reporting rape is demeaning t women.


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 10:30 AM
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Why don't the Democrats take a vocal "we'll support access to birth control, they won't" stance? Are there really any Democratic supporters they could possibly lose with that platform?


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 10:48 AM
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They would say, "We're not opposed to access to birth control, they are fearmongering and making stuff up," and they wouldn't be entirely wrong.


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 10:52 AM
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52: So? They fearmonger and make stuff up all the time. It's foolish to hold back by not deploying fear for our side. And it's true that Republicans want to make birth control far less accessible, especially to poor and single women. So I don't see it as "making stuff up" at all.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 10:55 AM
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40: there was some Armenia discussion on the Ann Coulter vs. the Jews thread.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 10:58 AM
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What's your evidence for that? Maybe I have a different view on the subject because I actually live in a country where the right-wing party is dominated by Catholics who actually do want to make birth control illegal. Bush, by contrast, can't manage anything more than preventing the FDA from making Plan B available over the counter. The federal government hands out billions of condoms around the world each year.

If the biggest thing they're doing to prevent access to birth control is tinkering with health ed curriculums and the CDC web site, then it's not fair to say they're trying to prevent access to birth control.


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 11:03 AM
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It is fair to say they're trying. They're currently failing, but that doesn't have to continue. Stop opposing them and see what happens.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 11:08 AM
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Ooh, another thing. 300,000 abortions done per annum by PP; trying to find stats on abortions nationwide per year and am seeing numbers around 1 million in the U.S.

I guess it's too hard to picket the private doctor's offices. Plus, then you might see someone from your church there.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 11:11 AM
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the dems should be calling them out consistently on plan b, at least--much of the GOP opposes it on grounds that it's abortifacient, but if it is, then so's the pill.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 11:15 AM
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I'm not seeing that they are even trying. It seems to me that birth control in all its forms is easier to get in 2001-present than it was from 1992-2000, due to technological and cultural progress of course.


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 11:19 AM
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You're seeing cultural progress from 2001-present? Which country are we talking about again?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 11:21 AM
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I believe neil lives in Chile. Which has indeed become a better place to live since then.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 11:22 AM
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Maybe it's subjective, because I moved from the Midwest to California about that time, but I seem to remember that ten years ago, drug stores etc. would generally have condoms behind the counter, rather than in flashy displays like they are now. And there are lots more brands.


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 11:25 AM
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Yes, but I didn't move here until 2005.

ObBirthControl: Things have changed a lot here since then. For one thing, any woman of age 16 or older can now get Plan B for free, no questions asked. The right wing is not happy about that, let me tell you.


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 11:26 AM
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because I moved from the Midwest to California about that time


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 11:27 AM
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I dunno. Teen birth rates are sky-high in most of rural Texas, which is what I had in mind. I don't know if its unavailability of birth control per se, or lack of education, or guilt and unwillingness to admit that one is actually sticking or getting stuck with someone else's private parts, or what. There are many rural counties with pregnancy rates of 50% among high school girls (I shit you not although I'm a little confused as to what that stat means) and some as high as 70%.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 11:30 AM
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That number does indeed seem like you're shitting me. Although I believe it's possible I also see that

the [2007] report shows Texas averages 63 births per 1,000 females ages 15-19.


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 11:38 AM
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the [2007] report shows Texas averages 63 births per 1,000 females ages 15-19.

63/1,000 per year. So ~300/1000 over the full five-year period from 15 to 19. Is that right?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 11:44 AM
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So the best thing on Unfogged when I disagree with people is hope that LB has my back.

This is true of everyone.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 11:44 AM
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You guys are embarassing me. I get paid to argue -- doesn't make me right, just gives me practice being persuasive. But, you know, aw shucks.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 11:47 AM
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Waaal, I ain't no fancy big-city lawyer, but I feel a mite honored to be arguing among so many fine spess-o-mens of oratorical brilliance.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 11:48 AM
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I think 63 and related comments are obscuring the crucial difference between legislatively permitted, and available in practice.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 11:54 AM
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I think 67 is about right.

