Shrieking harpies to abort Labour’s election chances

Written By: - Date published: 12:31 pm, March 20th, 2011 - 591 comments
Categories: Politics - Tags: ,

In her inimitable style, The Queen of Thorns has a go at Chris Trotter, Labour, readers of this site, and even poor old Garth George explaining why New Zealand’s abortion laws are shite. As usual she makes her point in a style that resembles a head on car crash and usually excites considerable comment.

Chris Trotter’s worst nightmare came true on the weekend of 12-13 March, as 70-odd bloody liberal lefties* came together (phwoar) to figure out how we were going to just ruin Labour’s chances of winning the 2011 election.

In short, they vowed to (whisper it) talk about abortion. Loudly. Publicly. This year.

Believe it or not, audience-made-up-of-a-shitload-of-privileged-dudes, New Zealand’s abortion laws are shite, they are outdated, they do fuck up women’s lives, and it is time for a fucking change.

Put this one on for size: you want to buy a car, so naturally you go to a car dealership. But sorry, says the car dealer, the law says first of all you need to go see this auto mechanic so he can sign off your car ownership.

And once you’ve got your appointment the auto dealer looks at you and says well, technically the law says you aren’t really allowed a car. Nope, not even if your last one got stolen and driven off a cliff. But I’ll tell you what, I’ll just put on the form that you’ll go crazy without a car.

Fine, whatever, you say. Being labelled crazy is worth it to get that car. … You can get a car now, right?

Nope. You’ve got to see another auto mechanic. And maybe they’re actually an hour’s drive away and only take appointments on every second Wednesday, but you need a fucking car, so you do what it takes, you lie to your boss, you put the goldfish in cryofreeze, you get to that appointment. And another auto mechanic says no, sorry, you don’t actually qualify for a car, even though you live in an area with no public transport and are employed as a courier. But hey, they’re charitable, they see a lot of people who really, really need cars, so they’ll just tick the “crazy” box again.

[If you’re lucky. You might not be, and then there’s a fun process of shopping around different auto mechanics hoping one will tell you you’re crazy. Only in months containing a J during full moon, though.]

Finally, you can get your car! Except that you have to wait for an appointment at the car dealer. And they’re not even in your town and while they could theoretically give you a nice, efficient car they actually only stock the ones with shitty suspension and brakes that bruise your tailbone and give you constant whiplash.

And it seems so fucking stupid, because you’re a driver, you can choose to buy a car if you need one, often you can’t actually live without one or your job and finances and emotional and physical health require one, and yet the law makes you jump through hoops to get one – and labels you as infantile and crazy into the bargain.

But quit yer bitching, lads. I mean, you can still get a car, even if sometimes you have to fly to Australia for one, so let’s not ruffle any feathers trying to change the law and get you treated like people deserving of dignity.

~

You wouldn’t fucking put up with it. We are not fucking putting up with it. We deserve better and we expect more. And when Labour refuses to take a public stand on this and continue to waffle and the feminists their allies don’t just tick their ballots like drones, Chris Trotter, who I feel almost certain has never had to worry about being pregnant, can just go cry into his fucking moustache about it.

The NZ prochoice movement, gents. Come onboard – because whether you do or not, we mean business.

~

*Left-ness largely assumed but put it this way, no one objected when the conversation veered off into government obligations to put extra funding into healthcare.

QoT can, as always, be found at ideologicallyimpure.wordpress.com, ruminating on state-smashing and why she doesn’t get paid the big bucks to talk crap the way Garth George does.

QoT

591 comments on “Shrieking harpies to abort Labour’s election chances”

  1. It’s madness that women have to claim that a pregnancy will cause them mental injury (or other grounds) to get an abortion.

    I’m not sure why there is an anti-Labour slant given that Steve Chadwick has a private member’s bill on exactly this issue, while the Deputy Prime Minister opposes legal abortion full-stop. Funnily enough, this is a typical mistake of Chris Trotter as well – expending effort attacking allies rather than the enemy.

    And I’m not sure why there is an anti-male stance. It’s insulting and (what’s worse, politically) alienating to act as if men have never had to painfully experience this issue and don’t understand or agree with the position that you’re advocating.

    • QoT 1.1

      Labour leader Phil Goff said he hadn’t given the matter much thought.
      Source

      If there’s an “anti-Labour slant”, Marty, it’s because Steve Chadwick got fucking shafted by her own party leader because of the idea that abortion is an icky issue that won’t win votes. As soon as Labour is an actual ally in that fight I’ll stop assuming they’re not an ally in this fight.

      As for an “anti-male stance” … what, because I took what is constantly derided as a minor women’s issue, a non-mainstream issue, something which women should just shut up about because it’ll just make things worse, and put it into a solidly mainstream, traditional, male-focused situation? Have I touched a nerve? Or was there a massive outpouring of men publicly, vocally supporting Chadwick’s bill and loudly declaring that abortion is an issue which does affect men too which I somehow missed?

      • the sprout 1.1.1

        my understanding is that Chadwick was leaned on by the Goffice to withdraw the bill

        • QoT 1.1.1.1

          You can’t see it, but my expression is, like, so surprised right now. Honest. That would shock me. To my core.

      • Boganette 1.1.2

        What QoT said. There were tumble-weeds when we were all needing support for Chadwick’s bill. Actions speak louder than words.

        Fantastic post QoT. Thank-you.

      • Marty G 1.1.3

        Come on QoT, I’m not saying that raising the issue is anti-male, and you know I’m not arguing that. The post wouldn’t be here if I was opposed to it. It’s the insulting swipes you take during the post at men that I think are ill-judged. Supporting abortion reform isn’t a women-only issue, as both sprout and I have shown.

        I’m suggesting that your alienating approach is counter-productive because you’re lumping me and sprout with english.

        • Eddie 1.1.3.1

          So, in summary –

          Marty: I agree with you on this issue but your sexist language is alienating

          Qot: clearly you’re anti-reform and think women should just shut up

          Marty: I’m pro-reform and far from shutting you up I let you have air time on our blog.

          • QoT 1.1.3.1.1

            Oh, Marty “let me” have “air time” on The Standard? I guess I should just watch my tone then and stop being such a bitch.

            If you can point to me actually saying Marty was anti-reform that’d be choice.

        • QoT 1.1.3.2

          You are entirely welcome to point out these “swipes”.

          • The Baron 1.1.3.2.1

            Oh I like you, QoT. Might read your blog rather than this patronising BS from Marty and Eddie.

            I liked Chadwick’s Bill, though the one part that did upset me was (if I remember correctly) the alterations to timeframes that an abortion was allowed within – was it 24 weeks? Struck me, in a hard to define sorta way, as too long.

            So question – if the process was improved so that it wasn’t so time consuming, would this generous timeframe need to remain? Could you chop it back to my equally arbitrary, but better in the same hard to define sorta way, 16 weeks?

            • QoT 1.1.3.2.1.1

              I’m personally completely against gestational limits, Baron – 24 weeks is in fact too short.

              There are plenty of reasons women have abortions late in pregnancy, and they’re usually pretty fucking sad reasons. Women who are diagnosed with cancer, for example, and face the choice of aborting a well-underway, wanted, planned pregnancy in order to undergo chemotherapy or risking death if they wait even the few weeks left to give birth before getting treatment. Women who only find late in pregnancy that they risk dying or suffering huge physical trauma by continuing. Many fatal conditions are only diagnosable in foetuses fairly late in pregnancy. And of course, there are “abortions” which are performed when the foetus is already dead and the woman will die of blood poisoning without surgical intervention.

              And before you or someone else may say, “oh but surely in those cases even “prolifers” must allow abortion as an option” believe me: many of them actually do not.

              • The Baron

                I take your point – but the difference there is a “really fucking good reason” for third trimester termination. Hah, and your right that most people apart from hardcore prolifers would agree about those “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” moments. To be clear, I couldn’t give two hoots about the prolife side of the debate though.

                But for the purposes of a simple argument for now, what about your “plain ole” on-demand abortion? Should they not be subject to some form of gestational limit?

                In my case, I think so – though I worry that it sounds suspiciously pro life. It makes me uneasy that a 24 week old foetus can be viable if born premature; but a 23 week old foetus can be terminated. I guess the cut off for me is the point whereby that foetus could survive alone. Yeah, I understand how that would limit access – but that is less of a problem if the process is smoothed, right?

                • QoT

                  It’s not a problem for me, Baron, because I don’t give a fig for the viability of the foetus. For me it is about the choice of women to control their own bodies. If a foetus is in a person’s body without their consent, it goes. Whether it’s viable or not. And to impose a gestational limit (a) starts the slippery slope off for antichoicers, and (b) makes a lot of assumptions about women’s lives and bodies and choices and says “you must act in XYZ fashion – i.e. know you’re pregnant by week 6, make your decision by week 8, get your appointment in week 10 and be all over by week 12, or you just aren’t good enough to get a choice in what happens to your body!!!”

                  If we agree – and the facts bear it out – that the only late-term abortions will be done for “good” reasons (as though it’s in any way valid to judge women’s decisions) then why would we need to have a limit anyway?

                  • The Baron

                    I think your first sentence illustrates where I diverge. There is a point in gestation that I think a woman’s right to choose should become limited by the increasing viability of the foetus. Yeah, I’ll take the stick that that’s a cowardly copout “ew gross” stance – but it’s the one I can’t get around.

                    I see both the “slippery slope” and the “assumptions” response to this. Slippery slope I can’t deal with, cos I guess I’m on it – I don’t know how to define this in a manner that would make me personally comfortable – and also acknowledge that my discomfort, as a dude, is pretty irrelevant.

                    The things loaded into the assumptions argument seem comparatively easier to deal with. What if abortion on demand was packaged with those things that you and Rex were talking about before – greater sex education, access to contraception and doctors etc – so that more women were able to make informed choices earlier?

                    Look, maybe I’ve been freaked out by too many scare stories about foetal development… but this is a conversation I’ve had with a number of people before, and it seems to me to be one of the things that doesn’t fit the pro/anti life divide very well… well, unless your talking about the most purist examples. I just think this is one thing that even the most reasonably minded people will get hung up on.

                    • weka

                      I think the problem here is that once the foetus reaches an age of viability it’s seen as more human than before. But why? Because science can now save that life if the woman goes into labour prematurely? Does that mean that 25 week foetuses weren’t human twenty years ago but they are now thanks to science?

                      And if 24 weeks is the point of restricting, what are you saying? That women at 25 weeks have to carry a child to term that they really really don’t want? How is that not icky? What happens to that child?

                      For me it’s a no brainer as well. The choice has to be the woman’s, end of. But it’s that trust thing again. Do we really think that there will be a whole lot of women who will have late term abortions were they more accessible? Why?

                    • Boganette

                      Well said Weka. I totally agree.

                    • The Baron

                      Hadn’t thought about the angle you raise in the last sentence, weka… yeah, leaving rational women to decide when is right for them is far simpler than any of these admittedly arbitrary cut off points.

                    • QoT

                      I do understand the difficulty you and a lot of people have with late-term abortion, Baron. As I’ve said, I know I’m an extremist on this. But I guess the one argument I’d make goes back to rarity – it’s so rare, and basically never occurs except for one of the reasons I outline (i.e. usually a matter of life or death) that I don’t think it’s an issue that should detract from the main focus: that currently it’s damned hard for women in NZ to access early, much safer, much cheaper options.

                      It’s also an issue that antichoicers will absolutely hammer because they also know that “reasonable people” are going to get hung up on it.

                    • Helen

                      Once again (I mean over years, not in this thread) I need to point out that the idea that “on demand” is inappropriate for late-term is based on the idea that women will request late-term abortion for trivial reasons. No one has ever been able to come up with evidence for this, yet it’s trotted out endlessly. It’s simply a symptom of the low esteem in which women in general are held in this society.

                  • Cheery

                    At present in NZ terminations are done until 19 weeks. After that they are done in Australia

                  • g says

                    “for me its about he choice of women to control their bodies ” perhaps if this control was exerted earlier in the proceedings then abortion need not raise its head.

                    • QoT

                      Yeah, damn sluts should keep their legs closed, amirite? Oh wait, no, that’s Sexism 101 and I sadly have no time for people who think pregnancy is a punishment for sex they don’t approve of.

              • Cheery

                Sorry but …infants regularly survive from 24 weeks with intervention these days. They survive from 30 weeks with little intervention at all. The gestational age of viability, ie after that it is stillbirth (which has legal implications) not miscarriage, is expected to be re defined several weeks before 28, which it is at present

                What do you propose someone does with the mewling living? Because they do live, and quite hard after 24 weeks.

                Because that is a job you want someone (else) to do. Dispatching viable infants.

              • Cheery

                And there aren’t plenty of women in NZ who choose past-viability termination. There certainly are women who choose to deliver early for health reasons.

                Adoption anyone?

                I mean if 24 weeks is too short, how bloody far do you want to go and call it an abortion? When a baby in the next cubicle is premature?

                Yes, later term pregnancy ending does sometimes happen, and is very sad. It is also very rare, and should be addressed on a case by case basis.

                Personally I am happier with the fact that if you are past a certain NON-VIABLE gestation then it is too late for a termination. Instead of rare case by case eventualities. Which is actually what happens now

                You may chose to trivialise this point as it doesnt fit the dogma, but it is a very real, and very important question, when you claim 24 weeks is too short. 24 weeks is the new viability

                Who kills them? you want me to?

                It’s real

                • QoT

                  What an utterly ridiculous strawman argument, Cherry.

                  As I said to The Baron, my prochoice stance relies on the bodily autonomy of women. So it’s a bit fucking obvious that a born child isn’t at all relevant.

                  Adoption also isn’t in any way relevant because here’s the weird thing, women who want and need abortions don’t want to be fucking pregnant at all. But please, feel free to tell us all how pregnancy is a walk in the park with no severe health implications for women and adoption is a wonderful miracle process with no emotional or psychological implications (after, of course, you’ve forced a woman to carry and give birth to a child she doesn’t want.)

            • Rebecca 1.1.3.2.1.2

              I want to thank the Baron for debating this issue – we need to get these points out and thrash them around in order to change the law. In addition to the responses already made, and I hate to play this card but having carried a baby to term I would stress that there would have to be seriously something wrong for anyone to consider aborting at such a late term. The basis of the law should be trusting the pregnant person to make the decision.

      • Gents for Choice 1.1.4

        Yep, there are loads of men that support Steve’s Bill. I was put off from this pro-choice conference as the Facebook event indicated it was a female gathering – luckily knave been at many events with other men to hear from Steve and see how we can put pressure on our government to fix these outdated laws.

        • Rebecca 1.1.4.1

          Yay Gents for Choice – sorry, the gathering was not women only and some men did attend – you would have been very welcome. There will be plenty of other events this year and opportunities to support the campaign.

          • QoT 1.1.4.1.1

            Seconded- GfC men were certainly in the minority at the conference but it would be great to see more in future.

            • Emily 1.1.4.1.1.1

              Thirded, please come along to future stuff. Also, just checking over the facebook event, I actually can’t see any mention of gender anywhere. In the interests of future clarity, if you know what it was that made you think it was aimed only at women, would you please let me know?

              • QoT

                I’m personally wondering if it was the “this is for prochoice people only” which might have been phrased the same way as a lot of events’ “for women only”? But then only GentsforChoice can say for sure.

  2. Ed 2

    There are a couple of the links that have an extra ” at the end.

    I’m looking forward to a few National MPs being asked about (and congratulated on) their campaign to decriminalise abortion . . .

  3. Sanctuary 3

    My prediction? The campaign will run into a concrete wall of complete indifference from 99.9999% of voters.

    • QoT 3.1

      This just in from Sanctuarys Out-Of-My-Ass Statistics Department, only 0.0001% of the population are people-who-might-become-pregnant-and-need abortions-or-be-affected-by-needing-an-abortion.

      Because it certainly can’t be at all relevant to anyone who had one of over 380,000 abortions performed in NZ since 1980 (or their partners or families or communities).

      • Sanctuary 3.1.1

        Time will tell.

        Not impressed so far with your first-up play of screeching rudeness. What other war-winning tactics have you got up your sleeve?

        • QoT 3.1.1.1

          First, they no-one-cares you
          Then they tone argument you
          Then they run back to their little caves because stroppy women scare them
          Then you get on with the real fight
          Then you win.

      • Lanthanide 3.1.2

        Thinking about the issue, if I were a woman who needed an abortion, I think I would jump through the hoops necessary to get what I needed, and be pissed off about it. But I don’t think I’d bother making a fuss about it – although if a nicely packaged campaign came along I would sign up to support it.

        As a gay man I already face a similar issue: I can’t donate blood because the NZ Blood Service won’t accept blood from any man who has had unprotected sex with another man within the last 5 years. I guess this is something to do with the stigma of HIV, but I’m an pretty sure that they screen all blood for it (it’s a very simple/cheap test these days) so really there’s no excuse – I could easily lie about my sexual history (it’s not even on their “basic eligibility” criteria) and they’d be none the wiser. Am I pissed off about it? Yes. Will I get off my butt and do anything? No. Would I join a nicely packaged campaign? Yes.

        • A Nonny Moose 3.1.2.1

          Oh PLEASE Lanthanide. You just hit the “I’m not a woman, so I can’t possibly understand BUT HERE’S WHAT YOU SHOULD DO ANYWAY” bingo spot.

          And “nicely packaged”?! You want us to put unicorns and rainbows on it? Make it “pink”? Wrap little bows on our uteriis, smile sweetly and beg pretty pretty please we won’t ever ask for anything ever again if you’d just give us our proper abortion rights? Feck. Off.

          It’s not a nice thing to have to deal with, and sticking your fingers in your ears and going “Lalalalala, I’m not going to listen to you until my visceral disgust is allieved lalalalala” is just childish.

          • Lanthanide 3.1.2.1.1

            I figured someone would object in the way you have.

            I am talking about how I think I PERSONALLY would find this specific situation, as a way to illustrate Sanctuary’s point that actually just because you’re a woman doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to be all up and arms about the abortion laws.

            Sure, I’m not a woman, so I tried to relate the idea as close as I could to an issue that does affect me, and then observe my reaction to that issue as a proxy for the abortion issue if I were a woman. You might want to say that even this comparison isn’t fair because I’m not a woman and that abortions are much more important to women than simply being disallowed to give blood, to which my replay is: you don’t know *me*. I know *me*, and I am theorizing how *I* would react in this situation.

            Also you misunderstand my use of the term “nicely packaged”. I mean a campaign that is widespread, highly visible and easy to get in behind, ie I can just turn up and sign a petition and maybe go along to a rally for. It doesn’t take any real effort on my part to participate, that is “nicely packaged”. An example of a campaign that isn’t “nicely packaged” is the save happy valley one because it is very small and to be involved in it you have to be proactive.

            • Tui 3.1.2.1.1.1

              If you time-traveled to 1986, do you think you would have been involved in protesting for Homosexual Law Reform?

              Because THAT is the last time there was a *law* affecting what gay men could do with their bodies.

              • Lanthanide

                Probably not until it was a widespread protest, no. I’d also suggest the being involved in a homosexual law reform protest was more likely to have wider implications on your life than being involved in a pro-abortion protest now.

                Also it’s a little different: homosexual law reform made it legal to have gay sex. It is already legal to have abortions, you just have to jump through many (aggravating) hoops to do so, but it is still legally possible.

                • QoT

                  Actually Lanth, it’s still *technically* possible. Legally, by the letter of the law and the intent of its makers, 99% of abortions taking place should not be happening.

                  The law is not working. Some fucking awesome doctors are making it work by interpreting it in a way that was never meant to happen.

                • Tui

                  Abortion on demand *is* illegal.

                  It is illegal to have an abortion in New Zealand unless the pregnancy will have a serious affect on the woman’s health, and the last time there was a review of the law it said that the present interpretation of “serious affect on a woman’s health” was much, much too lenient and did not conform with the spirit of the law. In other words our practise of abortion is illegal.

                  Lots of women are still getting abortions because we *need* to ignore this – but I imagine lots of people were also having gay sex in 1986, as long as they jumped through a lot of aggravating hoops to make sure they didn’t get beaten up by neighbours or cops or other people whose business it was not. No-one should have had to do that; no-one should have to do what women (especially rural women and women outside the main centres) currently have to do to get an abortion. Speaking as someone with a stake in all issues involved, I assure you that this issue is significantly more similar than blood donation.

                  But if you wouldn’t have gotten involved in homosexual law reform – I’m assuming you’re glad it happened, right? So how is “Well, I’m not an activist so I wouldn’t get involved in activism” relevant here? Activists are already aware that the lurkers support them in email and that it’s hard to get momentum going. That’s true for every single issue anyone cares about, and doesn’t say anything particular about any particular cause.

                  • Lanthanide

                    “Activists are already aware that the lurkers support them in email and that it’s hard to get momentum going. That’s true for every single issue anyone cares about, and doesn’t say anything particular about any particular cause.”

                    Yes, I have a bad habit of stating the obvious and having people take my statements as if I’m arguing against them. Happens with my bf a lot.

                    captcha: argument

        • Trouble 3.1.2.2

          Similar, except for the part that donating blood is a nice optional thing which people do to benefit society; whereas getting an abortion is an escape hatch for a situation people don’t want to be in that is likely to threaten their income, career, education, health and sometimes even life. Getting off your butt and doing something about it becomes a lot more tempting when the stakes are higher.

          Part of the task in persuading apathetic people to join this cause, or to stop standing in the way of it by preserving the status quo, is to be a bit confrontational about what the real impacts of not having reproductive freedom are. And if that means being a bit in your face, well, at least nobody’s cracked out the dead women from backstreet abortions gone wrong pictures yet.

        • Tui 3.1.2.3

          I also can’t give blood. It’s annoying. It’s especially annoying for gay men because it comes from systematic prejudice and it’s distasteful and upsetting to be confronted with that, especially if you feel (as I do) that giving blood is a social duty.

          But not being able to give blood is completely and utterly different from not being able to get an abortion or having access to abortion be as difficult as it can be in New Zealand – say, if you live in Greymouth. Not being able to give blood is an annoyance; not being able to get an abortion without, say, losing your job (because of having to take the time off to drive from Greymouth to the other side of the country – up to three times) or having to have surgery (surgical abortion rather than medical abortion, either because the hoops you have to jump through made you too late to get a medical abortion or because you can only access surgical) or flying to Australia or Auckland or, in fact, simply not being able to get an abortion at all can ruin your life.

          This is one reason why “I am part of X minority so I understand Y minority” is a pretty problematic proposition. As a queer lady I advise that you might want to reconsider.

          • Lanthanide 3.1.2.3.1

            It’s not that I’m part of a minority so I think therefore I can understand some other minority’s issues more acutely.

            I was simply trying to use an example of something that affects me in my life, reflecting on how I react to it and attempting to extrapolate that to how I’d deal with the abortion issue were I a woman. I didn’t pick on blood donation as gay man because I’m part of a minority, I picked it because it’s the best issue I could think of that impacts on me that I have seriously thought about.

            • QoT 3.1.2.3.1.1

              A question, Lanth: why is your immediate response, when trying to empathize with a situation, relating it to your own life? Can’t you just say “wow, that must be really shit for women”?

        • Cheery 3.1.2.4

          Re: Blood Service
          It’s to do with false positives, false negatives, window periods, and the natural course of disease. The MSM thing is the known high risk group, but thats changing all over the world as it becomes a more heterosexual disease. What I mean is, it’s easy, clumsy. the risk they take with for eg, women donors, is much lower but not absent.

          See there has been the first transmission of HIV via transplant case this week That was false positives and window periods.

          Its a clumsy tool for trying to quantify risk isn’t it?

      • over 380,000 abortions performed in NZ since 1980

        Which is far, far too many, no? So what is the cause of this? Financial barriers to obtaining contraception? Lack of education about its use? Failure of the “technology”? Lack of utilisation on religious or other grounds? Something else?

        Because the one thing Jenny Shipley ever said with which I agreed – and the one thing both sides of the abortion debate ought to be able to agree on, surely – is the desirability of reducing that number as much as possible, being the humane, not-interfering-with-anyone’s-rights way of tackling the issue.

        We (as a society, I mean) spend vast amounts of mental and emotional energy attacking or defending what IMO ought to be a freely available measure, but one of last resort, and not a lot ascertaining what drives demand and how it might be reduced.

        • Tui 3.1.3.1

          Which is far, far too many, no?

          What makes you say that?

          • Rex Widerstrom 3.1.3.1.1

            The same thing that makes me say any avoidable surgical procedure taking place is an unnecessary inconvience and risk to which the individual is subject and we ought to be looking at ways to cut the numbers.

            And yes, for Trouble’s benefit below, that includes sports injuries. I don’t follow sport but I believe I heard somewhere that changes had been made to rugby’s tackling rules, or scrum rules, or something, to reduce the incidence of injuries. Seems eminently sensible to me.

            If we can prevent people having to undergo invasive procedures, it seems obvious that we should. Not by restricting the right to participate in sport, or to access an abortion, but by calmly looking at ways we can reduce hospitalisations.

            • Trouble 3.1.3.1.1.1

              Caesarians are fairly icky too. And all the other assorted bits of examination and accoutrements of childbirth. All perfectly preventable if we stick the population on contraception though. Not that I’m actually suggesting that. These are things we do to improve the health of mothers and babies because it’s not a perfect world and sometimes icky interventions are necessary. Same with abortions.

              • I don’t disagree with you. But some caesarians are preventable, for instance. They occur because of errors of judgment in the period leading up to the birth (again I speak from experience as my former partner narrowly avoided one – only after some other icky stuff had t be done to her) because the midwife didn’t think our 11 pound son would prove difficult to deliver vaginally :-/

                It’s not a perfect world, icky things have to happen, but let’s avoid what ickiness we can.

            • Rebecca 3.1.3.1.1.2

              It should also be noted that its our current law which makes abortion more invasive and expensive than it need be. In most cases, if the law would be allowed, abortion could be carried out by women taking two pills in the privacy of their own home and only seeking further medical assistance should complications arise.

              • Rowena

                Abortion is a very difficult topic. I personally believe abortion is wrong, but am not closed minded enough to understand why there are many reason’s to why a woman will have an abortion. First of all it is her ‘right’- the fetus could be deformed, the mother could be way too young, irresponsible, or a drug addict or many other reasons. As I see it it’s better abortion is available legally so we don’t end up with evil parents cruelly rasing their children unprepared- the horror stories are endless. It is definitely a case by case basis, and a woman should have counselling beforehand and at least talked too by two doctors (for the ‘for’ and ‘against’).
                And woman should not be allowed to use abortion as a contraceptive. Any woman having more than one abortion needs a severe talking too.
                To solve the problem, condoms should be free especially to young adults up to the age of 25 at all places that sell condoms. All condoms should just be free and the govt should pay for it. A lot of kids don’t use condoms because they don’t have them on them when they are ready to have sex, mainly because they never have the money to pay for them as other ‘things’ they buy have a primary placing. If condoms were free at the supermarket, most young adults would pick them up at the supermarket (1 pk per person) while buying their alcohol on a Friday night.
                It would solve a lot of problems (free condoms), sexually transmitted disease would be less, clean cervical smear tests, no pregnancies – no problems.
                It is better condoms are free than the morning after pill. Because the morning after pill is kind of like a early abortion in a sense and also- it is a hassle to go to the doctor to get the script to actually get the morning after pill from the chemist. Hassle hassle.

                • QoT

                  And woman should not be allowed to use abortion as a contraceptive. Any woman having more than one abortion needs a severe talking too.

                  I think you seriously need to revisit this belief you have about being “open-minded”, Rowena. Because you certainly are just parroting quite a number of sexist assumptions about women who have abortions right there.

                  Also? Condoms break. Some people have massive latex allergies. Sexual assault happens. Mainstream churches tell people using condoms is wrong. Even unprotected anal sex carries a risk of pregnancy. Not to mention all the other reasons some people may have to terminate planned, wanted pregnancies.

                  “Open-minded”, right?

                  • Rowena

                    I am open-minded. Believe me woman can stop getting pregnant when they want too, and it is very easy to not get pregnant once you have had an abortion for that first time. To go through an abortion for the first time is basically a psychological nightmare. So many women use their brains afterwards and make sure they prevent it from happening again. And if they are careful condoms don’t break and there are ways of making sure you don’t get pregnant, always.
                    I understand there are cases- criminal cases when woman get pregnant, and it is unpreventable. But basically any women who have had an abortion will surely learn that unwanted pregnancy and abortion isn’t worth it the second time round so it’s best not to even go there. Most maternal women don’t want to abort their unborn babies the first time round anyway and they feel guilty about it and afterwards and spend their lives thinking about it.
                    And if a woman is a callous and lazy about sex and ends up twice at the abortion clinic she needs a talking too, about not getting pregnant- how to not get pregnant, making an effort to make sure you have safe sex (careful safe sex-being conscious about it), or being more responsible about taking the contraceptive pill, or talking to your partner about the risks involved if you don’t be safe. And thinking about what your doing- aborting a child. It is a heavy situation and no women should go through an abortion in the first place, as it is hard enough on her, her body and her mind. To go through it a second time is certainly preventable if she makes it that way.

                    • weka

                      “Believe me woman can stop getting pregnant when they want too”

                      I don’t believe you because it’s not true. All contraception has failure rates even when used correctly.

                      As for abortions always being a nightmare that women never get over, have a read at http://www.imnotsorry.net/ to see women who have had abortions and don’t regret it.

                    • Boganette

                      “Any woman having more than one abortion needs a severe talking too.” – And then we should make her stand in the naughty corner.

