Your Body. Your Choice

Sat, 04/25/2015 - 16:43
Submitted by Carlin Ross

If we own our bodies, we have the right to modify them.

Owning Your Own Body.

Sun, 04/26/2015 - 12:49

I agree wholly with B&C's message of plastic surgery up until the abortion bit. Carlin and Betty need to define when life begins and what constitutes as a 'living baby' in their viewpoint. Is it a woman's right to abort a baby up until the last minute? What about this circumcision debate - well, he's my child, I own him, I'll get him circumcised since it's also my right to abort him (playing Devil's advocate).

I'm not sure the message of "having compassion" for babies whilst holding the viewpoint of being ready and able to abort at will are compatible ideological positions. They seem contradictory to me. Eric Gosnell, for example, sure didn't have compassion for babies...

What does everyone else think?

Vince C.


Mon, 04/27/2015 - 02:28


Surely bodily autonomy involves the individual making their own decision about what's right for them within the framework of the law? It absolutely does not require Betty or Carlin to define what they think would be reasonable for anyone other than themselves to have an abortion. They leave that decision to the person who has to live with the consequences, either way, of carrying a child to term.

And doesn't it seem reasonable to trust grown women to make grown up choices for themselves?

It is entirely valid to disagree with some aspect of legislation and campaign to have it changed. It is entirely reasonable to be personally conflicted about choices we regard as ethical or morally grey. It is okay to say "I disagree with this because..."

But it does not seem at all reasonable, providing a person is acting within the boundaries of the law, to ask them to justify their actions and decisions time and time again. It is not reasonable to transfer one's own moral angst or ambivalence onto someone who is not conflicted, and is just going about their own lives.

This constant requirement that women justify or explain themselves with regard to their reproductive choices is infantilising. It questions women's competency to make grown-up decisions for themselves, and just because they are disagreeing with their interrogator.

At some level, it starts to demonstrate a contempt for women and their ability to make rational, moral, adult choices.

Sexual Ethics.

Mon, 04/27/2015 - 14:15

NLH, I'm not questioning Betty and Carlin's competency as women, nor am I trying to infantilize them. I'm questioning their logical consistency regarding sexual ethics (with her background in legal work, I am hoping Carlin would appreciate that.) I know B&C are intelligent thinkers, which is why I know they can take criticism every now and then.

I know I've been hounding this website with abortion complaints and philosophic grandstanding, but I am just pointing out logical errors that are sloppy. I do not expect everyone to be deep thinkers, but my main argument is that if you reject the Judeo-Christian notion of life beginning at conception, then it is your obligation as a rational human being to define for yourself when life begins before you can have radical opinions. It's like skipping the main course and going right to dessert - "I am radically pro-abortion and women can do whatever they want and abort at will." It's, like, wait a minute - you have to set the framework and build your argument from the ground up, which means defining where life begins, when the fetus is an actual baby in your argument, a consideration of ethics, a consideration of morality, et cetera. The issue of abortion is far more complex than someone having the 'right' to do something.

Without having done that, and then to persecute other women for circumcising their babies and claiming it to be mutilation, well, it doesn't seem well-thought out.

Vince C.

Defining for ourselves

Wed, 04/29/2015 - 16:03


Reading through your note "it is your obligation as a rational human being to define for yourself..."  it struck me that you're essentially saying much the same as Betty & Carlin ie.people need to think through their decisions and take responsibility - be autonomous.

But in the main thrust of the blog, Betty and Carlin weren't talking about their own decisions, their own bodily autonomy at all. They were talking about every woman taking responsibility for their own decisions, their own bodies, and specifically a person writing in to discuss body image issues and cosmetic surgery.

You seem to agree with the main part of what they were saying but took issue with the comment re: abortion made as an aside to the main conversation.

To focus on the abortion comment seemed to miss the point of the blog - it felt like a bit of a distraction and whilst as you know most of the time I'm all for wandering off topic ...

Surely their point on the blog was that this specific woman & all women generally should feel empowered to make those decisions for themselves without need to reference or look for approval from Betty, Carlin or indeed anyone else? In this context to focus on Betty and Carlin's own belief systems would have distracted from and/or undermined that central message of autonomy.

& don't you find it strange that people going about their everyday reproductive business within the law, should ever be asked to justify their decisions? Thinking about your comment re: legal consistency, we normally require people who break the law to justify themselves, their decisions and behaviour, not the otherway around.

Always interesting chatting with you - wishing you well.

PS Do you really see them "persecuting" other women on the topic of  circumcision? They consistently campaign against non-religious circumcision and Betty's definitely got a thing about organised religion but persecution seems a bit harsh.