July 3, 2022

"Patients were typically confused when presented with a clinic that looked mostly like a house and a little like a church."

"They described to me how anti-choice protesters would prolong and exploit this confusion to keep patients away from medical care for as long as possible, employing medical misinformation or simple guilt. When a car did make it into the clinic parking lot, the protesters could not physically approach whomever got out of it without trespassing, so they just yelled at them. They had an elevated platform for this purpose, built right up against the clinic’s property line...."  

They chose to talk about sex a lot. They tended to be opposed to birth control and were fond of explaining 'God’s plan for human sexuality.' One woman illustrated this plan with unasked-for details about her virtuous married sex life. She felt that abortion and hormonal birth control were murder, and that condoms were undignified. Her husband learned to suppress his sexual urges, she said, and they now had sex only for procreation.... 
I was confused by some protesters’ opposition to birth control and focus on virtuous motherhood. Because I was raised by blunt and truthful people, I first assumed the weekly standoff at the clinic was caused by an honest difference in opinion about abortion. This didn’t jibe with the protesters’ hatred of contraception.... 
All of society was telling me I was part of a cultural conflict over the question of when human life begins, but my experience was showing me the conflict was broader. The protesters appeared to want sexual expression and gender roles to be governed by conservative Christianity.... 
Publicly they claim the goal of saving unborn children. I sense that just below the surface there is a more ambitious dream: conservative Christian dominion over human sexuality and gender."

These are important questions: Is opposition to abortion really about saving the lives of the unborn? Or does opposition to abortion really come from a different place, a desire to control sexuality? Everyone can see the problem of killing the unborn, even those who want abortion to be available. The argument Skinner makes — and I've seen it before — is that what really puts you on one side or the other on this issue is whether you believe that society should channel people into expressing their sexuality within traditional marriage.

***

And WaPo, get the word editing right: It's not "the protesters could not physically approach whomever got out of it." It should be "the protesters could not physically approach whoever got out of it." Isolate the phrase that begins with the who/whom word — "whomever got out" — and the mistake is easy to see.

71 comments:

jrapdx said...

Well I haven't spoken with thousands of people who oppose abortion on demand, but among those with whom I've had a conversation, none has said anything to suggest their opposition is about a desire to control others' sex behavior.

Rather they're adamant that it's the lives of unborn children that compels their stance. If they harbor a deeply secret compulsion to meddle in the sexual conduct of the masses they've hidden it exceptionally well. Anyway, is it terribly naive to take their commitments at face value? FWIW that's my inclination.

Unless of course these people turn out to be as big manipulators as the resident leftists in power. But really I just don't see how that would happen.

MadTownGuy said...

From the post:
"The argument Skinner makes — and I've seen it before — is that what really puts you on one side or the other on this issue is whether you believe that society should channel people into expressing their sexuality within traditional marriage."

That's not the only argument. The oldest argument is that certain people ought not to reproduce so much. That was the impetus behind the founding of Planned Parenthood. The counter argument is that indiscriminate sex outside of marriage isn't a good thing; the women who have undergone abortions, especially in the last fifty years, are casualties of the Sexual Revolution.

MadTownGuy said...

Quoted from the article:

"I sense that just below the surface there is a more ambitious dream: conservative Christian dominion over human sexuality and gender."

Pure projection, from the partisans who dream of state control of all things people do, say, or think. It's very much like a cult.

gilbar said...

, the protesters could not physically approach whomever got out of it without trespassing, so they just yelled at them

There's your problem Right There.
The ONLY thing they are allowed to do, is YELL.. So, they yell.
IF they could Actually interact with people, they'd see the advantages in being coherent and persuasive.
BUT,The ONLY thing they are allowed to do, is YELL.. So, they yell. (well, that and Bomb clinics)

The Vault Dweller said...

And WaPo, get the word editing right: It's not "the protesters could not physically approach whomever got out of it." It should be "the protesters could not physically approach whoever got out of it." Isolate the phrase that begins with the who/whom word — "whomever got out" — and the mistake is easy to see.

Wasn't it right? The protesters could not approach whomever got out. The protesters are the subject, approach is the verb isn't whomever the direct object? Isn't who a subject and whom an object?

As someone who is moderately pro-life I do suspect that many if not most Pro-life people wish that all people had more Christian morals regarding sexuality. I don't think that means that all their actions regarding abortion are a unified aim at promoting that. It is possible, and I think likely, that they have discrete interests.