                      “But basically any women who have had an abortion will surely learn that unwanted pregnancy and abortion isn’t worth it the second time round so it’s best not to even go there.” – But what if she really likes the abortion? And ends up marrying the tall, dark and handsome doctor who gave her the abortion. And then is offered free abortions forever? You wouldn’t pass that up would you? Unwanted pregnancy might be more fun the second time around than the first time around. It must be by your logic. Otherwise women would be ‘more careful’. They must kind of like them, a little bit. Or else they would be more careful by fucking without male penetration so the condom doesn’t break and sperm doesn’t…..wait, hold on a minute. I don’t want to tell you about the birds and the bees if your parents haven’t sat you down. That’s not my place.

                      “Because the morning after pill is kind of like a early abortion in a sense” – in the same sense that Iron Maiden are kind of like The Feelers in that they’re both bands.

                    • QoT

                      If you truly believe we live in a world where women have 100% control over their fertility, and thus that abortions only occur because women are stupid … you’re pretty obviously not open-minded at all and I congratulate you on the extremely privileged life you must lead.

        • Trouble 3.1.3.2

          Which is far, far too many, no?

          By all means, tell us what would be the right number. There were nearly 200,000 sports injuries requiring ACC claims between 1999 and 2009. Too many, I’m sure. But nobody talks about whether we should have the right to participate in sport.

          I don’t care about the number all that much when I’m wearing my right to medical treatment and personal autonomy hat, except insofar is that’s actually 380,000 women who were treated as sub-adults when they sought medical care. Reducing unwanted pregnancies before they happen is a separate issue.

          • QoT 3.1.3.2.1

            Well fucking said, Tigger.

            Rex: I know I am an extremist on prochoice issues, but I refuse to participate in any debate which frames abortion as “a necessary evil” or something we obviously want to never have happen or “a last resort”. It’s a fact of people’s lives, especially women’s lives. It’s a basic medical operation (or in a perfect world, a basic taking of medication). How many is “enough”? Exactly as many as people need.

            • Rex Widerstrom 3.1.3.2.1.1

              I agree “enough” is exactly as many as are needed and I in no way support restricting access, nor do I think the “hoops” you so eloquently describe are necessary, appropriate, humane or even (for the econimic purists) efficient. They are wrong from any perspective I can think of.

              However… I’m assuming that an unwanted, unplanned pregnancy is not a situation in which any woman desires to be. We’re not, as others have pointed out, talking about a desirable activity, like giving blood, but one which I assume most women would prefer to avoid.

              I am thus enquiring whether there is, in your opinion, any policy settings which could be altered so as to reduce the incidence. Or are we at a level now which is inevitable regardless of policy?

              I ask because I deal a lot with female prisoners. These women have a myriad of emotional and practical issues round their children which most male prisoners do not.

              Therefore talk often turns to their children, and (without prompting from me, I should add, lest I get accused in this charged air of some form of partriarchical dictatorship) many of these women say their children were unplanned and fathered by a man they knew full well was a negative influence in their lives, and who now has the perfect excuse to remain in contact and add further to their stress and distress. They say they regret having become pregnant and, given the choice, would not have.

              They also say – and I take them at their word – that in many cases the pregnancy arose because they could not afford the contraception, either because of poverty, their expenditure on drugs, a combination of the two or similar social factors. Or that it was too hard to remember to take, or some other factor.

              Similarly many say they were unaware they were pregnant “until it was too late”… though I don’t press them on what that means, I presume they are talking about abortion.

              It therefore seems to me that, in conjunction with making abortion available without the farcical games of “pretend” on which the system currently insists, that that same system might be able to do something to reduce the numbers of women finding themselves in the situation of requiring an abortion in the first place. Is that not a desirable aim?

              • QoT

                There are definitely related policies which could reduce the incidence of abortion, Rex. As you say, increased access to contraception, plus better sex education, more cultural appreciation for women’s right to say no and less emphasis on men’s value deriving from their virility.

                It’s very much a desirable aim, but I like to just be very clear that it’s desirable because women deserve to control their own fertility, not because abortions are icky. The antichoice side too often try to use “abortion is a horrible, terrible thing no woman wants to go through” as a gateway to “so we have to protect women by stopping them from getting abortions”.

                • Ah I understand your concerns when put like that. I imagine abortions – surgical ones at least – are “icky” (as in an undesirable experience) for the women involved, but that in no way justifies their restriction. Prostate exams are pretty icky too.

          • Rex Widerstrom 3.1.3.2.2

            tell us what would be the right number

            Why zero of course. But not because any woman was denied the right to an abortion, but because no woman actually needed one. Yes of course that’s utopian, but in my opinion it should be our aim.

            380,000 women who were treated as sub-adults when they sought medical care.

            And I agree that a demeaning, dehumanising process is morally indefensible. I would not want my partner to suffer anything approaching that were she to need an abortion, though were I to move to Queensland I could find myself in the dock alongside her.

            Reducing unwanted pregnancies before they happen is a separate issue.

            Yes it is. Except for the fact that, as Shipley identified (I still can’t believe I’m quoting her approvingly) conservatives’ unease / opposition / abhorrence toward abortion can be a lever by which to gain acceptance of changes to laws around contraception etc.

            It was the justification Shipley used when introducing free oral contraceptives for low income women, and a $3 charge for others. She also funded free sexual health consultations at Family Planning Association clinics for under-20-year-olds.

            When the conservatives thundered, predictably, about “encouraging teenage fornication” etc., Shipley hit back with “it’s that or teenage abortion”.

            • Trouble 3.1.3.2.2.1

              You might recall the complete lack of outrage amongst the usual suspects when the issue of contraception was last publicly raised. It’s a non-issue.

              You’re basically arguing we need to, what, keep vilifying abortion to make progress on access to contraception? Thanks (yes) to Shipley and others, it’s not that much of a drama. Not in terms of rights to access, anyway.

              And zero abortions, eh? You’re planning on banning ectopic pregnancies, life-threatening pregnancy complications, getting cancer while pregnant, unsurvivable birth defects, rape and birth control sabotage as well? Good luck with that. Maybe you can find a cure for the staggering number of natural miscarriages while you’re at it.

              • Well done, because over-reacting and mis-representing reasonable contributions to the debate wins friends and influences people.

                The Family First release claims “the availability of welfare can play an important role in influencing family breakdown” and you cite that as an example of increassing liberality? Nowhere does it mention contraception or abortion directly, by the way.

                But try asking Bob McCroskrie how he feels about the idea (Shipley may have floated this too, I can’t recall) of free condom vending machines in school toilets, for instance. Then come back and tell me it’s a non issue.

                And yes, I’m planning on “banning” cancer and ectopic pregnancies etc. That’s exactly what I’m planning to do. But I do wish I could find a way to stop natural miscarriages, as my former partner and I lost a child that way. Prat.

                • Trouble

                  Nowhere does it mention contraception or abortion directly, by the way.

                  That’s what I mean. That’s a response to a recent call to make low cost contraception to beneficiaries, from a conservative organisation usually reliable in the no-sex department. They’re apparently fine with it. Granted that it doesn’t talk about sex education in schools, and that’s got some way to go, but there are no legal obstacles to anyone obtaining contraception these days, and not many serious efforts to introduce them. There are legal obstacles to abortion – hence my greater degree of agitation on the subject.

                  And if you’re going to call for unrealistic things like zero abortions, you kind of do have to sign up to fixing all the problems that cause them, yes. And I’m right behind you on the miscarriage point – it’s a tragedy that the pro-life movement does nothing to solve.

                  • Family First practising a little light eugenics (poor people reproducing? God yes, let’s stop that) is indicative of nothing other than that. Try, as I said, suggesting making it more freely available to teenagers (an “at risk” demographic” for unwanted pregancy if ever there was) and see what they say.

                    Agree re the legal obstacles; they don’t belong in either situation, but there is still quite soe debate around whether GPs should seek parental consent before prescribing contraceptives to underage girls etc., so we still have a way to go… less distance than on abortion, I grant you.

                    I’ve said zero abortions is a utopian ideal. And I should have said “zero voluntary abortions” but I had assumed that’s the shorthand being used in this instance as the original post focused solely on those.

                    Off out for a few hours (prison)…

            • weka 3.1.3.2.2.2

              Why zero of course. But not because any woman was denied the right to an abortion, but because no woman actually needed one. Yes of course that’s utopian, but in my opinion it should be our aim.

              I get that you are coming from a place of concern for women Rex, but I disagree that the aim should be zero. It’s impossible for all women to avoid pregnancy by choice (short of sterilisation, which wouldn’t be a choice for most women). Shit happens in the best of worlds, and the idea that women can control their reproductions perfectly if only we did it right is just not real. Contraception is messy, and often has side effects that are too close to unacceptable. None is foolproof. The problem I have with a zero target is that it still essentially says that abortion is wrong and we should avoid it if at all possible. Abortion isn’t wrong, it’s just a part of life, and it’s part of being human.

              Most women I know have children by unplanned pregnancies (I’d love to see some research on this, how many women have children from planned conceptions vs unplanned?). Some of the women I know with unplanned kids have had abortions previously. Some women decide to have a child because they’ve had an abortion in the past and can’t face another one. Some women have abortions and it’s not that big a deal. If we were to treat abortion as a medical service like any other, I think much of the stigma attached would lift and women would be freer to process the choice in their own way. At the moment the difficulties of accessing abortions clouds that process.

              Alot of this comes down to trust. Do we trust women to make good decisions? At the moment we don’t as a nation (although I and others personally do).

              • The problem I have with a zero target is that it still essentially says that abortion is wrong and we should avoid it if at all possible. Abortion isn’t wrong, it’s just a part of life, and it’s part of being human.

                I’d put it that “abortion is an undesirable outcome that we should do everything in our power to avoid”, just the same as I referenced above, with sports injuries, bowel cancer (let’s all go through the unpleasant process of mailing bits of our poo off in envelopes rather than having bits of our bowel removed) and so on.

                I guess in a way I am coming close to the “necessary evil” argument that QoT suggested I might be making, but not for the reasons she ascribes to other people who make it.

                If that’s the case I’ll just have to cop to it… my instinct is to look look for the practical, least harm solution / maximum freedom in any situation.

                I’d love to see some research on this, how many women have children from planned conceptions vs unplanned

                Hell yes! Something for the Ministry of Women’s Affiars to fun… incredible they haven’t before now.

        • Cheery 3.1.3.3

          All of the above really.

          People like sex, people have sex, people sometimes take risks around the chance of pregnancy for sex, contraceptives fail, some people have sex against their wishes and outside their control. Sex is quite a powerful driver, pregnancy the outcome. Lots of people don’t lead neat tidy organised lives

          • Rex Widerstrom 3.1.3.3.1

            Yes, but what policy setting might be used to minimise the chances of a woman arriving at a point where she needs an abortion, is my question / point.

            Obvious ones (at least to me) are no financial barriers to contraception; minimal difficulty to obtaining it (that’s improving every day, in terms of condoms, but women’s access to other methods could be improved… surely it doesn’t always need a doctor, wouldn’t at least a nurse practitioner do? (that may already be the case, I may be out of date)); better sex education in schools (not just rolling condoms on bananas or whatever they use these days, but about gender roles and consent and assertiveness etc). And so on…

            I’m not pretending to have the answers, merely asking the question of the people here who’ve done more thinking on the topic than have I.

  4. Bill 4

    Maybe I’m being overly sensitive today, but I’m confused and curious.

    This a post written by you, QoT for publication here, right? So why the mis-leading qualifier at the head of the post that could easily be taken to imply that you’re a slightly mad ranter writing a post that is primarily focussed on having a go at Labour, Trotter, Standard readers etc…again, as though that is what you do as opposed to raising important points and offering fresh perspectives?.

    Did you write it or did somebody else insert it ‘for your benefit’?

    See, the post reads to me as though it’s about the ridiculaous abortion laws in NZ. And it’s only ‘having a go’ at Labour, Trotter et al with regards their opinions and actions in relation to abortion law.( I guess that is what is through the broken links?). Also, I can’t think of a single occasion where you’ve had a go at readers of this site (as opposed to those making stupid or thoughtless comments).

    So, if you don’t mind and solely in the interests of satifying my curiousity, can you shed any light on why the qualifier, or why that particular qualifier, is there?

    • lprent 4.1

      The first paragraph in italics was written by me. Seemed to me to be the right introduction to make it quite clear that it was QoT’s post. There has been some annoyance with past posts with attribution of the opinion of a guest post to the site. So most guest posts that I put up get a introduction to make it clear who is writing it.

      It reduces the moderation load

      As much as I love reading QoT’s posts, you are correct – I do think she is a bit of a ranter. It is her style to overstate forcably for effect. It doesn’t diminish what she is saying anymore than Z does with his satire, or the rare occasions when I get annoyed with someone and write a arsehole tearing rant. It usually just provokes arguments that tend to be less ‘dry’ – pretty much what is usually intended.

      In this case I simply looked at each person or group that she referred to in the post in less than complimentary terms, and listed them in the intro.

      • Bill 4.1.1

        Thanks. Curiousity satisfied.

        But in that case, I don’t quite get why a precis is necessary rather than a simple “by Tom, Dick, Joe or Harry” being inserted at the head of the post. But hey.

        • Lanthanide 4.1.1.1

          Agreed, Bill. Guest posts need to be made clearer who their author is, and I don’t think making an introductory statement is the best way to do it.

          • lprent 4.1.1.1.1

            With No Right Turn I use that handy graphic he has on his site. That works well.

            With QoT I used that Alice graphic a few times. But her current graphics requires a geeks masters degree in obscure scifi to understand. So obscure I can’t even remember which film/series it came from (and I’m a geek).

            I find that a good clear graphic from the head of a website beats everything else. In its absence a paragraph has to suffice.

        • lprent 4.1.1.2

          Many people don’t read guest post by-lines or who we reproduced a post from (or for that matter categories and tags). As has been discussed recently in comments, some people admit that they don’t read past the first paragraph of a post.

          That leads to aimless sub-threads talking about things that are easily understood if the post was read which act as diversions from the content of the post (a bit like this one actually)

      • Tui 4.1.2

        “And when Labour refuses to take a public stand on this and continue to waffle”

        Come on. That’s not having a go: that’s a statement of fact. Labour won’t take a public stand on this – which alienates plenty of people within the party – and Steve Chadwick’s bill’s existence can be contrasted to the rest of the (sitting) party’s complete lack of energy on the issue. Refusal to take a stand; waffle. Maybe the truth hurts, but it’s having a go by only the most flexible of definitions – and, as an introduction, what you wrote sets QoT up to be ridiculed. It’s not exactly a respectful introduction of someone you think is worth listening to. If you don’t think QoT is worth listening to, why have her post here; if you do, why introduce her in this way? Everyone knows who she is and a brief inspection of II will let anyone curious know that this is her standard style.

        • QoT 4.1.2.1

          Thanks Tui. Given Eddie’s comment above as well, which basically implies I should shut up and be grateful for the grand honour of having The Standard’s writers deign to entertain my mad rantings, I’m thinking our happy dalliance may be curtailed from this point.

          • Eddie 4.1.2.1.1

            my comment says exactly the opposite. It says that people who disagree with your alienating approach still thought the cause was worthy enough to give you a turn on the platform we have built.

            If we had wanted you to shut up, the post wouldn’t have gone up. Marty’s just suggesting that kicking you allies in the balls isn’t the best approach.

            • QoT 4.1.2.1.1.1

              What rubbish, Eddie. Why just stop my post – which could’ve been raised at my own blog as an interesting decision on your parts – when you can just put it up and then make it very, very clear to everyone that my opinion is not to be respected because my tone is so alienating and I’m like a head on car crash and I just hate men?

              I would totally refrain from kicking my allies in the balls, if any of the people I was kicking seemed in any respect to be actual allies (put it this way, Eddie – how many comments have you seen here by people saying “Oh I’m totally a Labour supporter but [puts the boot in]”. Are they your allies? Or just full of shit?)

        • QoT 4.1.2.2

          I would also just like to note, Tui, that the thumbnail image is not one of the three I suggested; and also that according to this post the former average comments-per-post is in the high 30s; all of mine here have hit 100. Maybe I’m not worth listening to but I certainly “rark people up”.

      • just saying 4.1.3

        This is the first time I’ve seen any guest post with a disclaimer. Frankly, I feel it is insulting under the circumstances, expecially seeing as QoT was invited to post here, and I had thought this was partly to redress the apparent gender imbalance of both bloggers and commenters.

        What did you think when you saw it QoT?

        • QoT 4.1.3.1

          Thanks js. Wasn’t the most impressed, but then I’m used to getting dismissed for being too angry and hating men. I guess I felt that at least getting the argument out there and making it clear how this debate is likely to go was worth a little classic antifeminist undermining.

          Besides, obviously this is lprent and Eddie and Marty G’s playground. I can just choose to play elsewhere in future.

          • Marty G 4.1.3.1.1

            you’re not being dismissed. your post has been placed on the blog because the cause is worthy even your expression of it leaves something to be desired.

            and other guest posts have had riders in the past.

            • QoT 4.1.3.1.1.1

              Thanks for not falling into the usual trope of tone-argumenting the angry woman, Marty … oh, wait.

              Sure, you didn’t “dismiss” me. But you are saying my arguments are less powerful because I’m too mean to poor little Labour and swear too much, and you are scolding me for being “anti-male” without providing a single shred of backup for your wonderful notion that men are totally already completely onboard with the prochoice movement and gosh you’d be so keen to help if I weren’t “alienating” people. And sure, other writers have had riders attached to their posts … which is a really good way of distancing The Standard brand from those crazies you deign to have along for a ride.

              Not dismissive at all, that.

              • Marty G

                dismissing you would have been saying I didn’t want this post going up when we discussed it. Posting it and replying to your personal attacks on me is the very opposite of dismissing you.

                Again. My whole point is: this is a good cause and attacking all men and the only party with an MP with a private member’s bill on the issue doesn’t do it any favours.

                There is a legitimate discussion over tactics and strategies to be had here and you have refused to engage in it. Instead, you have responded to criticisms of your arguments with personal attacks.

                • QoT

                  There is a legitimate discussion over tactics and strategies to be had here and you have refused to engage in it.

                  That’s an excellent variation on the tone argument there, Marty. I would love to have this discussion – but see, you were all “waa, stop attacking Labour” and I was all “here is my evidence that they are not allies” and 105 comments later, after telling me how grateful I should be and how I should behave and what language I should use, you have finally engaged with that point.

                  Sorry, who just wants to deal in personal attacks?

                • weka

                  I’ll engage. Can you be more specific about where all men are being attacked in QoT’s post?

                  I don’t see it myself. I see her being righteously angry about the current situation, including the odd comment about men’s privilege (yes, that privilege does apply to all men who aren’t able to get pregnant).

                  I guess there is possibly something in the post about men’s complicity in the current situation. Does that mean she is saying that all men are opposed to changing the law? Of course not. But really, there isn’t that much about men at all in the post (apart from in the car analogy), so how come you feel attacked?

                  This *is* a gender issue. IMO, the best that men can do is take their shit about the presentation somewhere else and just get on board with the actual issues.

                  yes there are strategies to be sorted out. But I don’t see that any of the men here are in a postition to be telling abortion activists anything about that until they start asking what the current strategies actually are and get informed. Is anyone else interested in what the prochoice2011 group are about. Why aren’t you asking?

            • just saying 4.1.3.1.1.2

              Such as….?

              edit the question was for Marty G

            • The Baron 4.1.3.1.1.3

              No worse than the bile you spew over your ideological enemies, Marty – so off your high horse, me thinks.

              • Marty G

                the difference is those are my enemies. QoT and I want the same thing

                • QoT

                  We do? Funny, all I’ve heard from you is how my behaviour should be modified to make you comfortable. Was there some statement about “I am totally prochoice and agree this is an important issue on which Labour has dropped the ball” I missed?

                  Just for clarity: I do not ever assume that Labour or the mainstream left are my allies, and I think I’ve linked to enough explicitly antifeminist crap from the likes of Chris Trotter to establish why.

                  • Marty G

                    I am totally prochoice and agree this is an important issue on which Labour has dropped the ball

                    • QoT

                      Great. So now do you want to discuss what we can do and how we engage with people or do I need to bow and scrape and apologise for assuming that the commentariat of The Standard is comprised of privileged men who don’t take this issue seriously? Because in the context of this comment thread that is just sooooo not going to happen.

                    • Marty G

                      you made this comment thread what it is. my very first comment said this issue is important and tried to open up a discussion on tactics.

                      what we can do to advance this issue:

                      This is actually a very winnable issue. A huge proportion of women and their partners have experienced the insult of having to claim they are crazy to get what is their right.

                      The goffice are scared, well that’s no surprise, we know about them. But getting Chadwick’s private member’s bill through seems like the best solution. It doesn’t have to be framed as a huge battle but, rather, as common sense and minor correction to an anachronism and an anomalous legal fiction. That’s not to say the issue is minor but the bigger and more politically fraught the framing, the harder to get it through.

                      This isn’t an issue where you have to win over the public and then try to use mass opinion to force parliament. This is something where you just need to win the MPs one by one. And it’s pretty straightforward to do. There is no logical argument, if you believe in the right to abortion (as a vast majority of MPs do), for women to have to prove that they’re mad to avoid being criminals.

                      The parties have to believe there will be no blowback for them in supporting reform or they will see no reason to burn political capital. Labour’s leadership isn’t going to be anti-reform but they are going to be anti being framed as ‘PC social engineers’ by National. Getting MPs from both National and Labour onside would be key to this. Jacqui Blue from the Nats would be my first target.

                    • Eddie

                      adding to what Marty’s said. I think that personally winning over MPs is the way to go and not too hard. There’s no reason to oppose it. Try to get meetings with your local female mps and leverage off them to get more on side.

                      The only risk is political risk. And, trust me, when Labour people saw this post they would have seen political risk written all over it. Hell, we all know that – it’s in the title. If we want reform, we need someone to put up the PMB, which would be Green or Labour, we’ll need the lion’s share of the votes to come from Labour. I guarantee the approach taken by this post has made it far less likely that Labour and the increasingly unadventurous Greens will be actively pursuing this issue.

                      Maybe trying to get someone like Jackie Blue to run the PMB would be the way.

                    • QoT

                      Marty, my God that’s a disingenuous comment. Oh, yeah, your first comment was totally all about strategy and tactics … and also that whole “why do you hate men, stop alienating men, waaaaaa stop hating Labour” thing.

                      Steve Chadwick was doing exactly what you proposed, gets MPs’ support for a Bill. And then boom, negative media coverage and Chris fucking Trotter having a cry about identity politics ruining everything and suddenly Goff’s out there saying “nope, haven’t thought about it” and if that isn’t a blatantly coded “I will not take a public position on this as long as I get to speak at Family First conferences” I don’t know what is.

                    • Marty G []

                      Well, I’m sorry but Steve’s approach is the only route to success. Alienating half your supporters and taking wild swings at parties whose backing you need is not. If you want to call that a ‘tone argument’, so be it. I would prefer to see the law changed than rage impotently.

                    • QoT

                      Right, so in short: shut up QoT you’re doing it wrong … which is exactly how I interpreted your first comment. So I’ve been right all along? Not sure how this got so spun out, really.

                    • Marty G

                      No. I’m saying: ‘don’t shut up, QoT, but you’re doing it wrong’

                      try to see things a little less black and white. A critique of strategy is not a call for you to lay down your arms.

                      I’m suggesting how you succeed, rather than become a Chris Trotter-type character, who is always spraying his allies in the back and is despised for it by all but the Right.

                    • lprent

                      Marty: Not all. I like arguing and frequently disagreeing with Chris. I have gotten into the habit of heading to the pub up the road every month or so along to ‘discuss’ the world with an assorted group of unionists. He is frequently there. So is Matt McCarten. So are a number of the commentators who write here.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      That’s a pile of bullshit Marty & Eddie.

                      If the Labour Party are scared of fighting on this issue then what fucking good are they to people for whom it actually matters?

                      Essentially you are saying that they can’t offer anything to people for whom this is an issue. It’s the same fucking story with everything. “oh no, we agree with you that it’s important, but we can’t do this because there are a few people that really don’t want us to do this important thing and we need their votes so tough luck, by the way don’t forget to vote for us’

                      Fuck that. If the Labour party needs to pander to anti choice people to get their votes then that means that they have nothing better to offer them on other issues. When Labour says that this will cost them the votes they need to prevent some dreaded NACT economic bullshit, then that says that Labour’s own economic policy isn’t convincing enough to beat that NACT policy. They need to learn to walk and chew gum.

                      If there is a wedge on this side of the aisle on this issue, and there is, then the way to beat it isn’t to just give the fuck up, it’s to make that wedge less important. If Labour can’t sell progressive economic policy well enough to counteract the effect of this then they are no bloody good on either issue. And if they can’t wedge the conservatives right back and peel away some of National’s soft support by pointing out what a more conservative abortion policy will mean, then again, what the fuck good are they?

                    • lprent []

                      That is my view as well. The current law gives the travesty of the stupid procedures that QoT’s car analogy points out. They’re time consuming, hypocritical, expensive, and outright offensive to all concerned. The polite fiction of mental reasons for requiring an abortion is probably the most offensive of the lot.

                      Women get an abortion because they make a choice to do so. They should have both medical counselling and personal counselling in making that choice and the alternatives as well as time to think it over. But in the end I think that the moral choice lies in their hands.

                      At a political level, I think that Labour would probably do well to concentrate on having a policy to simply remove the polite stupidities from the existing procedures that everyone knows are just simply useless.

                      As far as I’m concerned arguing about gestation times and the like can be left until after the existing system is fixed using the current limits. The worst thing about Steve’s bill was probably looking at dicking about with the times rather than simply fixing the process. It opened everything up to a whole pile of sidetracking irrelevance that stalled the required reforms yet again.

                      But reform of the current abortion process is something that I think that Labour should have in their policies.

            • IrishBill 4.1.3.1.1.4

              QoT’s post is here because we want it here, Marty. I’d suggest we want her to continue posting and I’d further suggest that being condescending isn’t the way to achieve this goal.

        • lprent 4.1.3.2

          If I put up a Guest Post or a The Standard republish, I always put in a few sentences at the start. The reason I do that is because I have to moderate and it saves me time if people are clear that it from someone different. You’ll find them at the top of the post and if I have a logo, you’ll find that there as well.

          Other editors or admins put up Guest Posts or The Standard posts. They do whatever they wish to do. For instance the last guest post that QoT had this at the top (from someone else).

          Yesterday Queen of Thorns laid out her thoughts on how the left lost touch with feminism. Today she’s talking about how to get the whole rigmarole back on track.

          The very first post that I put up from QoT in 2008 had a introduction.

          I loved this post for QoT so much that I asked to reproduce it in full here. It resonated with me after reading the comment stream today. So, from Ideologically Impure, an observation on the patently ridiculous… Lynn

          In fact from memory it was after that when we decided to use The Standard for reproduced posts and added Guest Post as an author.

          This is the first time I’ve seen any guest post with a disclaimer.

          It isn’t a disclaimer. It is an introduction. And it appears that you are merely not particularly observant because there are introductions on at least a third (and probably more like a half) of the Guest Posts or The Standard posts. Because they are on every one that I put up.

          When I do them they usually reflect my reaction to a post and why I decided to put the post up. I viewed this post as being a challenge to think again on the subject of abortion laws. When this topic came up with Steve Chadwick’s bill it got passed over far too quickly. That was why I wanted, and pushed for, this post to be put up when QoT sent it to us.

          If you want to be a petty minded dickhead over the way I worded the first paragraph, thereby diverting away from the actual content of the post, then you’re really just be quite silly.

          • just saying 4.1.3.2.1

            No Lprent I said disclaimer, not introduction. It does read to me as a disclaimer, unlike the examples you have cited, and I’m genuinely curious about whether any other guest post has been introduced with one.

          • QoT 4.1.3.2.2

            lprent, there’s a big difference between “I loved this post” and “in her usual style which is like a car crash but gets people stirred up, QoT hates you all”. The first, in fact, isn’t a disclaimer at all. The second clearly distances the guest post from The Standard.

            • Marty G 4.1.3.2.2.1

              I remember when I was a guest poster here and I would write things and people including authors would disagree with them. I used to write emails thanking them for publishing my posts- it was clear to me that they had given me something of value in sharing that opportunity with me and had paid me a respect by deciding my writing was worth posting.

              I guess we just have a basically different view of how one achieves ones goals in life and politics.

              • QoT

                Jesus, Marty, do you not read your own comments? You’re so right, I’m just not grateful enough and not acting the right way and don’t appreciate you menfolk well enough. And that last line, in this context, is totally just, um, helpful advice and not a stab at my personal goals and attitude.

                • Marty G

                  you’re not acting in the right way. That I’ll agree with.

                  Rather than responding to the substantive debate over how to win this fight, you’ve just trolled. If this wasn’t your guest post, you would be looking at a ban for violating basic rules of commenting here that apply to everyone.

                  My partner has had a read and asked me if I regret letting you do this guest post. No, I don’t. If I had expounded a political position and been out-argued, I would regret being stupid and learn from it. But you haven’t even tried to discuss the issue. There’s nothing to regret in having to face your personal attacks because they’re just pixels on a screen.

                  • weka

                    But you haven’t even tried to discuss the issue

                    That’s unfair. Look at the first two comments in this thread.

                  • QoT

                    I’m failing to understand what your partner has to do with anything … unless, oh wait, right, your partner’s probably a woman and her criticism should probably put me right in my place because I’m doing feminism wrong? I mean, I hope that isn’t the case but fucked if I know why else you would bring this up.