This is the article I was remembering, and I swear the hard copy had a map accompanying it that picked out the worst counties in Texas for teen pregnancy rates, and many were at 50% and one or two at 70%.

66 - I think that may be largely explained by the rural/urban/rio grande valley cultural differences. Parts of Texas have crazy teen preggers rates.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 11:56 AM
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My son, who will be fifteen next month, told me the other day he thinks condoms are readily available and he or his cohort would have little difficulty obtaining/buying them. I told him I wasn't so sure myself, and that I'd be interested in him finding out.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 11:56 AM
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doesn't make me right, just gives me practice being persuasive.

You don't need to be right - I know when I'M right. I just need your skillz to back me up.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 11:58 AM
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When I was in high school, condoms were readily available. Not that I had any need for them, but they were there.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 12:04 PM
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I swear the hard copy had a map accompanying it that picked out the worst counties in Texas for teen pregnancy rates, and many were at 50% and one or two at 70%.

1) I read the article too, 2) [too-2!] I remember the map, 3) the rates were really that high, and 4) I think the rate referred to live births and abortions combined. So a teenage girl in a given just turning 15 would have a 1 in 2 chance of getting pregnant.

The rate is really high amoungst Hispanics, but it ain't exactly low amoungst white teenaged girls, just lower.

max
['It's something about turning 15.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 12:24 PM
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'It's something about turning 15.'

¡Quinceañera!!1¡uno!


Posted by: tejano sensation | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 12:46 PM
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Teen pregnancy rates are very high in New Mexico too.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 12:48 PM
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Break out the accordians!

max
['Fistfight rates are very high in the Southwest as well.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 12:53 PM
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The Accordians being a peace-loving people from the superficially pleasant Comity planet of the benevolent Accordia system, known throughout the galaxy for their commitment to delivering birth control.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 12:55 PM
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Don't forget their anal probes!

max
['TAKE ME AGAIN I LIKED THE PROBE']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 12:59 PM
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81: anal probes are an important part of birth control in many parts of the galaxy.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 1:02 PM
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The Baptist ones, mostly.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 1:02 PM
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And, this is the article that has one of my very favorite ambiguous quotes - the interviewer asks Shelby Knox if she still has her promise ring, and Shelby says, "I lost it at a swim meet."


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 1:24 PM
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The number of Planned Parenthood discussions I've had about where my interlocutor has said 'I'd really support Planned Parenthood if they did more than just give women abortions' astounds me.

We get this all the time. It really pisses me off.

We do adoptions and many other things. jeez.

After educating people about that, I typically respond with "so what do you do for women's health?"


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 1:24 PM
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Shelby says, "I lost it at a swim meet."

Classic.

She wouldn't be the first.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 1:25 PM
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84: "Having lost one, I was contractually obligated to lose the other."


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 1:25 PM
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Unfortunately, Shelby Knox is a good guy, so we can't pile on with the smutty speculations.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 1:28 PM
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63: Sure, but Plan B wreaks havoc on your system.

All this article says is that the administration is worried about low birthrates among white american - americans, and wants it to sky rocket so that we can keep foreigners in the mineshafts and not in the city streets.

If within the next twenty years a new baby boom was on, and the administration saw that the infrastructure could not support it, they would be handing out birth control like it was candy on halloween.


Posted by: Lucy | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 1:39 PM
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In a country where abortion is firmly illegal in all cases, unfettered access to Plan B is much more important.


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 1:47 PM
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So now Bush thinks pulling out is the way to go?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 1:52 PM
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1. Representative statistic: in 2005, 3% of PP's work was abortion services. Three.

The bulk of their work is providing contraception, Pap smears, and STD testing. Standard gynecological checkups. That's 86% of what they do.

2. Not being men is demeaning to women.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-17-07 4:11 PM
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Speaking of Shelby Knox, this is a pretty enjoyable film


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 10-18-07 2:22 PM
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