Humperdink said...

AA asked: " Is opposition to abortion really about saving the lives of the unborn?"

Yes. Period. There may be a few strays out there who denigrate the cause, but to suggest abortion is about sexuality is the ultimate stretch.

lane ranger said...

The idea that pro life people want to control women's bodies or their sexuality is brought up periodically by abortion advocates as a distraction to avoid having to acknowledge that abortion kills an unborn baby.

PJ said...

One can make the argument from both sides that the other side’s views about when life begins are really just motivated consequences of their views about sexuality. And for many individuals on each side, the charge has merit. You can spot them because they spend so little time pondering when life begins that they can’t have a conversation about it. And the ones for whom it’s all about sex are the first to accuse the other side of being all about sex.

I’d like to see a poll about where readers think their state legislatures should draw the line, so the two-thirds who answered the federal poll “no federal legislation” would have an opportunity to express a position.

Lem said...

Kind of like how the unspoken goal behind Wokeism is Marxist Communism?

No.

There may be some “fundamentalist” Christians feeling, believing that. But it’s probably fringe groups that believes such things and the media is trying to paint pro-lifers in a less than positive light.

typingtalker said...

"Sticks and stones can break my bones but words will never hurt me."

They have no power. And the louder they shout and the longer they shout and the more disgusting their shouting the greater is the evidence of their helplessness.

IamDevo said...

Pics or it didn't happen. We have hours of video of pro-abortion "protesters" yelling, screaming, flailing around in their hysteria, but not a single still photo or video of these terrible anti-abortion highjinks that xe describes? Mx. Skinner betrays xis bias in the first paragraph, where xe claims to have had no feelings one way or the other on abortion, yet volunteers as an "escort." (That is to say, xe confesses to being an accomplice in the intentional, premeditated homicide of another human being.) Xe is as credible as that other stellar witness, Mx. Hutchinson, whose regaling us with hearsay from alleged eyewitnesses who were both available and willing to testify (and contrary to her version of events, if reports are to be believed) is less than credible, to say the least.

Owen said...

WaPo is confused about who/whom? Lenin was not.

Buckwheathikes said...

"get the word editing right"

There's no copy editors at the Washington Post. Jesus, Ann, you really do live in the quaint past, don't you? You really need to get out in the real world more.

Richard Aubrey said...

Presuming someone with a different view of one thing or another wants to get into your shorts is a lazy way of passing over other possible motivations.
OTOH, pregnancy by IVF or.....some other way not involving conventional or nonconventional sex, the kind that at least one party enjoys--is still very likely to get the pro-life attention when it's taken to the parts shop.

mezzrow said...

+10 to @Owen.

news flash: the next 50 years will not be like the last 50 years. How will it be different?

In 50 years, will there be a Washington Post? If there is, how will it differ? Will they reinstitute copy editors and if so, when?

So many questions. It's almost as if human life matters. I like to believe so.

Tim said...

I call bullshit on most of that story. Almost everyone I know opposes abortion, but can live with the morning after pill, and has no issue whatsoever with birth control. Birth control is key. But it should be used before you get someone pregnant or get pregnant, depending on your sex.

rhhardin said...

Whoever means the person who. The person part is an object and the who part is a subject.

Danno said...

There are people of many and differing persuasions on the pro-life side as there are on the pro-choice side. WaPo just looked to find some anecdotal examples that would trigger their readers.

Lewis Wetzel said...

The Skinner piece is anecdote mixed with mind reading. The idea that the alternative to a nation where abortion is legally available up to the moment of birth is a nation where contraception is illegal is ridiculous.
The number may be larger for people who protest outside abortion mills, but overall only 4% of Americans see contraception as a moral wrong:
https://www.pewresearch.org/religion/2016/09/28/4-very-few-americans-see-contraception-as-morally-wrong/
No one is going to take away your condoms.
Has the WaPo ever featured an OpEd from the opposing POV? Maybe from a volunteer at an anti-abortion "pregnancy crisis center"? From what I understand, the staff at these centers emphasize the humanity of the baby developing in the mother's womb, while abortion clinics do the opposite.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

I wouldn't be able to escort women into an abortion clinic unless I was also able to escort them out of the abortion clinic and take their bodyweight before and after in the interest of science.

Temujin said...