                    (And thanks again for re-affirming how much I should be kissing your feet in thanks for your divine benevolence.)

              • poor_toms_acold

                That’s all dandy, Marty G, except her point wasn’t ‘I don’t like it when people disagree with me’, it was ‘I don’t like it when my articles are headed with condescending waffle about how I’m a very angry young lady’. You claim that all guest posts have disclaimers about their views not necessarily reflecting that of the site, which is fine, but what’s written as the header of this article basically boils down to trying to downplay her tone, which is really dismissive of everything that follows because she’s (omg) ANGRY DUN DUN DUN.

            • lprent 4.1.3.2.2.2

              Umm I could have put the “I loved the post because ” then put the reasons in because of the approach you took – ie car crash. I have less interest in the topic apart from thinking that it needs to be raised.

              Remember that original post that I stuck up back in 2008 – the reasons I liked that post are the same as why I liked this post. It was the over the top rant using analogy to talk about a frustrating problem that never seems to go away. Then I said exactly why I personally resonated with that post – the moderation in the weeks leading up to the election was difficult. This one I have less resonance with so instead I described more about why I liked it.

              But you want me to be nice to make it sound better? Don’t be daft, nice isn’t exactly my style

              • QoT

                You could’ve, lprent. And maybe then it would’ve read to your commenters, both those who agree with me and those who don’t, a lot less like you disagreed, thought I wasn’t a serious writer, and were just throwing my post to the trolls for shits and giggles.

                • lprent

                  Have you ever known me to be backward about coming forward when I don’t like something?

                  The type of introduction you get is whatever I felt like when I put the post in. In this case I read your post and got mildly irritated that abortion law is still the lousy outdated compromise it became so long ago. The style I wrote in was a direct reaction to how you wrote your post…

                  As you say people react to your posts. You’re objecting that I do as well?

                  • poor_toms_acold

                    Not everyone who disagrees with her posts is in the position of writing the (dismissive, subjective, condescending) disclaimer at the beginning, though.

                    • lprent

                      That is the point really. I don’t disagree with the subject of her post. I think that the style is valid.

                      I wrote an introduction in the exactly same style but with less swearing. If it offends you then I’d say that you are a overly sensitive fool, whose opinion appears to have little value.

            • felix 4.1.3.2.2.3

              I’m definitely not trying to speak for lprent, but from what I think I know of his tastes and distastes I thought the “head-on car crash” bit was meant to be a high compliment.

              • lprent

                I thought so. It specifically means that regardless of if a reader likes it or not, the post is as impossible to ignore as a head on car smash. As far as I could see that was the intent of post – to force the discussion of the topic.

                So remind me again – why is it being diverted into this silly sidetrack?

                • QoT

                  Hi lprent,

                  I’ll admit, I initially took it as a car crash. And then two other Standard mods decided to be condescending shits to me, so that probably coloured my re-reading of it. I’m probably guilty of doing that thing where people lump all of The Standard’s writers together. But clearly, other people took a fairly non-positive reading of it too. So we are where we are.

                  • Marty G

                    So, a dozen comments in the last half hour and no response to my comment on strategy but another personal attack on me.

                    • QoT

                      … Because I did, and am still, Marty, reading your “strategy” comment as an incredibly thinly-veiled tone argument. Feel free to correct me, but while you’re at it you could also answer *my* comment way back there about what “swipes” I have taken at men in my post.

                    • weka

                      I’m still waiting for that too.

                    • QoT

                      Seriously, lprent? You’re going to “mod” me because I said “mods” instead of “authors”?

                      Funny, because “authors” is such a nice, egalitarian word, isn’t it. Puts them and me on the same level and ignores the basic fact that Eddie and Marty’s issues with me seem to revolve around me not Respecting Their Authority enough when daring to submit a guest post into Their Space which they have been, like, sooooooo awesome as to allow me to enter.

                      Their power as authors who can mod gives them more authority than me. Their position gave them a handy little advance notice of the contents of my post. And now Eddie and Marty are just handily backing each other up with their comments all highlighted in We Are Serious Authors blue. You might be happy to ignore the basic power dynamic in play but I’m not.

                    • lprent

                      QoT: looks like you replied on the wrong comment.

                      Yes very seriously! It takes a hell of a lot of work to set up the social norms that allow this site to operate and not fall to pieces with growth. Not every one is as enlightened and as self restrained as your wonderful self *sarcasm*.

                      We tried running it in a classic anarchist / coop mode 3 years ago for about 4 months, and had the place overwhelmed with idiotic comments suitable for teens and for noone else. Like some bbses, usenet, and many blogs before it, it was falling to the lowest common denominator – which is trolls. We fixed that by adding a moderation function while leaving the structure as open as possible – which is why we accept comments and do it without registration.

                      But like any civilized social structure that humans use, it is based on words and common understanding about how things operate. It gets dangerous to dick around with common understandings and words unless you have a purpose and know what you’re doing. So far I haven’t seen you advance a reason to change it or what to change it to above “I don’t like it”

                      I don’t see where Marty or Eddie have exerted their ‘authority’. They actually only seem to disagree with you on strategy. Are you absolutely sure that you’re not just looking for an authority to defy? It seems to me that you seem more interested in knocking down the local state than in the abortion issue?

                      Btw: the word ‘author’ comes from the default internal structure in wordpress. It has:-
                      Super administrator
                      Administrator
                      Editor
                      Author
                      Contributor
                      Then a everyone else category.

                      Each level has abillities added. Moderator and guest post are logical functions that we added.

                      If you want that nice blus shade, just register your handle and login. That is all it means. You can even select from two shades of blue grey.

                  • lprent

                    I’m afraid that people tend to just have to put up with me and my sense of humor. Your other point is of more importance.

                    I think that you have the wrong end of the stick and the other end is a shovel blade…..

                    Firstly : While they have the power to be moderators, Marty and Eddie (who you’re talking about I presume) tend to act as authors rather than moderators. You’re not seeing them acting here in a moderator mode – that tends to be quite distinctive for a reason. What you’re getting is them giving their viewpoint in comment. Of course as they are authors here they have a stake in the site and they’ll be acutely aware of the political risk that comes with the topic.

                    I know I am. The abortion / contraception debates have been politically ‘live’ for me for the last 36 years because my mother was active when I was a kid and every partner i have had since then has been to one degree or another. Age and weariness does tend to make one sound more condescending because we’ve heard it all before. You’ll just have to learn to live with it because there really isn’t any point in getting wound up about it. You’ll probably just be sounding the same to people younger than yourself already.

                    Secondly: The Standard authors seldom have the same opinion on anything, they are quite a disparate group. If you ever see more than one or two commenting on topic in a post together, you can guarantee that they’ll at least partially disagree (except on trolls). Apart from myself, I think it looks like there are four or five authors* commenting here. From where I sit, I think all coming from different viewpoints. Attacking them for not fully agreeing with you is a bit weird when they don’t even agree between themselves. And they sure as hell never actually agree with me. We just tend to find stuff that we can agree to work together with.

                    [Finally: And speaking as a moderator ]…in public because that is where you have been daft enough to raise it.

                    Using the words ‘mods’ or ‘moderators’ about authors who aren’t acting in a moderator role is a fast way to get me irritated. The reasons for making clear when people are acting as moderators are pretty damn obvious. Commentators need to be very clear when they are getting warned and when they are not. If we don’t do that then authors are never going to be able to comment on posts except as ‘moderators’. They won’t be able to disagree with other authors because they may be ‘moderating’ them.

                    I have no idea if that would be your desired outcome – but it isn’t mine. It does nothing for the site or for the discussion.

                    Deal with authors as other commentators and don’t use the word moderator and don’t let it creep into your comments when talking about authors. Unless they are actually moderating.

                    As a request from someone who has to deal with authors on a multi-author site. If possible, treat authors as being slightly special. Like you, they give enough of a damn to author posts and do all of the drudgery that is required in a political site. But please don’t treat them as if they are doing a role that they are not. They’d like to be able to comment on other authors posts and to other commentators without much ambiguity about their role. The person that can really screw that comment independence up is another author on their post – even a guest author.

                    * update: Looks like six authors plus me commenting in the same post – the most I have seen for a while.

  5. Bill 5

    Question.

    What can I, a man who will therefore never experience the full gamut of emotions and head fuck hoop jumping associated with abortion, do by way of practical support?

    • Trouble 5.1

      My suggestion – tell others in a similar position, preferably ones with voting rights in Parliament, that neither you nor they should be deciding who gets abortions and who doesn’t.

    • Tui 5.2

      Support women in your office who might be talking about it. Mention your support for reform if it comes up in conversation and it’s at all possible for you to do so. Go along to meetings. Write letters to the newspaper. Above all, be visible in your support so there’s a possibility of momentum, rather than apathy. It’s amazing what a difference it makes to activists to not feel alone and surrounded by people who think their cause is worthless or just plain wrong.

    • QoT 5.3

      One of the best things guys can do? Be vocally prochoice. It’s like the Mothers for Choice group, who were basically established to make it clear that this isn’t just a Bitchy Childless Feminists Who Hate Men issue.

      This is clearly an issue people (aka the Labour Party) don’t want to touch unless they know it’s a broad-base issue with support from important demographics (i.e. not Bitchy Childless Feminists).

      And everything Tui said.

      • KJT 5.3.1

        As it is not something that has come up in my life. For obvious reasons, being the male half of a marriage where all our kids were wanted, It is not something I have given deep thought to, until now.

        Of course women (and men) have the right to chose what they do with their own bodies. I am annoyed this is still considered a matter for debate. And i will help support changing the law where I can.

  6. A whole lot of comments in here are really a Who’s Who of Derailing for Dummies, huh.

    So if I’ve got this right according to the concern-trolls you’re too loud and definitely ranty (which isn’t bad, per se, apart from when it is), complain too much, this is really all about your rabid Labour hate, men ALREADY care thankyouverymuch but you should package it up nicely and think more about The Menz so that they will care (it is hard finding things in this world that go the male way, it is true. What is institutional privilege again?), needing an abortion is just like this one time I was denied an optional non-life threatening nice thing I wanted to do for people, and finally you should probably modify your shrill tone. I think I’ve got everything?

    I really don’t see why it is rocket science that if A) society treats the group of people directly concerned with the issues of not owning a car as being incapable of making decisions on their own car ownership, makes these people jump through hoops and be called crazy IF they’re allowed car ownership, and defends another group of people who will never experience the intimate problems of not owning a car as the rightful experts on all of this, then B) This group of people who are treated as mad, bad, and dangerous to let have autonomy MIGHT be a tad pissed off about this and be less than likely to nod heads at the suggestion that Oh, we’ll get on to changing the law around this issue, maybe, in the next 20 years, possibly, but until then you should probably start thinking about ‘real’ problems and even those of us that like to call ourselves liberals in parliament will kick Chadwick’s bill.

    So yeah, we’re angry, we expect more, and we mean business. Wonder why.

    • Lanthanide 6.1

      You’re completely mis-representing what I tried to say, but nevermind.

      • Octavia 6.1.1

        You’re still completely derailing, trying to make this about you, and should probably read that handy guide, but nevermind. It’s only abortion. It’s not like it really matters to people who can get pregnant. No biggie.

        • Lanthanide 6.1.1.1

          See my reply at 3:25 to Tui above (the thread/post numbers don’t nest that far for some reason).

          Really my entire point this whole time boils down to “there are lots of apathetic people out there, like me”. As Tui points out, this is already known by activists, so really I haven’t told anyone anything they didn’t know.

          I would’ve been better off not posting anything, because now I’ve been misconstrued as derailing the conversation. And yes, I have read your derailing link, so I expect that you’re now going to interpret *this* post as me just saying “I was playing devil’s advocate all along” or somesuch too (you’d be wrong).

          I guess in future debates about abortion I’ll simply refrain from posting anything.

          • Tui 6.1.1.1.1

            That’d probably better than jumping into a thread with a really ill-thought-out and dismissive comparison. What you said is like jumping into a thread where someone’s talking about their mother dying and how it made them cry in the supermarket, and saying “I didn’t cry at all when my goldfish died.” Then, on interrogation, you explain that you don’t have tearducts and have never experienced the death of a mother – but you were just trying to imagine a comparison with your own life.

            You feel that people have been seriously misinterpreting what you’ve said. Perhaps, in fact, what actually happened is that you didn’t quite get across your meaning.

            • Octavia 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Nah, must be our fault. We need to pay more attention when (cisgendered) men are speaking about our life experiences.

            • Lanthanide 6.1.1.1.1.2

              “You feel that people have been seriously misinterpreting what you’ve said. Perhaps, in fact, what actually happened is that you didn’t quite get across your meaning.”

              I fully agree that I didn’t get across my meaning very clearly at all. I’ve already admitted that. I can see why people reacted the way they did – your goldfish example sums that up quite well.

            • Rosy 6.1.1.1.1.3

              “That’d probably better than jumping into a thread with a really ill-thought-out and dismissive comparison.”

              I would have thought that any considered thought is well-worth hearing. Especially when people are dipping their toe in the water. For activists I would have thought that people jumping into a post like this gives them the opportunity to gauge, or confirm the level of debate in certain cohorts. I think that is valuable information – for me I’m gaining quite a lot from reading these varied points.

              • Lanthanide

                Thanks Rosy, that’s my take on the matter too. But I won’t bother posting or having anything to do with these threads from now on. It seems these people generally don’t want to actually discuss anything, they’d rather just yell at you for whatever imagined slight they read in what you’ve written.

              • Tui

                Nobody’s obliged to listen to everybody in the world, Rosy, and nobody owes everybody in the world a thoughtful, polite, listening ear when they make a dramatically reductive comparison. But I will say that I made every effort to engage respectfully with what he said because it was indeed a refreshing comment in the context of the comments at the time – i.e. it at least attempted to engage with the issues, rather than with QoT. Unfortunately, it was my opinion that Lanth’s first comment, rather than demonstrating considered thought, demonstrated his (probably understandable) *lack* of considered thought on the issue. I felt we engaged fairly productively, and I think a resolution to listen when women talk about their personal experiences rather than weighing in thoughtlessly is a pretty solid one; it’s a resolution I practise myself all the time, and it’s seen me become way, WAY more educated on ablism, anti-Semitism, and racism. I recommend it. *not* engaging with a conversation you’re not educated about means you’re much less likely to embarass yourself by saying something ignorant; you’re much less likely to back yourself into a corner; it makes it easier to change your mind and think critically.

                Obviously there comes a point at which you have to jump in and give things a go, and then you make mistakes and have to retract them (something else I do all the time!) But taking a little while first to listen to others is *such* a good thing to do. Lurking is one of the great gifts of the internet and not to be sneered at!

                Besides, if the original point of the comment was “There’s probably lots of apathy”, not commenting would have got the point across even better … 😉

                • Rosy

                  I don’t disagree with what you’re saying, Tui I simply disagree that you can suggest someone not comment in a way that they feel is valid. I think you are not taking into account different learning styles – some people learn by listening, others by taking action and others have no problem at all putting forward viewpoints that may later prove to be embarrassing – it’s the way they learn – shoot the argument down by all means, but not the arguer, often retracting when you engage to learn is not really an issue. I also think you are assuming that engaging and trying to identify through personal experience (valid or not) is equivalent to not listening. It’s not.

                  As for lurking – I do it all the time, especially on a thread like this where I’m not going to make a comment about the topic because I can’t be arsed with the grief of being labelled as something (probably in my case a faux-feminist or a version thereof) when I feel I might have something to contribute to the debate, or wish to have a point I’m struggling with clarified.

                  BTW I have also seen in this thread 2 very productive exchanges and learning experience – thanks Rex and The Baron. Appreciated.

          • Octavia 6.1.1.1.2

            I’m confused then as to what reaction you thought you’d gain? You come into a discussion about serious bodily autonomy, and how a giant chunk of the population (that isn’t you) isn’t getting this as easily as everybody thinks, make the grossly insulting suggestion that the movement needs to be more nicely packaged, and then say that oh, basically it just comes down to you being apathetic. Seriously, how did you think we’d react to such careless dismissal of very real issues that affect our lives? “Oh that’s ok, Lanthanide. This totally is just an academic issue to play for laughs. We had never thought of any of this, with our silly ladybrains. Making the conversation about you totally isn’t derailing!”

            What’s most offensive isn’t whether you’re playing devil’s advocate or not – I really don’t care, sorry to burst your nice little Nasty Angry Feminist is Mean to Me bubble – but that we come across this attitude from so-called liberal men who think it’s too much of a hassle to be concerned about our rights all the damn time. It’s not new, it’s not helpful, and it’s certainly not progressive as these men usually like to think.

        • Eddie 6.1.1.2

          You attack lanth’s comments. Then, when lanth defends them, you attack him for making it all about him. That kind of bullying, debate -killing bullshit isn’t on. And neither is calling people concern trolls when they say they care about this issue and it’s not well-served by peppering a post on it with sexist insults

          • QoT 6.1.1.2.1

            Yeah, Octavia. Watch your tone and stop being so angry. Have we got a bingo yet?

            • Octavia 6.1.1.2.1.1

              Honey we had a bingo so long ago it is a great injustice that we’re not currently playing a drinking game to all of this misogynistic crap. *Looks at last minute flight prices*

            • Zetetic 6.1.1.2.1.2

              Octavia isn’t being asked not to be angry. Octavia’s being told not to be a troll.

              Succeeded in turning 20-odd comments into personal attacks. Killed the substantive debate. That’s trolling.

              • QoT

                There was substantive debate occurring, Z? Funny, I can only see a few “I agree” comments and a shitload of “SHUT UP YOU ANGRY WOMEN GOD WHY ARE YOU SUCH BITCHES”.

                • Marty G

                  no-one has told you to shut up. We’ve given you the biggest megaphone in the blogosphere.

                  • QoT

                    Marty, seriously. Do you not even see how this constant repetition of what a great big favour you’ve done me carries an implicit “so play nice little girl because we have all the power” undertone? And plenty of other comments here have basically told women in general, not just myself, to shut up (at least, if we can’t say anything nice.)

              • Octavia

                Personal attacks/trolling = pointing out: privilege, derailing, misogyny, ad feminam ‘arguments’, and men trying to silence women talking about a subject that directly affects them. Asking men to educated themselves on the issues and contribute to the actual point.
                Substantive debate = making these same piss-poor ‘arguments’, telling women what they should think, calling them shrill, pushy and like pissy teenagers, generally getting all cosy with male privilege.

                I think I’ve got this, now. Substantive debate can be had between men AT women, not WITH women.

                Oh I love “Octavia’s been told”, love it. Perfect example. I’ll just play meek now after my ‘telling off’, yes?

          • Octavia 6.1.1.2.2

            Ahahahahaha, sexism and institutionalised privilege how does it work?

            So, I should sit back and listen to the man speak – which is not an attack when he does it – but if I comment back/defend myself and other women here, that’s an attack? And I should realise that he is actually being supportive, and it’s all in my best interests? Oh I see your logic. Or as I like to call it, male privilege all up ins.

            You would benefit from reading Derailing for Dummies. Or alternatively you could continue to Not Get It. Now where’s the smart money…

            • Eddie 6.1.1.2.2.1

              “I should sit back and listen to the man speak”

              like any commenter, you can comment within the rules – ie. you can disagree with anyone’s comments and argue against them but trolling is out. And all you’ve done today is troll.

              Trying to invalidate someone’s comment by saying ‘you’re only saying that to me because I’m a woman’ is an attempt at derailing in itself. I didn’t know your gender until this latest comment and I didn’t know Lanth’s until his comment earlier, and it’s irrelevant to whether a comment is trolling or not.

              • Octavia

                Pointing out privilege = derailing, got it. And gender in a discussion about an issue of bodily autonomy that is heavily gendered is irrelevant? Classic.

  7. Pascal's bookie 7

    Good post Q. Good luck with the campaign.

    I’m guessing the plan is to freak the other sides activists out some and get them vocally demanding that the current law be enforced (if not made more restrictive) and thus force the pollies to choose a side?

    That’d be the best bet I reckons. Wedges all over the place but I think that there are probably more currently right voting people that would switch if this was front and centre than the opposite.

    I’ll not vote for any party or candidate that is squishy on this. If the other sides activists do get stroppy, then that goes double. Further, any-one who publicly defends squishy candidates on grounds of electability, or anything else, can expect to get called all sorts of nasty shit on account of ‘arsehole’.

    • QoT 7.1

      Thanks PB. The thing is that the other side are already at work on this: both Right to Life’s case about tightening up the certification process, and the case against Medical Council guidelines on conscientious objection are ongoing and very recent (and so oddly under-reported *eyeroll*).

      • Pascal's bookie 7.1.1

        Yeah, it needs to get reported and highlighted to force the pollies out from under their rocks. Good onyas.

      • and so oddly under-reported

        The media appear to have relehated this to the “decided, thus non-controversial issue” category. I don’t think it’s so much a deliberate suppression of moves by RtL et al as a feeling that – as Lanthanide admitted to earlier – it’s not an issue about which people will get vexed, and thus sell newspapers.

        Obviously they’re wrong in terms of it being a settled issue, as your post points out. But a principles-based approach to engagement seems doomed to failure (trust me, I keep trying it every day on criminal justice issues, and all I get in return are blank looks indicating “we don’t do principle… got a car crash we can film?”).

        My suggestion, for what it’s worth, is personal stories. The brave young couple who were prepared to have what ought to have been their private reproductive affairs and the subsequent intervention of the police widely publicised certainly refocused public interest in Queensland, and seems likely to bring about a law change.

        (And before you say it, I agree no woman should have to go through that. But as I said above, I’m a pragmatist).

  8. D-D-D-Damn ! 8

    QoT appears to be a drearily self-absorbed 16 year old – a kind of female version of Rik from The Young Ones – who deludes herself that spraying “fucking” liberally about the place will buy her some radical chic street cred.

    And much like Rik, she’s almost certainly an extremely privileged former boarding-school type who, by the time she hits 30, will be using the same “shock”-tactics in the service of the neo-liberal Right.

    Dreary, dreary self-promotion from a preening teen in an adults body.

    • QoT 8.1

      You must have attended the Vicky32 school of ad feminem attacks.

      Are you getting some kind of sponsorship for use of the word “dreary”? I own my privilege. I like to say fuck. I’m not sure what either of those things has to do with the subject of my post.

      Captcha: “age”

      • Octavia 8.1.1

        Dreary AND you probably went to boarding school. Gosh AND golly!
        These comments just get more and more desperate. Which was exactly what you predicted. Sigh.

      • Boganette 8.1.2

        Wait, so Damn’s comment isn’t trolling and it isn’t a blatant personal attacks on QoT but any woman who comes on here and points out privilege and concern trolling by regulars is breaking the rules of commenting here?

        Let me guess – the response to this is: Y U So Angry?

    • Vicky32 8.2

      Hear-hear, since I see that she’s already pre-emptively attacked me, evidently not knowing I hadn’t seen her precious self-promotion until now…
      It’s impossible to penetrate her self-righteous shield. She knows she’s right, and anyone who disgrees is racist-sexist-homophobic.
      When she hits 40, she’ll be a Randbot, claiming those who disagree with her are collectivists! 🙂
      Deb

      • QoT 8.2.1

        Pre-emptively? What, like you having a fucking go at me on a completely unrelated post where someone else was calling you misogynist?

        Smiley faces don’t stop your comment from being fucking idiotic and insulting, you know.

        It’s not disagreeing with me that makes you a racist, Deb. It’s your racism that makes you a racist. (But some of your best friends are filthy abusive Maaaaaaris, right?)

      • Wegan 8.2.2

        “It’s impossible to penetrate her self-righteous shield. She knows she’s right, and anyone who disgrees is racist-sexist-homophobic.”

        No, what makes you “racist-sexist-homophobic” is being racist and sexist and homophobic.

        QoT is not self-righteous. She knows she’s right, because she is fucking right.

  9. Sanctuary 9

    “…In short, they vowed to (whisper it) talk about abortion. Loudly. Publicly. This year…”

    How is that working out so far? You’ve gone off in a huff from this site already, so I would suggest you’ve bombed your first go at the “publicly” bit. “Loudly?” To who? The lefties of The Standard clearly have all failed to meet your exacting purity of belief test. That leaves… ummm… ahhhh… actually can you give me a hint as to WHERE you plan to find all your supporters?

    It occurs to me QoT that you encapsulate all that is wrong with modern feminism. Reading your post, it is clearly not for you the slow, time consuming winning of hearts and minds and the creation of a genuine public desire for change. As far as I can tell, your tactic is to arrogantly try and blackmail the Labour Party into caving in and imposing your change agenda for abortion law reform. To me that is the politics of lazy ideologues. Pray tell me, why should I not regard this approach with the same contempt as I hold the looney tunes in the ACT party and their imposition of change from above?

    • QoT 9.1

      You are so right, Sanc. “Slow winning of hearts and minds” has always been so successful a strategy for progressive movements. Certainly African-Americans didn’t stand up and make a loud fuss over civil rights, and second-wave feminists would never have staged massive protests against Miss America pageants, all their successes were won by shutting up and asking nicely when the powerful white men were done with their cigars and sherry.

      “Gone off in a huff” is an odd way to interpret “is continuing to comment but probably not going to play dancing monkey any more with new posts”.

      As for demanding purity of belief … that would be a laugh, wouldn’t it. But I get the feeling you don’t quite see what the massive, throbbing cock of difference is between “purity of belief” and “treating the issue like a serious one worthy of consideration instead of just slagging off the writer for being a cow”.

    • Octavia 9.2

      TL;DR translation: you are a BAD FEMINIST says I and you are also probably not involved in anything else apart from writing here. Which I know because I know things. Also you’re too emotional, want changes too fast, and I don’t like you. You, PERSONALLY, represent all that is wrong. So there.

    • Wegan 9.3

      “It occurs to me QoT that you encapsulate all that is wrong with modern feminism”

      OH MY GOD, QoT! You’re a bad feminist! Are you hurt to the fucking core? Because I am prett sure that’s the first time you’ve ever been called that!!

      Let’s all just shut up and get back to the fucking kitchen, shall we? And then we can go about winning the hearts of our menz, so as to be Good Feminists. Because we can rely on them to win this fight for us, can’t we?

      • QoT 9.3.1

        What I am seriously loving, Wegan, is how I already linked, in my post, to Chris Trotter’s little whinge about how (a) abortion reform is going to hurt the left and (b) how my tone is just going to put people off. Yet they all think they’re so original, trying to shut me up while pretending they just want to help.

  10. felix 10

    QoT your guest posts / cross posts are greatly appreciated by myself and many others, I seriously hope you continue to share them. If this thread shows anything it shows why you’re needed here.

    If Labour wants to survive and be relevant it has to get on the ethical and progressive side of all of these arguments. Otherwise what the fuck is it for? I mean that literally, lefties. If it’s not a progressive party, why am I listening at all?

    This one is such a no-brainer. And yes I mean that literally too, conservatives. Just like being allowed to be gay, just like not being allowed to rape your wife, just like not being allowed to assault your kids, this is an issue that the conservatives will bitch about until it’s in law and then (apart from a few fringe mentalists) they’ll shut the fuck up and never do a damn thing about it. Because it’s the right thing to do.

    History will look at those who opposed as neanderthal sexist regressives (at best) or evil sexist bastards (at worst) and I’m sure most of us would rather not be remembered as either. So lets just get on with it, k?

    And enough tone policing. If a polite “Ahem, I think these abortion laws are a bit rum, wot?” was going to work then we wouldn’t be having this discussion at all, would we?

  11. Jum 11

    There are several options for women being pregnant and not wanting to be. All of them are killers, either physically or mentally or emotionally.

    Play the game by the males’ rules, pretend they’re crazy, use the feminine wiles – all things men love because it gives them control and makes women feel like adult-becomings.
    or
    Use a knitting needle and probably fuck up their chances of becoming pregnant when they do want to be, or die from an infection. This means that the legalities in NZ today are responsible for the thousands of lives, both of the women and later births lost forever because of botched home abortions. Thanks to those men who are deliberately trying to stop the reform either by their inaction or their control mechanisms.
    or
    I’m sure suicide will have happened in the past when all other avenues were closed to a woman because that appeared to be the only way they could have the last say over their own bodies, and that society had left them with no future of hope. It is an indirect honour killing perpetrated by one sex upon another. I wonder if they would have mentioned why in a suicide note, so that society understood how desperate they were to have autonomy over their own lives – I doubt it. It was always about them having to bear the pain alone.
    or
    Go to Australia, if they can afford it.
    or
    Play dirty. This will hurt the sower of the seed, who as usual, escapes the fallout from these debates.

    • Octavia 11.1

      I love this comment. ^This is the ugly reality of limited abortion access that people want to brush under the rug, leave until it’s the ‘right time’, insist we calm down about. “It was always about them having to bear the pain alone” – yup. Urgh.
      We’re so angry because this is our lives, not something in abstract.

  12. weka 12

    This is an excellent post, thanks QoT.

    Another thing that men can do is to educate themselves about the issues. Read the links in the post, go read feminist bloggers’ past posts on abortion (at The Hand Mirror for links, esp Maia at Capitalism Bad; Tree Pretty for more detail on the inequity of current practices), talk to women you know about the difficulties they’ve had accessing health care for unwanted pregnancies, find out how the system works in your area and start talking about it in relation to other areas.

    As an aside, I mentioned SPUC to a couple of friends the other day, and they said what’s that? Is SPUC not active any more, or are they working under a different name?

    • QoT 12.1

      SPUC have apparently split up? Or something. The most active remainder are trading under Voice For Life. I was saddened that no longer can I refer to them as spucwits.

      • weka 12.1.1

        Oh I think you could safely keep calling them spucwits 🙂 It keeps their history visible too, which is important.

      • Muerk 12.1.2

        The Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child has changed its name to Voice for Life, however there were some who for various reasons decided to start their own organisation (mostly SPUC members from Christchurch) and that is Right to Life.

      • Armchair Critic 12.1.3

        SPUC have apparently split up
        SPUC were terminated.

  13. just saying 13

    I’d still like to know if any other guest post has been introduced with a disclaimer.
    It’s relevant.

  14. Treetop 14

    The topic of abortion is one which has to be tackled honestly just as gay sex was tackled honestly in 1986. There is a wide divide between intercourse and reproduction, e.g. when intercourse is wanted but the product of intercourse may be unwanted. I would like to see some heavy debate on the reasons why a person has an abortion. By debating the reasons for an unwanted pregnancy the abortion rate could be reduced. At the very least understanding why a person terminates would be a reducing factor.

    • QoT 14.1

      I don’t actually consider reduction of the abortion rate a goal, Treetop. I want as many abortions to occur as are required by pregnant people making their own choices about their own bodies. And as “debates” about “why” people have abortions inevitably lead to slut-shaming and policing of women’s behaviour, I’m not exactly keen.

    • Rageaholic 14.2

      I really don’t think that the reasons why people have abortions need to be part of the debate, only the reasons why the current law is no good. To carry on your analogy, the reasons why people are gay completely irrelevant to the fact the being gay is, and must be, legal.

      • Treetop 14.2.1

        Currently the majority of abortions are carried out due to mental health grounds. I do not like this criteria as I suspect this is not the main reason and this is not being forthright enough by woman.

        • Treetop 14.2.1.1

          http://www.alranz.org/whyweneedachange.htm
          Did you know that
          *Most abortions in NZ are carried out on the grounds of mental health

        • QoT 14.2.1.2

          Your comment is a little confusing, Treetop. Are you saying the law is not being “forthright” enough for women or that women are not being “forthright” about their reasons? Because they kind of don’t have a choice in that regard.

          • Treetop 14.2.1.2.1

            Both. Anything which is humiliating (mental health grounds) needs to change as it is of no benefit to the person who requires the service. Everything isn’t about mental health, this is why I need to look at reasons for an abortion to determine what needs to change.

            Imagine if the health system started to use mental health grounds on anyone who required an operation. An operation is done on health grounds regardless if a person smoked, drank to excess, took drugs, were obese, anorexic, self harm…

  15. Rob 15

    Seems to me we need to work harder on spreading awareness of the issue before we can make real success in changing the law. The most well intentioned and good pieces of legislation can go horribly wrong and become massive issues if the public doesn’t understand them.

    • Tui 15.1

      This wasn’t a well-intentioned piece of legislation, though! The reverse. It’s a well-intentioned set of medical professionals who are doing their best for it.

  16. Vicky32 16

    I am having massive connection issues today, so I cannot (literally cannot) read 145 comments. I know this will count as what my old Mum would have called “putting the cat among the pigeons” but why not?
    IMO, there’s nothing at all wrong with NZ’s abortion laws. Women seem to be able to get all the abortions they want (or that their boyfriends, husbands, and parents want for them – and I do know what I am talking about there..)
    Most women don’t want abortions. Studies have shown men to be significantly more in favour of liberalising access to induced abortion, and to the cynical amongst us, it’s pretty obvious why, hey?
    Deb

    • Rob 16.1

      The issue is essentially that perception. Women are not able to get all the abortions that they want due to access issues for some. The inefficiency of the system also puts women off, creates additional trauma for them and leads to abortions being conducted far later in the pregnancy than they need to be.

    • Eddie 16.2

      in most instances, I think it’s an issue of dignity. If a woman has the right to choose, she shouldn’t have to meet mental health grounds to avoid bring a criminal.

      • Vicky32 16.2.1

        “If a woman has the right to choose”
        Which is the very issue! Does a woman (or in the case of my sister and other women I know of) her parents, have the right to choose to kill? What of the opinion of the baby’s father?
        What of cases where it’s the man who wants the woman to have an abortion, and she has the choice of the DPB, or an abortion?
        The time for a woman to choose is before she gets pregnant – what’s so hard about that?
        Deb

        • Rebecca 16.2.1.1

          Vicky 32/Deb – the debate about enforcing your morality on others right to choose was had and your side lost in the 1970s. Now the debate is about modernising our laws to reflect an even more liberal view, and to ensure best medical practice.

          • Vicky32 16.2.1.1.1

            Wow Rebecca, I didn’t know that being against killing children was “enforcing (my) morality on others right to choose”!
            I oppose war, abortion and capital punishment. It’s called the “seamless garment” approach. My son is a health professional – and trust me, they don’t consider killing to be “best medical practice” – they do it because they have to, because a wunch of bankers, mainly male, back in the 1970s, ‘won’. Erich Geiringer led the charge for the “right to choose” back in the 1970s. What a prince of a man he was!
            You’ve probably never heard of him, so you’ll have to trust me on that, which I bet you’d rather die than do, but I suggest you actually do something extremely radical and follow the links I posted. To judge by your name, you’re in your teens – when you have a bit more experience of men especially the “right on” ones, you may think differently.
            Deb

            • felix 16.2.1.1.1.1

              You’re getting really weird Deb. How old am I? (based on my name)

              • QoT

                Deb once diagnosed me as “a spiteful Remmers blonde” so don’t hold your breath for any scarily-prescient accuracy, felix.

            • Rebecca 16.2.1.1.1.2

              Defining abortion as “killing children” is exactly what I meant by you enforcing your morality on others rights. And yes I know many of the mainly women who led the abortion rights movement in the 70s (many of them medical professionals as well) and I love them and am grateful to them.

              And thanks for the advice, but I am not in my teens and have had (ahem) plenty of experience of men. And I will never think differently: I will always support the right of women to choose a safe, legal abortion. I certainly won’t waste my time reading any bullshit anti-choice propaganda purporting to be feminist.

            • Gravey 16.2.1.1.1.3

              What the fuck? How patronising. Rebecca is in her teens because her name is Rebecca? I guess you must be 32 then, huh?

              To say that killing is never best medical practice is denying people who are suffering the right to die with dignity. Are you also against a person’s right to end their own life? Sorry folks – I am buying into the de-railing.

              As for the time for choice is before pregnancy… You’re saying women can either accept the risk of pregnancy which they must carry to term, or they can go without. Because, after all, abstinence is the only certain contraceptive.

              Speaking as a man, if “the” man wants to keep the child, he can fucking carry the child.

              As others have said, it is not as if women are going around with blood-thirsty intentions of seeing how many foetuses they can murder. You are right, generally abortion is not something women would generally choose (apologies for speaking for women – this is just this man’s observation). It is something where they are left with little alternative. We all know the mental anguish that comes with abortion. You think women want to put themselves through that?

              And as I have posted elsewhere, if you take the approach, as some have done, that “life” starts at conception, you are saying a mother that dies in childbirth should result in the infant being charged with manslaughter, and the infant is aged 9 months at birth. What does this mean for all of the age-restrictive legislation?

              And agree with RL below. When you look at what QoT has been up against, her anger is not only understandable, but I would be really concerned if she wasn’t really angry.

              • Octavia

                “Speaking as a man, if “the” man wants to keep the child, he can fucking carry the child.” Thank you thank you thank you.
                And this: “I would be really concerned if she wasn’t really angry.” Why is this so damn hard for people to understand?
                Women simultaneously don’t have feelings that can be hurt, and are too emotional.

                (Though you know, this comment is totally trolling. I don’t know at who though, so it could be you. Sorry!)

              • Vicky32

                “To say that killing is never best medical practice is denying people who are suffering the right to die with dignity. Are you also against a person’s right to end their own life? Sorry folks – I am buying into the de-railing.”
                Yes, I am against what you call “right to die with dignity”, because by and large the patient themselves isn’t very often the one who wants to die… Health professionals would rather keep patients alive and use palliative care which is very effective…

                “And as I have posted elsewhere, if you take the approach, as some have done, that “life” starts at conception, you are saying a mother that dies in childbirth should result in the infant being charged with manslaughter”
                Sorry, you’re just being silly now (as you probably know.)
                ” and the infant is aged 9 months at birth. ”
                Which is actually the case in Chinese and Japanese culture. So what?

                • QoT

                  I am against what you call “right to die with dignity”, because by and large the patient themselves isn’t very often the one who wants to die

                  I do honestly love how you do this, Deb. Some cases of murder may have been covered up by people claiming it was voluntary euthanasia and suddenly that means all voluntary euthanasia must be murder and the debate around it must be irrelevant. And people say I see things in black and white …

            • QoT 16.2.1.1.1.4

              killing children

              [citation needed]

        • Eddie 16.2.1.2

          many things. people aren’t getting abortions because they’re awesome good fun. In my experience it’s sadness and pain all the way down and something that people don’t choose lightly.

    • Rageaholic 16.3

      Nothing wrong with the current abortion laws?
      When I had one I had to wait 6 weeks between when I first found out I was pregnant to when I had the actual procedure. That is a LONG time in an unwanted pregnancy.
      I had no idea what to expect from the process. I had two ultrasounds, and now I read that none are necessary; I have absolutely no idea why I had two. If it was fully legal and some of the stigma was gone I expect the process would become transparent.
      I had to ask permission from the medical profession and prove that I had the potential to be mentally unstable in order to be allowed to have what I considered a parasite removed from MY body, which I should be in charge of – not doctors or foetuses.
      I had no control over the process whatsoever. I had to go to whatever doctor I was told to whenever I was told to. I hated having to miss quite a lot of work and lie to my boss and co-workers about my whereabouts.

      There’s just a few of the things wrong with the current abortion laws. I am sure there are plenty more people with their own list.

      *captcha: “wants”. Heh.

    • QoT 16.4

      Wow, Deb. Way to wave your privilege in everyone’s face. I suppose you think the women in Invercargill, who have to travel to Christchurch, which only provides abortions on certain days, and due to delays may have to fly to fucking Australia to get their termination, are just doing totally fine?

      Sorry if I’m just going to assume you’re being a contrary bitch because you can’t fucking handle me calling you on your privilege (which is also handily allowing you to ignore the fairly obvious oppression of women in this regard).

      • Vicky32 16.4.1

        “Sorry if I’m just going to assume you’re being a contrary bitch because you can’t fucking handle me calling you on your privilege (which is also handily allowing you to ignore the fairly obvious oppression of women in this regard).”
        Oh you’re such a funny girl – banging on about my imagined privilege. If it makes you feel better, dear, go ahead and imagine my expensive house, my moneyed background etc. My parents will be spinning in their graves laughing…

    • QoT 17.1

      Feminists for Life? AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA oh that’s a fucking good one. Mary Wollstonecraft was anti-abortion?? Probably had nothing to do with being an upper-middle-class white woman at all.

      • Vicky32 17.1.1

        Follow the links and read the articles – had you even heard of Mary Wollstonecraft before now? You’re soooooo predictable!
        Deb

        • QoT 17.1.1.1

          Um, yes, Deb, I had. Because Wollstonecraft is not only taught in Women’s Studies courses but very often in introductory politics courses, as well as being a fairly commonly-cited first wave feminist, and is notably the mother of Mary Shelley, so of course for feminist geeks like myself she’s a bit of a byword.

          This “haha I am so smart I know all about you!!!” meme really isn’t working out for you, is it? It’s almost pitiable how this entire thread is just a testament to you making really bad assumptions about people and then running away. How old is felix, by the way? You still haven’t responded to him. *points up*

          • Vicky32 17.1.1.1.1

            You’re an attention whore QoT. You want to be loved or hated, you don’t care just so long as you’re noticed. I have given you far too much of what you desperately want – attention.
            Felix’s name is AFAIK a pseudonym, so I can’t make any judgement as to his probable age.
            Before I go (and I am going, despite you’re efforts to make me stay and feed your ego, with your constant insults invoking me, I just have to say that if you knew anything about me other than what you’ve imagined, you wouldn’t accuse me of privilege. It wasn’t me who decided you were probably a Remmers blonde, by the way, but whoever did make the comment thought (as I do) that you were from privilege yourself! I knew people like you when I was at university – the “middle class kiddies” who were all doing the trendy trio of “sociology, psych and anthropology”. None of them ever had to worry about having to work when they graduated so they did the popular papers. They all joined and ran the Environment Group (I worked for the Environment group as a minion, on an SCSP project). That’s where I learned that being “right on” does not preclude being “born to rule”. One of those ladies now heads Forest & Bird, goodness knows what happened to the others, all I know is that they did very well for themselves.
            I did actually hum the Tom Robinson song about ‘Middle Class Kiddies’ very loudly while I typed their memos for them – passive aggressive, I know, but they’d never heard of him, so that was okay. I couldn’t afford to lose even a temporary SCSP job! (No parents, no grandparents, no house in the Eastern suburbs, see?)
            I do not forgive you for insulting my son and daughter-in-law by the way. Why you want to sneer at them for being Maori, I just don’t get – it’s not very consistent of you!

            [lprent: Take it to OpenMike if you want to continue. This is getting way off topic. As well, as an observation, the interaction between you two seems to be heading into pointless abuse. ]

  17. RedLogix 18

    Eye watering thread. I have to be glad I spent most of the day in Tararuas… warm and beautiful for once.

    I agree, the insane loopiness embedded in the current abortion system is wrong and should be changed. It completely lacks integrity. It reflects nothing more than the total hypocrisy and dishonesty that characterises anything to do with sexuality and reproduction in our society.

    And the root cause of that dishonesty is of course the patriarchy. Abortion is simply an outer manifestation of this deeply emotive, potent fact. It has to be almost the ultimate ‘third rail’ issue in a property centric ownership society… that the relationship between men and women is also fundamentally modelled in ‘ownership’ terms.

    And almost no-one wants to have that debate. No wonder QoT comes across a tad screechy.. being ignored, deflected, derailed over and over.

    • felix 18.1

      Well said RL

    • QoT 18.2

      Thanks RL.

      • RedLogix 18.2.1

        Yeah but… I’m a late bloomer. It was only when I saw the deep, indissoluble connection between patriarchy and property, and how this pervades, perverts everything that a dim little light went on.

        Where this takes me to next.. I sincerely haven’t a clue. But I think I have a little inkling as to how you feel… it must be a bit like how I get really pissed with climate change deniers. (Sorry if that’s a really crap comparison… it’s the best I’ve got.)

        Wading through the passionate morass of comments on this thread tells me that if nothing else, here be the dragons that lie very close to each and every heart.

        • QoT 18.2.1.1

          Everyone has to come to these things in their own way. We can’t all spend our teenage years hashing and re-hashing these debates with the best antichoicers in the business (i.e. American ones).

          • pollywog 18.2.1.1.1

            Ayo Thorny…you dont have kids do you ?

            • Boganette 18.2.1.1.1.1

              *BINGO!*

              Drinks all round!

            • QoT 18.2.1.1.1.2

              [Error: relevance not found]

              • pollywog

                so i’ll take that as a Nah ,and i’ll wager you haven’t had an abortion either.

                the relevence being, i think your opinion would differ markedly if you’d had either.

                personal experience counts for shitloads in my world.

                • QoT

                  The existence of Mothers for Choice Aotearoa says otherwise, polly. And attacking the personal reproductive histories of prochoice women is always a telling sign of someone who just wants women to shut up and stop thinking they’re real people.

                  • Marg

                    umm i have a baby and i’m pro-choice…what’s your point pollywog? you are just as able to understand rational arguments after pregnancy as before

                    • pollywog

                      attacking the personal reproductive histories of prochoice women

                      attack…what attack ? if i was attacking you’d know cos the signs would be telling and shocking and awesome.

                      i thought the point was obvious. QoT might not possibly hold the same staunch opinion if she’d been through and abortion or fullterm pregnancy.

                      i’m all for stauch women thinking they’re all that, if they have the personal experience to back shit up

                      same goes for teh fellas too.

                      Keep it real!

  18. mikesh 19

    All this stuff about “the right to choose” reminds me of the Sophoclean drama Philoctetes. In that play, Philoctetes’ conscience, personified by the ghost of his ancestor, surfaces and persuades him to do the “right thing” only when the other characters guarantee him complete freedom of choice. Up until that point in the play he had been determined to do “the wrong thing”, and he and the others had been at loggerheads over it.

  19. Sup thorny…howzit hangin ?

    So uhhh…Whats your views on whether prospective fathers should have a say in terminating a pregnancy and is prepared to solo dad it with a new baby but the lady says no ?

    or how about if a prospective father doesnt want the woman to go full term but she decides she’s gonna have it ?

    • QoT 20.1

      Do we have technology to transport the foetus into the father’s body? No. So no, he doesn’t get a say in whether a woman continues to undergo a potentially physically and psychologically and economically damaging pregnancy.

      Unfortunately I get a little biological-determinist on this one. Since we do not live in a country that will support women (or men) in raising kids alone (and that’s not just about benefits but a whole bloody cultural set of assumptions), men can exercise their biological control over conception and pregnancy as long as it involves their body: i.e. at the point of ejaculating near a fertile vag. Don’t want to be a daddy/risk your partner having an abortion? Don’t jizz in her.

      • pollywog 20.1.1

        Maybe a disclaimer from the dad to say “i don’t want this woman to have my baby” could absolve him from child support too then yeah ?

        cos it’s kinda potentially physically and psychologically and economically damaging for men to become unwanting fathers eh.

        as far as jizzing in teh vag. every fibre of a mans being is screaming to do just that. its hard to ignore the urge or pullout beforehand

        of course it’d help if he knew if the vag was fertilating at the time, or said ”not without a rubber you’re not”

        • QoT 20.1.1.1

          No, pollywog, because as I said already, we simply do not live in a society which makes solo parenthood a desirable option for people.

          Just assume every hole you stick it in is fertile and it shouldn’t be a problem.

          Also: not much sympathy for the “but men are hardwired that way” argument in any field, be it infidelity, sexual assault, sexual harassment or not being able to control who you consensually fuck.

          • south paw 20.1.1.1.1

            Aren’t women hardwired for sex too? The younger generation of woman in particular seem very aggressive. If I had a son I think I would keep him locked up out of harms way, lol.

            • QoT 20.1.1.1.1.1

              Oh right, you’re a sexist prick. Good to know I can file you under “people who are happy to judge women negatively for behaviour which was hunky-dory when predominantly young men were doing it”.

              • south paw

                Typical ‘knee jerk’ response of a bitter twisted ideologue.

                Where did I say or imply “…behaviour which was hunky-dory when predominantly young men were doing it”

                • felix

                  Err, at the end there where you said “lol”.

                  It implies nah of course I wouldn’t, he’s a DUDE.

                • QoT

                  As soon as you talked about “the younger generation of women” being “aggressive” it was pretty much all clear, sp.

          • pollywog 20.1.1.1.2

            We are fortunate enough to live in a society where it is a far more desirable option to be a solo parent than for a child to be raised in a dysfunctional 2 parent scenario.

            and i’m sorry “but men are hardwired that way”. its not in our nature to assume every hole is fertile cos we don’t make the distinctions between holes.

            maybe some sort of pre fuck contract should be signed in event of pregnancy before engaging in sex ?

            I’d like to know that if a woman got pregant by me that it’d be a joint decision as to whether to go full term and what the consequences of that meant.

            • QoT 20.1.1.1.2.1

              Solo parenthood is not a fucking picnic, pollywog (for some reason I thought you might already know that firsthand? Could be wrong.)

              Men simply are not “hardwired” to do anything. That’s a fucking pathetic excuse for not engaging your brain before your cock – which plenty of guys I know are more than capable of.

              Sure, our society entirely condones men just fucking everything that looks appealing and running away without a second thought in the world; but I’m not a fan of assuming that what society finds OK is correct.

              You cannot demand women contract away their reproductive choices – for a real-life example, this is where a lot of surrogacy arrangements can end badly when the surrogate chooses to keep the baby.

              You do not have a right to a say in what a woman does with her body because she doesn’t become your property after you’ve fucked her. If she’s a fucking sweetheart she might ask for your input. But you don’t get a fucking vote over her uterus and if you don’t like that you are welcome to engage your fucking brain and not fuck her.

              But if as you say men are just “hardwired” “that way” then I guess you have to deal with the consequences of not trying to take responsibility for your semen.

              • pollywog

                Is gay sex ”hardwired’ or a choice ? Are people born gay or is that a pathetic excuse for not engaging your brain before your sexual urges ?

                in my world, it’s not just men fucking anything and running, its women fucking anything and aborting the consequences as an easy option also

                if after i’ve fucked her and she becomes with child then that child becomes as much my property as hers.

                just cos i left my puter in your car doesnt make it yours and if you sold the car with my puter in it doesnt make it the new owners either.

                Possession is not 9/10 of the law.

                • Daveosaurus

                  A zygote is not a child.

                  • pollywog

                    Potentially it is.

                    • Gravey

                      Potentially, we are all mass murderers or the greatest humanitarians. Potentially doesn’t mean shit.

                      South-Paw – why don’t you just come out and declare your opinion of treating your fuck-bitch as your property too.

                      For a couple, I’d expect discussion about termination, but until men can have babies, only women can make the decision about what happens to what is going on inside their bodies.

                      How about women make the choice on whether or not you have a vasectomy and force you to go through with it? To my mind that is equivalent to (well, it seems as close as you can get but still pretty far off) men deciding whether or not a woman can have an abortion

                    • pollywog

                      Potential means everything.

                      Without it, you may as well write off large sections of society and certain ethnicities/cultures altogether.

                      Regarding vasectomies. Of course, if, in a stable relationship the man desires of one but the woman doesn’t, the man shouldn’t just take it on himself to proceed.

                      …unless he freezes some sperm and she’s cool with that.

                • weka

                  Since when is a child a possession?

                • Tui

                  But surely, polly, you can get your genetic material back just as soon as she has the abortion. In fact, the sooner the abortion, the sooner you get your property returned to you!

                  • pollywog

                    Sure… i’d take it.

                    Give it a decent burial, maybe plant a tree over it, cry a little, then put a fucking curse on her and all her progeny for generations to come.

                    • QoT

                      Wow, polly. Is there any way we can show this thread to any woman you might potentially bone in the future? I think she’ll need fully informed consent.

                    • pollywog

                      Ain’t nuthin wrong with fully informed consent if it means both our arses are covered and it’ll save a whole lot of karmic retribution for otherwise when the curse takes effect !

                      don’t think i’ll be potentially boning anyone in the future though, unless my lady dies. Still, if times get tough i might become a gigolo or sell my quality sperm online

                      wonder if trademe will let me do that ?

      • south paw 20.1.2

        Non consensual acts and unforseen medical issues aside, you could say to a woman “Don’t want to have a baby, don’t get jizzed in.”

        • QoT 20.1.2.1

          Alas no, south paw, because that would be stock standard patriarchal policing of women’s sexuality and controlling women’s behaviour through enforced pregnancy, especially in a society which doesn’t actually have a nice clear line as regards consensuality and a pretty fucking bad domestic abuse problem not to mention pretty shitty treatment of solo mothers.

          Further, read my comment again: every gets to exercise whatever biological control their personal reproductive organs allow. If men/penis-havers want a say in pregnancy and conception, it begins and ends at their cock. But that conception and pregnancy takes place in a uterus usually belonging to a woman and nothing gets to go on in there without her say-so.

          • pollywog 20.1.2.1.1

            hmmm…so theres nothing stopping a surrogate mother from taking the money and aborting and that would be cool with you cos it’s her choice all the way ?

            • QoT 20.1.2.1.1.1

              Surrogates generally cannot be paid for surrogacy. The donor couple may pay for medical bills however.

              Question back at you: if the surrogate discovers that undergoing pregnancy will probably cause her to have to use a wheelchair for the rest of her life, does she just have to suck it up? Or are we, yet again, just trying to draw lines around which women’s choices you’re okay with?

              • pollywog

                Of course she shouldn’t have to suck it up.

                All i’m trying to point out, is that its not as cut and dried an issue as you make it out to be.

                It’s not merely about a womans right to her body. In some cases it’s about a fathers or a couples right to a child .

                • weka

                  No-one has a right to a child.

                  The issue about your semen in someone else’s body and who is responsible for what is easily solved by making abortion on demand legal. Once that happens it’s very clear that women have sole rights over what happens in their bodies.

                  • pollywog

                    Everyone has a right to a child.

                    and i’m all for abortion on demand, if both parties who consensually provided the egg and fertilised it are in agreeance.

                    • weka

                      What law is it that gives you the right to have a child?

                    • Lanthanide

                      weka – it’s not substantively answering your question, but goes towards it. There are public funding options available for IVF treatment in NZ, up to 2 cycles funded by the government. Eg, the government is observing couples’ rights to reproduce, so is helping to make it happen:

                      http://www.fertilityassociates.co.nz/Paying-for-treatment/Public-funding-and-eligibility.aspx

                      There are also no laws on the books preventing people from having as many children as they want. The only country of which I know of does this, China, limits it to 1 per family. Which still means you have the legal right to have (at most) 1 child.

                    • weka

                      Lanthanide, if a couple is infertile and their publically funded IFV fails, is the state and/or society obliged to furnish them with a child? I would see the IFV funding as being a right to a certain kind of health care rather than a right to a child.

                    • pollywog

                      What law is it that gives you the right to have a child?

                      law ???…theres no fucking law

                      its an inalienable right we’re born with.

                    • weka

                      What, like the inalienable right we’re born with to have sovereignty over our bodies? Or say the inalienable right we have to not be subjected to discrimination based on race or gender? Rights only exist because we create laws to enforce them. Human rights aren’t instrinsic, they’re the result of humans deciding what’s right and wrong (and that changes over time) and then setting up structures to ensure that.

                      Or were you meaning god given rights?

                      You may feel like you have a right to a child. Doesn’t mean you do though.

                    • pollywog

                      …the inalienable right we’re born with to have sovereignty over our bodies? Or say the inalienable right we have to not be subjected to discrimination based on race or gender? Rights only exist because we create laws to enforce them. Human rights aren’t instrinsic, they’re the result of humans deciding what’s right and wrong (and that changes over time) and then setting up structures to ensure that.

                      exactly…

                      The state virtually own our bodies. It decides to draft us into war. It decides how and when we die if suffering terminal illness. It outlaws suicide and euthanasia and who and how we have sex. It pretty much decides what we can and can’t do with our bodies.

                      We own our minds, but sovereignty over our bodies…yeah, nah, dunno eh !

                    • weka:

                      Rights only exist because we create laws to enforce them. Human rights aren’t instrinsic, they’re the result of humans deciding what’s right and wrong (and that changes over time) and then setting up structures to ensure that.

                      Or… they are intrinsic, an inalienable, and as we’ve become more civilised we’ve begun to recognise them, and codify in law penalties against their abuse.

                      And I say that as an atheist… they weren’t handed out by some “maker” like gold stars to well behaved pupils, but I believe humanity could not have done anything other than recognise intrinsic human rights; the alternative would be to perish.

                      c.f. those regimes with appalling human rights records. It is always that – in some form – which brings them down. Yes, lack of food and sanitation are factors. But you’ll find the crowds are chanting for food, water, and civil rights.

                      A society which does not recognise human rights will always fail. Even if you succeed in completely isolating its inhabitants from outside influence, something in them rebels against the oppression… it is intrinsic.

                      But now we’re miles away from the topic (sorry QoT)… but it’s a point I’d love to debate some place, at some time.

                • QoT

                  It is entirely cut-and-dried, pollywog. Is something inside someone’s body using their blood and oxygen and energy to survive? Do they want it there? If yes, sweet, if no, it can get the fuck out.

                  • pollywog

                    sweet…if thine eye offends thee

                    …then take it out your fucking self !

                    • QoT

                      Believe me, pollywog, I fully support the right of women to self-abort. Bring on the 1970s-style manual aspiration workshops, I say.

                  • Hi QoT,

                    It’s not entirely cut-and-dried. A woman’s body is cooperating in providing blood, oxygen and energy to the “something inside” her body. If a woman has a beef with the ‘something inside’ she should also have a beef with her body. It is betraying her and collaborating with the enemy.

                    That raises the question of who the ‘we’ are who supposedly stand in relation to our bodies as property owners stand in relation to their property. Tbere are no such owners, of course, since ‘we’ do not stand in that relation to our bodies.

                    I fully support women’s rights to be the sole deciders as to whether to have an abortion or not. But I don’t do so on the grounds that a woman ‘owns’ her body. it’s a very flawed way to characterise the relationship. In fact, the ‘property rights’ argument in relation to a woman’s body and resources makes the position in favour of abortion on demand vulnerable to attack so I avoid it.

                    The reason no one else should tell a woman what she can and cannot do with her body is far more intimate than the notion of property rights. Our bodies are the means for ‘our’ existence (the ‘wes’ I mentioned above). When our bodies are physically coerced ‘we’ cease to be the beings we are (the agents responsible for action that creates the agent’s biography and, therefore, personhood; the agents that are socially created via the use of our embodiment). The feeling all of ‘us’ have when we are forced by others to do something goes far deeper than the frustration a property owner has at not being able to do something with their property. It directly and quite literally diminishes ‘us’.