I would strongly suggest that WaPo has done what our media very typically does. Start with a pre-formed conclusion on who is anti-abortion and go out to find those people to illustrate it. There are very atypical people on both sides of this. I'm sure most people who want freedom to have an abortion are not wearing t-shirts that say 'Celebrate your abortion', which is, at best, cruel, and at worst a show of an individual's sickness.

You want to find those people who want to control your sex life based on their religious principals- they are out there in enough numbers that you can find them- on both sides. Just as Christ is religion to many, abortion is also a religious sacrament to many. They literally consider it their most sacred right.

Most people are in the middle. And most people do not take this tack. That WaPo chooses to illustrate this is not surprising. All of the media is up to their eyeballs in their religion. They have to protect it.

But what struck me initially with this post was the first paragraph: ""They described to me how anti-choice protesters would prolong and exploit this confusion to keep patients away from medical care for as long as possible, employing medical misinformation or simple guilt. When a car did make it into the clinic parking lot, the protesters could not physically approach whomever got out of it without trespassing, so they just yelled at them. They had an elevated platform for this purpose, built right up against the clinic’s property line....".

This is what happens when a conservative speaker just tries to fulfill the request to speak at a university. Just showing up sometimes is dangerous. I don't recall seeing WaPo giving this sort of coverage to, say, Charles Murray trying to speak at Middlebury College. 'Whataboutisms' are not an argument, I know. But it's what immediately crossed my mind when I read that first paragraph.

farmgirl said...

“Everyone can see the problem of killing the unborn, even those who want abortion to be available.”

This may have once been true, but something has been lost along the years and the 63,000,000abortions performed since 1973. Collective conscience, most likely. Amongst the loudest and smartest, of course.

I could be mistaken and haven’t looked it up, but Catholicism teaches that to use birth control means you withhold a part of yourself when giving yourself sexually. Nothing in a Catholic marriage is 50/50. It’s meant to be 100/100: e/giving 100%of self to the other. Fertility included. I mean, there’s so much more to the teaching- I’m cliff noting.

Something about this person’s testimony seems so false, to me. I’ve learned that oppositional lies to damage another’s character is a means to nullify their position/argument, as well.

Tell the Truth.
Be best.
America last.

gilbar said...

the women who have undergone abortions, especially in the last fifty years, are casualties of the Sexual Revolution.

Like the Billboards say: "Every Abortion Has Two Victims"

Temujin said...

The other thing I'd say is that WaPo is using it's East Coast view of the world and placing it on people living in Nebraska. There are different leading cultures all around our country. I know the media has a hard time with this, but we are not all in line with the mindset of New York, Washington, LA, or San Francisco. And to insist it be so is simply a parting from reality.

We all have many things in common across this country, but we are so obviously different from state to state, region to region. What we eat, how we speak, what we do, how religious we are, how traditional or progressive we lean. To assume one is better- more superior- than the other is the height of hubris. It also shows a lack of the nuance and sophistication they love to assume for themselves.

When we do this in other countries, we refer to ourselves as the 'ugly Americans'. When we do it at home we refer to ourselves as morally superior. Or sometimes just 'journalists'.

wendybar said...

AA asked: " Is opposition to abortion really about saving the lives of the unborn?"

ABSOLUTELY. I could don't care if you have sex, with whom you have sex (adult), or when you have sex. Not my business. Murdering as many babies as are being murdered every day because people refuse to take responsibility for themselves is selfish. People like Whoopie Goldberg who brags of 6 abortions, and Martha Plimpton who's first abortions was her favorite are the problem. Young girls look up to idiots like that. Don't know why. Murder is murder.

wendybar said...

Tim said...
I call bullshit on most of that story. Almost everyone I know opposes abortion, but can live with the morning after pill, and has no issue whatsoever with birth control. Birth control is key. But it should be used before you get someone pregnant or get pregnant, depending on your sex.

7/3/22, 6:30 AM

^^^^THIS^^^^^^

farmgirl said...

*when I said I didn’t know &hadn’t looked it up, I switched trains of thought and didn’t finish my sentence!! It was about birth control… I wonder if only Catholics are taught that it’s wrong? Sinful, even. Other religions don’t seem to have a problem w/birth control usage. Even though it prevents implantation of the blastocyst.

I ask b/c that would suggest this person is talking about Catholics, specifically.

Bob B said...

The WaPo ascribes all kinds of opinions to the pro-life opponents -- by quoting a pro-abortion activist! If the pro-abortion activists really held these opinions and were as aggressive at describing them as the pro-abortionist claims, couldn't the WaPo find someone who actually says it. We see a pattern here. The left in the last week has used hearsay to falsely accuse Justice Thomas and President Trump of all kinds of evil -- which promptly fall apart when reviewed.