                    I can’t be definitive as I’m not a woman, but I suspect the feeling that a woman has (as a person, as a ‘we’) when being coerced or physically thwarted is the sense of being diminished, dissolved, even dying. That’s not the frustrated reaction of a property owner. It’s the reaction of a being under existential threat. It’s the cornerstone of the suffering of all persons.

                    As part of this perspective that I’m suggesting, it has to be acknowledged that abortion involves killing “something inside”. That is not good to contemplate but it remains true. It is not just like ‘any other medial intervention’ as someone on this thread, I think, described it. This is part of the uniqueness of a woman’s being when she is pregnant – the one body (the body that the woman’s ‘person’ depends upon) starts to generate another being. The very idea that other persons (i.e., women) experience this absolutely stuns and floors me. I can only imagine what that must feel like. I’m so used to being the only being that depends upon and arises from the actions and processes of this body that I call ‘mine’.

                    Life and horror are part of the same package. I don’t know how it could be any other way. I don’t want to lie about that.

                    I’ve ‘enjoyed’ this post, not in a hedonic sense but for what it has made me have to think about and feel. Thank you.

                    • QoT

                      A woman’s body is cooperating in providing blood, oxygen and energy to the “something inside” her body. If a woman has a beef with the ‘something inside’ she should also have a beef with her body. It is betraying her and collaborating with the enemy.

                      I think this is a really facetious way to look at it, Puddleglum. The woman doesn’t have the option to switch off her own respiratory system. The unwanted organism requiring the use of her respiratory system is obviously the problem.

                    • vto

                      Not from the unwanted organism’s perspective mrs shallow.

                      But then again you are right about the problem of unwanted organisms around the place.

                    • Apologies for the facetiousness.

                      Behind the tone of my comment (which I can understand you taking issue with) was the point that our relationship to our bodies is not ownership. When you previously said “their blood and oxygen and energy” and now say “”her own respiratory system” I genuinely think that misrepresents and misunderstands the relationship we, as persons, have to our bodies and bodily processes.

                      We, as persons, need bodies in order to be. But biological bodies pre-exist us. My worry with thinking about the relationship as ownership is because it buys into the whole ‘property rights’ rhetoric. Remember that even today there are plenty of places where ownership of bodies is claimed – it’s called slavery. The owner of the slave owns the body. Those bodies can therefore be traded.

                      The Classical Liberal solution to this horror was Locke’s claim that ‘our’ bodies are ‘our’ natural and first ‘property’. Rhetorically it was an understandable move but, by buying into that discourse, he buried not only our humanity but our human reality. He opened up the consumerist vision of bodies as commodities that each of us owns and can dispose of as we will. To use the jargon, he set up the road to become alienated from our embodiment.

                      That’s what worries me about this kind of ownership talk. If you still think it needs to be used, perhaps think about the analogy of how indigenous peoples defend themselves and their presence on the land, discursively, against the colonists. They don’t (or at least generally haven’t) claimed that they ‘own’ the land. Instead, they often talk of customary rights to use of the land. They use this because they know it is simply untrue that they ‘own’ the land – that’s the wrong kind of relation to have with the land. The land came first. They are a product of the land, generated by it. That’s the same relationship we have with our bodies. That’s how we should orient to our bodies, I think.

                      But, what they do have is priority, customary use. That’s what we all have with ‘our’ bodies and no-one else has a prior, and therefore more valid, use right – including the ‘something inside’. That’s why I think a woman has an undeniable right to have an abortion. She came first.

  20. Blondie 21

    I’m sorry QOT, but I utterly, utterly disagree with you.

    As a woman who became pregnant in far less than desirable circumstances, and who was pressured to have an abortion by the father – I felt that my role as a mother was much more important than placating a man who didn’t want any responsibilities. I felt that my role as a mother, and my duty to my unborn child, was much more important than keeping my figure, or being able to party all night, or to spend all my money on myself, or to minimise any interruptions to my career.

    Rather than the “women’s right to control her own body”, what about a “parent’s responsibility to look after her children”.

    I firmly believe that our abortion laws are far too lax. I think it’s disgusting that so many women fail to take responsibility for their own children, and have abortions instead. I think it’s even more disgusting that many men EXPECT a woman to abort should an unplanned pregnancy occur. That they think the “responsible” thing to do, is to abort (because, of course, kids cost money and oh my god we can’t possibly put our own children ahead of our fiscal wellbeing)?

    Sure, there might be the odd woman who gets pregnant as a result of a rape – which is obviously bloody awful- but even then I don’t think abortion is necessary. Do you have any idea how many couples would love to adopt? It isn’t the baby’s fault if its daddy is a rapist, so why should the baby pay with its life?

    • felix 21.1

      So you’re against mandatory abortions?

      Wow, me too.

      • Blondie 21.1.1

        Laugh all you like – but yes, some women can face immense pressure to get an abortion just to placate some asshole who doesn’t want to pay child support.

        Or, more generally, to placate those who see any single parent as a drain on society and a waste of their tax dollars. EG the average Whaleoil or Kiwiblog reader who thinks any unwed mother should be just about forced to get an abortion, rather than receive the DPB.

        Does QOT REALLY think that 380,000 abortions were performed since 1980 because women didn’t want to have babies? More like, they didn’t want to face the stigma of unwed motherhood.

        And that, to me, is a much greater indictment on our society’s attitudes to women: that a woman will choose to kill her own child rather than face the shame of becoming a DPB recipient or solo parent.

        • Rebecca 21.1.1.1

          Blondie, you calling women who have had abortions baby murderers is just as hateful and misogynist as anything on Whaleoil and Kiwiblog. You people lost the argument on morality years ago: most of us live in the 21st century and see unwanted pregnancy as a health issue that should be dealt with like any other.

        • pollywog 21.1.1.2

          Us Pasifikans are way beyond the shame of welfare dependency, but we have other more shameful ways of killing our children, of which Cactus Kate or Michael Lhaws have no hesitation in reminding us all 🙁

        • felix 21.1.1.3

          I’m not laughing Blondie.

          It seems your issue is with women being denied sovereignty over their own bodies.

          That’s not an argument against abortion, it’s an argument for choice.

        • weka 21.1.1.4

          I’m also against mandatory abortions. That’s the bit about ‘choice’. But not decriminalising abortion isn’t going to prevent people from pressuring women to have abortions. The only way that will stop is if women have real choices about things economic and social as well.

    • south paw 21.2

      Awesome, a polar opposite of QofT, this is going to be like nitro and glycerine – KA BOOOOOMMMMM!!!!.

      I’m going to get some pop corn, lol.

    • south paw 21.3

      “..more important than keeping my figure, or being able to party all night, or to spend all my money on myself, or to minimise any interruptions to my career.”

      That’s disingenuous blondie, are you one of those born agains?

      • Blondie 21.3.1

        No, South Paw – that was exactly the dilemma I faced. I kinda enjoyed my lifestyle back then, and becoming a mummy didn’t really fit in with it.

        • south paw 21.3.1.1

          Keeping you’re baby or keeping you’re figure. That’s a dilemma?

          • Blondie 21.3.1.1.1

            Oh, FFS. No, that wasn’t the dilemma at all.

            Realising my income would slash by over half – that was a dilemma. The pressure from the father, and most of my friends to just “get rid of it”, and the absolute terror of becoming a single parent at 20 – was a dilemma.

            Except that for me, abortion was never an option, no matter how much pressure anyone put on me. There were only ever two choices, adoption or motherhood, because that was MY BABY and no bloody way was anyone going to talk me into killing it. Because whilst some of you – eg Rebecca – talk of pregnancy as a “health issue” to be taken care of, I view the unborn child as just that, an unborn child.

            • Rebecca 21.3.1.1.1.1

              Well that’s your view Blondie and your decision. Unlike you, I am not trying to shove my morality down your throat. I just want a legal framework that allows everyone to make the decision that’s right for them. And I believe that the majority of New Zealanders wants that too.

            • weka 21.3.1.1.1.2

              That’s fine Blondie. But you had a choice. Why are you wanting to deny that choice to others?

              • Blondie

                And why is a woman’s freedom of choice, supposedly greater than a baby’s right to life?

                I think the real issue is that I think that a baby is a human being, from the time it is conceived. Whereas the pro-choicers don’t see that baby as a human until it is literally “born”.

                However I find it difficult to reconcile the fact that some pro-choicers think abortions should be permitted, on demand, even in the second and third trimester – whilst a premature baby, born at say 24 weeks gestation, is incubated. Not that I disagree with incubating premature babies – I just can’t understand why you see one as a human being, and the other as a lump of cells.

                • weka

                  I’m not getting into the prolife who’s life trumps who debate. All I’m saying is that you had a choice and you are denying other women that choice. That’s bullshit. You’re entitled to your own morality. You’re not entitled to inflict that on other people.

                  “whilst a premature baby, born at say 24 weeks gestation, is incubated”

                  So would it be acceptable to you that an unwanted pregnancy is induced at 24 weeks and then that baby is adopted out (should it survive)? (I think it’s a daft idea myself, but I don’t see the relevance of comparing a wanted but premature baby with an unwanted foetus).

                • QoT

                  Because, Blondie, there is simply no “right to life” which trumps the right to bodily autonomy.

                  Do you believe that there are circumstances in which one person should be forced to provide the use of their body to another? If so I can only hope you also support forced organ and blood donation because all the born adults with fucked-up kidneys must also have a “right to life” which allows them to force other people to give up a kidney for them.

                  Except you won’t believe that, because you really just want to punish women for having sex you disagree with.

            • south paw 21.3.1.1.1.3

              I quoted you

              “..more important than keeping my figure, or being able to party all night, or to spend all my money on myself, or to minimise any interruptions to my career.”

              You replied

              “that was exactly the dilemma I faced. I kinda enjoyed my lifestyle back then”

              I still don’t think ‘keeping my figure” could be a contributing factor to a dilemma about keeping a baby.

            • Nikki 21.3.1.1.1.4

              Hey Blondie,
              I’ve been in a very similar situation. Extremely pleased to have continued my pregnancy under some pretty serious pressure from quite a few people. That doesn’t mean that I can’t be pro-choice. In fact, it made me more pro-choice.
              I’ve also had an abortion for financial reasons and because fucked if I was going to be permanently linked to my then boyfriend by a child (OH SORRY – MENTAL HEALTH!!1!!) and goddamn, I’m also extremely pleased about that. It reaffirmed my commitment to being pro-choice.

              So, in short – it’s seriously shit that you were treated like crap by a bunch of people in a pretty vulnerable time – doesn’t mean you get to treat other women like crap when they are in an equally vulnerable position.

              • Vicky32

                It’s nice to know you got what you wanted Nikki – now I am singling you out (which is not nice of me, I know ) but I have to ask… Why do all you pro-abortion ladies swear like American sailors on R & R?
                I know most of you are probably in your teens, and think it’s “grown-up” but news flash, it ain’t – and it doesn’t make people take you more seriously – indeed, it’s the opposite!
                Deb

                • QoT

                  “Pro-abortion”? Yep, I am, actually, I think it’s fucking grand for women who do not want to be pregnant.

                  You’re really having a shit time of it with the psychically divining people’s ages and upbringings, though. Ever considered that being a close-minded bigot might have something to do with that?

                • la_ranitaNZ

                  Because we are fucking angry, that’s why we swear so much. And I don’t give a flying fuck if you take me seriously or if you think I am a teenager (boo hoo, someone on the internet was mean to me and called me a teenager).

                • Nikki

                  It’s how I talk and so how I type. Don’t see it hurting anyone. I’ve seen you try and inflict much more damage in your writing without using swear words – pity I don’t take your language seriously either.

                  • grumpy

                    …..see the above 3 comments for why this topic will never be taken seriously by any of the major parties, nor by the voters.

                    • Octavia

                      Ruh-roh ladies, better watch our ~*tones*~
                      I’m sure you’ll argue some piss-poor reason why, no really, it is important that we watch our tones while simultaneously trying to convince us that no you never actually said or implied that, how could you stupid angry ladies think such a thing, but that’s your privilege talking. Pity you won’t check it at the door.

                      Captcha: forgetting. Like forgetting your privilge and trying to speak to other people’s experiences!

                    • QoT

                      Grumpy’s just looking out for us, Octavia! Because in a country which embraced the Bugger ad and worshipped Outrageous Fortune, where calling another man “a good c*nt” can be the highest of compliments, swearing is clearly totes a big fucking no-no.

                    • Octavia

                      Also ‘voters’ here defaults to ‘people who cannot get pregnant’. OBVIOUSLY. God it’s not like they’re people or something.

                    • Robot Pie

                      So, your (and other people’s support) of a woman’s right to chose is dependent on whether a few women swear or not?

                      Nice to know.

                      *leaves human race*

                • Rebecca

                  Deb, really, stop with this crap about everybody who disagrees with you and is pro-choice is in their teens. Are you trying to say we\’re naive? That we\’ll learn better when we grow up (like you). Cause actually, we\’re not all in our teens at all, but mostly in our 20s and 30s (though if we were teenagers, our opinions would still be just as valid – I don\’t think you earn your right to an opinion when you turn 50 or whatever) And we are not more inclined to change our deeply held convictions on the basis of a few patronising put downs. I don\’t think I\’m alone in saying I find swearing a lot less offensive thatn your anti-woman opinions…..

                  • QoT

                    You might be in your teens, Rebecca, but apparently I’m in my early 20s and will totally be a rightwing Randian when I’m 30. I am so throwing a “Vicky32 is such a fucking self-deluded POS” party in a few years …

      • Vicky32 21.3.2

        So what if she is? Is that a crime by you? Cos news flash, in the real world, it’s not even a minor discourtesy!
        For the record I am a ‘born again’… but although someone (I forget his name) will no doubt accuse me of ‘anecdata’, I’ll say again, I have known atheists who were also pro-life.
        Deb

        • Robot Pie 21.3.2.1

          For the record, I am female, dearie. You knowing atheists who were pro-life doesn’t mean shit.(Ooooh, I swore! How godamn shit fucking cunting bloody unladylike and childish)

          You’re not taken seriously AT ALL. Because you can’t back up anything you say. Anecdata =/= real argument.

          Instead, you whinge about swearing and then patronise people about their backgrounds.

    • pollywog 21.4

      Who would knowingly want to adopt a baby hard wired or soft patched with ”the rapist gene” ?

      Nature vs Nurture..you can take the boy outta the hood but you can’t take the hood outta the boy

      or can you, and what if you’re wrong ?

      …then like that woman a while back. she just shipped the kid back to Russia on a one way ticket.

      • Blondie 21.4.1

        On that logic, Pollywog, we’d do away with CYFS altogether and just shoot any kid who happens to be the victim of child abuse, because they happen to share the DNA of their abuser.

        Get real.

        A child shouldn’t be held accountable for their parent’s behaviour or character traits. I can understand a woman not wanting to raise a kid that looks like their rapist, but adoptive parents aren’t going to have that issue. And I seriously doubt that CYFS (who handle all legal adoptions in this country) would advise the adoptive parents the details of the baby’s conception.

        • pollywog 21.4.1.1

          beggars can’t be choosers huh ?

          if i were adopting i’d want as much genetic profiling and screening as possible.

          mumma didn’t raise no fool and i ain’t fucken raisin one either

          • Blondie 21.4.1.1.1

            Actually, Pollywog, your first line sums it up quite nicely.

            I looked into adoption quite seriously, and was stunned at the sheer quantity of would-be adoptive parents. When I spoke with CYFS, they gave me this enormous pile of folders, each containing the full details – including photos – of couples who were desperate to adopt. I was staggered at the amount of personal information I was given access to.

            Informally, through word of mouth, I was approached by a number of people who again, would have loved to adopt my baby. Some of them offering quite substantial financial “support”. All of them good, decent people who would make fantastic parents.

            As the biological mother, I could choose who I wanted to have my baby. I had literally dozens of couples to choose from. Basically, the demand far outstripped the supply.

          • Boganette 21.4.1.1.2

            So rape victims should just shut the fuck up and carry a child for nine months so that people who want to adopt can have a baby? Wow.

            Blondie, how many children have you adopted that would have been aborted? I think you should share – it’ll help your argument. Also, how many rape victims have you met, and told that they should suck it up and stop being such bitches and put their ‘babies’ first? Again, kind of important to your argument. And you have never been a victim of rape that resulted in pregnancy right? Or even rape that didn’t result in pregnancy. Because you wouldn’t be trotting out this crap if you had been.

            Also, Pollywog: rapists aren’t born. Stop making excuses for men who rape.

            • Blondie 21.4.1.1.2.1

              Oh, Boganette. It is precisely because I was a rape victim that I feel qualified to make such assertations in the first place.

              When I was 15 I was informed that, due to a rape at an earlier age, I had developed PID and was probably never going to have children. Quite frankly that was more damaging than the rape itself. It broke my heart.

              Several years later I beat the odds – not in the circumstances I would have hoped, but still – and having struggled for years with the awareness that some unnamed rapist (as in I don’t even know his name) had violated me so brutally that I would probably never become a mother, there was no way in hell that I would abort that baby. In the end there was no way I could give her up, either. She was MY baby.

              As for your request, re how many babies have I adopted out who would otherwise been aborted – who were the product of rape? I’ve only ever been pregnant once, and if my daughter were the result of rape, I would hardly be likely to humuliate her by stating that on a public forum. However I will point out that there are many, many parents who utterly despise the OTHER parent, sometimes with good reason – but who are quite capable of loving their child regardless.

              As I said, children should not be held responsible for their parent’s actions. They are individuals, not just spawn.

              • Boganette

                I’m incredibly sorry for your attack Blondie.

                I have to say, based on that, I’m simply amazed that someone who has survived a rape and knows the suffering that rape survivors go through would wish to force more suffering on them. That’s incredibly sick to me. You wish to intentionally cause someone extreme emotional and physical pain and distress because of your moral beliefs. That’s something I can’t understand.

                Also, I think it’s quite repugnant to compare a rapist with an ex. If you want to make that comparison, that’s fine. But you simply cannot force that viewpoint on other women.

                “I’ve only ever been pregnant once, and if my daughter were the result of rape, I would hardly be likely to humuliate her by stating that on a public forum.” – If a child is born from a rape they shouldn’t be ashamed of that. And while I definitely did not ask you to name or talk about your daughter, I do think you should address what you’re saying here. You say “children should not be held responsible for their parent’s actions” – I’m assuming you mean the rapist there and not the rape survivor (I at least hope so). If you believe that (as do I) why do you feel a child should or would be humiliated if they’re born of a rape?

                I just think you should walk the talk Blondie. Go to Rape Crisis and tell the women there that you have certain moral beliefs and you think you should be able to force them to follow those moral beliefs that you hold. Regardless of how excruiciating and damaging it will be to them to do that. Tell them that you know better than them, that emotional and physical injuries they have must be put aside because while you personally had a choice as to whether or not you had a termination, they shouldn’t have that choice.

                I agree that “children should not be held responsible for their parent’s actions”. I don’t view “children” as the same as a foetus that is terminated. And I don’t believe in forcing women I don’t know, and whose experiences I haven’t experienced myself to bend to my will, and be damned if it kills them.

                Also, if you’re advocating for women to adopt instead of abort – and championing women to adopt as it just isn’t that big of a deal to you – then adopt children that would have been aborted. Now. All the people who crap on about the endless line of adoptees wanting children (on posts such as this one) don’t have any adopted children and have never adopted out a child. Walk the talk.

                • Blondie

                  Dear god. Your logic is just incredible, Boganette.

                  “And I don’t believe in forcing women I don’t know, and whose experiences I haven’t experienced myself to bend to my will, and be damned if it kills them.”

                  Women rarely die in child birth these days, especially if they have proper medical care. They MIGHT die if they go for a back street abortion. But in case you hadn’t noticed, I’m hardly advocating that.

                  “Also, if you’re advocating for women to adopt instead of abort – and championing women to adopt as it just isn’t that big of a deal to you – then adopt children that would have been aborted. ”

                  So you think I should adopt babies myself? In spite of the fact that those babies are already highly sought after by would-be adoptive parents, who would desperately love to become parents? Oh, and let’s not forget the fact that the biological mother – who CHOOSES the adoptive parents – is probably not gonna pick a single mother with limited financial resources, over a financially secure couple with big house and white picket fence. Let alone if CYFS make the call (eg if the mother doesn’t want to know or choose). Get real.

                  And as for your statement that it’s repugnant to compare an ex with a rapist, what if that ex IS a rapist? OR what if that ex is a violent asshole who beat her?

                  • Boganette

                    Women do die in childbirth and carrying a child is not risk-free. But that wasn’t my point. And I find it interesting that you immediately just thought about child-birth.

                    I was talking about self-harm – deliberate or otherwise, suicide, injuries from illegal abortions and home/back-alley abortions.

                    What are you advocating then Blondie? Be clear. If you take abortion off the table then the above IS what you’re advocating.

                    No, I don’t see all adoptive parents as being white-picket-fence-mum-and-dad-with-a-labrador. Maybe, that might just be from living in this place called the real world. I do expect that people who claim adoption is a relatively simple affair that other women should do, no matter what the personal cost – should actually walk the talk.

                    Why do you feel comfortable telling other women to adopt out a child if you’re not willing to do it? Why do you feel comfortable saying adoption is better than a termination when you haven’t adopted a child or adopted out a child? Who cares if they don’t choose you – that will prove your point about adopted parents only being nice ones who have loads of cash won’t it? I’m amazed you haven’t signed up – such is your belief that they’d never pick you.

                    If the ex is the rapist or the abuser what difference does it make to you? In your scenario the rape survivor still has to just STFU and do what you and others like you tell them to do.

                    • Blondie

                      “I was talking about self-harm – deliberate or otherwise, suicide, injuries from illegal abortions and home/back-alley abortions.

                      What are you advocating then Blondie? Be clear. If you take abortion off the table then the above IS what you’re advocating.”

                      Isn’t it obvious? I’m advocating adoption, or keeping the child. Because unlike you, I fully believe that a baby is a baby is a baby – no matter how small it is.

                      Also, unlike you, I don’t believe that pregnancy is such a terrible thing as to drive a woman to suicide. I can comprehend that some women might feel unable or unwilling to become parents – but with plenty of people willing to take those babies and raise them as their own, I still don’t see why pregnancy in and of itself is so awful that termination or suicide is the only viable solution.

                      “Why do you feel comfortable telling other women to adopt out a child if you’re not willing to do it? Why do you feel comfortable saying adoption is better than a termination when you haven’t adopted a child or adopted out a child? ”

                      Quite simple really. I think it’s better to put children into loving homes, than to kill them.

                    • Boganette

                      “Quite simple really. I think it’s better to put children into loving homes, than to kill them.”

                      And if a woman kills herself or dies from an illegal botched abortion or suffers life-long physical and mental injuries from carrying out her pregnancy or attempting to end it through termination (which happens when you take abortion off the table) then that is preferable to her having an abortion.

                      So glad we finally cleared up your position there Blondie. It would be so much easier if you pro-lifers stopped beating around the bush and actually owned your revolting opinions.

                    • Blondie

                      “And if a woman kills herself or dies from an illegal botched abortion or suffers life-long physical and mental injuries from carrying out her pregnancy or attempting to end it through termination (which happens when you take abortion off the table) then that is preferable to her having an abortion.

                      So glad we finally cleared up your position there Blondie. It would be so much easier if you pro-lifers stopped beating around the bush and actually owned your revolting opinions.”

                      Gee, exactly where did I say that women should kill themselves or seek out illegal abortions, or try to terminate their pregnancies themselves?

                      I’d really appreciate it if you DIDN’T put words in my mouth, Boganette. I see that as dishonest.

                      But you know, there’s no point debating this further. You’ve just demonstrated your total bias and inability to consider the opposing argument rationally – rather than consider what I have ACTUALLY said, you’d rather tell lies and accuse me of wanting women to kill themselves.

                      For the first time, I think I understand the term “feminazi”.

                    • Boganette

                      Read slowly it might help – if women do not have access to safe, legal abortions, they will still have abortions. They will just have illegal and unsafe abortions. And do you know why people often suicide? Because they’re desperate and see no way out of their situation. Stop being so pathetically naive and face up to what your views actually mean. If you don’t want women to die and be maimed in unsafe abortions, and if you don’t want them to take desperate measures then you wouldn’t advocate for their choices to be taken away from them.

                      And feminazi? Sure, if I’m a feminazi for pointing out that you’re views are completely fucked and are incredibly patronising and hateful to women then by all means send my feminazi badge in the mail and I’ll wear it with pride.

                      You need to actually think about what actually happens in the real world when you take away abortion.

              • Vicky32

                Absolutely right, Blondie! I have good reason to loathe and abominate *both* my exes, including the Maori one QoT doesn’t believe exists… but I love my children (including the Maori one QoT doesn’t believe in! 😀 )

                • QoT

                  I’ve never said your ex “doesn’t exist”, Deb, and I’m appreciate you proving that I have ever said so.

                  Though you probably don’t want to bring up that whole argument where you kept using your horrible, evil Maaaaaari ex as “proof” you aren’t racist and we should all kiss your feet because you’re so saintly for not being racist. You can’t be racist, you have Maaaaaaari kids and don’t hate them for being filthy abusive darkies!!!!

                • Boganette

                  Wow, you even love the Maori one? That must take a lot of effort.

                  *head-desk*

            • pollywog 21.4.1.1.2.2

              Also, Pollywog: rapists aren’t born. .

              …and homosexuality is a choice too. People aren’t born gay ?

              there is no genetic predilection for aberrant sexual behaviour…true or false ?

              • Boganette

                Are you fucking kidding me right now? Did you just compare being GLBT to being a fucking rapist?

                • pollywog

                  Are male prison rapists gay ?

                  • Boganette

                    Again, ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?

                    They’re fucking rapists. Their sexuality has nothing to do with it. What is wrong with you?

                    • pollywog

                      Their sexuality and mental state has everything to do with it. It’s men they’re raping. What if it were sheep or kids ?

                      Where do you draw the line at sexual deviancy or is everything fair game in your books ?

                      is it all about choice and to hell with morality altogether ?

                      Homosexuality is a choice. People aren’t born gay ?

                      there is no genetic predilection for aberrant sexual behaviour…true or false ?

                      now quit dodging and answer !

                    • Boganette

                      Pollywog – Talking to you actually makes me lose the will to live. And this site is fucked for not even pulling someone up when they’re being so fucking fucked in the head and homophobic.

                      Pollywog – Homosexuality is not a choice. It is also not a sexual deviancy and it is not “abhorrent sexual behaviour”.

                      Rape is about power not sex. You need a lot of help.

                      [lprent: The sites moderators will generally moderate on behavior rather than what people believe. There is a considerable hump that is required before we will moderate on peoples opinions and we will usually only do it when people start deteriorating to pointless personal abuse. The basis of this policy is we want a reasonably open (but civilized) forum. If you can’t hear people, then you can’t do the hard yakka of arguing with them. ]

                    • pollywog

                      Pollywog – Homosexuality is not a choice. It is also not a sexual deviancy and it is not “abhorrent sexual behaviour”.

                      you do know the difference between aberrant and abhorrent eh ?

                      so if homosexuality isn’t a choice then what is it ?

                      and please do fight the desire to kill yourself. It doesnt set a good example for the kiddies !

                      rape is as much about sex as it is about power. sex is a weapon.

                      Im not fucked and i don’t think this site is gonna save you from the hole you’re digging yourself into.

                      IMHO

                  • Boganette

                    Homosexuality is a sexual orientation. Sexual orientation is not a choice. Rape is about power not sex.

                    I am extremely concerned about your desire to provide excuses for rape. And your attempts to imply and state rape is like/is equal to sex. Consensual sex is actually not like rape. That is something you really, honestly need to understand. For the safety of pretty much everyone in your circle.

                    I’m not going to kill myself – that’s not what I meant. I merely find it discouraging to be reminded that I live in a world that has people like you in it.

                    • weka

                      Sexual orientation is a choice for some people, in the sense that they change over the course of their life or they make decisions about what works for them at a given time. Obviously there are other people for whom sexual orientation is fixed.

                      I think the problem pollywog has (well one of them, there do seem to be quite a few) is that they believe that you’re either het or homo and there’s nothing outside of that if you are one of those. But there are plenty of men who will have sex with men but who don’t consider themselves gay. I’m talking about sex here, not rape, obviously, but apparently that needs spelling out.

                      I agree, it’s pretty disturbing when someone can’t tell the difference between rape and sex. Better that it’s visible that pollywog can’t tell the difference, than the mods removing posts though.

                    • pollywog

                      B-Nette

                      So sexual orientation is not a choice then ?

                      Is it a physical and mental compulsion, like an addiction ? Is it genetically predisposed towards certain ‘types’ of people ?

                      Much like rape, paedophilia, bestialism, chronic masturbation, mutilation, serial killing and the need to procreate and multiply, are people driven to do such things because they’re oriented that way…there is no choice involved ?

                      There are reasons for aberrant sexual behaviour and it is as much about self control and exercising choice as it is about genetic predisposition. Things aren’t so black and white as to empirically state with all certainty that rape is solely about power.

                      Have you ever been raped ? I have, and it wasn’t about power. It was about sex but i don’t really want to go into that here.

                      For all that you would like it to seem as though i’m desiring to provide excuses for rape, it’s just not true. That’s just you reading things into my words that aren’t there…again.

                      Lastly, please don’t worry about the safety of my circle or concern yourself with them. You’re not in my world, you’re not as enlightened or as liberal or as clever as you think you are and regardless of me, ultimately my circle make their own decisions and i’m fine with that…

                      …though it would be easier if they learnt by my mistakes instead :).

                    • Boganette

                      Yes, agree Weka.

                      But for the purposes of this argument – to ignorant people like Pollywog who only view sexuality as choice or not a choice – it essentially comes down to orientation not being a choice.

                      The way women and men self-identify in terms of their sexuality is up to them.

                      And I agree with you as well in terms of modding. There are plenty of people who are homophobic and plenty of people who excuse rape – best we know who those people are.

                    • Boganette

                      Ask yourself the same things you just asked me about homosexuality and replace homosexuality with heterosexuality.

                      You need to stop comparing sexuality and sexual orientation with rape. They’re two different things with no correlation to one another.

                      I believe that rapists have full control over whether or not they rape. If you rape someone Polly – you cannot blame genetics, an addiction, a physical or mental compulsion. You cannot say you were born to rape. If you rape someone Polly – it’s your choice to do that. You have FULL control over whether or not you rape someone. Please read that many times – if you rape someone, you are to blame.

                      I will continue to worry about those in your circle. Whether you like it or not. Even more so based on what you’ve just written.

                    • pollywog

                      There are plenty of people who are homophobic and plenty of people who excuse rape – best we know who those people are.

                      yeah thats pretty much the entire patriarchal religious hegemony.

                      so now you know who they are, what can you do about it ?

                      Start a blog and bitchmoan on the net…good luck with that !

                    • pollywog

                      FWIW, i got counselling aaaaaages ago, dealt with everything and am now well sorted…

                      …my circle is safe

                  • Since pollywog asked “are male prison rapists gay?” – and with apologies for threadjacking – I’ll jump in here and provide a bit of information, because there’s some incredible ignorance being displayed on the topic.

                    First off, who gets victimised?:

                    According to Daniel Lockwood (1978)… there are “targets,” otherwise known as “Fags” (natural homosexuals), “Queens” (flaunting transsexual), “Kids” (submissive, young sex-slaves), or “Punks” (resistant males that put up a fight at first but who eventually submits). Target-prisoners are “physically slight, young, white,” and generally “nonviolent,” often experiencing higher rates of psychological distress and attempted suicide in prison. Criminal history is otherwise very similar to non-targets…

                    In all cases, the younger, smaller-built inmates are targeted more easily… there is greater solidarity among racial minorities in prison than there is among White majorities, meaning that Blacks, Hispanics, and Chicanos, for example, will “look out for their own” more often than Whites will.

                    For male prison rape to be about sex, attractiveness of the target would have to be a primary determinant. It’s not. Relative weakness (to the agressor and to other potential victims) is.

                    In some instances it is specifically used as retribution or to enforce compliance. Again, nothing sexual.

                    A good friend of mine, Dr Brian Steels, has co-authored (with Dr Dot Goulding) research into the topic – Predator or Prey? An exploration of the impact and incidence of sexual assault in West Australian prisons.

                    I really urge anyone who doesn’t understand the dynamics of rape, especially in a prison environment, to take time to read it.

                    • pollywog

                      sorry rex

                      but it’s gonna take a lot more to convince me that rape isn’t also about sex and the sexual gratification recieved by the rapist and that a man raping another man isn’t linked to homosexuality.

      • Vicky32 21.4.2

        “Who would knowingly want to adopt a baby hard wired or soft patched with ”the rapist gene” ?”
        Sorry, that’s utter shite. No element of character is genetic. (To think they are, is a pecularliarly American capitalist thing.)
        While on the subject, I had a child adopted out (pre-DPB and I would die rather than have an abortion.) All my life, people have tried to make me guilty about it, and have tried to make me feel as if I ought to be a mess, who would have been better off I if had aborted. It just isn’t so.
        Deb

        • Octavia 21.4.2.1

          You should really make the following addition if you want to be honest: “I would die and have other people who can get pregnant die rather than have an abortion.”

        • pollywog 21.4.2.2

          No element of character is genetic. (To think they are, is a pecularliarly American capitalist thing.)

          sorry…not buying that one either

    • stef 21.5

      I’ve fallen pregnant not once but twice in less than desirable circumstances. Once I had an abortion, second time time I had a miscarriage.

      My reasons for having an abortion weren’t made for superfluous reasons, in fact alongside being single and living in a foreign country I was also taking medicine that is a known to cause major fetal abnormalities.

      Fastforward another few years another whoopsie, but a different set of circumstances and I found myself bonded to the idea of becoming a mother and just couldn’t go through an abortion. I was devastated to have a miscarriage.

      Blondie, I’m happy that you had the CHOICE to decide to be a mother. But you’ve made a whole bunch of moral assumptions, about when a baby becomes a baby. For me the first time I wasn’t ready to be a mother, didn’t want to be pregnant and felt no bond towards the fetus. Second time, I felt a bond and knew I wouldn’t abort despite pressure from my partner at the time to have an abortion, yet I had a miscarriage. You might imagine how someone who had a miscarriage can be pro-choice, but it made my feelings on the matter stronger. I chose that path for myself, I couldnt’ imagine having it enforced on me!

      You also forget that nearly half the abortions are performed on women who are already mothers!

    • Tui 21.6

      Blondie, are you aware that the number of abortions performed in a country is not correlated with that country’s legal stance on abortion?

      In other words: the number of abortions is pretty static across countries with similar levels of things like sex education and freely-available contraception. You know what number changes? The number of women who die from botched abortions. This information is available fairly widely.

      No matter what your feelings are, there are women out there who disagree with you and they will have abortions whether they’re legally available or not. You don’t want babies to live: all you want to do is make women die for *your* principles.

      • Vicky32 21.6.1

        “You don’t want babies to live: all you want to do is make women die for *your* principles.”
        No she doesn’t. You have no right to say that about her. Or me, because I think the same thing she does. Oh, and I’ve noticed everyone jump to call her a fundamentalist – you can’t assume that either! In the Feminists for Life group I was in, there were women with all sorts of views and philosophies – Hindu to atheist…
        Deb

        • Boganette 21.6.1.1

          So someone has ‘no right’ to say something about someone else on a thread on a blog – yet you think you and Blondie have a right to force women to carry to term a pregnancy they don’t want to or can’t continue because of your weird fundamentalist religious beliefs?

          That’s a bit odd.

          Also, Feminists for Life is an oxymoron – you can’t be a feminist and be anti-choice. It’s like saying you’re a vegetarian who eats meat. Spin it however you want but you’re going to get laughed off the thread if you keep waving that flag.

          • higherstandard 21.6.1.1.1

            I believe the most erudite commentary on feminism is in the two comments below.

            “Would you not be scared that she would start natterin or thinking about things then forget to fly the plane?”

            “Do you think it is right when they is trying feminism when they is drunk at a party or whatever?”

            ~ Ali G on Feminism

          • Vicky32 21.6.1.1.2

            “you can’t be a feminist and be anti-choice”
            You need a history lesson. Read the links!
            Oh and ‘anti-choice’ – that sneer begs the question…

        • Tui 21.6.1.2

          Under the current law, babies* die. You want to change the law so babies and women also die. Therefore, you want women to die. I mean, I know that you don’t think that it is what you want, but it is the logical extension of the action you want to take. It’s like throwing a bomb into a crowd to stop one person stabbing another person. What you want to do is stop the stabbing, and you achieve that, but you kill a whole lot of people to do it.

          This is the true dishonesty of the pro-“life” movement: the changes they want will save no lives.

          *Disclaimer: term does not reflect the opinion of the author. My point here is that even if you feel that a foetus has moral value, pro-lifers’ arguments do not stand up.

    • la_ranitaNZ 21.7

      See that’s the thing about being pro-CHOICE, Blondie. The only person who should decide whether or not to have an abortion is the person who is pregnant. No-one should be denied the right to an abortion, nor should they be forced or coerced into having an abortion.

      • Vicky32 21.7.1

        “nor should they be forced or coerced into having an abortion.”
        And yet they are… far more often than they’re prevented from having one! Is that a good thing by you? After all, it makes sense… if we have abortion on demand, some babies whose mothers want them are going to be collateral damage – right?
        Deb

        • Robot Pie 21.7.1.1

          “And yet they are… far more often than they’re prevented from having one! Is that a good thing by you? After all, it makes sense… if we have abortion on demand, some babies whose mothers want them are going to be collateral damage – right?”

          I’d like to see some sources for that. Apart from Anecdata.

        • la_ranitaNZ 21.7.1.2

          Of course not. I believe it’s the pregnant person’s choice, as I stated quite clearly. I don’t see how changing the law will increase that given, as you yourself have said, women are currently being coerced into abortions they’d rather not have. And also, repeat after me: Foetus. Foetus. Not baby. Foetus.

    • QoT 21.8

      So … you chose to continue your pregnancy? Good for you! It’s weird, but when I say I’m pro-choice I mean it. Whereas you, who had a choice, want to deny it to others and force other women to be pregnant when they don’t want to. How humane of you.

  21. clandestino 22

    Agree completely with the post (you should see the hoops you have to jump through in Ireland and Scotland just to get the ECP!), but agree with others that it is unlikely to stimulate constructive discussion as many contributions are getting construed as some kind of personal attack. Also takes on echo-chamber-like limits.

    • QoT 22.1

      Oh, I have heard horror stories about Ireland, they even warranted their own Women On Waves protest. Then there’s the double-railroad of get-to-England, too-far-gone, now-get-to-Spain in many cases, which is about all the evidence I need against gestational limits.

      I think it’s already been established by mainstream society and our political leaders that “constructive discussion” is off the table. They don’t want to touch the issue. My goal is to make it an unavoidable debate.

  22. south paw 23

    I disagree with QofT and blondie’s absolutist positions, but I agree that it is about women’s bodies so basically abortion law and govt policy should be set by women after they have discussed it amongst themselves. Given the several different postions and personal stories ,it would be a very interesting debate.

    • QoT 23.1

      I do feel compelled to point out that in fact it is not purely about women, as there are people who identify as men who can still get pregnant and need abortions.

      • grumpy 23.1.1

        Really???? Clearly they are wrong – either that or labouring under a false conception…………..

        AntiSpam: cutting 🙂

        • Octavia 23.1.1.1

          Trans* men. CLEARLY THEY DON’T EXIST.

        • QoT 23.1.1.2

          People’s self-identification, especially on such policed issues as gender, isn’t “wrong”, grumpy. Try this “compassion” thing, I hear it’s all the rage amongst evolved humans these days.

          • grumpy 23.1.1.2.1

            Now, see here QoT, I resemble that remark, in fact, I’m as compassionate as the next bastard.

  23. Adele 24

    Teenaa koutou katoa,

    Women should be able to access early, much cheaper options for abortion and our current laws are seriously outdated, discriminatory, and inequitable. However, Steve Chadwick’s bill to reform abortion law went one car length too far and Labour obviously didn’t want to be in the driving seat of the subsequent car wreck.

    A bill that proposes late gestational limits on abortion (24 weeks), outside of a medical reason, will fail the majority opinion. The current law stipulates 20 weeks after which abortions can only be performed to save the woman’s life. Surely as a matter of strategy, a bill that addressed the discriminatory and inequitable aspects of the current law would have sufficed?

    Personally I am opposed to late gestational abortions outside of a medical reason to perform one. As part of a medical team I have been involved in performing them and they are, without exception, incredibly sad procedures to witness. These late term terminations were never a ‘choice’ thing for the women involved, and these women were, by and large, ‘self-autonomous.’

    I would in fact argue that any woman that would choose a late term abortion ‘because they can’ is not thinking rationally and therefore cannot make claim to ‘self-autonomy.’

    • clandestino 24.1

      Eminently reasonable contribution Adele, thank you. I fear for you though on this thread, good luck!

    • pollywog 24.2

      I’ll tautoko that Adele.

    • weka 24.3

      Adele, I’m not sure what you mean by ‘self-autonomous’. Care to explain?

      Late terminations are always a choice in the sense that the woman has to decide to go ahead with the operation (and give informed consent). However I’ll ask again what I did above – how many women do you think will want late term abortions without a bloody good medical reason?

      • Adele 24.3.1

        Teenaa koe, Weka

        Self-autonomy is having dominion over the exercise of free-will or choice. Women presenting for late term abortions were up to that point expecting to have a normal pregnancy – hardly a choice expressive of free-will.

        From you question – why do you assume women are incapable of making such decisions. Women are capable of expressing the full gambit of human behaviour – the good, the bad, and the appalling. But I am sure you already knew that.

      • Adele 24.3.2

        Self-autonomy is having dominion over the exercise of free-will or choice. Women presenting for late term abortions were up to that point expecting to have a normal pregnancy – hardly a choice expressive of free-will.

        From you question – why do you assume women are incapable of making such decisions. Women are capable of expressing the full gambit of human behaviour – the good, the bad, and the appalling. But I am sure you already knew that.

    • QoT 24.4

      Adele, I think it’s just sad that you’ve bought into the notion that women’s decisions have to be policed because they might do things you think must be “irrational”. It buys into a lot of patriarchal crap about women being lesser human beings who can’t be “trusted” to know what they want to do with their own bodies.

      • Adele 24.4.1

        Teenaa koe,QoT

        Well, we can always blame the patriachy, but just sometimes, women do make dumb decisions, and can be irrational. I guess we are human before we are women – or so I am led to believe by the humanist amongst us.

      • Adele 24.4.2

        Teenaa koe, QoT

        Well, we can always blame the patriachy, but just sometimes, women do make dumb decisions, and can be irrational. I guess we are human before we are women – or so I am led to believe by the humanist amongst us.

        And aren’t you inflicting your views onto another life-force (whether recognised in law or not) because you have assigned it to a lesser status as human – actually relegated to non-human.

        • QoT 24.4.2.1

          Men make dumb decisions too, Adele, but we haven’t legislated an upper age limit on ridiculous sports cars.

          I find the usual “is the foetus a human” arguments tedious, to be honest – because coming right back at you, doesn’t banning abortion just inflict your views (or antichoice views in general) on a living, breathing, thinking, woman? At which point generally there’s a rapid descent into “well the stupid slut should have kept her legs shut” and then the antichoice argument is revealed for what it is: misogyny.

          I am willing to accept that yes, there is a dilemma for some people in balancing the “rights” or existence of the woman and the foetus. But we do not in any other sphere recognise the “right” of person A to live at the expense of person B’s body and health and life. Even if the foetus is “a person”, to extend only to it the right to basically enslave a person’s body and do them potentially fatal damage would be ridiculous. And then what, do we start mandatorily harvesting prisoners’ organs in order to be logically consistent?

          • Octavia 24.4.2.1.1

            I’m just waiting for people to start claiming that no, we really should take the organs from prisoners. Or drunk drivers without their consent while said drivers are still alive and give them to drunk driving victims to use, because this is the same fucked logic. And even in this horrific hypothetical case which I’m sure some arseholes would actually support, drunk driving is a recognised crime. Apparently being able to get pregnant is too.

            No wait sorry, it’s completely different that a person who can get pregnant should be forced to carry a foetus no matter what their circumstances and that said foetus has more rights to this person’s body than they do, it’s just my silly ladybrain failing to understand these differences. Also yours. You have a silly ladybrain.

          • Adele 24.4.2.1.2

            Teenaa koe, QoT

            Women drive sport cars too.

            I have already stated that abortion law in this country should be reformed to make abortions more accessible, much cheaper and the process less onerous for women. I am however opposed to any move towards extending the provision for late term abortions to 24 weeks.

            It is not misogyny to suggest that a living breathing thinking woman should abort early rather than later in pregnancy.

            While you may find the arguments around the humanness of the foetus tedious – many others do not – an indigenous perspective has human life beginning before conception, which takes us into other realms beyond this discussion.

            That we do not recognise in any other sphere the right of person A tethered to person B is because only women are capable of developing this type of relationship. You make this sound like a curse. The emotive rhetoric underpinning your discourse incites nothing but annoyance. There is no logical consistency between pregnancy and the harvesting of organs from dead prisoners.

            However, to argue the harvesting of late term aborted foetuses is comparable to the harvesting of organs from dead prisoners – that, I would agree with.

            • grumpy 24.4.2.1.2.1

              Hi Tui,

              Great comments, lucid and well reasoned.

            • QoT 24.4.2.1.2.2

              It is not misogyny to suggest that a living breathing thinking woman should abort early rather than later in pregnancy.

              No, it’s misogyny to say our law needs gestational limits just in case some stupid evil women decide to murder their babies for no good reason.

        • rosy 24.4.2.2

          “I guess we are human before we are women ” Have to say I agree with that, and we all have the full range of good and bad, foolish and sensible.

          It’ really important to hear from someone who is involves with doing the work that result from our rights … thank you, both for your work and your comments.

    • Tui 24.5

      You’ve just said that, without exception in your experience, women undergoing late-term abortions were making difficult, rational decisions. So why do you think that if the law changed to reflect women’s rationality women would suddenly become irrational?

      • Adele 24.5.1

        Teenaa koe, Tui

        Why ruin the opportunity of changing draconian abortion legislation by inserting into a reform bill an option that would never be exercised by rational women.

        Or can we assume that the bill is intended to provide the option of late term abortions to all women regardless of their ability to rationalise the consequences.

    • Gina 24.6

      Adele I agree with you. More than 20 weeks should be on medical grounds and on demand abortions should be to approximately 16 weeks. Thats my current unresearched opinion. However to get abortion decriminalised I think we should stick witht the current 12 weeks. We need more time for people to debate and agree to what the cut off period should be to abortion on demand. If we take a more moderate stance then it will show the Nats up as being totally unreasonable in their ideas around womens issues. If we demand 26 weeks for abortion on demand then you can rest assured no progress will be made as most New Zealanders will not support that.

  24. Colonial Viper 25

    What is 2011 about? The economy, stupid.

    Give young women access to good schooling and good jobs, and the rate of unwanted pregnancies, teen or otherwise, will fall hard.

    The rest of it is, IMO, exactly what the voting public stuck on Struggle Street don’t want to hear from the Left this year.

    • Tigger 25.1

      CV – you’ll probably get flamed for this but, as much as the activist in me wants to deny it, you’re right. You have to pick your battles and this isn’t the year for any battle other than the economy. Not to mention, why is Labour getting it in the neck here? Last time I looked National is the government. Shame them into reforming abortion law.

      • lprent 25.1.1

        Last time I looked National is the government. Shame them into reforming abortion law.

        It’d be fun trying to figure how to get them to do it. But I suspect that the time frame is too short when you’re looking at an election year.

        • Colonial Viper 25.1.1.1

          John Key and Bill English aren’t letting this anywhere near the Government agenda this year.

          And they never will unless a horde of women from households over $100K p.a. decide to make it their biggest political issue.

          Not gonna happen with National.

          • Tigger 25.1.1.1.1

            Which is why you make sure the issue is squarely defined as being in their camp. Personal choice anyone? ACT and National should be all over abortion reform. It simply involves defining the debate in such a way as to shame them into taking a stand.

            Let’s not forget, it was National that extended the Human Rights Commission provisions to include sexual orientation and disability as unacceptable grounds for discrimination…

            Again, I fully support reforming abortion law. Our law is archaic and vile. To me this thread is proof that the issue needs reframing and I’m tired of any human rights issue being landed on the lap of Labour and the Greens. It’s time to force National and ACT to put up or shut up about personal choice…

            • grumpy 25.1.1.1.1.1

              I think Tigger, that National and Act have a problem balancing the rights of the mother with the rights of the unborn child. They have gone as far as their constituency will let them. Same I think for Labour.

              “Let’s not forget, it was National that extended the Human Rights Commission provisions to include sexual orientation and disability as unacceptable grounds for discrimination…”

              Proves they’re not all low life reactionary scum …..eh?

              • rosy

                I think you’re right Grumpy. One party or the other is going to have to convince the electorate, not reflect it. This is an important function in politics, but probably not in the months leading up to an election simply because, as this thread shows, there is heap of deating to do and there is not enough time right now. It is also probably something for the government of the day to push. Labour could, or course, make it clear in their manifesto what their policy on abortion is.

                For me, I think abortion law reform is too bitsy. I would repeal, not refom, all abortion laws and treat abortion in the same way as any othe public health issue, like smoking, diabetes and heart health etc. This would include, as Rex adovacated, strategies to prevent unwanted pregnancies, simply because it this would reduce health problems fullstop. And it means dealing with the socio-economic determinants of health (because that is the underlying basis for public health) – further for pregnancy issues a public health focus would have to include context – gendered and social power imbalances as well as access to contraception, access to abortion services and economic deprivation. It would also mean ensuring abortions are done at the earliest possible time because that is when there would be the least complications and remove any moral judgement through the misnamed ‘mental health’ requirements of the current act.

                • grumpy

                  There is not much in your comment I would disagree with.

                  However, any moves to remove the gestation limit would be the kiss of death for any political party.

                  • Rosy

                    Exactly. So no-one is going there without a really long lead up and lots of PR and stats. In a way if they can manage the debate not mentioning a limit may be an easier ‘sell’ – but yeah, not easy at all.

                    • grumpy

                      Perhaps you can tell us how they did it in other countries – other countries have remove gestation limits – haven’t they.

                      If you are talking about introducing it by stealth, then Labour is your boy (so to speak), they’re good at that.

                    • Rosy

                      @ Grumpy…. I’ve no idea what other countries have done, it just seems to me to be more sensible to see this as a public health issue. You see stealth issue I see bringing the public along and getting cross-party support 😉 like homosexual reform, it’s not going to change unless you change the narrative from morals to health and well-being.

      • QoT 25.1.2

        Tigger, I get that this sounds all good and reasonable to you … except that as I’ve outlined previously here at The Standard, telling women and other marginalised groups that their struggles and oppression are secondary issues which just need to go away for now, honest, we’ll get to your silly civil rights later … has never been a successful strategy for the Left.

    • QoT 25.2

      Thanks, CV, for raising the inevitable Trotter-esque “can’t you silly women just go away while we fight The Real Struggle” strawperson.

      There will always be unwanted pregnancies so why you think those people should just suck it up because gosh, things will be better soon so enjoy your one-night trip to Australia is beyond me.

      • Colonial Viper 25.2.1

        I’m suggesting you think about how much traction you will get on this issue next Tory term when NAT use it as a red flag to turn out a mass of social conservatives on Nov 26.

        Who are you going to turn out with this on ballot day?

        • Pascal's bookie 25.2.1.1

          1) Why should the left pander to soc-cons?
          1a) If it does pander to them, why should liberals vote left?

          2) How many Soc-cons actually vote left and would change because of this?
          2a) What does that tell you about how strong the left’s offerings are in other areas?

          3) Is it really too hard to tell Soc-cons that if they want that shit they should probably vote tory?
          3a) Do you really think that there isn’t a wedge on the right about this as well (ie, people who vote right but wouldn’t if they thought current abortion access was under threat from soc-cons; which it is)?

          3b) If yes, then why are you chicken shit about it?

          • Colonial Viper 25.2.1.1.1

            1) In what way is this the Left pandering to the soc-cons? As far as I can see, this issue this year is not a central part of NZ’s Left movement.
            1a) Good question. Why should liberals vote Left? Why didn’t they vote Left last time? Why would they not vote with their libertarian friends on the Right? I honestly dunno.

            2) I suppose not many Soc-cons vote Left. But they will *turn out* to vote Right based on a lightning rod issue like this.
            2a) Indeed, the so-called Left in NZ is sadly centrist, and would not have be recognised as Left by the standards of NZ politics 40 years ago.

            3) Not hard.
            3a) There might be a wedge there, no doubt. How is this movement going to demonstrate that wedge, if it exists, so that the pollies see some popular support for reform?

            3b) Actually yes I am scared shitless that NAT and their mates at C.T. will take an issue like this and run their way unopposed to Nov 26.

            • Pascal's bookie 25.2.1.1.1.1

              Telling people to not raise this issue because ‘oh noes the soc cons won’t like it’ is about as pandering as you can get.

              You have some evidence that liberals didn’t vote left last time? Last I heard it was the all the bloody liberals fault that menz from Waitakere deserted the party because of teh ghey and the smacking and pc gone mad. So either liberals have taken over Labour and are destroying it, or they have deserted it, which is it this week?

              If you don’t know why liberals vote left, then you don’t know about either modern liberals or the modern left. This is problem.

              The way you wedge the opposition is the same way they wedge us. Make some fucking noise, and spell out the consequences of what will happen if the current law starts to be enforced, which is what the soc-cons are pushing for. They are pushing this under the radar. Why do you think that is? (hint, they see the danger of this being a big issue).

          • grumpy 25.2.1.1.2

            PB, the first duty of a political party is to get elected. The more marginal causes they adopt, the more they alienate potential voters. These voters may not swing to the other side – they may just not vote.

            To assume that all liberals should vote left and that all those on the left have the same moral/philosophical beliefs is not tenable.

            • Pascal's bookie 25.2.1.1.2.1

              I don’t give a shit what parties first duty are. To me they are policy delivery devices. If they want my vote, they need to show me that they are prepared to fight for the policies I think are important.

              As citizens it’s really stupid to approach politics from the point of view of politicans. They work for us. It’s not our job to make their lives easy.

              I don’t really get what you are saying re assumtions. The assumtions I’m making are that there are such things as liberals, that the liberalised abortion position is the liberal one, and that if the left wants those votes, they should act like it, rather than pandering to the illiberal voters.

              • grumpy

                Then prepare for a long hard time supporting political parties that are unelectable and therefore never seeing your policies come to fruition.

                • Pascal's bookie

                  But if the price of ‘supporting a party’ is that I have to agree to not care about the policies I support then where’s the loss?

                  Anyway, you are assuming that there are not as many people that would support liberalising the law as there are that would support actually enforcing it. Got any basis for that assumption?

                  (hint, carrying on with the current non enforcement of the law may not be an option, so all the fence-sitters and ‘ooh it’s icky’ people may just have to get off the fence, just for a moment or two, and actually think about what they want to happen)

      • grumpy 25.2.2

        QoT, I was unaware that Australia had removed gestation limits – perhaps that’s because they haven’t!!

        So what has your comment got to do with your original post??

        • QoT 25.2.2.1

          … Because NZ women can get abortions in Australia when they are unable to here, and there is a long and sad history of NZ women taking one-night trips to Australia to get terminations?

    • Tui 25.3

      This is nonsense though, which is part of the reason I’m bemused by Labour’s stance on the issue. (Especially because letting this be an “economy election” is pretty much the same thing as “letting National win”, because most people think National knows more than Labour about the economy.) If this did become an election issue, National has a LOT more to lose than Labour either way – if they go anti-abortion, it’s going to be quite difficult to get women between the ages of 14 and 60 to vote for them, along with the kind of modern young faux-libertarian man you have all throughout the party; if they go pro, they lose their psycho conservatives. (Ditto for ACT but even more so.) If Labour goes anti-abortion, same problem with women but WAY, WAY more so; if they go pro, they lose a small number of social conservatives who they already alienated with the Civil Union Bill and removing the parental right to hit the child, but they gain the support of a heck of a lot of just-right women and they also might regain some support from the further left that they’ve alienated (people who are right now planning to vote for the Alliance and for the Progressives). You can’t win an election without, say, quarter of the voting population.

      I’m sure people will pop up to tell me I’m hopelessly optimistic and that may be true. But I think a lot of people are OK with the status quo – but only because they don’t understand it. I think if more people knew what the real situation with abortion in this country is, more people would want to act on it or, at least, not vote against it.

      • QoT 25.3.1

        I think a lot of people are OK with the status quo – but only because they don’t understand it.

        This is exactly the thing, Tui. I note that in 400+ comments, no one has actually argued the analogy I present: that if we treated people buying cars the way we treat people seeking abortions there’d be fucking riots. Make the issue a big one, be vocal about it, and the political parties will be forced to acknowledge the present situation, and the public will have to become more aware of what our laws actually say. At which point – if I can be hopelessly optimistic too – the issue sorts itself out.

        • Colonial Viper 25.3.1.1

          no one has actually argued the analogy I present: that if we treated people buying cars the way we treat people seeking abortions there’d be fucking riots

          Give it 5-6 years QoT, hardly anyone will be buying cars any more. $4/L petrol will do that to people.

          So where does that leave your analogy again?

          • Nikki 25.3.1.1.1

            With women STILL dealing with a crap abortion law. I’m not prepared to wait.

            • Colonial Viper 25.3.1.1.1.1

              I can understand that, just don’t expect the politicians to take the lead on this issue unless they can see that there is a clear popular movement for considering it.

              • Nikki

                Thanks CV – I thought that was what this whole post was about? 😉 Campaign plans were hashed out over two days a few weeks ago and we have a meeting scheduled in Auckland tonight to discuss it more. If anyone wants to know more about the meeting they can email nicolaelisabeth@gmail.com

                • grumpy

                  Doomed to a fast and ignominious end. No major party or it’s members will be associated with this – it’s electoral defeat. It will be ignored and any good that may have come from it will be lost as well.

                  Listen to CV, she/he knows their stuff and even though I sit at another end of the political spectrum I have to say that she/he offers you sound advice.

        • grumpy 25.3.1.2

          OK…..

          If cars were valuable, scarce things, that people went all GaGa over, then it is quite feasable that before you wanted to get one crushed, you may have to go to a mechanic to certify that it was indeed munted or that continuing to drive it may endanger your life…WTF??? Your analogy.

  25. Robot Pie 26

    @Colonial Viper

    It is possible to be concerned about both abortion law and the economy.

    And some of those members of the ‘voting’ public who are on “struggle street” will be women who want abortions and can’t get them because they can’t afford shopping around for two doctors to tell them that they’re mentally ill enough to get a medical procedure.

    Giving young women better prospects at some undetermined point in the future isn’t going to help the ones who want an abortion right now.