Biff said...

Temujin said...'Whataboutisms' are not an argument, I know.

"Whataboutisms" may not be arguments, but that doesn't mean they aren't important or that we should shy away from them. The stability of our society depends on the quaint notion of a level playing field, i.e., that the same rules apply to everyone. When enough people believe that the balance is tilted actively and overwhelmingly in one direction, the Republic itself is at risk.

Wince said...

Grammarian sticklers do so only to channel people into expressing their sexuality within traditional English.

David Begley said...

Despite Curious George’s probable objection, I’ll weigh in on my local knowledge about Lincoln.

Lincoln is a very strange city. The very liberal University of Corn is there. But many of the students are conservatives from rural Nebraska. Lincoln has a great number of churches of all demonizations. The Catholic diocese there is very conservative. It has its own seminary because the other Catholic seminaries are too liberal. Many Omaha Catholics think the Lincoln Catholics are nuts; including one of my sisters.

I think this story is accurate.

Lincoln also has a crime problem. The newspaper used to have a mugshot and rap sheet feature. I couldn’t believe it. Horrifying. I well recall a Nebraska Supreme Court case describing a big drug dealing area just blocks from the Court.

I don’t like Lincoln.

Sally327 said...

These are important questions: Is opposition to abortion really about saving the lives of the unborn? Or does opposition to abortion really come from a different place, a desire to control sexuality?

It seems a little late in the day to be asking these questions. And why would one rationale exclude the other? I'm not a right-to-lifer but it seems as though one could be concerned about the unborn and also believe that sexual activity should be conducted with a sense of responsibility for one's self, one's partner.

Critter said...

If the author of the opinion piece wis really not a partisan on abortion the why did he not mentioned the arson at non-abortion family planning facilities and churches, that’s a whole lot more coercive than shouting.

Stephen said...

It's not "the protesters could not physically approach whomever got out of it." It should be "the protesters could not physically approach whoever got out of it."

I'm with Vault Dweller ("whomever") on this one. Let's look at a simpler sentence. "I spoke to whomever was there" vs. "I spoke to whoever was there" helps to isolate the problem (candidly the latter sounds a little better in conversation).

Grammarly: "Whomever is an object pronoun and works like the pronouns him, her, and them (Give the document to whomever in the department). Whoever is a subject pronoun and works like the pronouns he, she, and they (Whoever wrote this poem should win a prize)." This definition doesn't conclusively answer our question but does communicate the insight that we can substitute other pronouns for guidance.

In "I spoke to him who was there" or "I spoke to he who was there" the former, objective case, i.e., whomever, wins.

Note to Ann: It's a good thing that you're retired, because your fondness for the rules of grammar doesn't go over well in today's academy. Per Google Scholar Asao Inoue: [bold in original]

You perpetuate White language supremacy in your classrooms because you are White and stand in front of students, as many White teachers have before you, judging, assessing, grading, professing on the same kinds of language standards, standards that came from your group of people. It’s the truth. It ain’t fair, but it’s the truth. Your body perpetuates racism, just as Black bodies attract unwarranted police aggression by being Black.

William said...

I don't know if her account is accurate. If so, it does seem that the anti-abortion people are way outside the mainstream in their views on sex and contraception. There was some time in the past when such views were commonplace, but the Puritans lost the argument about the inherent sinfulness of sex years ago. The eugenicists not so much....The eugenicists totally won the argument in Nazi Germany and Red China. That's not an ideal we should aspire to. There's a slippery slope on both sides of the argument, and I'm glad to live in a country where people opposed to abortion are allowed to put their views forward.

William said...

I just hope that the debate about whoever/whomever doesn't become politicized. There are indeed cases where it is necessary to objectify people, but, as a general rule, it is better leave them in the subjective case....Who do we want to objectify in the abortion case: the mother or the unborn infant?

Blair said...

I think for the Roman Catholic activists involved in the pro life movement, there is definitely a bigger picture emphasis on sexual morality, which is understandable. But ultimately it distracts from the practical goal of stopping babies from being killed. I actually stopped donating to a pro life organization because they kept sending me information on the evils of contraception. I'm not Roman Catholic, and that's not what I care about. I care about unplanned pregnancies like myself being born and getting to live.

All that said, at some point people do have to address the fact that contraception preventing implantation is effectively a form of abortion itself. If you are pro life and support the use of such contraception, you've bought into the argument that abortion is okay depending on how small the baby is. Pedantic as it may seem, that's logically hard to justify.

Yancey Ward said...

"Lincoln has a great number of churches of all demonizations."

Ok, that is the most hilarious auto-correct I have seen this year.

Wa St Blogger said...

These are important questions: Is opposition to abortion really about saving the lives of the unborn? Or does opposition to abortion really come from a different place, a desire to control sexuality?

Taken logically these are not mutually exclusive. And one leads to another. If you start with the idea that abortion is murder, and your goal is to eliminate abortion, you first have to analyze why abortion is wanted. It is wanted because of an unwanted pregnancy. How does that pregnancy become unwanted? 2 reasons. One, the sex was outside of a proper long term relationship where the partners were not committed to each other. Two, they are in a relationship but they don't wish to procreate.

It is not illogical to think about addressing the abortion issue from a root cause perspective. If your view is that sex exists as a means of precreation, and that precreation is often the result of sex, then you want to think about what your responsibilities are regarding that. You might understand sex as a responsibility, not a recreation. If you see it in that light, you would never place yourself in the position of ever having an unwanted pregnancy, which then prevents almost every need for an abortion.

It is a rational position to hold, but it is so foreign to our society's views (though not so foreign many decades ago) that it is considered illogical and radical. Once upon a time parents taught their kids to keep their pants on until the ring was on, now that seems like crazy talk and only extremists talk that way.

Yancey Ward said...

This story is probably mostly horseshit. A commenter above made a good point- why don't we ever seen video interviews with the people quoted in stories like this? I can find thousands of videos of abortion supporters posted on-line describing their exact positions, both posted by abortion supporters and abortion opponents. I can find thousands of videos of abortion opponents that advocate wider use of contraceptives, and many of those also support using the morning-after-pill.

I don't doubt there are people who oppose birth control of all kinds- it is still the position of the Catholic Church, isn't it, that birth control is a sin, but the vast majority of Americans aren't practicing Catholics, and even a majority of practicing Catholics probably support and use birth control. Every poll I have ever seen shows that birth control opponents are less than 5% of the population, and probably less than 2%. If your best arguments against abortion opponents are basically lies, then you are losing the argument already.

Roger Sweeny said...

"Or does opposition to abortion really come from a different place, a desire to control sexuality?"

For some of the more activist/militant/radical, it certainly does. But I suspect they are a small percentage of those who oppose abortion. Like the members of the activist/militant/radical antifa are a small percentage of those who talk about social justice.

n.n said...

Have sex. Have intercourse. Cuddle, too. The novel conception of choice(s) and responsibility.

The nominally secular Pro-Choice ethical religion denies women and men's dignity and agency, reduces human life to negotiable commodities, and cheapens the intimacy of male and female sexual desire in a bid to keep women affordable, available, taxable, and for social progress. One step forward, two steps backward.

JK Brown said...

Well, yes, the most aggressive anti abortion people have been those motivated more about controlling women's sexuality rather than simply abortion. On the other hand, the most aggressive pro-choice people have been those wanting to promote abject promiscuity and everything the "sex in marriage" crowd promoted.

Oddly, this came out in the "sex-strike" women after the decision: “If we can’t safely go out and have sex and know that we will have a choice after that, then why should we be expected to?” 20-something boys seem to have a toddler's reaction to being asked to wear a condom. Some declared they would only have sex with a man if they wanted a baby.

In the 1920s, the 19th century radical pietists, who coming out of the Civil War, saw using the state as the enforcer of morality on everyone as a good, split into two factions. The Marxist, atheist Progressives and the fundamentalist Evangelicals. And that is where we stand, most of us being battered on both sides by either the crazy progressives or the crazy Christians. Overturning Roe as stoked the fires.

"From there the pietists concluded that it was everyone's moral duty to his own salvation to see to it that his fellow men as well as himself are kept out of temptation's path. That is, it was supposed to be the State's business to enforce compulsory morality, to create the proper moral climate for maximizing salvation. In short, instead of an individualist, the pietist now tended to become a pest, a busybody, a moral watchdog for his fellow man, and a compulsory moralist using the State to outlaw "vice" as well as crime."
--Murray Rothbard

I don't know a good solution, but would like to see the extremists on both sides hostis humani generis and hung on capture. But they make good political drama, now social media drama. But I'm not looking forward to a swing back from this top of the pendulum swing of progressivism to the other extreme of strong influence by fundamentalist established religious nuts.