    • Carol 26.1

      Yes, I agree, RP. I DO think the economy and wealth & income gap are the main issues for me this coming election, but I also support abortion law reform now and for as long as that support is necessary (ie until the law is changed for the better).

      I don’t think the economy & abortion issues are mutually exclusive. I also do think abortion is more likely to be a big issue for less well-off young women, and for some men. At least I imagine abortion will be more of a personal issue for some men than it is for me. As a menopausal old dyke who has never been pregnant, it’s not an issue I’ve ever been touched by personally, and probably never will be in relation to a partner.

      Abortion, IMO, is not a clear-cut female-only issue, and it isn’t mutally exclusive with economic issues.

      • grumpy 26.1.1

        Quite wise words Carol. However, unless a major party comes out with a policy to support increased freedom for abortion, it ain’t gunna be an election issue.

        Your other comments are interesting, I can understand women excluding men from an abortion discussion as clearly they are not going to “carry” the child – and it is a “women’s body.” However the running on this issue seems to come from the militant feminist lesbian front – who likewise (as you say) are most unlikely to also be involved in that singularly heterosexual pastime of procreation.

        So, if men are to be excluded as not being “involved”, so too (as your comment indicates) should lesbians????

        • Boganette 26.1.1.1

          “However the running on this issue seems to come from the militant feminist lesbian front” – Oh! Where? Where? I love militant feminist lesbians who form fronts! Can you let us know where they are?

        • Carol 26.1.1.2

          Lesbians can get raped, and many start out their young lives engaging in heterosexual activities, if, for no other reason, they are trying to go straight. Abortion is more likely to be an issue for heterosexual/bisexual women of child-bearing ages though.

          ps: In my experience, it is heterosexual feminists who are more likely to lead on abortion issues… so it pretty much shows up the (in)accuracey of sterotypes of feminists as miltiant, man-hating lesbians.

          • grumpy 26.1.1.2.1

            Fair enough Carol, but the core issue remains that no major party will go anywhere near this subject – not even the Greens, so it will never be a political issue. Labour, in particular cannot afford to be associated with it – hence Chadwick’s Bill’s fate.

            This is a truly amazing thread, the only one I’ve yet seen on The Standard where the poster finished up with less support than before they started.

            • Bored 26.1.1.2.1.1

              Too right its an amazing thread Grump: cant believe the passion and variety in this one which confirms your contention that its not a political issue anybody would commit too. On a positive note its nice to see such a broad range of views, means debate is alive and not straight jacketed.

              • grumpy

                Easily the best thread I’ve seen on this site. Good on QoT for starting it.

                Great to see some of the resident knee jerk commentators actually thinking about what they write, all this left wing argy bargy quite takes me back to the old UCSA debates in the late 60’s – anyone remember Charlie Gibbons?????

            • Carol 26.1.1.2.1.2

              In case you didn’t notice, grumpy, I was supporting the abortion reform issue. Your stereotyping is just a diversion.

              • grumpy

                Yeah, I know but you were doing it well – thoughtfully.

                I, on the other hand, am not taking a stand either way. I am happy to let “heterosexual women of childbearing age” do the running on this.

                • Carol

                  captcha: “class”:

                  And if you had exercised some thought while reading my post, grumpy, you will see that, while it isn’t a strongly personal issue for me, I support open and accessible choice of abortion for those women who need & want it, on humanitarian grounds. I also was pointing out it is a campaign that should get positive support from many men, including leftwing men because there is a class dimension to the issue.

                  • grumpy

                    You had me there for a while Carol but now you bring the “class dimension” in, it’s just a bridge to far for me……….

                    • Carol

                      Grumpy, you just seem to want to use and/or twist my, and anyone else’s views, to support your own positions and to sabbotage this thread. So I’ve stated my position, which I thought was just extending the significance of the issue. I don’t feel a need to say any more on it.

                • weka

                  Grumpy, you don’t get to decide which women sort out abortion law. All women have a right to see this law changed (personally I’d welcome input from post-menopausal women because they will have the longest historical knowledge about the issues, so childbearing age has nothing to do with it).

                  • grumpy

                    Oh, OK then. So lets go back to where EVERYONE has a say:

                    the heterosexual women of childbearing age.
                    the post-menopausal heterosexual women of past childbearing age
                    the lesbian cheer squad
                    the lesbian “potential IVF recipient who might just want to change their minds”
                    the men who donate the sperm to the above
                    the men who will be hounded down for years to pay child support by women who took something seriously that was given in jest.
                    anyone with a brain
                    anyone who is breathing

                    As I say, ANYONE.

                    • Tui

                      “the lesbian “potential IVF recipient who might just want to change their minds”
                      the men who donate the sperm to the above
                      the men who will be hounded down for years to pay child support by women who took something seriously that was given in jest.”

                      Wait, wait, wait. Is the “something” you refer to here sperm? Given in jest?

                      don’t mind me, I’ll be over here LMAO.

                    • grumpy

                      Ah, I see school’s out….

                      Nothing wrong with a lttle heterosexual recreational bonking – is there?

                    • Tui

                      Absolutely nothing, grumpy! It’s the bit where it was given “in jest”. I mean. I can’t even. In what situation do you have unprotected sex with someone in jest?

                    • grumpy

                      Ah Tui, it’s an old joke:

                      Q. What’s the definition of Pregnancy?
                      A. Taking something seriously that was given in jest.

                      For the grammar – consult someone over 40.

            • Bright Red 26.1.1.2.1.3

              good observation, grumpy.

              I just hope others are like me and base their views on the issue on ideals of dignity and justice. Because if they base their views their reaction to QoT’s behaviour she’s cost her cause a whole lot of supporters.

              The standardistas do her the courtesy of sharing their soapbox and she responds by shitting all over them in public like this. Unbelievable. It’s not just stupid politics. It’s just basic rudeness.

              Why would I devote my time to trying to work with such a person?

              • grumpy

                Dunno about that BR, it’s certainly livened things up – a few people have had to actually think about their response rather than just the old dogma driven kneejerk reaction.

                Utimately though QoT shows a self destructive personality, letting her near any political topic would likely lead to (as lprent succinctly puts it) a “head on car crash”.

                • lprent

                  The head-on car crash was a compliment. In my opinion, she wrote a post in a manner that forced people to re-look at the issue. That is a bit of an artform in its own right.

                  To make damn sure that it did get looked at, I went to the extra effort of scheduling it at a time where I knew it would wind up having the largest impact in terms of readability.

                  I suspect that QoT would not be the right person to put into delicate political negotiations. But she does have the turn of phrase that tends to wind people up and freshen a issue for political debate again.

                  • grumpy

                    agree

                    • Wegan

                      “In my opinion, she wrote a post in a manner that forced people to re-look at the issue. That is a bit of an artform in its own right.”

                      So why didn’t you say that? Why didn’t you say, “hey QoT wrote this thing, and it is really good and worth reading, because it might make you think about a seriously important issue”?

                      No, instead you compared it to a car crash – something that’s code for “hey, this is a bit shit, and possibly violent and traumatic.”

                      “The standardistas do her the courtesy of sharing their soapbox and she responds by shitting all over them in public like this.”

                      Gee, guys, thanks for bowing down and deigning to discuss the laydeez issues. So fucking big of you. And you know, I don’t see QoT shitting all over anyone, I see her being rightly quite offended and fucked off at the way she’s been treated.

                      If you’re going to ‘do someone a courtesy’, it’s nice to actually be courteous when you do it.

                    • lprent []

                      So why didn’t you say that?

                      Because I’m naturally a person who gives very very few compliments and even those tend towards understatement. My idea of complimenting a chef to to state that their food was “extremely edible”. I’m also known for giving backhanded compliments like the one you’re referring to.

                      On the other hand when I do reluctantly give a compliment then it is earned.

                      In the context of a blog site, effusive praise is contraindicated. It usually just leads to a guru style culture with an excess of sycophantic brown nosing (that I hate). I do most of the moderation on this site, and my personality lends itself to the moderation role of being perpetually grumpy. The idea is not to attract my attention when I am moderating.

                      I’m usually pretty grumpy when I write comments as well. I simply don’t have much time to do it, and I’m often writing comments merely to correct someone else’s delusions. I’m known to be somewhat sarcastic when I do so. To demonstrate….

                      No, instead you compared it to a car crash – something that’s code for “hey, this is a bit shit, and possibly violent and traumatic.”

                      Only because in your abysmal and bigoted self-assured ignorance you chose to view it that way. If I’d wanted to be nasty, then you’d have known it because I never bother doing coded back-biting. As far as I’m concerned that is something I really don’t have time for. If I didn’t like what someone said then I’d have written something that tore their brain out, minced it, and presented it to them on a plate for consumption. If I merely disagreed, then I’d write something that just cuts into their argument or their world view.

                      One of the things you learn in a environment of varied and usually pretty intelligent people like this one, is that people are quite different about how they approach things. It sometimes takes a bit of time to figure out what they mean. Jumping to conclusions and fastening your own judgement over what they mean when you don’t know them is usually one of the more stupid things you can do. Does that sound like anyone you know? (presents a mirror)…

                      It is almost invariably more effective to ask some leading questions and read the responses to elicit what they mean before jumping to judgement.

                      If you want to expend some energy then you can look at their comments using the search engine. Look up @author lprent in comments.

              • QoT

                Bright Red! Another in the “you’re just damaging the cause by being a bitch” queue. Have you paid Trotter his royalties?

                Here’s my thing … ever seen those inevitable commenters here, the ones who are all “Well I’ve always voted Labour, honest, I’m a total Labour voter but after this post on the Standard I am totally voting National this election!!! Take that!!!”?

                Your comment is just as meaningful and convincing as those.

                • Kia ora QoT,

                  Thank you for raising this issue. I have learned a lot from this thread and I don’t think you have been a bitch or damaged your cause at all. This thread has seen some classic cases of men wanting to tell women what they think – a need to express their views about this issue, like they do for all issues – it is fucked up and it shows the insidious depth of the patriarchy oppression. I can’t really believe some of the bullshit derailing I’ve read. But that is the battle we are all fighting – kia kaha.

            • QoT 26.1.1.2.1.4

              Actually, grumpy, in the previous election the Greens had a policy which explicitly encouraged the extension of contraception and other family planning services (they may not have mentioned abortion explicitly) in order to help families plan and space having children as they wanted. I believe they were then somehow attacked for being eugenicists by the Kiwiblog Right.

        • Xanadu 26.1.1.3

          Grumpy

          If you spent any time on any social network for lesbian women, you would find out that most lesbians start/ed their sexual lives with a boyfriend or husband. Societal pressure (particularly for teens) to conform to heteronormative “norms” is huge and many girls/women do not come out until later in life for many reasons – later realisation, safety, being trapped in a marriage mistake, family pressure, confidence.

          Sure, there are “gold stars” (women who have never had sex with a man), but you seem to be basing your theory on a stereotype that is largely created in the minds of men who have a chip on their shoulder about lesbians &/or feminists. It’s not based in lesbian reality.

          Lesbians also procreate using a variety of techniques.

          • grumpy 26.1.1.3.1

            Yeah, I know all that Xanadu.

            Personally, I would be overjoyed if my daughter became a Lesbian, certainly her choice of men is really dodgy. The Lesbians I know (and yes I do have lesbian friends) are all pretty good people.

            I am a bit disturbed by this “Gold Star” thing – is that like the “stars” we got at school for being really, really good?

            “Lesbians also procreate using a variety of techniques.”….., true…..but it still involves the use of a male somewhere along the line. Would a woman, who has never had sex with a man, yet conceives through donated sperm (non natural method of course), still be a “Gold Star”???

            • Xanadu 26.1.1.3.1.1

              Grumpy

              Why did I know you would jump on the gold star thing?

              It’s simply a term of affection.. and actually, now that I think more deeply about it, it takes a strong woman to go against the tide. Hence, the gold star.

              In answer to your last question, yes, she would, as she has still not had intercourse with a man.

              But we’ve digressed..

              • grumpy

                “…it takes a strong woman to go against the tide. ”

                ….or an ugly one, but anyway thanks for that – it’s a poor day when you don’t learn something new.

                • Robot Pie

                  “…or an ugly one”

                  Wow. That just said a lot about you. And it wasn’t anything nice.

                  • grumpy

                    What?????
                    Why??????

                    • fermionic_interference

                      captcha: NEEDING

                      god how omniscient is this site?

                      also apologies for heading off thread

                      Teenagers most especially females are in need of love and caring, attention and affection. (ok I’m obviously a male with a massive bent toward over protecting women)

                      Most people who are emotionally embroiled in an issue will cling to any affection they can get, young males tend to use affection as a way to gain sexual favours/ have sexual advances allowed by a girl (read partner to holistically cover all demographics).

                      The strength of a girl in this situation (sexual identity crisis or precursor to it) to choose not to attach herself to a source of affection and do whatever it takes to keep that affection is amazing in itself, because face it those arseholes that leave our friends with past relationship issues by pressuring them for sex or stopping their affection/ threatening to leave their partners if they don’t get sex, and will make it clear that sex is the only way they will continue to provide affection (also such people are despicable in my opinion). Any person who could withstand that type of pressure on top of societal pressure is extremely impressively strong willed and apparently

                      Gold Stars

                      is the term of affection given to those of strongest mental fortitude (just so I don’t use will again).
                      Personally I hope these individuals wear Gold Star as a badge of honour and pride for their strength of character.

                      What it said about you is that you base your thoughts on sexual attractive motives in a debate upon the effects to psyche of young girls around their sexuality. although the effect on the psyche is not immediately obvious to some of those who haven’t experience emotional abuse of some sort in the past.

                      The biggest problem with your statement is that it detracts from the authenticity of the debate whilst also taking a swipe at those who most likely have been through a large amount of emotional turmoil and trauma/bullying in their lives which is quite a callous act.

                    • grumpy

                      …well no….not really.

                      I see a difference between those who have “chosen” despite ample opportunity to live a same sex relationship compared to those who choose it as a “second choice” after finding it impossible to pursue their first choice.
                      Of course this also applies (no pun intended) vice-versa.

                      To award a “Gold Star” as the highest award to those who for whatever reason have never had heterosexual sex seems pretty misogynist and arbitrary to me. I would have more respect for those who shunned opposite sex relations despite ample opportunity to form them, for same sex. (Sort of the Ali Mau v Rosie MacDonnell thing).

                      Apart from that your comment makes a lot of sense.

                    • fermionic_interference

                      I personally have no experience with a sexual identity crisis, but talking with friends dealing with just such an issue, most start out conformist for lack of a better word, just expecting themselves to fall for or be attracted to a member of the opposite sex and even attempt to have relationships during highschool or after but find them unfulfilling and completely devoid of attraction, This is where the emotional turmoil may begin especially if they find a member of the same sex toward whom they find/develop feelings for.

                      This is, from what I have been told, a very lonely time for someone going through such a crisis and they may not be in a position handle the loss of the affection a relationship offered, it’s also more likely for females to be the targets of manipulation for sex. To which in such a situation they would be more vulnerable this means if they had the fortitude to stand up to such pressure a term such as Gold star is not something that has a meaning to be feared for future repercussions.
                      Whereas allowing the continued acceptance of manipulation for sex we are condoning something reprehensible.

                      Or just as bad the case with our drinking culture where young girls are taken advantage of, and fed enough alcohol to completely inebriate them and then the guy who has been feeding them the drinks takes them to the back room of the party has sex with them, the girl doesn’t even remember it the next day and a month later finds she’s missed her period. This happens all to often, and damnit there is a girl whom was 14 when this happened to her in my home town and unfortunately no, the bloke who perpetrated this vile act did not end up in jail.

                    • grumpy

                      Fair enough “fermionic_interference”.

                      What you say is valid (and interesting)- no argument from me.

                      The world is tough and getting tougher, I agree that abortion has to be available – especially in the cases you highlight. would be great if the world was just a bit nicer – eh?

                    • fermionic_interference

                      Fermionic_interference based on
                      Quantum interference
                      where a fermion is a particle of which only one can exist in any single given energy state. Hope this helps as a rough explanation. I really should have picked a phenomena that could just be googled.

                      Yes it would be good, nice, better if the world wasn’t as tough, rough and in some cases awful and unpleasant but, it is what it is, and unless people give up their archaic barbaric belief systems and become truly civilised then . . . . .
                      I don’t particularly feel like playing future histories right now although I really would like to see us humans produce a truly civilised society now that would be an achievement.

                      And sorry to be the cause of you catchin hell on another thread.

                    • grumpy

                      New to me fermi…..

                      “And sorry to be the cause of you catchin hell on another thread.”

                      ???????? where????

                    • fermionic_interference

                      your comment on Winston said you were catching hell on another thread this is the other thread tt you have been commenting on recently unless I’m mistaken

                    • grumpy

                      Yup, Bigbruv mentioned the words “grumpy” and “twats” in the same sentance.

    • Colonial Viper 26.2

      RP yes quite possible to be concerned about both abortion law and the economy, question is then, is it time for Labour and Greens to get on the electoral campaign trail and campaign for major reform of both?

      I personally don’t think so since I think that this election is going to be won and lost on the economy, and the social damage its having on masses of ordinary people and ordinary workers.

  26. just saying 27

    Reply to LPrent 12.37

    It was my impression that the “introduction” you wrote was read (in its entirety) as a disclaimer, by the overwhelming majority of commenters, including those who were offended by QoT and her post.

    • lprent 27.1

      Well it wasn’t intended to be so. I suspect that it is more of an issue in the eye of the beholder. As I just pointed out to Wegan I don’t go for subtle when I write posts, comments, warnings or introductions. I find writing subtle material as about as pointless as QoT does. Perhaps my response to Wegan will remind you what my usual reaction to things I don’t like is like?

      That introduction was actually one of my rare compliments to an author – QoT can make a more effective thought provoking rant than I can and in doing so can help to raise a topic that is moribund in the political sphere.

      I’d have to say that I’m really as unconcerned about your reaction to it as I would be about a troll bleating. At this point you haven’t pointed out any reason why it makes the post less effective. I’d suspect that from the reaction of various people to it, it actually helped to get people to read the post to make up their own mind.

      • just saying 27.1.1

        “…it actually helped to get people to read the post to make up their own mind.”

        It certainly generated a good deal of discussion about what you wrote as opposed to the post you prefaced. But what’s your evidence that it helped get people to read the post and make-up their own minds?

        • lprent 27.1.1.1

          Nothing hard apart from the feel of the discussion and the stats. Usually discussions about abortion tend to drop into rather dreary details that (to be frank) bore the crap out of me or wind up with head to head shouting matches between pro and anti. You can see them having read times that indicate most people just read the first couple of paragraphs.

          With the exception of the QoT and Marty/Eddie and the introduction stuff both of which both feel like people wanting to get on their pious high horse about being holier than thou*, the rest of the conversation has been much more useful than usual.

          The stats on the post has a interesting time profile for how long people are reading it – quite long, and despite the numbers of social media linkages, it has a pretty normal new reader rate (but a higher number of new commentators). It is unlike any of the profiles of previous posts on abortion law. It also had a high unique visitor rate and a low number of repeated reads.

          A lot of that was because of the way that the post was framed because it pointed more to the inequities of the current law. But some of it was I suspect because lurkers who frequent this site and who’d normally avoid a post about abortion like the plague saw the introduction, recognized it as being written by an editor, and read the post out of curiosity. Some of it was its positioning on Sunday afternoon. Of course there is no way to tell what makes the difference without some experimentation. But overall the result points to a considerably better impact than any post on abortion than I have seen before. As I said before, the comments were IMO mostly more effective in a debate as well – more engaged across a broader spectrum.

          * ie and is in my opinion quite ineffective.

          • jack-the-lad 27.1.1.1.1

            tl;dr version:

            “I was a dick! And it made people read the post lots! Go me!”

            Slightly longer version:

            “Everyone knows I can be sarcastic and thus would have interpreted my sarcasm appropriately. Though, thinking about it, perhaps the fact that we got lots of new users and readers who presumably aren’t familiar with my normal abrasive style, and the fact that the intro was not credited to me and so thus even people who know me wouldn’t be able to assume who’d written it, perhaps this argument is not so powerful!”

            • lprent 27.1.1.1.1.1

              Short version: only a idiot makes up their mind and writes a comment without looking around a internet site to figure out the local ethos and rules.
              Long version: about, policy, and archives. Enjoy.

              • Lanthanide

                “Short version: only a idiot makes up their mind and writes a comment without looking around a internet site to figure out the local ethos and rules.”
                It seems by this reply that you only care about people who comment.

                Are you honestly expecting Joe Average person who turns up to this site to read the introduction, think “that’s a bit fishy, I should see what other introductions on this site are like so I can properly determine whether this one is being sarcastic or not?” and then go off and spend 30 minutes reading other posts just so they can work out what the hell was up with the introduction. I don’t think that’s a reasonable stance to take, not even for someone who comments on a site.

                Furthermore, I have long been following this site (as you know), and I found the introduction confusing also. I had NO IDEA that it was written by you specifically, and actually I thought it was probably written by Marty or r0b, mainly based on the knowledge that you don’t tend to contribute very much.

                Overall, I understand your reasons for writing what you did, but I think you’re very wrong in your response to the criticism of it.

                • lprent

                  In the end, I cannot control what people choose to think. I can only choose what I choose to write. To me that introduction seems perfectly appropriate. It is clearly written by someone who is not the author of the post.

                  There are approximately 7300 other posts on this site, at least a couple of hundred authored by me, over 6400 comments I have written, innumerable moderations, and a hundreds of introductions to guest posts and reprints. Basically people can make up their own mind.

                  To date all I have heard is that people might be misinterpret it. The short answer is (to paraphrase QoT) so fucking what? I think that it is a true introduction to the post. I’d no more change it than I’d change QoT’s post. If they care to read in the comments both here and at QoT’s site they will see me explain that their misinterpretation is wrong. If they’re unwilling to read past the post then they probably aren’t interested in the topic anyway.

                  • Lanthanide

                    Fair points.

                    I just think that, in future, making it clearer that it is an introduction and possibly who wrote it would not be too onerous a task or indeed have any real negative impact at all. It would at worst make no difference to how it was interpreted, but at best could reduce a lot of confusion amongst commentators as well as simple readers and lurkers.

                  • weka

                    “It is clearly written by someone who is not the author of the post.”

                    Actually it’s not. I think it’s clear to you because you wrote it and you are very familiar with the site. As someone who has read off and on here for a few years but not regularly I found the title and introduction confusing. It took me a while to figure out what was what. I agree with Lanthanide, what you say is reasonable AND it would work better for people not already well familiar with the site to make it clearer. I’d suggest that the person doing the introduction puts their name at the end of the introduction (or admin if they don’t want to use their TS name).

                    I’d also suggest that the name of the Guest Poster is made more prominent at the top of the article. I’ve seen this with other posts here, it’s not always clear who has written the post. When I first read your intro I thought that it was part of the post and I was wondering who this Queen of Thorns person was and where they had had a go at Chris Trotter. I did figure it out, that she was the author, and who she was, but it isn’t clear in the intro or headers.

                    • lprent

                      The problem we had when we were putting our names at the top was that people had this horrible tendency to think that we’d written the rest of the post. So instead of having this current sidetracking debate about what was written in the intro (first time that I can recall), instead we had pointless and probably deliberate debates about who’d actually written the post. Same when we didn’t put an introduction at the top on a controversial post.

                      QoT sent it through with “By QoT” (or something like that) at the top as a by-line. But we’ve had problems with that before because people seem to see it to simply ignore it. And proceed with the behaviors above.

                      Most of these behaviors were exhibited by people who were not regular commentators and were usually seemed to prompted by people who don’t normally read the site but came in from a direct link from somewhere else, bypassing the front page.

                      All of those behaviors disappeared when we started putting in intro paragraphs at the top in italics that clearly said it was a Guest Post and it was by someone, and why we’d chosen to put it up on site.

                      It is a quandary. Perhaps I should get guest posters to put their own couple of sentences introduction at the top about themselves. But it has been hard enough to get them to write an excerpt for the front page that will fit in the confines of the space. Getting them to write their own intro seems like it’d be a hard ask.

                    • weka

                      How about this:

                      In her inimitable style, in the following post The Queen of Thorns has a go at Chris Trotter, Labour, readers of this site, and even poor old Garth George explaining why New Zealand’s abortion laws are shite. As usual she makes her point in a style that resembles a head on car crash and usually excites considerable comment. ~ lprent/admin

                      A bit clunky and I’m sure there’s a better way. It just makes it so much clearer that The Queen of Thorns is the author of the post, the post is to follow the italics (rather than the italics being part of the post), and that the italics are written by admin.

                    • lprent []

                      Ummm – a bit clunky as you say. I’d look at doing it moderation style, ie square brackets, because that is a standard style in the site. But I’m sure it’d be misinterpreted as well*.

                      Another possibility would be to do something we don’t use at present with a different color background.

                      * Actually I’m sure that from the sewer level commentary on Megans site showing up in my email at present, almost anything would be misinterpreted. But I’m mostly concerned with the question of ambiguity.

              • jack-the-lad

                Srsly? “You’re an idiot if you comment on this site without reading this exhaustive back history! It’ll take about a few hours to read around the archives, but unless you do you’re a moron!” Really?

                New to this ‘internet’ thing, are we?

                • McFlock

                  Personally I lurked for a while to get the flavour of the site before commenting.

                  As I do with most blogsites I come across. Each has their own rules and culture, and I have a tendency to be abrupt and abrasive at the best of times.

                  Although this is a seperate issue from an intro which could be taken as somewhat discourteous. But then I might have a conflict of interest as I’m fast acquiring a blog-crush on QoT – I find something refreshing about someone who will actually call a spade a stupid and fucking pretentious shovel.

                • lprent

                  Nope. I first started playing around with computer networks between computers in 1980. I’ve been on international systems like bix from the mid 80’s. BBSes. On uucp e-mail and usenet. And so on to the current day. I’m (mostly) a c++ programmer who has spent a large chunk of my time (amongst other activities) for the last 20 years writing networked systems for everything from modems talking to cash registers to customized web servers and specialized protocols for standards you won’t have even heard of.

                  In my spare time I write webapp sites and also run the tech and primary moderation on this blog site.

                  Anything else you’d like to know?

          • RedLogix 27.1.1.1.2

            And not only effective conversation, but remarkably little that I felt needed moderating either.

            Thanks and congrats to everyone who was brave enough to contribute…. often with a great deal of thought and sincerity.

  27. prism 28

    Mon 13/3 13.44 There are 339 comments on this post. As the matter is contentious, the headline didn’t need to be so rousing did it? It’s amazing we ever got abortion laws passed at all when there is so much moralism, idealism etc. and the fact that they are not worded perfectly doesn’t mean that they should be interfered with, for fear of getting worse. Does the Otago health board do abortions now? I think it used to be one area that wouldn’t accept its responsibilities.

    • QoT 28.1

      The headline was my own, prism, riffing on Chris Trotter’s pearlclutching at the notion that feminists talking about women’s shit is going to totally be what sinks the Labour boat this election.

      • higherstandard 28.1.1

        low standards

        [FIFY…..RL]

      • prism 28.1.2

        QoT – Thanks for the explanation. So Chris Trotter is on about this. I hope that some useful discussion has emerged here in the now over 400 comments. I wonder whether the subject as part of policy would be a distraction this election? Perhaps it would change Labour’s softly softly thump approach that I fear they will take. It might make them climb on a box and announce some good left-wing policies to the masses and send a flush of blood to their brains reversing their presently pallid approach.

        • lprent 28.1.2.1

          Not to mention the page views, unique visitors, and read times which are of a whole lot much more interest than comment numbers.

          Comment content is of interest – but simple comment numbers are a bit like online polls. I’ll be pointing these out in the right quarters. But a preliminary look says that they are pretty good.

        • QoT 28.1.2.2

          I wonder whether the subject as part of policy would be a distraction this election?

          I think it doesn’t need to be if Labour will just take the bull by the horns, come out with a strong, unequivocally prochoice policy supported by a campaign of raising awareness (though I hate the term) about the shoddy state of our current laws, and put National and Act on the spot as supposedly “liberal” “freedom of choice” parties which nevertheless derive a lot of support from social conservatives and religious fundamentalists.

          Mind you, I think that’s the answer to Labour’s problems in every policy area (I shorthand it as “no more fucking waffle”).

          • Lanthanide 28.1.2.2.1

            But would you settle for incremental changes to abortion laws? What if they got rid of the mental health requirement, but didn’t change the gestational limits part?

            Sure, I know you want everything right away, but surely some (significant) progress is better than no progress, right?

            In fact, do any countries in the world have abortion laws that have no gestational limits?

            • Nikki 28.1.2.2.1.1

              Canada, to name one. They don’t have a law at all.
              There’s quite a few more but I haven’t typed up my notes from the ProChoice2011 Gathering yet. Fascinating talk on abortion law around the world. Hopefully I’ll have something on Mothers For Choice blog in next few days.

              I’m not settling for another crap law. I want one that not only reflects current practice, but improves upon it. We could have a fantastic service that really made a difference if we tried. No point doing it half arsed.

            • QoT 28.1.2.2.1.2

              I would, Lanth, if I had a sense of security that the first “increment” was truly that and not a here-is-a-crumb-now-will-you-feminists-shut-up tactic – which with the current leadership of our two major parties would be my first assumption.

              But I also do think that there’s a large amount in our current law (not gestational limits, obviously, given the conversation here) which people, once more aware, would be against – like the two certifying consultants, the lack of rape as a “ground”, the fact abortion is still part of the Crimes Act, the need to take medication abortions on “licensed premises”. So any first increment would probably be pretty significant, and a definite improvement.