MayBee said...

The people who want to control other people's sex behavior are the people who want to make affirmative consent laws.

natatomic said...

“ One woman illustrated this plan with unasked-for details about her virtuous married sex life. She felt that abortion and hormonal birth control were murder, and that condoms were undignified. Her husband learned to suppress his sexual urges, she said, and they now had sex only for procreation....”

Of all the things that have never happened before, this never happened the most.

Michael K said...


Blogger gilbar said...

, the protesters could not physically approach whomever got out of it without trespassing, so they just yelled at them


Did any of those abortion mills get vandalized or burned down ? I am pro-choice to 15 weeks or so because I am old enough to have seen the results of illegal abortions as a medical student and intern. But it should not used as birth control. I remember seeing one patient, a young woman about 27 who was a graduate student at UC, who told me she had had 7 abortions. That's just obscene.

Jupiter said...

"The argument Skinner makes — and I've seen it before — is that what really puts you on one side or the other on this issue is whether you believe that society should channel people into expressing their sexuality within traditional marriage."

Hmmmm. OK. I do, in fact, "believe that society should channel people into expressing their sexuality within traditional marriage." Certainly, I believe that a permanent marriage between a man and a woman is the best environment for raising children. Are you saying the people who favor legal abortion are so depraved they don't believe that? I guess a lot of them are, but I would hope not most of them.

Ann Althouse said...

"I'm with Vault Dweller ("whomever") on this one. Let's look at a simpler sentence. "I spoke to whomever was there" vs. "I spoke to whoever was there" helps to isolate the problem (candidly the latter sounds a little better in conversation). Grammarly: "Whomever is an object pronoun and works like the pronouns him, her, and them (Give the document to whomever in the department). Whoever is a subject pronoun and works like the pronouns he, she, and they (Whoever wrote this poem should win a prize)." This definition doesn't conclusively answer our question but does communicate the insight that we can substitute other pronouns for guidance. In "I spoke to him who was there" or "I spoke to he who was there" the former, objective case, i.e., whomever, wins."

Oh, please. Do read up on the subject some more. Grammarly isn't talking there about a phrase that has a pronoun as its subject. The phrase in your example is "whoever was there." You need a subject. You obviously know how to say "I was there" and "she was there," so it should be easy to say "who was there." But your getting confused by what goes before — "I spoke to" — because you know you would say "I spoke to her" and "I spoke to them." So if the whole sentence ended after that pronoun, then "whom" would be right. Instead of one word, though, there is a phrase — "who was there." That whole unit has to work. Then the whole unit is the object of the larger sentence.

Seriously, I know I'm right. Please don't mislead others. It's an embarrassing mistake.

Tom T. said...

During the fifty years of activism and legislation trying to push back against Roe and Casey, there has been essentially zero resistance to legal birth control. No one has ever cared about reversing the law on birth control.

Donatello Nobody said...

“Seriously, I know I’m right.” Well THAT’s a powerful argument!

Rabel said...

"Seriously, I know I'm right. Please don't mislead others. It's an embarrassing mistake."

Why is it so important? It's a grammatical error but a meaningless one.

Bender said...

"Everyone" can see the problem of killing the unborn, even those who want abortion to be available.

You presume too much. Some pro-choicers have been propagandized to not see that. And many pro-abortionists simply don't care.

The many people here calling for the "compromise" of allowing abortion on demand through 20 weeks, 15 weeks, etc., likewise simply do not care.

Bender said...

I could be mistaken and haven’t looked it up, but Catholicism teaches that to use birth control means you withhold a part of yourself when giving yourself sexually. Nothing in a Catholic marriage is 50/50. It’s meant to be 100/100: e/giving 100%of self to the other. Fertility included. I mean, there’s so much more to the teaching- I’m cliff noting.

You're not mistaken. Good explanation, but it could be summarized even simpler with one word: love. Love one another.

Michael K said...

Grammar is to lawyers what anatomy is to surgeons.

Bender said...

It was about birth control… I wonder if only Catholics are taught that it’s wrong?

Even most Catholics do not understand what the Church teaches. But as stated before and explained by Pope Benedict, the key to understanding it is "love in truth." The Church teaches as "good news" that sex should be an act of love in truth, that is to say, a complete gift of self to the other in such a way that sex is both unitive and fruitful, and to separate sex from a complete gift of self, including one's fertility, to separate sex from its unitive and fruitful aspects, is to render it less than the fullness of love in truth.

Unitive refers to a communion of persons, in the sense of two becoming one. Fruitful refers in part to the nature of sexual relations which are accomplished with one's procreative organs, and that a couple should be open to the natural consequence of said act, namely new life in physical children. But fruitful also refers to the fullness of love being naturally dynamic and creative, bursting out of itself to produce something new spiritually, socially, etc.

Artificial contraception (and sex outside of marriage) interrupts and interferes with this fullness of love, unitive and fruitful, that should properly exist in sex and tends to reduce that sex instead to using the other as an object.

But nowhere will one find Catholicism calling for the criminalization of artificial contraception (or sex outside of marriage). People are free to contracept to their hearts content. Catholicism merely suggests that there is a better way.

Bender said...

On contraception, sexual morality in general, and abortion -- there is a linkage to them all. They are all related. But society need not regulate contraception in order to stop the killing of babies in abortion.

They are related, however. The mentality of contraception is, at root, anti-child, it is not open to the possibility of life, just as abortion is pervasively anti-child.

Bender said...

If you start with the idea that abortion is murder, and your goal is to eliminate abortion, you first have to analyze why abortion is wanted. It is wanted because of an unwanted pregnancy.

No. It is not about an unwanted pregnancy, such that abortion is merely a "termination of pregnancy." Abortion is wanted because of an unwanted child. It is the baby that is unwanted; it is a baby that must be terminated.

The purpose of abortion is a dead baby. That is why you have refusals to treat live newborns if they were intended to be abortions. That is why you have dismemberment abortions rather than inducement of early delivery. It's not about ending the pregnancy; it is about ending the baby whether she is in the womb or out.

Bender said...

I don't know a good solution

You might start with jettisoning your ignorant libertarian bigotry.

n.n said...

Mommy, where are you taking us? This isn't a hospital.

That said, four choices, and an equal right to self-defense through reconciliation. The wicked solution is neither a good nor exclusive choice. #HateLovesAbortion

stonethrower said...

WRT the Althouse grammar lesson for WAPO, there's a reason for proper grammar, just like pronouns.

Wa St Blogger said...

Abortion is wanted because of an unwanted child

Your statement is more accurate than mine.

rhhardin said...

The rule is that the relative pronoun takes on the case required by its function in its own clause, not by anything outside the clause. The rule for whoever or whosoever, which mean "the person who," is that the who part operates by the same rule and the person part by whatever function it serves outside the clause. However the person part's case won't show up in the word.

rhhardin said...

IUDs prevent a fertilized egg from implanting, if you're into moment of conception equals baby dogma.

hombre said...

This is all just bullshit intended by Democrats and their consorts to draw attention away from the most legitimate question, Is abortion homicide, that is, "a killing of one human being by another?"

Scientifically, and in some states legally, the unequivocal answer is, "Yes!"

This evokes a second question, "What then is the justification for 60 million homicides post-Roe?" The rationale offered by the NYT's Ms. Gay, i.e., the ladies likes their pokes, doesn't really cut it.

bentoak said...

Since human life begins at conception, to end a pregnancy is to end a developing human life. This is a practice I cannot accept, except under limited circumstances. My view comes from reason, not religion. The crazies who protest at abortion clinics do not speak for me.

I support gay marriage fully, and I have no interest in the sex lives of others, as long as it is consensual and healthy.

Yancey Ward said...

Ask not for who the bell tolls......if you know what is good for you!

Jim at said...

They described to me how anti-choice...

Stopped reading right there as the author exposed themselves as pro-death and anti-life.

Bender said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bender said...

IUDs prevent a fertilized egg from implanting, if you're into moment of conception equals baby dogma

Yeah. And?

They also have led to a number of adverse reactions and damage to women's bodies. Not to mention once again putting the burden on women to cater to men's wants and desires rather than men taking responsibility themselves.

Bender said...

The crazies who protest at abortion clinics

The crazies who protest at abortion facilities do so as a matter of reason and science that since human life begins at conception, to end a pregnancy is to end a developing human life.

Religion enters into it in their charity and care for the women seeking abortions and who have had abortions.

Kirk Parker said...

William,

You've just been propagandized. The Puritans (the real ones, not the Hollywood movie/Margaret Atwood ones) never taught that.