              • Armchair Critic

                Awesome post, QoT. Best I’ve seen on The Standard. Kind of difficult to follow the various comment threads, there’s so many.
                There is so much wrong with our current abortion laws. The real crime is not just one, but both of the major political parties do not openly support reform.
                Fuck the tone arguments. I reckon the whole “QoT has the right to be angry” line is only part of the story. The whole conservative baby-killer argument is like a tone argument in and of itself. Anger toward that bullshit and the inherent inconsistency is completely reasonable; it’s an in-kind response.
                Having never had an abortion myself I can’t really say I know how it feels. My friends who have had one (or several) have, without exception, found it majorly stressful and not a decision that can be taken lightly, or trivially.
                The left won’t lose the election because of this issue. It is quite capable of letting the thieves back in for another three years irrespective of what happens re: updating abortion law.

  28. Jum 29

    Eventually, women will realise that the major parties will never support them because they consider women to be supportive never equal.

    When that fact filters through these same women will form their own political party, with a focus on issues that matter to women, like having the right to make their own choices.

    • grumpy 29.1

      “Eventually, women will realise that the major parties will never support them because they consider women to be supportive never equal.”

      Bullshit!! Where is your evidence for that – just your own bitterness showing through.

      “When that fact filters through these same women will form their own political party, with a focus on issues that matter to women, like having the right to make their own choices.”

      You mean like the Maori Party???? I can just see it now the “Abortion Party”

      Get real.
      Captcha: education (who thinks of these??) 🙂

  29. vto 30

    Bloody hell there has been some hell-fire arguing going on in this thread.

    Wonder what the unborn children would make of it all?

    • Pete 30.1

      Apart from the fact that a child is not unborn, they wouldn’t make anything of this debate until they’re at least a few years old. Pregnant women can make a lot of what’s happening with their own body at the time.

      • grumpy 30.1.1

        Hi Pete,

        “Apart from the fact that a child is not unborn……..”

        That is where the problem lies, for your point to prevail, society must accept that as fact. The problem is that the vast majority of people including women do not accept it.

        Perhaps you should start a campaign to convince the populace that a foetus is of no value until it’s born, then abortion reform should be a piece of cake (so to speak).

        • Pete 30.1.1.1

          “The problem is that the vast majority of people including women do not accept it.”

          Is that a fact or just your opinion?

          Perhaps I shouldn’t campaign on something I don’t believe. A foetus certainly has a value, but that value has to be considered alongside the value a pregnant woman has.

          What value should the opinion of a priest, or a politician, or any man, or any other woman have?

          • Boganette 30.1.1.1.1

            “The problem is that the vast majority of people including women do not accept it.” – {{Citation needed}}

            • grumpy 30.1.1.1.1.1

              Boganette, Simple really – if it was accepted the law would already have been changed and we would not be having this debate.

              QED

              • Boganette

                Oh what a load of shit Grumpy. Stop talking out of your ass.

                The majority of NZers don’t even know how the abortion laws in NZ work. You have no idea how many NZers are pro-choice or anti-choice. So just stop with the uninformed rubbish. Fair enough if you’re anti-choice but don’t claim you know what the population of NZ would do if abortion reform had a fair hearing.

                • grumpy

                  What sort of argument is that??

                  “…the only reason people don’t support me is because they don’t understand….”

                  Bullshit. If, as you claim, most New Zealanders were “pro-choice”, this would be on Red Alert, not The Standard.

                  I think most NZers are “pro-choice” to some degree, just not as far as you would like them to be.

                  • Boganette

                    Dude, you did not know how abortion laws worked in NZ until this post. So quit being so disingenuous. Also, my argument isn’t ‘people don’t support me because they don’t understand’. I’m saying people do support the cause of abortion law reform. Read first before you blow your load.

                    NZers are pro-choice. We’re not a Christian nation. We’re not overly religious. We’ve lead the world in some cases to do with equality issues. I know many, many people have been completely shocked about the way the laws in NZ are set up around abortion. Most people don’t understand the issue of decriminalisation because nobody talks about it. And a lot of those ‘most people’ are a Hell of a lot smarter than you.

                    Voters aren’t going around saying “oh hey, how does abortion work in NZ? Is it legal? How hard is it to get?”. The way to make this an election issue is to let people know what the current laws are – I’m sure a lot will say “oh well, I won’t ever get preggers so I don’t give a crap” but I’m also sure a lot will be quite horrified by the way it’s all set up.

                    And really, if NZers were pro-choice they’d be on one blog instead of another blog? That’s the stupidest thing I’ve heard all day.

                    • grumpy

                      Well, Boganette – I had quite a good idea of how abortion laws worked before this post and to be fair my understanding has not really improved because of it. You seem to regards abortion as “your issue”, well it’s not, as vto says it’s all of society’s issue.

                      Many, many people have come face to face with the harsh reality of abortion, not just through having one but also by supporting family and friends who have gone through the system. You seem to regard their experiences as meaningless, that is not the case. Most people whose lives have collided with abortion recognise it as something they do not wish to encounter again.

                      Your stridency alienates your potential constituency.

                      My point re Red Alert v The Standard is simply that if there was mileage to be had politically on this issue, Labour would adopt it officially – they won’t and that’s why you have to rely on a “Guest Post” on these pages – complete with “disclaimer”.

                    • Boganette

                      “I had quite a good idea of how abortion laws worked before this post” – don’t believe you.

                      “You seem to regards abortion as “your issue”” – Proof please.

                      “You seem to regard their experiences as meaningless, that is not the case.” – What gives you that idea?

                      You seem to not actually be reading anything anyone is saying on here.

                      “Most people whose lives have collided with abortion recognise it as something they do not wish to encounter again.” – Who has argued with this?

                      “Your stridency alienates your potential constituency” – Proof please. Pro-life, ignorant dudes like you are not the ‘potential constituency needed to woo in this case.

                      “My point re Red Alert v The Standard is simply that if there was mileage to be had politically on this issue, Labour would adopt it officially – they won’t and that’s why you have to rely on a “Guest Post” on these pages – complete with “disclaimer”” – You’re another one who seems to rate the importance of this website and others a lot higher than is actually realistic. Whether or not an issue is featured on a blog isn’t actually a barometer on how legitimate or valid it is as an issue.

                    • grumpy

                      Well Boganette, it’s been nice having this little chat, as you say

                      “Pro-life, ignorant dudes like you are not the ‘potential constituency needed to woo in this case”

                      Is fine because despite your assumptions, I’m not and you haven’t. I guess democracy is just a tad inconvenient eh?

                      There have been some great comments on this thread Adele, Vicky32, xanadu and even (horror) CV have made great contributions.
                      Your side, on the other hand (except for Xanadu) seem to think swearing and insults is going to endear you to readers – perhaps the actual fight is more intoxicating to you guys than the end goal of winning.

                      Someone else has speculated on the apparent youth of “your side” which is understandable given the apparent immaturity of most of your comments.

                      you’ve been given quite a hearing here and QoT and lprent have to be congratulated for that.

                      Blogging at it’s best.

                    • Boganette

                      Yawn. I really wish you could be more original Grumpy. “You swear too much and I don’t like it when the ladies swear” is a bit tired isn’t it?

                      How best can I win you over dear? Would you like a foot rub? Hand-fed grapes? Would the widdle fellow like a heated-up muffin? Debating is tiring isn’t it kitten? Maybe you’d like a lie down, I’ll fan you and sing softly and then when you feel strong enough when can talk about the reality of abortion.

          • vto 30.1.1.1.2

            Reproduction in humans is a matter for all of society. And in particular cases it is a matter for the pregnant woman, the unborn child, the father, the immediate family and, significantly, wider society, to varying degrees.

            Anyone who thinks that reproduction is a matter for just one person is a deluded fool with absolutely no understanding of human society and its requirements.

            • grumpy 30.1.1.1.2.1

              On the money again vto.

              Taking this post to it’s logical conclusion. The future payer of child support also has a stake in this “parasitic organism” as Nikki so eloquently puts it.

              If, faced with future financial hardship, he wants it aborted – why could he not have the right to do so?

        • Nikki 30.1.1.2

          The fetus has as much personhood as the pregnant woman wants to give it. She can sing it lullabys and buy it all manner of baby related extravagance if she wants… but if she wants to also reflect on what physically is, a bunch of cells or parasitic organism then that is also fine.

          It isn’t up to us to tell a pregnant woman how to feel about her pregnancy – and that IS what our campaign is all about.

          • grumpy 30.1.1.2.1

            Feel free to pursue your campaign. As a non Labour supporter, I look forward to your group publicising it’s stance that an unborn baby is just a ” parasitic organism “.

            I can understand CV’s “worst nightmare” scenario.

            • Nikki 30.1.1.2.1.1

              Our stance is that it is up to the woman to decide how she feels about her pregnancy, get as much input from as many or as few sources as she needs, make choices accordingly – and have access to a great health service.

              But if you want to project us as babyhaters then good luck to you – our public personas say very much otherwise.

          • vto 30.1.1.2.2

            Nikki, you are clearly describing yourself as well with your description of a living organism (unborn child) as “a bunch of cells “.

            “It isn’t up to us to tell a pregnant woman how to feel about her pregnancy – and that IS what our campaign is all about.” Well in fact it is to a certain extent. Reproduction is a matter for all of society. Sheesh.

            • Nikki 30.1.1.2.2.1

              In what way? Care to explain more about what say society should have over a woman who has an unwanted pregnancy?

              • vto

                Society has an interest in seeing it reproduce because if it does not then society becomes extinct. I can’t get a link for you but I’m pretty sure most just about everyone in society does not want to become extinct.

                I wouldn’t have thought such a baseline would need explaining.

                Do you believe that the place of human reproduction is only for the person who carries the baby?

                • Nikki

                  My apologies, I thought that our baseline was dealing with UNWANTED PREGNANCIES. Clearly I was completely confused.

                  • vto

                    “UNWANTED PREGNANCIES” are a large part of the human reproduction issue Nikki. Or do you think they are somehow removed and immune from those wider parameters? It seems you do, though feel free to correct me, and this is where you get it wrong. Perhaps I could re-word the question…

                    Do you believe that the place of unwanted pregnancies is only for the person who carries the baby?

                    • Nikki

                      Our stance is that it is up to the woman to decide how she feels about her pregnancy, get as much input from as many or as few sources as she needs, make choices accordingly – and have access to a great health service.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      vto are you saying that it isn’t?

                      To rephrase, are you saying that someone gets to veto her decision and say that either;

                      yes actually, you must continue this pregnancy against your will?

                      or

                      No, you will terminate it against your will

                    • vto

                      Yes I am saying that it isn’t. (but not your re-phrasing re veto). See my comment at 11.14 yesterday above.

                      It seems my view however is at odds with most commenters on here. So be it.

                      I also think that this is one of the most difficult contorted issues that society deals with, hence its place in the political spectrum that scares the hell out of most politicians. And I would suggest that the reason for that is because of the place of reproduction in continuing the human race. There is nothing more fundamental.

            • Pete 30.1.1.2.2.2

              “Reproduction is a matter for all of society.”

              In the greater scheme of things it is. What would be best best, for a women, and for society?

              – to start her 2.x child family as a teenager as a result of drunken indescretion when she has no money, no qualifications or work experience and no reliable partner

              – to be able to plan her 2.x child family in her mid to late twenties once she has established a sound financial backing and has a financially and familially supportive partner

              • grumpy

                You are, of course, right in this context but I don’t think that is the issue here/now.

                In your case the 12 week gestation period works now.

                • Freya

                  A 12 week (84 day) gestation cutoff only works if:
                  1) the woman in question has regular menstrual cycles (a lot of us occasionally miss a cycle, usually in times of stress, and younger women in particular often don’t have cycles that stabilise until years after they begin menstruation)
                  2) the woman in question has ‘normal length’ cycles – 35 day cycles are within ‘normal’, and a variance of up to 8 days is ‘normal’
                  3) is not taking medication which can give false evidence (one of my friends, for example, has had two children both conceived while taking HBC correctly)
                  4) abortion can be accessed in a timely fashion

                  I have been pregnant – the foetus was non-viable; I had an D&C (one surgical abortion option) at 14 weeks due to missed miscarriage – and my first menstrual cycle after falling pregnant happened on time, a little lighter than usual, but on time (not unusual (albeit not USUAL) – there’s medical reasons, and it’s technically not menstruation but it feels like it). At the time the foetus died (~11 weeks), I had only missed one period.

              • vto

                Pete (and Nikki above), when it comes to such decisions in particular cases it seems there is a continuum between two extremes. At one end an example may be aborting because the mother and child are at risk of death whereas at the other an example may be aborting because it does not suit the mother’s holiday plans that year.

                Where does your example fit on that continuum? Not sure… But the answer imo must come from not just the person carrying the baby for those reasons outlined before.

  30. Dex 31

    Almost 50% of all abortions in this country are conducted on woman whom have already had at least one previous abortion (in many cases 2 or more). That really makes a mockery of any suggestion that abortions are hard to get, traumatic or at all in need of reform in this country, if anything it suggests the contrary, that irresponsible people are using them as a form of late birth control placing a huge burden on the health system.

    I have no problem with the morality of abortion, with the caveat of late term abortions for anything but serious health reasons, however I do have a problem with people abusing the system multiple times and not taking the appropriate and freely available contraceptive measures in the first place.

    • Nikki 31.1

      By almost 50% do you by chance mean, 37%? If I’d realised that we were just making statistics up to support bullshit arguments then that changes the game plan.

  31. Dex 32

    I stand corrected, the figure is only 37%, thats a far more acceptable number thus invalidating the rest of my argument…or not.

    • Rebecca 32.1

      Dex – so what’s your answer? Force those terrible bad people who have a second or third abortion to go ahead with an unwanted pregnancy? You might also want to tone down the judginess and think about the circumstances those people are in. Maybe they have had repeated difficulty using contraception. Maybe they had one abortion twenty years ago when they were fifteen and another now. Maybe they’re one of the high number of people accessing abortions who are the victims of domestic violence. There’s a whole bunch of circumstances that lead to that abortion. I doubt very many of them are terrible lazy people who consider having an abortion a bit of a laff.

  32. Rebecca 33

    I’m active in the pro-choice movement, and know and like many of the people commenting here from a pro-choice perspective. And I do take on board some of the criticism that’s made of the way we’re – I mean I’m – jumping down the throat of someone wanting to debate a point of difference about strategy or the best way forward or details of reform. I think all of those are valuable discussions to be having, and necessary if we are to achieve change. And I think there’s a difference between those conversations with fellow travellers and the trolling of some of the anti-choice born agains on here. We shouldn’t confuse the two. So for me, a little bit of “fair cop guv” and looking forward to the debate continuing here and in other forums.

  33. Marg 34

    I seriously don’t understand how this post went the way that it did. It just seems a crying shame that it has resulted in a whole lot of flame-waring. As a pro-choicer and a mother QoT you have my full support for this cause and for your anger.

    I do think though that some very big breaths need to be taken before we lose a whole lot of people who, though maybe slightly condescending, ultimately support our cause. I’m a woman who likes to swear reasonably often, gets in very snarky political arguments and has been known to be a bogan…but I do sometimes feel a bit intimidated by your style and nervous about engaging.

    That said I respect you for putting the post out there for debate. Can we just debate the issue?

    • Boganette 34.1

      Marg – this post may interest you: http://www.ladynews.co.nz/?p=215

      As said over at Lady News: “I don’t care if my anger or my confrontational style is perceived as unacceptable: dancing around the issues isn’t going to get anything done, and ‘nice-ing” myself down to appease others is an insult to all the people before me who let their outrage feed their power and motivate their actions.”

      • Colonial Viper 34.1.1

        Yeah I agree that keeping cool and calm does not always get things moving along.

        HOWEVER you gotta recognise that being angry and confrontational while cathartic also does precious little to move Government. Unless there are a whole lot of you doing similar at the same time.

      • Marg 34.1.2

        yeah, thanks Boganette I’d read that post. also read megan wegan’s fight with Lynn over on her blog. wahhoo for anger…but who the fuck is the anger being directed at? Am I not allowed to be ANGRY that a legitimate debate is just being wasted on a ‘who can be the biggest dick’ thread? It is dancing around the issue. Feel free to be angry about abortion laws and peoples prejudice. but half of the anger being sprayed around on here is just weird. Fellow feminists and standard commenters/moderators/authors included

        • Lanthanide 34.1.2.1

          Entirely agree with Marg and CV on this.

          I also get the distinct impression, particularly with regards to what Rex was talking about (and also somewhat with my own ill-fated sojourn into the discussion) that a lot of you embattled pro-choicers are dealing with people who are likely to be engaging with you (and this issue) for the first time.

          So we say X because of our justification Y, but you perceive that we’re actually saying Z, which you’ve seen time and time again and so react with your automatic slogans and tearing down. But actually we weren’t saying Z, we were simply trying to describe Y and ended up using language X that seemed close to the same used when other people talk about Z.

          Hopefully that’s clear enough. I’m not saying your reaction to ‘issue Z’ is wrong or anything, just that some of the arguments you’ve put forward are a bit misplaced because we weren’t actually talking about ‘issue Z’ (I think this is particularly evident in Rex’s thread).

          • Marg 34.1.2.1.1

            Yeah, was kinda disappointed the way you were so quickly maligned Lanthanide. While the experience you mentioned is not directly comparable with abortion for women it is perfectly natural for people to be empathetic by attempting to make associations with their own lives.

            I’m not coming to this for the first time though. I comment regularly on various feminist blogs, am a member of various feminists threads/fb pages where these issues are discussed and am politically active in this area. So yeah…I know all the feminist bingo etc and mostly can totally see why it is utilised. Here there seemed to be some very strange outburts though that just seemed to ramp up from nothing to ww3

        • lprent 34.1.2.2

          Marg: For me the issue is that when people start attacking the site and demanding an apology for what is essentially a procedural matter, my defensive instincts kick in. It has been a standard tactic by many of our critics over the years and I have to assume it is a concerted attempt to subvert the site.

          It is rather pointless trying to force it past that point. My standard response is to just explain the position whenever and where-ever it is raised using a response reflecting the style of person raising it (ie relatively polite to outright nasty). Eventually I’ll just run out of patience and start removing it from my workload, dropping out of explaining it offsite, and banning those in site (which is the point I’m getting to now). But nothing is going to change immediately because policy changes like that on the site are made inside the e-mail back-end – they are not made in a direct response to outside pressure (and so far there has been little in the back-end).

          But I really wish that people would just debate the posts issue without the side tracking down relatively unrelated side paths.

        • Boganette 34.1.2.3

          Marg – You’re “allowed” to be as angry as you want – I’m not the one saying people shouldn’t get angry, quite the opposite in fact, in case you hadn’t noticed. But I do think it’s pretty off that you’ve singled out Megan. Don’t police Megan. She’s entitled to say whatever she likes on her blog. Even if you don’t approve.

          • Marg 34.1.2.3.1

            I was merely pointing out I’d kept up to date with other commentary on this… as you were pointing me to further reading.

            The tone argument totally sucks when people who don’t agree with you use it to to dismiss you. But I DO agree with QoT’s arguments and have also been fighting for this law change. But having read the vitriol on this thread and elsewhere I just feel tired, defeated and alienated. You don’t have to care, neither does QoT. I’m not trying to shut her up in her fight to get this law changed. I am pointing out that it would be nice if half of the fighting on this thread was warranted and related to people who disagree that this law should be changed.

            BTW I read both you and Megan because I think you are awesome bloggers so certainly not trying to single any one out in the way you’ve stated

            • the sprout 34.1.2.3.1.1

              agreed, Boganette is one of the best writers in the NZ blogosphere

            • Boganette 34.1.2.3.1.2

              Marg – I also feel saddened and annoyed that the thread has turned out the way it has. But I see the majority of the de-railing as coming from anti-choicers or just people who are incapable of focusing on the issue at hand. Sure, I’ve snapped a few times on here, I’ll definitely cop that criticism. But that’s basically because I’m used to being around people who don’t wander off into strange-high-on-acid-style tangents about how homosexuals are like rapists and gold stars are offensive and men who wish they were lesbians, and Ali G said this about feminism and look at me! I’m a coder! etc. Maybe I just don’t have the patience to handle some of the people who comment here. I’m used to commenting and contributing to blogs where people don’t encourage and take part in and even celebrate deliberate derailing tactics.

              I know you’re not trying to shut up QoT. I know you support the cause.

              Thanks. And thanks Sprout 🙂

              • fermionic_interference

                Nail on the head. and here is where you hit it how this post has been handled (and poorly in some cases at that)

                I’m probably risking a ban with how I phrased that link above but them’s the breaks

                Between what yourself and QoT have written over the last couple of days you have slammed convincingly both the current laws regarding abortion in NZ and the response to the topic when it has been bought up.

                I still am unsure of how to comment on this other than to agree with Marg above that the in fighting between those whom agree the law needs to be changed is an issue.

                The setup of the current law system is abominable and needs to provide more freedom of choice for women.
                What more can I say I personally can never become pregnant (Being male) so I can then only support the freedom of choice of the women who can, the question then becomes how to do this without coming across as a fraud claiming to understand a situation he cannot fathom?

                [lprent: Linking to external discussions doesn’t worry me. I am just tired of the side issue being raised off topic in this post. There are also a couple of links at the bottom of the comments to external posts. You can also continue in OpenMike. ]

    • QoT 34.2

      Along with everything else I’ve said on the tone argument, Marg, here’s my big sticking point: when for example Zetetic makes one of his out-there, sometimes vulgar, often extreme satirical posts, it’s not usually his supposed allies who are telling him to shut up because he’s hurting the Left.

  34. Kleefer 35

    Queen of Thorns has got it exactly right, the situation regarding abortion in New Zealand is an absolute farce. This issue, just like prostitution and the war on drugs, is about individual freedom to decide what to do with your life and your body versus the state’s authoritarian impulse to ban things it doesn’t approve of.

    Unfortunately the left, which has made important social advances regarding individual liberty in New Zealand, makes an artificial distinction between economic freedom and social freedom, which are really two sides of the same coin. Supporters of a big, powerful state shouldn’t be surprised when the state turns around and rides roughshod over rights they hold dear.

    • vto 35.1

      Without wanting to get slammed left, right and centre.. one issue in this entire debate has never sat straight with me and it is highlighted by your comment Kleefer where you say it is ” about individual freedom to decide what to do with your life and your body”.

      But the thing, you see, is that it isn’t in fact just your body. And it isn’t just your life. It is the body of an unborn and his or her life.

      I mean, how do you square that one away? Because I aint never been satisfied with the answers generally put forward for your position.

      • pollywog 35.1.1

        But the thing, you see, is that it isn’t in fact just your body. And it isn’t just your life. It is the body of an unborn and his or her life.

        Werd Homeslice…and as the potential father of that unborn life, he should have a considerable say in its termination.

        …but if in fact, one views aborted foetuses as, just a ‘bunch of cells’, then it shouldn’t be a problem that in an ‘abortion on demand’ world some entrepreneurial pimp pays a stable of poor women to become impreganted and subsequently abort to then sell the bunch of cells for stem cell research.

        Is that unethical or immoral or just plain good business sense with aborted foetus becoming just another tradeable commodity like organs ?

        s’pose it’s no worse than selling quality sperm as a bonafide donor of quality genes.

        • Colonial Viper 35.1.1.1

          Adult humans are just a “bunch of cells” too. Just slightly bigger, more trained and wired up etc but basically it comes down to wetwork.

          No probs with bringing back capital punishment then.

      • Puddleglum 35.1.2

        Hi vto,

        You might want to read my comment above. It’s my attempt to address that issue.

        • Colonial Viper 35.1.2.1

          Ahhhhh nice one. We don’t own our bodies. At best they are on very temporary loan to us with a lot of uncomfortable limiting conditions attached.

          • pollywog 35.1.2.1.1

            Beats me why any self respecting Thetan would want to inhabit a foetus that was destined for the chop…

            …but hey, my ancestors are from Arcturus, so i don’t give a fuck

  35. JD 36

    LOL Epic thread

    Good to see ideological fanaticism alive and kicking in parts of the left rather than the colourless and banal technocrats which call themselves labour.

    Still Trotter was right about one thing – the inability of the extreme left to treat others with respect and converse politely was ultimately detrimental to their cause.

    Keep it up, this stuff is pure gold.

    • Robot Pie 36.1

      After a while people get tired of discussing politely. Especially when it’s about things like a woman’s right to choose what happens to her own body, which is dismissed as not as important as the economy, when in fact the current abortion laws probably affect women with lower incomes more than anyone else.

      ‘Respect’? Well, that’s a two way street, Dearie. If QOT had been treated with respect instead of a way to jack up page views, then this thread may have been somewhat different.

      I’m glad you can be so smug about enjoying this. Hooray for privilege!

      [lprent: As has been already discussed extensively, the reason for putting the post in here was to discuss the content of her post. If you want to troll off the topic, then do it elsewhere. ]

      • QoT 36.1.1

        lprent, I take real issue with your moderator comment here. Why isn’t JD getting a similar one for raising exactly the same tone-argument don’t-swear-so-much points which have also already been extensively discussed? Why isn’t that trolling? Why don’t we assume that RP is doing JD a favour by explaining a discussion JD obviously missed?

        • lprent 36.1.1.1

          Because I was moderating on the specific issues of the intro and why this post was here. They’d been extensively discussed and explained here and other forums (II, B, M etc) which appear to have been all linked here. While probably interesting to some, it wasn’t particularly related to the content of your post. I had already ruled those issues out, allowed through some closing commentary on the subject, and started warning.

          The second para of RP’s comment clearly related to that. And was done some time after. because this comment was so large I was warning rather doing any thing else – people may have missed the other warnings in the subthreads.

          JD’s was about something you had covered in your post here.

  36. uke 37

    There’s a moving docudrama about adoption processes in 1970s NZ called “Gone up north for a while”: which was a euphemism for when young unmarried women went out of town to give birth and put their child up for adoption.

    I think a documentary presentation of the stories of actual women about their experiences of being denied an abortion – coupled with interviews with advocates & conservatives – would be a very powerful way of generating public discussion of the Chadwick bill. When people are confronted with actual stories it is often very effective.

    Perhaps there is documentary maker out there who would be interested, maybe somebody connected with Vanguard Films in Wellington (Alistair Barry and co)? Although I don’t know if such a film would get on primetime tele, there is the documentary film festival and other outlets.

    • nadis 37.1

      Well, as the only son of a woman who”went up north” I am kind of glad abortion was unavailable in the mid 60’s.

      And yet as a social liberal I gravitate towards agreeing that safe abortion should be available.

      Makes my head hurt thinking about it.

  37. Carol 38

    Hah! Antispam: “election”

    I was just going to comment on the issue discussed above in a few places, about the prioritising of the economy or abortion reform in the coming election.

    On reflection, I DO want to see some left-wing party responses to the way NAct has been anti-women in various ways, especially when it comes to childcare and and employment issues. They are quite contradictory and harsh on mothers, (especially if they don’t have a man who can support them), and women in general.

    It does relate to reproductive issues. Nact want single mothers to go out to work as soon as, after having a baby. They want to encourage less well-off women to have less children. Yet, even with the best of intentions, women can still get pregnant unintentionally, esepcially when under financial pressure, and struggling to make ends meet. But NAct have no desire, it seems, to also improve the abortion laws, and to make it easier for provision of good quality care & education for the children of single mothers and low-income parents generally.

    I want to see left wing parties to foreground some policies that would work to create more equality for women, and support for less well-off parents, especially single parents.

  38. Pascal's bookie 39

    By way of prelude,

    When someone tells me they are pissed off about an issue, and also saying they are further pissed off that that issue is being sidelined as unimportant by should-be-allies, and I comment along the lines of:

    ‘Hey I agree with you about the issue but your anger is misplaced and goes too far’

    …then the result is not going to be anything other than an unholy shit fight; because one of the very things that was pissing the original person off has been restated.

    And that’s what happened in the very first comment on this thread, and has been repeated throughout. This is not a side issue to the OP.

    So I’ll just write a line under that, and say what I reckon about how political alliances between citizens kind of have to work if they are to, work. And it’s just me, sayin.
    —————————

    It seems to me, that when someone is pissed off about something, and I agree with them about the underlying issue, and (this bit is really important) they tell me that they are pissed off at my seeming lack of support for that issue, then my path forward is pretty clear.

    If I really want them to tone down their rhetoric because I really, genuinely, fear that their rhetoric is damaging our joint cause, then it seems to me the best way to do that is to address the second matter, (of their anger at me), first.

    I need to show them, not tell them, that I support their cause.

    If they think I haven’t been as supportive of this as I ought to have been, (and most especially if the matter affects them more than me), then I don’t get to tell them how my actions have been sufficient. I just don’t. I shouldn’t tell them about the more subtle plan that I have had for the issue and think that this will assuage their anger. They know about that plan, and it’s part of the reason for their anger.

    Basically me telling them to tone it down and that I have it all in hand with a more subtle, less divisive plan, is flat out asking to get my arsed kicked.

    If I can’t do this for some principled reason, then we don’t have an alliance, and that’s ok. But we should you know, not pretend.

  39. Daveosaurus 40

    It has been my opinion for many years that the only ethical position to take is the pro-choice position; and, further, that the most compelling argument for this to be so has been the behaviour of the anti-choice lobby. Nothing I have read here in the last couple of days has caused me to change this opinion.

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